Dec 29th, 2009
Ice cream versus frozen custard: the parameters are loose. Frozen custard, like its less-cold forebear, engages egg yolks in the emulsion, but so does rich ice creams. Wikipedia attributes it to a higher temperature than ice cream when served; also, its production to a fast-freezing barrel that churns out the product more quickly than traditional ice cream makers. The entry states, "Frozen custard is usually prepared fresh at the place of sale, rather than stored." They both can be served by the scoop, or in soft-serve form. In my estimation, there is little difference between (very rich) ice cream and frozen custard, except that frozen custard is not designed to be, and is therefore not typically, made at home. And I'm not at home, haven't been for a week -- I'm in the frozen custard capital of the world.
Custard’s Last Stand (or rather, mine with it)
Mar 18th, 2009
My brain is on BBQ. Smoked, slow-cooked meat has no doubt lodged itself deep into the heart of Texas. But until last weekend, it had never really captured the fancy of me, this New York-New Jersey girl with no Southern roots to speak of. Until, that is, I went to Texas.
Eating BBQ in Austin and Lockhart, TX
Feb 25th, 2008
Let me tell you, it’s serious. After my prize weekend trip to the Copia center’s annual Death by Chocolate festival and private tour of Charles Chocolates factory thanks to Culinate, I estimate my blood is 72% cacao right now. I may not have died by chocolate, per se, but I think I consumed enough of it to experience the old wives’ tale that chocolate can actually give you a caffeine high (stomachache notwithstanding). And I couldn’t have planned a grander finale for the weekend than for my entire body, and all the clothing I brought on the trip, to be covered with a fine, powdery layer of deep brown cocoa due to a wee little accident involving a canister of cocoa.
Girl in a Chocolate Coma
Feb 2nd, 2008
Leaving Marrakesh, Jordan and I boarded a small bus with ten other travelers from around the world. The destination? The dunes of Erg Chebbi, near the border of Algeria. On the way, we'd be passing through the Atlas Mountains, notably Ouarzazate, with its scenic kasbahs often used for location film shoots. I'd been informed that Berber cuisines of the mountain and desert regions we were crossing were milder and more simple than the rest of Moroccan food. Well, I should tell you that the bar for flavor is quite high in these parts, as evidenced in this savory Berber omelette.
Eating Out in Essaouira, and the Road to the Sahara
Jan 30th, 2008
After much jetlag, dilly-dally, and time spent getting my head back on straight and my body back into the habit of working, cooking and such and such, I'm pleased to share with you my extraordinary culinary adventures in Morocco. Many thanks to all those who offered great suggestions on my previous posts about the trip. I would never have guessed on my own that the cinnamon and powdered sugar-dusted pastries bastilla actually had meat inside them (but would have been delighted anyhow -- they're delicious!).
Eating Out in Marrakesh Part I: The Good, the So-So, and the Sheep’s Head
Sep 3rd, 2007
grapes at Lamoreaux Landing vineyard, on the northeast side of the lake
Ah, vacation. A little respite from the heat, the smog, the whiny, cosmopolitan attitude that had been pressure-cooking in me all summer long. Though it was only two days in total and a whopping five hours drive from New York City, this weekend I escaped for a holiday up north. And it was just in the nick of time, too. A change of pace on Labor Day weekend is simply the only thing one can do to rid the mind of the reality that this is the weekend that changes everything: No more summer Fridays, no more wearing sandals, white or seersucker, no more "it's summer" shrugs and excuses. No more shrugging, period.
Eating (and Drinking) Out Around Seneca Lake, NY
Feb 20th, 2007
At the festivities on Mott St. on Sunday
Pigging Out on Chinese New Year
Dec 19th, 2006
A quintessential plate of 4-way chili at Skyline Chili: that's cheese on top of chili on top of spaghetti. Yes, spaghetti.
I was pretty sure that Ohio wasn't the cheese state. But what did I know? It was my first trip to anywhere in the midwest, not including airport layovers. I found myself there last weekend because my college buddy Aaron had gotten married to a Japanese girl while teaching English in Japan, and had brought her back to his home base in Cincinnati. Instead of having a formal wedding, they threw a weekend-long celebration with friends from across the country, and me and fellow Brooklynite Jordan booked flights for Saturday and Sunday, packed a light bag, and went. And so I learned that Cincinnati is very fond of bad, processed cheese in great quantities.
Orange You Glad I Ate Out in Cincinnati?
Oct 22nd, 2006
I ate out. But it was in Providence, RI, and I'm quite certain there's no way I'll ever be able to make my own array of bite-size dumplings and other tasty traditional dim sum dishes just for lunch (ever). So I made good use of a family trip to visit my brother in Providence, where he's studying for a PhD.
Eating Dim Sum in Providence, RI
Sep 19th, 2006
On Sunday, the lampposts were decorated with green balloons along Orchard Street in the Lower East Side. Down a few narrow blocks to Guss' corner deli, a neighborhood landmark pickle maker, and the garlicky brines of some dozen pickle makers' tents filled the air of the dank, congested streets. It was a beautiful day in the city.
NYC Pickle Day is Not Eating Out
Sep 11th, 2006
I didn't think it was going to be that difficult to travel without a laptop, and post blogs. But the west coast didn't prove to be as cyber-friendly as I had hoped. That, and I wasn't trying too hard because I was on vacation, and was very, very busy eating out. For the record, I didn't go out there to check out Kerry Simon's new LA restaurant or the Wolfgang Puck Express, but I went to LA to visit my grandfather, and to Oregon, for friends.
In the end, such as my last meal at the airport between flights, I was reminded of how not fun it can be to rely on whatever food options are available at a certain area. But in between, several highlights are pictured in this belated photo essay below.
Eating Out in LA & Oregon
Aug 29th, 2006
My brother just came back from visiting his girlfriend who’s interning in Kingston, Jamaica for the summer. It sounds like a pretty groovy way to build your resume, but considering it was in the city’s public health administration, it may have been a little more involved than buying shell necklaces and lounging on the beach listening to reggae. I wish I had more to tell about an area I find really fascinating, but since I wasn’t there I only managed to glean these tidbits on Jamaica and its food:
Beef patties are commonly sold at two chains owned by Chinese shopkeeper families, Juici Patties, and Tastee Patties. Both entrepreneurs of these chains have won accolades for bolstering the economy in Jamaica, while Juici Patties has successfully entered the Canadian market (for some reason).
Jerk originated at Boston Beach in Portland Parish, Jamaica, and was largely unknown outside of Portland until the 1950’s. The dry rub mixture includes allspice and Scotch Bonnet peppers, and the meat is traditionally wrapped in banana leaves and cooked over Pimento wood. Today, most people tend to think it's the most Jamaican thing ever beside Red Stripe beer.
The Jamaican national dish and common breakfast is “ackee and saltfish.” The ackee is the crazy fruit pictured above, related somewhat to lychee nuts, and to eat it requires taking out the poisonous big black seeds and de-veining the “bready” sections. It has a strange taste and a texture “like scrambled eggs.”
Other weird fruit native to Jamaica and the Caribbean include breadfruit (which tastes like bread), sweet sop (or custard apple), ugli fruit, guineps, and sour sop.
Mangosteen, all praises to flavor aside, you are totally yesterday’s elusive fruit.
(for more info on Jamaican dishes check out this tourism page on food)
Report from Jamaica