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Category Archive for 'Food Commentary'

“The beauty of Jerusalem in its landscape can be compared with that of Toledo.” – Robert Byron, The Road to Oxiana Perched above its bend in the Tagus, with sheer drops on three sides to eddying currents, and tightly-enclosed within its craggy walls Toledo has an impenetrable, monumental aspect. But, through the early morning rays, […]

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I have never known an aroma quite like it before: an intense, aromatic perfume. We could smell it from miles away – even before we had passed the last of the strip centers and construction sites. On one side, the low khaki scrub of the sandmine, on the other the hot, itchy pine forests, then […]

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As Montreal braces for its annual mid-winter festival, a lot of which takes place au plein air as they might say, much of the US East Coast braces itself for the kind of frigid, snowy conditions that Montrealers witness 6 months of the year, illustrating just one of the ways they and their city distinguish […]

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The culinary memoir has to be one of my favorite genres of both cookbooks and books in general. Combining anecdotes, family history and delicious recipes, and spanning literature and cuisine, there’s really nothing better than a cookbook that you can actually read, that’s not just a selection of quick and easy recipes by some personality-laden […]

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The destiny of nations depends upon the manner in which they are fed.” – Jean-Anthelme Brillat-Savarin The basic premise of William Alexander’s recent book, 52 Loaves, like his first title The $64 Tomato, is that the author becomes so obsessed with a particular project, in this case creating (and growing wheat for) the perfect loaf […]

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No, friends, let me reassure you that you have not accidentally stumbled upon some weird, faux-rustic “pron” site. For good or bad, the only p0rn you’ll find here is daring, ultra-close-up pics of the juicy, young flesh of pasture-fed Argentine cattle. And the only things being roasted (or stripping for that matter) are long strips […]

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It’s fairly safe to say that no group, with the exception of the enigmatic gaucho, played as significant a role in defining Argentine national character as the Italians. Primarily (and principally, numerically-speaking) from Liguria (particularly Genoa), Piemonte and Tuscany, but latterly also from Naples and other areas of southern Italy, these Italian immigrants, literally by […]

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It’s nearly a year now since we were in Madrid, and while during that time we’ve managed to shed some of the excess poundage we gained there, we’ve lost none of our longing to be back there. And, it’s a strange thing about longing that all your memories become more vivid, and you remember even […]

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Since Amy and I have been together I think we’ve only spent two Thanksgivings in America – not because we don’t enjoy turkey, but because it is often the cheapest time of the year to leave the country as many expat Americans are returning home. And true to form, this year, despite a sizable delay […]

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These days, it seems something is always the new something else. You know, Thursday’s the new Friday, brown’s the new black, Palin’s the new devil, Obama’s the new Messiah, etc. But to me, for example, comparing the pain and anguish at dragging myself from bed on a Friday morning after a few drinks the night before, […]

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As last month, we got a fabulous response from you in this month’s top five – your favorite 5 condiments. So fabulous, in fact, that we were completely unable to decide whose selection should win the frankly amazing prize of the fabled West Coast treat Pepper Plant’s Chunky Garlic Hot Pepper Sauce. Fortunately, the very […]

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****Although the contest is over and a winner has been chosen, we are still looking for your top 5 condiments… this has been a fascinating poll! Please keep ’em coming!***  As you might remember, last month Choosy Beggar Tina won herself the wonderful prize of a selection of English potato chips (crisps) by picking the […]

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Gentle readers, please sympathize with me, for I, like a man who’s been dining exclusively on centipedes, have the bitter taste of defeat in my mouth. That this humiliation and defeat arrived, to twist a metaphor, at the hands of nothing more sinister than a pig’s foot, has only served to exacerbate these feelings of embarrassment and self-loathing. Those of […]

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We’ve been in Montreal all weekend and just recorded a podcast from our hotel. Luckily for you this isn’t a video or else you’d see us in all our morning-breath, non-brushed hair glory! Check out this fun podcast touching on a few of the great things we’ve been up to during our few days north […]

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When you think of Brazil what do you think of? Is it the lazy sway of coconut palms, golden beaches, beautiful, bronzed people, a back-drop of Sugar Loaf Mountain, and soundtrack of relaxing bossa nova? Is it a throbbing samba rhythm, huge, garish paper-mache heads, and crowds of people dancing at carnival? Is it the magnificent […]

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We recently invited you to tell us what your top five flavors of potato crisps/chips are, and we were, frankly, amazed that so many of you did. Not only that, we were surprised by the variety of flavors you selected. It seems that there is a wide world of taste out there and we are […]

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Those of you who have watched or read Nick Hornby’s High Fidelity, will be familiar with the idea of top fives. In the movie, the main character (played by John Cusack) is a record shop owner, who spends most of the movie revisiting the demise of his past relationships, and in so doing, constantly re-imagines […]

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Recently, Amy and I had a lovely vacation in northern California, spending the latter portion of it in the charming and constantly hilarious company of the Garing/Combs family – Amy’s aunt/uncle/cousins on her mother’s side (in case you care for that level of detail). On our penultimate day with them, we visited the “world-famous” Mystery Spot, […]

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We literally just walked in after spending our Labor Day afternoon at the annual WIADP (West Indian American Day Parade) on Eastern Parkway, Brooklyn, but to describe what we just witnessed as simply a parade would be akin to saying that scotch bonnet peppers are sometimes a little spicy, i.e. an enormous underestimation. The parade […]

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A few months ago I was contacted by a representative of a site called cajungrocer.com. He offered to send us some Cajun treats if we would do a bit of a write-up on their products. Well, what else could I say but “Hell YEAH!”. We had our choice to sample crayfish, turducken or boudin. It […]

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I’m depressed and want to throw up. According to Forbes Magazine, Rachael Ray** is the top-earning celebrity chef (have I mentioned before how much I HATE that term – NOTE TO FORBES: SHE-IS-NOT-A-CHEF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). The world must really be coming to an end. When will it end!?!!??!?! Ray-ray supposedly makes a nice $18 million per year. […]

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As you know, we received a beautiful package from a fellow blogger in Spain and we have been slowly using all the contents in various meals. Another element of this package was a jar of Spanish Marcona almonds. These almonds are amazing on their own and taste incredibly different (sweeter and meatier) than the almonds […]

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Warning: some readers may find the subject matter of this post disturbing.  An article in the latest issue of Gourmet magazine addressed the oft-ignored, but very real, dilemma of the carnivore that is the slaughter of animals for human consumption. We touched on this issue briefly a while back in a post on Provencal rabbit stew […]

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In celebration of the start of Euro 2008 – the European soccer/football championships – yesterday, and in light of the fact that England failed to qualify because they were awful, I am in need of a team to follow, so have decided to become an honorary Spanish soccer fan for the next month, or however […]

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Regular readers must find us horrible bores as we bang on about our wedding and honeymoon in Italy last year almost constantly. On our penultimate day of our three week trip, we raided an enormous supermarket in the suburbs of Montevarchi for the Tuscan products we cannot find or cannot afford here in NYC, and […]

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Download WNF Podcast #2: Sandwich de Merguez A few summers ago we were very fortunate to spend a long vacation traveling through northern Spain and southwestern France. It was our first real vacation alone since Amy and I had met, and was especially well-deserved because we had spent the previous 12 months going through the […]

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I think the title of this post says it all about my feelings (and others) about this famous Roman dish of pasta, traditionally spaghetti, with pecorino cheese and a good amount of freshly ground pepper.  The name says is all – cacio, meaning cheese, and pepe meaning pepper.  We’re not breaking any new ground here […]

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Normally, when I think of prunes my first thought is the familiar TV commercial showing the side-by-side comparison of someone experiencing “bloating and discomfort” and someone enjoying the verve and gaiety brought on by just one bowlful of California prunes. However, since last Thursday, my first thought is now “when can I have some more?”. […]

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The Vegans were pissed and thought it was gross (and even staged a small protest) but Danny Girton, the Guinness World Records judge thought “it was all so beautiful”. Uruguay, the little country with a big heart (yup, just made that up), had it’s moment in the spotlight on Tuesday, April 14th when they won the Guinness […]

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We love pizza. We LOVE pizza. If we could eat one thing for the rest of our lives it would be pizza. During our seven weeks spent in Italy over the past two years, we collectively ate over sixty pizzas. This is not a lie, an exaggeration or a pipe dream. We were not force-fed, […]

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