[Video via Kottke] We spoke recently how authentic ramen restaurants were becoming increasingly popular across the US, and that trend has no sign of slowing down. Some of these restaurants make noodles in-house, but many buy them. Check out how fresh ramen is made for some of the most popular ramen eateries across the US, at Sun Noodle.
So the World Cup is over, and it has been quite a ride! While we are sad the Brazil went out the way they did, we were excited to share lots of food links and recipes from the countries featured in the Cup. And of course, we enjoyed the opportunity to feature Brazilian food in all of its glory. And there was some measure of victory, because Salvador’s famous Baianas won the right to sell the emblematic street food acarajé outside Fonte Nova stadium (a rare victory against FIFA)!
Happy 4th of July! We were thinking of what American food to highlight for this occasion, and we figured – what’s more American than Route 66? Even though the road is past its heyday (blame the Interstates for that), it is still home to a vast and diverse array of tasty eateries. 2,451 miles seem a little daunting? This article from Saveur lets you take a virtual roadtrip! However, with Route 66 being as expansive as it is, there are countless eateries to try – the Route 66 forum has a other suggestions, as does Roadtrippers.
Filed under Holidays, Links
We are fans of Nate Silver’s 538 for its mix of culture, sports, politics and statistics. However, now they have taken it even one further and incorporated food into the mix. Perfect! In honor of the World Cup, the 538 team has created a ranking based on the national cuisines of the countries participating in the World Cup, as well as other culinary powerhouses. Here’s their methodology:
We polled 1,373 Americans through SurveyMonkey Audience and asked them to rate the national cuisines of the 32 teams that qualified for the World Cup, as well as eight additional nations with bad soccer but great food: China, Cuba, Ethiopia, India, Ireland, Thailand, Turkey and Vietnam.
So who’s going on to the Round of 16? Personally we think the list is pretty decent, though we’d have picked Turkey over Germany.
- Mexico vs. Ethiopia
- Japan vs. Vietnam
- France vs. Argentina
- U.S. vs. Belgium
- Spain vs. Brazil
- Italy vs. Greece
- Cuba vs. China
- Thailand vs. Germany
Acai at Tacaca do Norte – a taste of Brazil!
Pablo Picasso “Le Gourmet”
[Via Brain Pickings] We are enthralled by Mary Ann Caws’ Modern Art Cookbook. It seems a little different than most cookbooks, and in this book you can find recipes, illustrations and stories, not only inspired by, but sometimes written by, famous contributors to the modern art world. We could certainly see ourselves making Kahlo’s Red Snapper, Veracruz style or Picasso’s Herb Soup.
Learning food words is usually our first priority when learning a new language. But as it turns out, even the English terms for food are vastly more regional than we thought. So we knew that eggplant is “Aubergine” in the UK and cookie is “biscuit”… but that’s only just the start. This post on Stack Exchange has a long thread about translating cooking terms between the UK, the US and Australia. One of the most interesting facts we learned was that snow peas are called “mange tout” in the UK, and when you get to jelly/jam/jello everything gets really confusing.
San Pellegrino and Restaurant Magazine’s 12th annual list of the the world’s top 50 restaurants has been released. The number one restaurant is Noma, the Copahagen restaurant helmed by Rene Redzepi, of the Nordic Food Lab. We are happy that there is a Chicago restaurant (Alinea) and a São Paulo restaurant (D.O.M.) in the top 10!
Within the past week, we have come across references to Povitica at least three times, which seems like quite a lot given the fact that until now we had NEVER heard of it at all. Povitica (aka Potica) is a sweet yeasted bread, rolled with fillings like sugar, poppyseeds, nuts and sometimes chocolate. You can see this especially when you get a swirly slice/cross-section of Povitica. It also known in the US simply, a perhaps a little boringly, as “nut roll.” The name Povitica comes from a Slovenian word, poviti, meaning “to wrap in,” though the bread or similar varieties are found throughout Central and Eastern Europe, especially in Croatia and Slovenia. Brownie Bites has a recipe for nutty Povitica, and Serious Eats has a recipe for Chocolate and Walnut Povitica, which seems especially delicious.
Our friend Silvia recently posted about a James Beard-nominated video series with a global foodie bent, Thirsty For. The premise of Thirsty For, produced by Tastemade, is that each video introduces a new beverage from around the world. However, this goes above and beyond the recipe alone, and we love the visuals and the soundtrack. Now some of the featured drinks we have heard of, like the Mango Lassi and Atole. However, others are much lesser known, including a strawberry milk drink from Mauritius, Alouda (video below), the Portuguese coffee drink Mazagran, and something for the kid in all of us, the Milo Dinosaur. Check out the entire series here.
Today is the first day of Passover, and to celebrate we are bringing you a story about Lebanese food specially made for Passover in New York City. The story centers on chef Souad Nigri, and her 30-plus year tradition of making catered meals for Passover. Typical dishes include tabbouleh and other mezes, but made Kosher for Passover with no wheat or bulgur. The story is a few years old, but now you can find Nigri’s dished at Prime Butcher in New York.
Filed under Holidays, Links
Our friends at Eating Madison A to Z recently clued us into an awesome competition, the World-Wide Mustard Competition, run by the National Mustard Museum. Yes – this a world championship for mustard! We paid a visit to the museum many moons ago when it was located in Mt. Horeb (it is now located in Middleton, WI), and it is truly a mecca for all things mustard. M is going to be one of the judges at the competition today (this round of judging is being held at Kendall College in Chicago), so look for some photos and tweets in the future.
There’s a lot of info out there about how to season a cast iron pan: use canola oil, Crisco, lard, etc. But what’s REALLY the best oil to use? Sheryl Canter explores the science behind seasoning and explains why flaxseed oil may be ideal. We have a old family cast iron pan we have never really re-seasoned, but now we think we will try it.
A little while ago we posted about the truth behind olive oil labels, and the fact that what you see is not often what you get. However, there is still good (and relatively inexpensive) olive oil out there, and Truth in Olive Oil givs some options that are available at Supermarkets and other non-specialty stores.
When the word “ramen” comes up, your first thought may be of the ten-for-a-dollar deals your local supermarket had on instant ramen in college. However, there is a lot more to it than that, and the traditional preparations of this Japanese soup dish are catching on in the US. Food and Wine has a profile of Ivan Orkin (with recipes) about how he and other chefs are reclaiming ramen’s good name. There are ramen shops popping up all over NYC and Chicago, and Serious Eats Chicago ranked suburban Mount Prospect’s Misoya as the top ramen in the area.
Filed under Links, Recipes
What did you think of the Opening Ceremony? With the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics officially under way, we are in full Russian food mode. We are not experts in Russian food, but we have trying to learn more about the country’s different regional and local specialties. We’ve done a little research in preparation for a Russian dinner party in honor of the Sochi Olympics, to get a little beyond Borscht (Beet soup) and vodka (though of course, those are great, too). Here are some recipes to get your Russian dinner party started. Do you have any favorites you would recommend?
Appetizers and Sides:
While we consumed macarons and mimolette gleefully in France, we never really sought out French coffee… and I guess we weren’t the only ones. Turns out France has never been big on coffee, cafe culture yes, but the actual coffee, not so much. We greatly enjoyed Roads and Kingdoms’ essay, “Why is Coffee in France La Merde?” which discusses the history of coffee in France, and how there has been recent push for more craft roasters and coffee-centric cafes.
Holybelly, part of the new coffee scene in Paris, by Roads and Kingdoms.
Filed under Coffee, Links
When we went to San Juan, Puerto Rico, one of our favorite places to eat was the stalwart La Bombonera, an excellent place to grab a pastry and while away the time. Unfortunately, it has come to our attention that it has recently closed! There was talk of re-opening but it seems unlikely. Sad day for pastry-lovers in San Juan.
The more things change, the more they stay the same. Take for example, Michelangelo’s handwritten 16th-Century grocery list. The list includes staples like fish and bread, and even comes with illustrations. So, ok maybe that is a bit different since the person buying groceries for Michelangelo was likely illiterate.
Everybody watch out, because we are about to hit a shortage of the famous Huy Fong Sriracha Thai/Vietnamese hot sauce – THE SRIRACHAPOCALYPSE! Due to legal entanglements in the Huy Fong factory in Irwindale, California, bottles are now being held 30 days before shipping, causing a major delay in restocking Sriracha on the shelves. Since the stoppage hit in mid-December, customers may really start to feel the effects of the ban soon. Serious Eats conducts a taste test of other sriracha brands so you can get your hot sauce fix in a pinch.