So like I mentioned in one of my vegan updates, I've really gotten on the food reading train...a train that seems to have been passing me by for quite awhile. I'd like to report back to you guys what I read...my thoughts, or cool things I've learned...as I go. This is my first installment. I'm pretty excited. My first book and thus thoughts are on Best Food Writing 2007 Edited by Holly Hughes. This installment focuses on approximately the first 100 pages.
Waiting for Asparagus, from Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
-I learned that rhubarb is an overgrown leaf petiole
-According to Alice Waters, "Rhubarb, is the vegetable bridge between the tree fruits of winter and summer." I think that is quite a great sentence. When I think of rhubarb I think of the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Perhaps because that is the only place I really recall experiencing fresh rhubarb.
Local Heroes?, from Gourmet by Barry Estabrook
-I heard of the Chef's Collaborative which "is a leading network of chefs and members of the food community that fosters a sustainable food supply through advocacy, education, and collaboration." Website
-I also learned of Greenmarket which operates in New York which holds vendors to very strict standards which means they "must make, catch, raise, or grown everything they sell."
-Additionally, local doesn't have the strict standards organic does. Something I knew, but kind of forget time to time.
Rare Tuna, from The Washingtonian by Todd Kilman
-When I read this piece I felt like I was reading a chapter written by Jeffrey Steingarten who has also written on the awes of tuna.
-"...there is the growing practice of injecting fish with red dye to make it more eye-catching." I found this interesting, but not a new practice by any means. Supposedly Whole Foods alerts you when this practice has been done. Please note, "Brilliant red does not necessarily mean fresher."
-This section dealt with a whole lot of sushi tricks in the industry. Apparently, the lemon slice on platters of sashimi are there because citrus can perk up bland tuna.
-Yuzu is a tart Asian fruit
-"Shocked tuna" is when you dip "an uncooked loin into boiling water, them [submerge] it in a bucked of chilled soy sauce and red wine."
-I learned that Charlie Trotter's, Le Bernardin, and Per Se are three of the country's beset restaurants.
French Revolution, from En Route by Violaine Charest-Sigouin
-I learned Le Fooding means to connect the food with feeling. "It's the art of eating and cooking, at your home or at a restaurant, with an open spirit, one that appreciates novelty and quality, that shuns boredom and that takes the time to savour simple foods."
Do Recipes Make You a Better Cook?, from Food & Wine by Daniel Patterson
-Recipe for kale:
1. Cook sliced onion in olive oil with a little salt in a covered pot over low heat until tender
2. Add kale that has been washed and cut into two inch pieces, a little water, and more salt
3. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring every once in a while, until it's tender?
-I was reminded that altitude affects moisture content
You May Kiss the Chef's Napkin Ring, from The New York Times by Frank Bruni
-This was the second time an essay mentioned Per Se....
-It also mentioned the French Laundry where Duff of the awesome Ace of Cakes had a stint
Discovering New Worlds, from The Financial Times by Francis Lan
-I learned that salt amplifies the flavors wheat and sesame seeds
-I learned that spinach pasta works, but you must remember juice will replace some of the water
-I was introduced to "molecular gastronomy"
-I was reminded 135F is the temperature of medium rare meat
Feast of Burden, from 7 x 7 by Sara Deseran
-I learned that when a salmon says "Atlantic" it means it's farmed as there is no commercial salmon fishing in the Atlantic anymore
-The author deduced that selecting food primarily due to its taste makes things a lot less ethically complicated...which is an interesting concept
Organicize Me, from Seattle Weekly by Michael A. Strusser
-I learned that Puget Consumers Co-op Natural Markets is the largest natural food co-op in the nation.
-I learned of the "sweat-free food" campaign
-I learned that Washington State University has created the nation's first organic farming degree program
-I learned about New Roots...which is something I think the Fat Dietitian would be all about running
-I learned 13 of the top 20 multinational food manufacture res own an organic brand
-I learned of Seattle Tilth
-"Food is a way to reconnect with the culture. After all, the word culture comes form cultivate."
Kitchen Existential, from The Morning News by David Leite
Cast Iron Skillet, from Country Living by Andrea King Collier
-I enjoyed this one a lot.
Death by Lobster Pad Thai, from Death by Pad Thai by Steve Almond
-This one actually made me laugh out loud which is a difficult feat. Example, "I am frightened of many things: death, Mormons, Stilton cheese, scorpions, Dick Cheyney, the freeways of Los Angeles. But I am perhaps most frightened by lobsters."
-I am reminded of mise en place
-I learned that sometimes a steak house is really a steak house because they serve you a glass of cold tomato juice to start your meal
-I leaned that Lane cake is "an Alabama specialty...created by a woman named Emma Rylander Lane, who wrote a cookbook called Some Good Things to Eat around the turn of the 20th century."
The Age of Casseroles, from Saveur by Irene Sax
-I enjoyed this one
-Rob Roys and Sidecars (both mixed drinks, let me know if you've tried 'em)
The Great Carrot Caper, from The New York Times Magazine by Dan Barber
-Jean Marc's almond potatoes
That's my round up! Let me know what you guys thought. Learn anything? Enjoyed it at all?