Wednesday, May 26, 2004

wed. food

I think the problem with the Chron's rent-a grandma series, dormant since the first episode, may be this: most kids today who grew up with good food appreciated it enough to learn about it from the source. Perhaps we really need a rent a great-grandma project for those of us more than one generation removed from their culinary heritage. I volunteer myself if anyone knows how to make Pennsylvania Dutch food that's not revolting.

Elsewhere in today's Chron, an excellent appreciation of American chop suey, and Kim Severson has more on transfats.

The LA Times is appropriately devoted to farmer's markets this week, but Russ Parsons is a little bit off in his timing: the Royal Blenheim apricot, among others, is already here. In fact, I'm eating one right now. I've been eating peaches -- and not just any peaches -- for 2 weeks. But he makes a good point:

When the gods (or star farmer Art Lange) give us a perfect Arctic Rose white nectarine later this month, let's face it, the only thing some fancy preparation will do is mess it up.
For the time being, I'm witholding judgement on how Julie Powell's writing translates to the Times. Amanda Hesser tackles the simulation in her Balthazar review (her best yet, I think):
In 1997, when Keith McNally opened Balthazar, it seemed to be merely a simulacrum of a turn-of-the-century French brasserie, notable for its museum-quality distressed tiles, faded mirrors and dented and worn zinc bar. But... the place now feels authentically worn, and it is difficult to distinguish between the real faded and the fake faded.
Florence Fabricant does a good job of explaining yeast; Marian Burros reams the USDA a little more.

On the Internet: no matter what delicious things the farmer's market provides, I am almost always greedy for something that is not in season: at the moment, tomatoes. But Clotilde has the answer: tomates confites. Bruce Cole is running scared (from M.F.K. Fischer); his links today include breakfast pho in the Observer and the Anchorage Daily News's excellent how to filet a salmon video. Egullet's International Workshop on Molecular Gastronomy report. Andrea Strong alerts us to chef Tom Kelley's blog of his travels across southeast asia, which combines amazing food with hectic design and occasionally unfortunate prose:

I was half way into Tom Waits´┐Ż Swordfish Trombone when our bus abruptly stopped.
And don't miss Wade's excellent article on the plight of Vermont Shepherd over at cheese diaries.

Italy publishes new pizza regulations (see slice).


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