Posts Tagged ‘food’

The Macaroons of Moses

March 30, 2018

The Macaroons of Moses

Tonight many Jewish families hold the Seder, the ritual meal celebrating the holiday of Passover. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the customs of this dinner, such as recounting the Exodus story as told in the ancient Maxwell House Haggadah and the obligation to drink four glasses of wine (oh, the sacrifices …).

One seasonal custom puzzling to Gentiles is the appearance of canned Kosher cookies in American supermarkets. Many Jews are puzzled as well, since the cookies are macaroons made with coconut, chocolate, and other ingredients not prominent in the Old Testament.

Origins of the Passover macaroon are shrouded in mystery. Some believe the dense sweets derive from hastily assembled desserts prepared by the Israelites as they fled Egyptian bondage on a route devoid of donut shops. Others maintain that, in the nineteenth century, rabbinical scholars exploring caves near the Dead Sea uncovered a huge cache of ancient canisters of sweet, rock-hard, unleavened biscuits. Each spring these pious prospectors slapped “Kosher for Passover” labels on the cans and exported them to the growing Jewish community in the United States, and a tradition was born.

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Chow Mein Sandwich

March 10, 2018

“Chow Mein Sandwich,” by Alika & The Happy Samoans.  An ode to the local specialty of Fall River, Massachusetts.

“Originally hailing from Hawaii, Alika and the Happy Samoans ended up as the house band for China Royale, a Chinese restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts, that dates back to 1950. The chow mein sandwich— a Chinese American dish if ever there was one—dates back even earlier, at least as far back as the 1930s. The Happy Samoans recorded their ode to the sandwich on an early 1970s lounge album, supposedly recorded live at the China Royale. Just imagine the cocktails with their little umbrella swizzles.” — Oliver Wang

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day

It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

In his book Groundhog Day, Don Yoder reprints a classic groundhog recipe from Cooking with the Groundhog, published as a fundraiser by a hospital auxiliary in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the “official” Groundhog’s Day Festival (there are more than a few others ). A Georgia groundhog is on Twitter.

Seven years ago, whilst stalking the elusive picture book Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather, we espied an ad for the Range Kleen Preseasoned Cast Iron 10 Inch Fry Pan on the book’s Amazon.com page and cooked up today’s graphic. There’s obviously no “storybook ending” to this post if you’re a groundhog.

Related:

“Eight Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs,” Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American blog

“Groundhogs and Ground Squirrels: Winter Prognosticators,”  Sharol Nelson-Embry, Quest

“40 years of groundhog forecasts, mapped,” Kennedy Elliott and Shelly Tan, Washington Post

“Punxsutawney Phil: incompetent — or evil?” Phil Edwards, Vox

“Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was,”The Onion

“Where Did Groundhog Day Come From? ” Mental Floss

“A Short History of Groundhog Day,” Danny Lewis, Smithsonian.com

“Groundhog Day Explained,” CGP Grey (video)

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Image (“Marmot sauté, after John James Audubon”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Nutella Riots Rock France

January 26, 2018

Nutella Riots Rock France

While French President Emmanuel Macron talked trade in Davos, back home the République was rocked by retail riots. The Intermarché supermarket chain slashed the price of Nutella by 70%, causing chaos across the country. Customers fought, employees were punched, les flics were called.

The French really love that chocolate hazelnut spread on their baguettes in the morning. They consume 26 percent of world Nutella production.

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Thin-Crust Cultural Heritage

December 8, 2017

Thin-Crust Cultural Heritage
Even though one in three of Italy’s pizza makers isn’t Italian, the UNESCO  Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has named Neapolitan pizza an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“The art of the Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ is a culinary practice comprising four different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker. The element originates in Naples, the capital of the Campania Region, where about 3,000 Pizzaiuoli now live and perform.” — UNESCO
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NutellaGate

November 28, 2017

NutellaGate

“McDonald’s restaurants in Italy serve it on hamburger buns. Lifestyle websites cheekily offer lists of “signs you’re addicted to Nutella.” And at least one German soccer team dropped a player who couldn’t stop eating it.

Yes, a legion of snackers live for the hazelnut spread. And they’re not happy.

Nutella confirmed on its Twitter feed Wednesday that the recipe “underwent a fine-tuning” after Germany’s Hamburg Consumer Protection Center said on Facebook that  it appeared the recipe had changed.”

“‘Real cool,’ wrote one user, adding, ‘why not draw a mustache on the Mona Lisa too?’”

— “‘How dare they’: Nutella changes recipe, sending its fans to the edge,” Travis M. Andrews, Washington Post

More:

“Choc horror: fans outraged by Nutella’s secret recipe change,” Rebecca Smithers, The Guardian

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Image (“Still Life with Pewter Jug and Nutella, after Cezanne”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs

November 23, 2017

Thanksgiving Greetings from William S. Burroughs
A holiday poem from Williams S. Burroughs: “Thanks for the wild turkey and the passenger pigeons …”
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GMO Foods

September 25, 2017

GMO foods explained, by Kurzgesagt (German for “in a nutshell”).

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Synesthesia

July 9, 2017

“Synesthesia,” a 2009 short film by Terri Timley (Ian Kibbey and Corey Creasey).

syn·es·the·sia syn·aes·the·sia (sĭn’ĭs-thē’zhə) n. 1)A condition in which one type of stimulation evokes the sensation of another, as when the hearing of a sound produces the visualization of a color. 2) A sensation felt in one part of the body as a result of stimulus applied to another, as in referred pain. 3) The description of one kind of sense impression by using words that normally describe another.
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Sugar: Threat or Menace?

June 9, 2017

Is a sugar a drug? A PBS Digital video by Joe Hanson.

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