Eating in excess can be good, but savoring in scarcity can be great.
Je me souviens (I remember), the Québec license plates vow. This past weekend, I had the pleasure of visiting the province’s largest city and was left with the question of what, gastronomically speaking, I would remember most from Montréal.
Yes, Casa Tapas, with its rustic sangria pitchers, Spanish-French-English-Italian (and maybe Turkish and German?)-speaking waiter, and roses sculpted into the ladies room walls won for ambiance:
But then again, there was the unique experience of eating a beaver tail, Montréal’s lighter, wholegrain-looking answer to America’s fried dough:
…And then, of course, there’s the crepes! (This one was a sweet corn and sesame batter with seasonal vegetables, Calamata olives, and three cheeses inside):
However, I have to say that the winner was the simple name of a dish:
I didn’t even order it. I just happened to see it on a card marking a raspberry-covered cake in the dessert case at Aux Vivres. So cute, so vegan, so lingui-tastic.
Yes, I ventured into a city known for having a rich history and culture and the best strip clubs in the world, and came away with that. Next time I make it there, I may put less emphasis on the food and take recommendations for places like Le 281 more seriously. So keep your eyes peeled and you may see a review of another kind of tasty dish.
*For the non-French speakers, this is a play on gâteau fromage, a.k.a. cheesecake.
Giant inflatable Corona bottles are friggin’ cool. I’d never dream of wearing a Coca Cola t-shirt or sweatpants that say Abercrombie across the butt, but I wouldn’t mind one of those marketing pieces in my living room. Next time you walk past a liquor store window, seriously take a look. I think you will marvel at what you see. I mean, there’s a lime slice twice the size of your head suspended inside! Just try to tell me that’s not friggin’ cool.
“‘What am I eating? And where in the world did it come from?’ Not very long ago an eater didn’t need a journalist to answer these questions.”
-Michael Pollan, The Omnivore’s Dilemma
Consuming mushrooms sautéed with copious amounts of garlic and butter is not simply something you must do before you die; it is an exercise that should be undertaken with much frequency and considerable passion.
Well, I tried that papadzule recipe from a few posts back. I can’t say I was too impressed. The bright green oil never came out of the ground pumpkin seeds (disappointment!) and the overall taste was kinda blah. Maybe I should have trusted my aversion to pumpkin seeds, which I think began with the large amounts of egusi I ate during my months in Ghana.
Luckily, the food adventure was not wasted. For one thing, the ingredients lent themselves to a nice presentation:
I also got out of it the realizations that a) whole roasted pumpkin seeds are delightful, especially when you know you’re supposed to be saving them for a recipe and not snacking on them and b) epazote broth is really delish. I’d use it in place of chicken stock in recipes. To make it, use one large sprig of epazote and a scant half teaspoon salt per cup of water. Simmer together for 5 minutes and remove the sprigs.
I say take with you what you can, my friends — the tasty with the dull.
Tomato varieties have the darndest names:
Those are just a few, according to an archived farm newsletter, that my CSA has offered. Which wacky association comes up with these? And how can I get on staff?
Wow. I will need to read Leah Koenig’s posts on various blogs often.
And for more great food news for socially-conscious Jews, check out The Jew and the Carrot. One highlight from this week, especially helpful if you’ve ever traveled in Israel and wondered what was up with that eggs-in-a-bed-of-cooked-tomato stuff (turns out it’s shakshuka, and you should make it while the tomato season is hot!): http://jcarrot.org/when-the-farm-gives-you-tomatoes-make-shakshuka/.
We should have outgrown
swallowing each other by now.
First comes the choking hazard, then we
want to inhale him/
And then? Then we take
spoonful by spoonful
(it seems, for the rest of our days).
But fish bones still get stuck and grown hands clutch.
In the end, the lucky ones
sustain on others’ mouths.