Now that I (L) am commuting to work, I have been listening to many more podcasts, both in the car and on the train (where I am writing this post). I have definitely tried to broaden my horizons, and listen to as many different subjects as possible, though science and current events appear regularly (I love Radiolab, How to do Everything, Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me and Quirks and Quarks). However, up until a week or so ago, I had completely neglected food podcasts, and there are some great shows that focus on the food scene right here in the Windy City.
One of my favorite Chicago food podcasts is Louisa Chu and Monica Eng’s Chewing the Fat on NPR. A recent episode I particularly enjoyed talked about the highly-anticipated Eataly and the Italian food scene in Chicago. Another favorite is Michael Gebert’s audio and video podcast Sky Full of Bacon. The audio podcast, with the awesome name, “Airwaves Full of Bacon” has covered such diverse topics as the kitchen at Next restaurant, Michelin stars, charcuterie and Country ham in Kentucky. Let me know if there are any other podcasts you like (on any topic, but especially food!)
Some of our good friends are from Costa Rica and we would love to visit them there in the near future! Now we even have more incentive, Forbes has an article about the hidden foodie side of Costa Rica. Everyone knows that Costa Rica has beautiful nature, but its food is nothing to scoff at.
One of our favorite tasks every couple of months is predicting what the upcoming menus at the ever-changing themed Next Restaurant will be. We went to Next Sicily and Thailand, which we absolutely loved, and the current menu is the French-themed Bocuse d’Or, which is running through the end of the year. This time we guessed there would be a Brazilian menu coming up… and we were wrong. So here’s what’s actually slated for Next in 2014. First, a reinvention (or is it more of a re-creation?) of the classic Chicago steakhouse, next, a Chinese/Modernist themed menu, and last, a menu in homage to the shuttered restaurant Trio in Evanston, where Achatz was executive chef. Sounds pretty great!
We have talked before about one of our favorite Brazilian treats: brigadeiros. However, you can also get brigadeiros in another, slightly more liquid form. Known as doces de colher literally “spoon sweets,” these Brazilian treats come in little cups and are meant to be eaten with a spoon. Technicolor kitchen has recipes for some of the most popular spoon sweets: brigadeiro, beijinho and bicho-de-pé. Warning: these are definitely only for those who have a VERY sweet tooth.
In our travels we met perhaps the most amazing food cart purveyor in all of Brazil, nay, Latin America! His name is Picoleishion, and he is a one-man show based in the town of Itaparica, on the northern tip of the island of the same name. He sells picole, which is simply Portuguese for “popsicle” but he isn’t a normal popsicle seller. Picoleishion is readily identified by his gigantic sombrero, frenetic dance moves and the fact that his popsicle cart is actually a giant boombox blaring Axé hits like “Billie Jean” by Magary Lord. Check him out in action (and again). The Praia do Forte in Itaparica is idyllic and quiet, and Picoleishion is hard to ignore as he rolls across the beach blaring his tunes. Over the course of one beach day we sampled 4 picoles – Mangabation (Mango), Limation (Lime), Chocolation (Chocolate), and Amendoimshion (“Peanut” was basically a peanut butter popsicle –cool! que legal!). Picoleishion is definitely a charismatic guy – and had beachgoers dancing and posing for pictures, so it is no surprise to us that he is a minor celebrity and has made an appearance on the Jô Soares show, a Letterman-type talk show in Brazil (at the start of the clip below). We love you Picoleishion! Adorei Picoleishon!
The Atlantic has an amazing photo series on Swiss cheese makers, the Murith family, during their seasonal production of Gruyere cheese. The pictures take the term “pastoral” to a whole new level.
Halloween is tomorrow – and maybe you’re still searching for a costume. Here at ETW we are always on the lookout for a clever food costume or two. We came across a vintage costume we had never seen before via the ever-entertaining Retronaut: a side of bacon. This takes love of bacon to a whole new level (and it took home first prize in the 1894 Covent Garden Fancy Dress Ball).
On our trip we have been learning all about local Rhode Island foods. However, every state has a wealth of local options, and many people insist that their state’s food is absolutely the best. Deadspin recently made a non-scientific ranking of the top state foods in order from best to worst. Chicago’s deep dish pizza won the top spot for Illinois (followed by South Carolina’s shrimp and grits) – which we can’t argue with – though the irreverent list has certainly garnered some controversy. What do you think about your state food’s ranking?
I recently came across an article and slideshow about Ahmed Jama, a Somali chef who left London to open a series of restaurants in Mogadishu, and is persevering, even in the face of repeated attacks. The latest attack occurred on September 7th, and killed 15. Chef Jama’s story is pretty amazing, as his mission to bring a friendly communal space to Mogadishu, opening his first restaurant in Mogadishu in 2008 (he now has 5 branches). He is currently in the process of rebuilding after the attacks, and the international community has rallied around him. Check out Chef Jama’s talk at the MAD food conference in Copenhagen below, just a few weeks ago.
Hannah Grant in her mobile kitchen from Velo News
Now here’s an intersection of world cuisine and food trucks we had never considered… being a chef for a cycling team in the Tour de France. The Velo News blog has an interview with Hannah Grant, the official chef for the Danish team Saxo-Tinkoff. Chef Grant hails from Denmark, and has been the team chef since 2011, and has also recently published a cookbook, “The Grand Tour Cookbook” (English translation coming soon). Beyond typical considerations of the kitchen, she also has to deal with stocking days of food without pit-stops (such as when they are in the Alps) and the specific nutritional needs of advanced athletes. In another interview on VeloVoices, chef Grant details a typical day on the road. You can find out where Hannah and the team are on her Twitter or her blog DailyStews.
Pingmag has a fascinating article about mujin hanbai, or “honor stores,” a type of farmstand in Japan that relies on the honor system. The simplest of these just has a locked cashbox, while others more resemble vending machines. They are popular nationwide, even in Tokyo. I’ve seen a few honor roadside farmstands before (one even boasting “self-serve rocks”), but nothing so elaborate as those found in Japan. Have you ever encountered something like an a honor store?
Mujin Hanbai from Pingmag
When we were in Louisiana in the fall, crawfish (aka crayfish, crawdad or mudbug) season was well over. However, if you have the good fortune to be in Cajun country in Spring, crawfish are everywhere. The epicenter for crawfish culture and consumption is the town of Breaux Bridge, “Crawfish Capital of the World,” which is just over the Atchafalaya Basin Bridge (a pretty gigantic bridge) from Baton Rouge. The names of the some of the restaurant in town seem to bear out that distinction: Crawfish Town USA, Crazy Bout Crawfish, etc. The annual Crawfish Festival in Breaux Bridge occurs in May and includes nearly every crawfish-related event you could dream of. The New Yorker has an interesting old piece about a trip to Breaux Bridge for the Festival. Hopefully we’ll be able to visit Cajun country in Spring one year to get our fill of super-fresh crawfish.
Back in August we talked about the upcoming Global Street food menu at iNG. Well it’s here, and Serious Eats: Chicago got a first look. Judging by their pictures alone, the menu looks pretty impressive. We are especially intrigued by the deconstructed cannoli and churros. The menu is limited time only, so get it while you can.
Falafel at iNG restaurant, via Serious Eats
Drawn the Road Again is an amazing blog of Chandler O’Leary’s travel sketchbooks created while criss-crossing the USA. But perhaps sketchbook is a misleading term, since each one of these Moleskine and Watercolor creations looks like a little work of art. Though this is not mainly a food blog, naturally there are many posts that touch on food, such as a visit to Franklin Fountain in Philadelphia, our favorite! (above and below images), the peach orchards of the Columbia River Gorge in Washington State, and the culinary delights of Dogpatch, San Francisco. We’re looking forward to the next trip.
It may be September, but the thermometer in Chicago is still peaking in the 90s. One of our favorite remedies for a blisteringly hot day in any month is a nice batch of Aguas Frescas. Aguas Frecas (“Fresh Waters” in Spanish) are cold water-based drinks flavored with combinations of fruit, grains, herbs, sugar and spices popular in Mexico and the US. You can find Aguas Frescas sold by street vendors and in many restaurants and bodegas, often in large, iconic glass dispensers. The range of Agua Fresca flavors is almost infinite, but our two favorites are Sandia (Watermelon) and Jamaica (Hibiscus). It won’t be long before everyone is dipping into their hot Pumpkin Spice Lattes, so enjoy the Aguas Frescas while you can. We also think these combinations would make excellent paletas.
Agua Fresca Recipes:
New spins on the Agua Fresca classics:
Vintage Orangina Poster from France
Though often considered an afterthought, food packaging and design can sometimes be particularly beautiful and creative. Enter Free Flavour, an ever-changing visual collection of vintage American and foreign food packaging and advertising. With an incredible collection of unique images, Free Flavour is making us wish food product design and advertising still looked this way!
Happy Labor Day! If you live in the US, you’re probably going to be attending a BBQ/cookout or two. Though Labor Day marks the unofficial end to summer, we refuse to let go until September 21st. Either way, there was still plenty of delicious fruit at the farmer’s market so we decided to celebrate the almost end of summer with a delicious, classic peach pie. This recipe from Smitten Kitchen turned out well for us (we also decided to add a handful of raspberries). Don’t let summer go, yet!
Filed under Links, Recipes
After writing our recent post on Asitane restaurant in Istanbul, it got us hankering for some Turkish food. We had excellent food in Istanbul, and even some particularly good breakfasts. We enjoyed the hearty spread of baked goods, cheeses, halva, fruit, yogurt & honey and excellent coffee (naturally). While we have attempted to recreate our Turkish breakfasts on a smaller scale, it turns out there are even some places in Chicago that turn out a Turkish breakfast/brunch. Serious Eats Chicago recently had a feature on what was deemed the best place to catch a Turkish brunch, Pide ve Lahmacun (1812 W Irving Park Rd.). It was ready on our list, but with this additional news, we definitely have to go!
[Via MetaFilter] I recently learned that the huge Japanese user-contributed recipe site Cookpad, which has over 20 million users and 1.5 million recipes, now has an English version. Cookpad seems similar to Food.com, and you can browse recipes by category or ingredient. Over 1,500 recipes have been translated into English so far, with more planned (the translations are not by a machine, though there are a few errors anyway). There are a ton of cool-looking recipes including Taro Root Croquettes, Somen noodles, Udon with Yuzu and Tofu with dashi sauce. Any fans of Japanese food should definitely explore. Did you find any favorite recipes?
Tonkotsu Ramen Style Somen Noodles via Cookpad
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Nothing is more refreshing on a hot summer day than iced tea. Tea (in its many forms) is one of the most universal drinks, whether in hot or iced form, so why not give the Snapple and Lipton a rest and try something new? Even though the end of summer is sadly approaching, there are still plenty of hot days to enjoy some cool drinks (preferably on a balcony or beach).
Bellocq Mint Tea from Design Sponge
Filed under Links, Recipes, Tea