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Monday
January

24

2005
12:32 AM




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Contests, January 23, 2005 Well we didn't win any awards at the food blog awards held over at Accidental Hedonist, but of course it's an honor just to be nominated. As it was for the James Beard award last year (which we also lost). Is there an emoticon for trying to sound humble and poke fun at yourself while looking for pity? No? Oh well. :)

We did get another nomination when our cookbook - All About Apples - got nominated in the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards for Best Photography in a Cookbook in English in the United States. We're among 19 world-wide finalists in the Best Photography category, and on February 11, 2005 they will announce the world-wide winners in Sweden in front of Sweden's King himself. (If anyone's planning on going, please let us know in case we win so you can accept our award. We couldn't fit a trip to Sweden into our schedules this year.) It should also be noted the credit for this award goes to Peyman who did all the kickass photography in the cookbook. Additional credit should go to Jenny who did the great layout that showed off the photos so beautifully, as well of course to Scott Carsberg of Lampreia who's food starred in all the pictures.

Finally on the contest front, we found out today that we were nominated for Best Food Blog in the 2005 Bloggies. So, if you'd like to see us win one of these, then vote for us please. :) However, if we lose, we'll take our sadness and focus it inward until it turns into some insecure need to prove that we can win one of these contests one day. That in turn will result in us working even harder to make this site great. So, probably best to vote for one of the other nominees - Simply Recipes, The Food Section, 101 Cookbooks, and Cooking for Engineers - they're very good. :)

OK. Enough self-promotion. Next post, we return to Italy.

 

     
     
     
     
     

 

 

 

 

 

   

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Tastingmenu is focused on superlative restaurant experiences from two perspectives: behind the plate and behind the stove. Tastingmenu is written by Hillel (professional eater) and Dana (up-and-coming professional chef) in Seattle, Washington.


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  Garlic has long been credited with providing and prolonging physical strength and was fed to Egyptian slaves building the giant pyramids. Throughout the centuries, its medicinal claims have included cures for toothaches, consumption, open wounds and evil demons. A member of the lily family, garlic is a cousin to leeks, chives, onions and shallots. The edible bulb or "head" grows beneath the ground. This bulb is made up of sections called cloves, each encased in its own parchmentlike membrane. Today's major garlic suppliers include the United States (mainly California, Texas and Louisiana), France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. There are three major types of garlic available in the United States: the white-skinned, strongly flavored American garlic; the Mexican and Italian garlic, both of which have mauve-colored skins and a somewhat milder flavor; and the Paul Bunyanesque, white-skinned elephant garlic (which is not a true garlic, but a relative of the leek), the most mildly flavored of the three. Depending on the variety, cloves of American, Mexican and Italian garlic can range from 1/2 to 1 1/2 inches in length. Elephant garlic (grown mainly in California) has bulbs the size of a small grapefruit, with huge cloves averaging 1 ounce each. It can be purchased through mail order and in some gourmet markets. Green garlic, available occasionally in specialty produce markets, is young garlic before it begins to form cloves. It resembles a baby leek, with a long green top and white bulb, sometimes tinged with pink. The flavor of a baby plant is much softer than that of mature garlic. Fresh garlic is available year-round. Purchase firm, plump bulbs with dry skins. Avoid heads with soft or shriveled cloves, and those stored in the refrigerated section of the produce department. Store fresh garlic in an open container (away from other foods) in a cool, dark place. Properly stored, unbroken bulbs can be kept up to 8 weeks, though they will begin to dry out toward the end of that time. Once broken from the bulb, individual cloves will keep from 3 to 10 days. Garlic is usually peeled before use in recipes. Among the exceptions are roasted garlic bulbs and the famous dish, "chicken with 40 cloves of garlic," in which unpeeled garlic cloves are baked with chicken in a broth until they become sweet and butter-soft. Crushing, chopping, pressing or pureeing garlic releases more of its essential oils and provides a sharper, more assertive flavor than slicing or leaving it whole. Garlic is readily available in forms other than fresh. Dehydrated garlic flakes (sometimes referred to as instant garlic) are slices or bits of garlic that must be reconstituted before using (unless added to a liquid-based dish, such as soup or stew). When dehydrated garlic flakes are ground, the result is garlic powder. Garlic salt is garlic powder blended with salt and a moisture-absorbing agent. Garlic extract and garlic juice are derived from pressed garlic cloves. Though all of these products are convenient, they're a poor flavor substitute for the less expensive, readily available and easy-to-store fresh garlic. One unfortunate side effect of garlic is that, because its essential oils permeate the lung tissue, it remains with the body long after it's been consumed, affecting breath and even skin odor. Chewing chlorophyll tablets or fresh parsley is helpful but, unfortunately, modern-day science has yet to find the perfect antidote for residual garlic odor.  

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