Exciting stuff going on. We got a
very cool write up from Hsiao-Ching Chou in the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer. It describes not just the website, but some
additional efforts including: the work we've done on our sister
All About Apples our first
cookbook with Scott Carsberg at Lampreia, and an unnamed new
cookbook effort that we're plugging away on right now.
more press about TasteEverything from the Guardian in the U.K.
our own discussion board hosted by tasteeverything. Feel free to
use the board for all tastingmenu related discussions.
Had dinner tonight with a bunch of
Seattle Food Bloggers. Blogs represented were:
It was surprisingly neat. Lots of
people basically doing the same thing. Dinner at
Malay Satay Hut was good as always.
Perfect Raspberry Found in a Jar, tasted on February 22, 2005, part
of the Independent Food Festival and Awards — I have a thing
for all things sour. Candy and fruit are the most common vehicles.
When it comes to fruit, Granny Smith apples (I'm told I need to try
courtlands), limes, and not quite ripe blackberries are among my
favorites. Raspberries are really one of the best expressions of
what I like about sour fruit. I love that they're soft and meaty and
filled with a very small amount of juice. And as much as I like the
sugar in them, I really want them to have a healthy dose of acidity.
When they're ripe and full of flavor I can eat them by the
When it comes to raspberry jam, I'm essentially
looking for a truckload full of raspberries. And all my life I've
been on a sort of background quest - to find a raspberry jam that
conveyed as closely as possible the essence of... well...
raspberries. It may seem like a simple task, but believe me, it's
not. Most raspberry jams suffer from three main problems. 1) They
are too gelled. Pectin is used to give Jam its gelatinous qualities.
Some Jams are just overly gelatinous. They have too much structure.
2) They are too sweet. I understand that some people feel just as
strongly about sour flavors as I do but in the other direction.
said, I can get a lovely strawberry jam if I want something sweeter.
3) They have no seeds. I try not to be too "judgey" on this site
which given that it's the sole purpose of the site can be kind of
difficult. That said, I do not understand what the point is of
taking the seeds out of raspberry jam. They are such critical
texture. I suppose for someone who's not as obsessed with just
having a jar full of raspberries, maybe seeds are not as a high a
priority. And after all, I do like Orange Juice with less pulp, so
who am I to talk.
Every few months I will notice an interesting jar of
raspberry jam on the shelf at the grocery store (or specialty store)
and give it a whirl. And every few months I am disappointed. I think
it was the fact that the Raspberry Tart Pacific Raspberry Jam had
the word "tart" in the name that attracted me. I figured that it
must at least be sour, and I could see the seeds through the glass
of the jar, so we had a decent chance of getting something
reasonable. Imagine my surprise when I got home, opened the jar, and
found basically a container full of crushed fresh raspberries.
Beautifully juicy. Perfectly sour. Filled with texture. Crushed
fresh raspberries. Wow. I've been searching for at least twenty
years, and my quest is finally complete. This stuff can be eaten
anywhere you see fit, on ice cream, on toast, on a steak for all I
care. (This is starting to feel a little Dr. Seussish.) And while
this is a little embarrassing to admit, I've often eaten it just
with a spoon. In fact, on those occasions, I've found myself down
most of a jar before I realized I almost ate an entire jar of jam
with a spoon. I don't know what's stopping me from just doing it.
Sitting down with a new jar of Raspberry Tart Pacific Raspberry Jam
and eating the whole thing with a spoon. I think society is keeping
As you may have noticed from the logo at the start
of this article, we are proud to participate in the first annual
Independent Food Festival and Awards. In fact, the host of the
tasteeverything.org, is our sister website. These awards work a
little differently than most in that each jury member gets to create
and give out their own award. As a member of the inaugural jury I am
proud to give the award for the:
Most Perfect Raspberry Found in a
Raspberry Tart, Pacific Raspberry
Mountain Fruit Company, Chico, California
They have a whole line of jams you
should try as well. Hopefully someday I can get down to Chico and
con my way into a demonstration of how the Mountain Fruit people are
capable of preserving the essence of fresh perfect raspberries in a
(Note: I got mine at the Wholefoods in
Bellevue, WA. Not all Wholefoods have it, but I bet they can order
it. I also found it online
Thirty food bloggers made up this
year's awards jury. Check out the
list of awards for more great food you may not have heard of.
Depressed in Seattle Round #2, February 21, 2005 — A couple of days ago I wrote about how depressed I
was about the state of food options in Seattle. I wrote about the
fact that while there are restaurants that I think are truly world
class (or even just great), they are few and far between and I wish
there was more diversity here. I got comments from several people
agreeing with me. But the
following comment really made me think. I'll repost it here for
you to read:
Interesting rant. I can think of a number of
things Seattle falls short on. I mostly chalk it up to the size
of the city though. Perhaps I'm being an epicurean relativist,
but how would you compare Seattle cuisine to other cities in
America of similar size? Seattle is the 24th largest city in
America. Here are the +/-5 list of cities:
- Milwaukee, Wis.
- Fort Worth, Tex.
- Charlotte, N.C.
- El Paso, Tex.
- Boston, Mass.
- Seattle, Wash.
- Washington, DC
- Denver, Colo.
- Nashville-Davidson, Tenn.
- Portland, Ore.
- Oklahoma City, Okla.
Only having eaten in 6 of the 11 cities
listed, my initial assessment is that Seattle compares favorably
overall. In comparison, Seattle is the 605th largest city in the
world. The +/-5 cities surrounding it are:
- Bengbu, China
- Bucaramanga, Colombia
- Wuhu, China
- Qinhuangdao, China
- Bandar Petaling Jaya, Malaysia
- Seattle, USA
- Chon Buri, Thailand
- San Nicolás de los Garzas, Mexico
- Banjarmasin, Indonesia
- Düsseldorf, Germany
- Valenzuela, Philippines
I haven't eaten in any of those cities, but
none really pop out as well-known culinary meccas. Again, I
would hazard to guess that Seattle compares favorably. There are
some things that leave me bemused, though, like how Chinese food
in Seattle could be so mediocre given its geography and
demographics. But even with such shortcomings as surprisingly
weak Chinese, pizza, and lack of a really good deli, I find that
for what I would expect of a city the size of Seattle that
things aren't so bad. I suppose it would be interesting to do
this comparison using COLA as the measure instead of population.
Perhaps money might be more of a factor. However, Boston's no
great culinary shakes either and the COLA there is similar to
here, so maybe that's not a good measure either.
This is really an excellent point. And while it
doesn't make the food situation any better, it does put it in
perspective. Though to be clear, there's maybe even a more
appropriate measure (at least in the U.S.) that correlates to food
worthiness... media market.
According to the
Info Center the top 30 TV Markets in the U.S. Ranked by
|Designated Market Area
% of US
||San Francisco-Oak-San Jose
||Washington, DC (Hagrstwn)
||Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota)
||Hartford & New Haven
Now, I don't want to spark a big war about my
equating "cosmopolitan-ness" with a bounty of good food. Of course
Memphis (#43) has great barbecue. But my issue isn't about a city
having depth in a local specialty, it's about having depth in its
breadth. That's the true measure. Most people in... oh say... Seattle,
for example, can't jaunt down to Memphis every time they want ribs.
But looking at the list above is very edifying. Seattle may be the
24th largest city in the country, but it's the 12th largest media
market. I think that's a closer indication of what's really the
OK. So here's my off the cuff, sometimes
completely uneducated, and unfair observations. Seattle probably
beats some of the cities above it on the list - Dallas, Atlanta,
Detroit, and Houston come to mind - in terms of having tons of great
food. And yes, I say that never having been to Detroit (let the
flames begin). But, I'll also bet that Miami and maybe even
Sacramento have just as good food (or maybe even better) than
Seattle. I'll also claim that Portland, all the way down at #24, is
probably pretty close too.
So, what does this prove? Nothing really. That said,
the perspective is helpful. Though it doesn't excuse people in
Seattle for taking for granted the few gems they have, or for
settling for less (as it seems they often do). I will keep trying to
fashion the right algorithm to determine a city's true food
worthiness. And even that might be a waste of time as it turns out
that there are simply not that many cities that would meet my needs
all on their own (New York, London, Paris, Rome, Tokyo, etc.). More
travel appears to be in order. And instead of always going for the
relatively "rich" outposts I just listed, I really am going to try
and expand my horizons in my own neighborhood. Vancouver, Portland,
Enumclaw... OK. Maybe not Enumclaw.
Tasting, Round II, tasted on February 5, 2005 — A few weeks ago we had our
first blind taste test of various hot cocoas. It was surprising despite
how many we tried, how few we liked. We agreed that we needed to do at
least one more round of blind tasting and then proceed to a sort of
"world championship" where we combined our favorite cocoas with our
favorite recipes. Impatience got the best of us. We headed straight for
squaring off our favorite recipes. And since not everyone prepared
equally, some of the recipes weren't quite fine tuned enough. While we
did have many entries, ultimately there were only three that mattered.
These three were also the ones that were preferred the most by the
Before we get into them, there is an issue of style.
There are two (maybe three) archetypes that I know of for the perfect
hot chocolate. And at a certain point you have to acknowledge these as
they play such a key role in how you judge which hot chocolate you like
best. The first is the classic hot chocolate. This is a sweet beverage.
Sweet like milk chocolate. This is what most cocoas on the market target
in terms of their flavor profile. Think hot chocolate milkshake. Very
creamy. Lighter in color. Very sweet. This actually is the kind I
prefer. It's not that I don't appreciate alternatives, it's just that
this type of hot chocolate gives me the most pleasure. The next
archetype is what I'll call the bittersweet hot chocolate. This is a
darker hot chocolate. Maybe thicker. Not nearly as sweet. Not creamy per
se, but likely silky. This is essentially drinkable chocolate. The new
Chantico from Starbucks is a good example of it. People who eschew milk
chocolate love this type of hot chocolate. The last is what i'll call
spiced hot chocolate. This is basically a bittersweet hot cocoa with
some added texture and flavor. It could be cinnamon, hot chilis,
something complementary. Mexican hot chocolate typically lands in this
spot from a flavor perspective. The texture is often a little rougher. I
realize, my three archetype taxonomy is a bit of an oversimplification
and there are all types of variations, but these are basically the three
that I've encountered the most: Classic, Bittersweet, and Spiced.
First, we only had representatives of the first two.
Alex took a stab at making a spiced hot chocolate but he overdid the
cinnamon and it really didn't meet the bar, so it's not worth discussing
here. (Though there was some
unfortunate imagery that Peyman
decided to illustrate involving the texture of Alex' cocoa.) That said, we did have two excellent representatives of the
classic and bittersweet hot chocolate archetypes. Ken delivered the
classic and DebDu delivered the bittersweet. I made a bittersweet as
well though I was intending to make a classic. The main thing we got
from mine is a technique that I'll describe later. It's also important
to note that the folks in the room were relatively divided in terms of
which flavor profile they prefer. I'd say most prefer a bittersweet or
spiced, while a couple of us like the classic. Of course, I really enjoy
both as they're really essentially different beverages.
Now DebDu was the perfect hostess (as usual) and
prepared all sorts of accompaniments including two kinds of
marshmallows courtesy of WholeFoods,
fresh doughnuts from Mark Bittman's
Orange Madelines from Daniel Boulud's cookbook, and
fresh whipped cream. We really couldn't have asked for more. But there
was more. Peyman took the doughnut dough, wrapped it around some fresh
banana and deep fried it. Mmmm... fresh banana doughnut.
OK. There were two basic hot chocolates that rose above
the rest. The first was Ken's. It followed the classic archetype. He
started by melting a bunch of Scharffen Berger into milk. But it was way
bitter for his taste so he added more and more sugar. When that didn't
do the trick he started putting pieces of Hershey's milk chocolate
wholesale into the mix. In the end, he ended up with a superlative
Classic Sweet Hot Chocolate. The recipe is as follows:
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 3 cups 2% milk
- 90 grams Scharffen Berger Semi Sweet Chocolate (this is a
chunk-and-a-half of a five chunk bar)
- 130 grams Hershey’s Milk Chocolate (3 out of 4 chunks of a large
- 2 teaspoons Natural Demerara sugar (any natural raw sugar will
do the job)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
- Put all ingredients in a sauce pan and heat over medium heat
until melted and blended.
DebDu provided an excellent rendition of the
Bittersweet Hot Chocolate archetype. Here's her recipe:
- 1 cup milk
- 3 tablespoons McNess hot cocoa mix
- 2 small handfuls chopped Scharffenberger semi-sweet (62% cocoa)
(about ¼ cup)
- 1/3 teaspoon cornstarch
- Cook slowly, whisking regularly
- Bring to a boil
- Remove from heat when the mixture begins to thicken
- The cornstarch may seem a bit unorthodox, but this is the method
Jacques Torres uses to make his hot chocolate so thick
Finally was my modest contribution to the tasting. To be
honest, I was going for a classic sweet hot chocolate but ran into the
same trouble as Ken. I couldn't add enough sugar or milk chocolate to
sweeten it to my liking, but the fans of the bittersweet archetype liked
it quite a bit. I think DebDu's recipe does a great job showing how to
nail that, so there's no reason to include my recipe.
I did do one small thing which I thought helped quite a
bit. And to be clear, this is completely unoriginal. When I had my most
perfect cup of hot chocolate ever it was at the Inn at Little Washington
in Virginia. I got a teapot full of cocoa with a cup to pour it in. At
the base of the cup was a small dollop of whipped cream flanked by a
curl of white chocolate and a curl of milk chocolate. At first the cocoa
covered those ingredients as I poured it in the cup. But after a
three-count, the whipped cream rose to the top as if gasping for air. By
this point the chocolate curls were almost completely melted but you
could see their cream trails in the liquid. Bottom line, this little bit
of alchemy and timing made for the best sip of hot chocolate I have ever
had. Thick, creamy, unevenly sweet in a good way. Awesome.
So without the finesse of chocolate curls (these were
more like shavings) I tried the same thing during the tasting. You may
ask why I used store bought aerosol whipped cream when fresh was
available. I certainly love fresh whipped cream and it was available.
But I remembered that the dollop at the Inn had a firmer consistency
that I thought could only come with the help of some sort of gas
injection. I thought I would compromise and buy some fancy organic
aerosol whipped cream at the Wholefoods. But instead of being
embarrassed I should have just held my head high and used my personal
favorite - Reddiwip (I confess I
had no idea how to spell it until I looked them up on the web). Yep, I
love Reddiwip. I find it delicious. I often eat it straight out of my
palm or just spray it straight into my mouth. It's fantastic. Peyman who
I think just doesn't like aerosol whip in general hated the taste of the
one I bought. And I didn't like it as much as I would have since it
wasn't my favorite Reddiwip. That said, despite the whipped cream
mishap, it was clear that the
whipped cream with shaved white and milk chocolate had it's
desired effect. The "Pre-Whipping" of the hot cocoa was a hit in my
opinion. Even with my not super, but not bad hot chocolate it just
elevated the cup to a new level of enjoyment. Especially for that first
1-2 minutes of drinking. Timing is key as you need to basically hand the
person the cup right before you pour the hot chocolate into it. But
still it was clearly worth it.
To recap: pick which archetype you like, the classic
sweet or the bittersweet. Choose the appropriate recipe from above. Fill
the target cups with whipped cream (fresh or Reddiwip as you see fit) as
well as a variety of chocolate shavings (I prefer milk and white) and
pour the hot chocolate into the cups seconds before your friends,
family, and/or welcome/unwelcome guests are ready to drink. I promise
there will be smiles all around. And of course, for every 10 degrees the
weather is below 40 farenheit, the enjoyment of the cocoa increases
exponentially. That's a scientific fact!
Ciao Bella Gelato and Sorbet,
Florence, Italy, tasted on March 20, 2004 — Gelaterias
blossom like weeds in Italy. Around every corner is another small ice
cream shop with incredible variety under glass. We'd had at least one
good experience randomly popping in on one of these so we thought we'd
continue the practice. As it turns out, taking a hit or miss approach
results in hit or miss results.
We stopped in at the
Ciao Bella Gelato and
Sorbet shop in Florence. The folks there were nice, and the gelato was creamy to a
certain extent, but not quite as rich as I would like. I found in the
fruit flavors the crystals were simply not fine enough. Among the
flavors we tried were Chocolate Madness and Key Lime. With gelato, the
texture is so key to emphasizing the flavor, and in these examples, it
just didn't work. Believe it or not, I think your average Haagen Dazs is
better than what Ciao Bella had to offer.
Depressed, February 14, 2005 — I have to confess, I am
starting to feel that Seattle sucks for food. I really do try to
make this website about more than Seattle, but little things like
job and family mean that travel can't be a weekly occurrence. And
while I mean no disrespect to the truly high quality food
experiences in Seattle (of which there are a decent handful which I
have documented ad nauseum on this site), overall this city is
lacking. It's depressing me. I blame the citizenry. They settle. I
can't tell if it's because they don't know the difference between
good food and food posing as good food, or they're just enamored of
what's trendy and popular. Either way it sucks.
And if you think I'm a snob for taking
this position, I really don't care. I'm way beyond caring what other
people think. And in fact, I believe that the people who are
settling for this appalling lack of good food DO care what other
people think. They flock to new trendy restaurants like sharks to
chum. They love whatever's hip and new and cool. The only
care what other people think. They aren't listening to their taste
buds. I am, and my taste buds are not happy. In order to please them
I have to to the same 5-10 places. And while at least those few
exist, diversity they do not make.
A couple of years ago I ran into
Kathy Casey at the airport.
She is a local Seattle "food celebrity". I introduced myself and my
little website. She was nice enough. As happens whenever I meet with
someone else who's into food I go through a sort of ritual where we
exchange what our favorite restaurants are. This has two purposes.
First it's like a sort of pH test letting me know where someone's
likes and dislikes are, but even more importantly it is a good
source of suggestions of places to eat. Many of the best places I've
eaten have been recommended to me by others. Kathy, who has lived
and eaten in Seattle for many years answered the question by
mentioning to me a couple of restaurants that were brand new and
"hip". She even mentioned that what she liked about them was they
were cool places to be. I have no problem with people liking to go
somewhere for the atmosphere. And I don't assume that just because a
restaurant is popular, that it can't have great food. But to live in
Seattle for many years, and be unable to come up with examples of
restaurants you like because they have great food, and instead focus
on where the "buzz" is, seems wacky to me.
It will be a while before I post the
specifics, but suffice it to say that last night we went out to
dinner at one of these local hotspots. I hate to say it, but it was
really disappointing. Kind of all over the place. I'd been there for
lunch once and I knew it was going to be like this. But the local
food press (an only slightly unfair generalization) keeps raving
about this place and how great it is. And sure enough, this
restaurant has ticked off just about every box on the food
reviewer's checklist: small plates, fresh seasonal ingredients,
tasting menu, chef's table, local chef, new American cuisine, etc,
etc. It's the archetype for popularity among today's traditional
food media. And it was not good. And since it's passing for "good"
in this town, I not only found it disappointing but depressing. It
may not be fair to lay the current sad state of food in Seattle (and
in America) at this one restaurant's doorstep, but it's definitely
what set me off.
And honestly, what's so confounding is
that good food is really timeless. It's about people not settling
until they get something that's so full of flavor, they can't
contain it anymore. It's about caring, and knowing the difference
between something that appears special, and something that truly is.
When you make special food you don't need to be trendy or hip,
because flavor is always "in".
Ultimately I think I'm part of the
problem. The truth is that there are two relatively food focused
cities nearby -
Portland. And to be honest I've done a poor job exploring the
food they have to offer. So, consider this a formal apology, and a
request for suggestions - suggestions of where to eat in the Pacific
Northwest. From Vancouver all the way to Portland. I am prepared to
travel and eat at as many places as I can to properly find out what
this region really has to offer. If Seattle doesn't offer enough,
I'm prepared to suffer through some long car trips. And given the
horrors of traveling with my family at a young age on seemingly
endless car trips, if that doesn't represent a commitment to seeking
quality food experiences, then I don't know what does.
Various and sundry links sitting in my inbox:
- This is not super recent, but still a good story. David Ross
his adventure in the Master Chef contest.
- Focusing on Chinese food. This is a
- Benjamin Christie is an Australian chef who asks me to link
to his website
pretty much every week. While the form letter is annoying, his
website is actually kind of interesting, so here it is.
For some time I've also felt that the food markets
of the world need proper representation. On this website we
definitely spend quite a bit of time on restaurants and other
establishments that prepare food professionally. That said, there is
the next layer of the food ecosystem that deserves recognition. It's
a modest start, but the various food
markets that work to bring quality ingredients to you are a key
part of the "food chain" as it were. We only have listings for
New York right now, but
it's a start.
Whether you like it or not, when you go out to eat,
being a "regular" can make a difference. This doesn't mean that you
eat at the same place 3 nights a week every week. But remember that
the people who work there get off on making customers happy. A
returning customer is typically a happy customer. And when you take
the extra moment to tell them what you love about the food, they
really want to go all out for you. The Los Angeles Times (free
registration required) has an article all about
establishing this type of relationship at sushi restaurants. The
format where you're able to interact with the chef while you eat
lends itself to relationship formation I think. This story courtesy
eGullet is the premier food discussion
site on the net. There are others, but none take the discussion
board format this far including offering their own virtual online
cooking school - the
eGullet Culinary Institute. The next class "The Truth about
Braising" starts on February 14th.
I think it may be time for an eating
trip to Chicago. First there is a
chef using inkjet printers to make flavored "paper" in his foods
(free registration required). Just because it's shticky
doesn't mean I shouldn't try it. Then there is the impending opening
of Grant Achatz' new restaurant
Alinea. And I would also like to go to the restaurant he left,
Trio Atelier whose pastry chef just won an award. Inkjet
chef courtesy of Alex.
PizzaGanza™ 2005, Seattle Edition, tasted on February 6, 2005
— It's becoming a bi-annual tradition that we try to find the best
pizza a city has to offer on Debbie's
birthday. Two years ago we traveled to New York City to do it right.
We toured the city in a limo going from pizza place to pizza place
and judging slices in 5 categories: Crust, Sauce, Cheese, Ingredient
Balance, and Foldability. Needless to say there was a ruckus over
the ill-conceived foldability category with people arguing over its
meaning and its relevance as well as
some people trying to game the system by using those points to
advantage their favored pizza place independent of the foldability
of their slices. Having one stupid category that requires us to
calculate the results with and without it is now a tradition in its
own right. This year it was "holdability" which seems a little more
well-defined but probably of as little relevance. One other
important tradition that's happened two out of the last three years
was also upheld this year - the
Patriots won the Superbowl... again!!! OK. Enough
gloating. Back to pizza.
We didn't have a limo this year as I
wasn't planning on leaving the house and missing the game. So
instead we hired taxis to bring us our pizzas as most of the places
didn't deliver. This felt decadent but actually worked quite well.
The one pizza I brought (before the game started) I placed gently on
the heated passenger seat of my car to keep it warm. None of the
pizza's were eaten immediately out of the oven, but none of them
waited for more than 30 minutes so that felt fair. The basic rules
were the same as last time. Cheese pizzas only. Everyone votes in
five categories. Debbie's votes count twice as she has some weird
intimate relationship with pizza that none of us understand or want
to get in the middle of. This time we did make one improvement; of
the 12 sets of votes cast, 10 were cast blind. Only
Alex and I knew the origin of
each pizza as we had to distribute to everyone, but nobody else knew
what they were eating. It made Allie crazy to not know, but we held
our ground. (BTW, Debbie was able to correctly identify many of the
pizzas blind. This amazed me. Allie came pretty close as well.)
Before we get to the results, lets be
clear - there's still no world class pizza in Seattle. We're picking
from the best of the bunch here and our expectations have been
conditioned to be low after living for years in Seattle with its
poor pizza population. We picked the list of pizza places based on
what we thought were representative of the best in town. A couple of
traditionally popular places (like
Brothers) we dismissed as we'd been there and were not
Tutta Bella and
Alley Pizza were closed on Sunday. Not sure how a pizza place is
closed on Superbowl Sunday but what the hell do I know.
The pizza came in two waves, first in the
1st quarter, and then in the stressful 3rd quarter which was
was about to be a 10 point Patriot scoring run. First, the
losers (not Philadelphia).
Stellar Pizza & Ale was recommended by Michael and I had high
hopes for this place. Their pizza smelled and looked great, but when
we ate it, the sauce was too strong in terms of the herb flavor, and
just our of balance with everything else. I'd be inclined to try
them again just to see if this was an anomaly.
Piecora's was greasy and not good. I always walk by
Belltown Pizza on my way to Lampreia and the pizza always smells
really good. Unfortunately, this pie didn't live up to its aroma and
it had some weird black dust (charcoal?). While Tutta Bella was
closed, the other hyper-authentic Neapolitan pizza place in town was
Tribunali. Unlike Debbie I actually prefer a more authentic
pizza, but this thing was kind of soggy and not great. To be fair to
them, they don't offer delivery. But then again, we did eat the
pizza 20 minutes after it left their establishment. Here are the
all the data from
As you can see,
New York Pizza Place (recommended by a friend of Allie's) and
Pagliacci took the day. Since the holdability category was under
such debate, the only fair thing to do is to count the scores
without it - which leave these two pizzerias in a tie. The bottom
line for me is this: Seattle is still not a town with fantastic
pizza in my opinion. Pagliacci is a very decent local pizza. But for
me, if I'm looking for something that tastes like I bought it at a
pretty good pizzeria in New York, I'm going to A New York Pizza
Place. Nothing comes closer.
I don't know how, but for some reason while my
children are among the most picky eaters I know (this is payback for
something I did I'm sure) they have acquired a taste for expensive
cheeses. No american cheese for them. Some tidbits from the Seattle
cheese front. First, DeLaurenti
market is putting on the first every
Festival. This sounds like an activity my whole family can
enjoy. Down the street of course is
Cheese where you can actually watch them make the cheese right
in front of you. I haven't yet fallen in love with any of the
cheese they make there (though I had this Jamaican variety that was
pretty interesting), but the fact that they're local and making it
right there in the open means I need to keep trying. And finally,
there's a new cheese store right down the street that I need to try
on Lake Washington Boulevard in Leschi. I can't remember the name so
I'm just going to need to head down there and see what they can do
And for folks who are not from Seattle (and don't
love cheese - who doesn't love cheese?) the battered James Beard
working hard to make sure their awards remain untarnished by the
scandal that plagued their organization. (Free registration
And finally, while I think we may be doing a
scientific pizza comparison this sunday, what better source than
Boston's own Boston globe for
tips on what to make this Sunday while you watch the still
humble New England Patriots go for their third Superbowl win in four
years. I suppose some
superbowl food advice from Philadelphia would only be fair. I'll
either be very sad on monday or very happy.
Menu for Hope, Food Bloggers for Tsunami Relief, February 2, 2005 — I really
have no way to imagine what kind of devastation the tsunami has
wrought. It seems impossible to have any real perspective on this
event. That said, we would like to do something, however small, from our end of the
blog world. Thanks to Pim of Chez Pim for
putting together this Menu for Hope - a tsunami relief tasting menu.
This recipe was adapted by me from
Sour Salty Sweet: A Culinary Journey Through Southeast Asia by
Jeffrey Alford. This is an absolutely beautiful book. There's
nothing wrong with the original recipe other than that I typically
want to make these last minute and I don't have grated coconut on
hand (fresh or frozen). But I do have coconut milk typically.
Mix 1 large egg. 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/2
teaspoon sugar, and 1/4 cup of coconut milk together in a bowl. Once the
mixture is integrated mix it well with 5 cups of freshly cooked or
leftover jasmine rice. You don't want too much gloppiness as these balls
need to stick together in the deep fryer. hold back some liquid or add
more rice to get a good consistency. (If you have grated coconut use
that instead of coconut milk and you can use only 4 cups of rice.) Let
the entire mixture sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.
While the rice mixture gets more suitable
for making into balls, make the sauce. Everyone has their own
particular preference when it comes to the following type of classic
Thai dipping sauce. I list the ingredients here and let you decide
what quantities to use. Mix together: thai fish sauce, sugar, lime juice, minced scallions, minced cilantro,
and minced chilis.
When the rice has been in the fridge long
enough, heat enough peanut oil in a deep pot to cover the balls you'll
form by at least a half inch. In the meantime, form the rice into 1 inch
balls. When the oil is hot, gently drop the rice balls into the oil.
Cook them for 1-2 minutes. They will start to turn brown. Remove them
with onto paper towels and serve immediately with the sauce.
I know that there is just good wishes and
positive sentiment behind this recipe and the others that make up
the menu. But hopefully that can help spark some additional giving.
Please do what you can and click on the links to other dishes above
and especially the Unicef button. Thanks.
TasteEverything.org and the
2005 Independent Food Festival & Awards, February 1, 2005 — I
am proud to point to this
today that I think marks a new milestone for the world of food
blogging. Whether you know it or not new food blogs come on the
scene every day. KipLog's Food Blog continues to update
the most complete
list of food blogs I know of on the net.
Each of these blogs represent someone (or a group of
folks in some cases) that dedicate their free time to telling the
world about their food experiences. And these are not people
documenting how many Cheerios they eat every morning (not that
there's anything wrong with that) but rather people who are cooking,
reviewing, documenting, traveling, interviewing, and most of all...
eating up a storm. And in case I didn't mention it, they do all this
for free. What ads you see on their sites don't likely pay for even
a fraction of their groceries. None of them charge for access to
their sites. A couple have been asked to publish print books for
sale, but these are few and far between. And they still deliver
their excellent food blogs. Ultimately, this group represents the
perfect voice for the 1st Annual Indpendent Food Festival & Awards
which will happen 'virtually' on Tuesday, February 22nd, 2005.
I'm proud to be a part of the awards as well as a
part of the sponsoring organization - TasteEverything.org. The
mission is to help people share their food experiences, and the
festival and awards are their first offering. I expect more to come
The awards are three weeks away. I'm excited. :)