At one point during our meal — well, at two points during our meal, one of the myriad service people attending the patrons drops a piece of bread next to my chair. "Ladies and gentlemen, the sound that poor young man made when that toasted piece of heaven hit the immaculate carpet was akin to the soft keening sigh one might make upon discovering that one's pet Siamese had passed from this earthly realm to the next." A review of The French Laundry, but nothing like the usual reviews, and well worth reading.
Writer has lunch at Per Se, smuggles food out, and sends it to a lab for testing to ascertain the calorie count of each item. Not surprisingly, the meal is pretty hefty. "All told, the nine courses tallied 1,230.8 calories, 59.7 grams of fat, and 101.7 grams of carbs." But that's not outrageous, especially since you probably don't eat much for breakfast (if you're smart) before you head over there, and by the time you waddle out, it's late in the afternoon. So who's going to eat a whole lot for dinner? Interestingly, when they add in the extras (amuse bouche, bread and butter, mignardises, and wine), the total pretty much doubles. The biggest culprit? Three rolls with three tablespoons butter adds 720 calories to the meal. I don't know who has the gastronomic capacity to eat a nine course lunch and three rolls with butter. That's an easy one to leave out, and keep the calorie count under control. [via Eater]
From the May 2007 Saveur comes this great tidbit: the full name of Cap’n Crunch! His proper name is Captain Horatio Magellan Crunch. The Horatio makes him sound British, which makes sense since his outfit looks like an English Navy get up (or something Naploean would have worn). And the Magellan gives him an air of exploration. The Crunch is straight out of Dickens. He may be Capt. H.M. Crunch aboard ship, but he’ll always be Cap’n of breakfast to me.
"Tartiflette has the tang and satisfaction of macaroni and cheese baked until it forms a chewy crust, the pure pleasure derived from a bowl of creamy mashed potatoes and a flavor that could only come from 500 years spent perfecting cheesemaking." A traditional dish of France's Haute-Savoie region, it can be tricky to find a version that's delicious and not just served up for tourists. Mmmm…tartiflette.
I’d completely forgotten that Broadway Panhandler (a cooking store here in New York) had moved closer to my neighborhood, so when I happened to walk by it yesterday, I stopped in. I was quite excited to see there’ll be a Bread Pudding Recipe Exchange Week Taste Off! on Wednesday, May 2nd at 2 PM. “You be the judge of our selection of bread puddings, baked by our highly competitive (and dessert obsessed) staff.” Recipes will be shared and there’ll be a trial of the Zojirushi Rizo Rice Cooker, though I don’t know what a rice cooker has to do with bread pudding, unless there’s some mistake and it’s a rice pudding contest. Regardless, sounds like fun for a New York City-based bread pudding fan. And guess who’s a New York City-based bread pudding fan?!
The Washington Post examines the possible change in the chocolate standard with Chocolate Purists Alarmed by Proposal To Fudge Standards. (I couldn't resist that title!) While the proposed change isn't limited to chocolate (it's more general than I'd realized, basically allowing for the substitution of vegetable fats), it certainly will impact chocolate if it's approved. [thanks Kayhan!]
First we heard hogs had been fed some of the contaminated pet food, but we were assured those hogs hadn't entered our food supply. Now comes the government report that tainted hogs entered the human food supply after all. But "the potential risk to human health was said to be very low." Let's hope this time they're right.
Nice summary of the issues around the FDA and E. coli outbreaks over at Accidental Hedonist, including information about what the FDA knew before the outbreaks happened but how little authority they had to take any action.
Somehow I just stumbled upon this: New Amsterdam Public. "It is time to build upon the Greenmarket’s success by establishing a permanent, indoor public market consisting of artisan purveyors committed to selling food produced sustainably and humanely in our region." They hope to transform the Fulton Fish Market building near South Street Seaport into a year-round market for New York City. It sounds like a fabulous idea to me. I emailed one of the folks involved in the project, Robert LaValva, about where things currently stand. His response:
Right now, we are working on a proposal to the City of New York to let us begin holding seasonal, sustainable food events in one of the empty Fulton Market buildings. The events will allow New Yorkers to envision a permanent, year-round market and help build momentum and support for that to happen.
Sounds like the market dream is still a ways off, but I'm hopeful it will happen. For more information, check out this essay about the philosophy behind the market.
Rhode Island is the birthplace of the diner, and the New York Times takes a look at some its oldest historic diners. I'm a huge diner fan, especially of the authentic railcar diners. I wish there were more here in Manhattan, but two I like to frequent are The Square, in TriBeCa, and the Cheyenne, on Ninth Ave near 34th Street. I just wish there were a great one close to my house. Boston has some good ones, especially in Somerville and Cambridge, that I used to go to all the time when I lived there. Mmmm…diner breakfast would be good right now.