Grain salads can be your best friend in summer. You usually have something fresh on hand or something to get rid of, it’s all about the produce, and it’s so f*cking hot you want something cooling and excellent that doesn’t require being chained to the stove. In summer you’d be hard-pressed to find a blog or site that doesn’t include a “new spin” on this old favorite. When I found a bag of hard red spring wheat berries in the cabinet I thought I’d give it a try. Since I am not a fan of being slave to recipes (or my stove in summer, apparently), I spent a little time researching what goes well with these grain salad things people love so much.4 Comments » Keep reading »
The origin story of the white brined curd cheese from the Balkans has long been a point of contention. As of 2002 the Greeks have the official PDO (Protected Designation of Origin) on “feta,” which was again upheld in 2005 when Denmark, Germany, and France fought to use “feta” as a generic name for any salty, white cheese. As far as the Balkans are concerned, Bulgarians claim the cheese to be a descendant of their “sirene” from the Trakia region in the Balkan Peninsula.2 Comments » Keep reading »
Sandwiches are curious foods. While leavened bread has been eaten with food since 4000 BCE, the sandwich wasn’t conceived until the 18th century. Its predecessor was presumably a fresher open-faced version of the English trenchers, where slices of meat and butter were placed atop stale bread “plates.” The story goes that John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich, England conceived of the food as a convenient way to eat without skipping a hand at cards (Hawaii was also originally named The Sandwich Islands after the Earl).Leave a comment » Keep reading »
Sweet pepper soothes
Hummus, Indian-spiced cukes
Hot hot hot pickle
It has probably been said before that a sandwich is like a haiku. Both are structurally supported by their respective art forms, giving the artist leeway to freely associate with the past and also reinvent the form every time. Executed well, you have a tiny tidbit that nourishes the brain and pleases the mouth, and done horribly wrong you have a bit of inedible garbage that is spat out under the table.
Putting together a successful sandwich or haiku requires skill and understanding. With a sandwich, you need to consider the guidelines, the layers that will comprise the meal, flavors, textures, and references to past sandwiches. The sandwich must fit comfortably between the mandibles, be able to be elevated by the hands alone, and travel distance (or withstand time) before it’s eaten. A sandwich’s layers are balanced one atop the other, and must be distinct but also compliment one another. And most importantly the creator must consider flavor (spicy, sweet, sour, bitter, and salty) and texture (crunchy, soft, slippery, chewy, dry, and chunky).Leave a comment » Keep reading »