Retro utensil print
Source: Bespoke Prints
Back again after the interruptions of the World Cup.
Today’s wine, once again, is not in the rack, it’s in the glass as I write. Actually, there is another in the rack.
Concha y Toro
A Chilean wine from the Central Valley.
It doesn’t stipulate the harvest.
Aroma of ripe red fruit.
Goes well with white meats, pastas, pizzas, risottos and fresh white cheeses.
I am having mine with feijoada, a little bit heavier than the recommended pairings.
But I like the smoothness of Merlot.
Priced to fit my pocket at around R$20.oo.
definitely NOT plonk.
Concha y Toro winery
A ham in the US said to be the oldest in the world has celebrated its 112th birthday. Can it really be edible after all this time, asks Tom de Castella.
It was first cured by the Gwaltney meat company in 1902, forgotten about at the back of a storage room, and eventually donated to the Isle of Wight County Museum in Smithfield, Virginia. Today it looks like a piece of old leather. A special case protects it from bugs and mould, and it is billed the world’s oldest edible cured ham. “It would be dry, dry tasting, but it’s not molded,” curator Tracey Neikirk told the Wall Street Journal.
Dry curing – salting the meat and draining the blood – allows ham to last and develop a richer flavour. But most hams are only aged for a year or two. Not 112. “After such a long time and without knowing how the ham was processed it’s difficult to know whether it would be safe,” a Food Standards Agency spokesman says. To most people “edible” means more than the ability to eat something without it killing you. “Jamon iberico of four to five years is amazing,” says Jose Pizarro, owner of Pizarro, a Spanish restaurant in London.” The oldest edible ham he’s heard of is eight years old. After that the fat starts to oxidise and the flavour disappears from the meat. A rancid taste develops as the yellow fat diffuses, and as the decades pass it will become as hard as a stone and incredibly ugly, he says.
And then there’s the question of whether the Virginia museum’s really is the oldest. In 1993, Michael Feller, a butcher in Oxford, bought a ham at auction that was 101 years old. It looked “rather yukky” but was edible, although he wasn’t going to cut into it. Today it hangs in the shop window, unnibbled at the ripe old age of 122. Food writer Jay Rayner is unmoved by the battle for the title of oldest ham. “I’d be suspicious of anyone getting excited about the former back end of a pig that’s been hanging around for 112 years.” Wine and spirits offer a better bet. He remembers drinking a “rather lovely” 1865 armagnac. It had aged well – “deep and toasty” – but the real attraction was not its flavour, he concedes. It was “that link with antiquity”. Which perhaps explains the birthday party for a shrivelled up piece of pork.
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and a bit of humour this week…
Bottles of Life
I have never thought about “food saints” before…
Originally posted on Cheese FC:
Saints in Roman times and the Middle Ages had great stories attached to them. Here are some of my favourite food patron saints.
Saint Lawrence was a Deacon of Rome in 258, a time when Christians were not really venerated in the eternal city. He made the mistake of distributing riches to the poor. This attracted the attention of the Roman emperor, who ordered him to hand over those riches to him. Lawrence, who was actively looking for martyrdom, presented some beggars, crippled, orphans etc., to the emperor, saying that these were the greatest treasures of the Church. This pissed off the emperor just a tiny bit, so he decided to kill Lawrence by grilling him above some nice hot charcoal. After being grilled for a while Saint Lawrence was nicely burned, but had one last witty remark in store: “This side is nicely burned, you can now turn me…
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Preparing a scary horseshoe crab lunch
It’s a classic vegetarian Indian restaurant dish that’s quick and easy to make. But do you like yours wet or dry? And is frozen spinach ever acceptable?
Felicity Cloake’s perfect saag paneer. All photographs: Felicity Cloake for the Guardian
Choosing from a menu is never straightforward where I’m concerned – I’m always worried I’m going to make the wrong choice, and miss out on something I’ll never get the chance to try again. But as soon as I sink into the soft flock cushions favoured by British Indian restaurants of the old school, all such worries melt away – I know exactly what I’m going to have. Inevitably it’s a spicy lamb curry from the chef’s specials, with tarka dal and saag paneer, accompanied by a plain naan, ideally one the size of the napkin.
Now, I can make some pretty decent lamb curries, even if I sometimes have difficulty identifying one, and I’m a dab hand at dal, yet the simplest dish – fried spinach and fresh cheese – has proved a remarkably tough nut to crack. Nothing I’ve tried has come close to matching up to the garlicky, greasy greens served in the humblest of curry houses; nice, sure, but not the kind of dish you’d go back to like a woman obsessed. It seemed time for a more systematic approach – just how do they do it?
Now, if your interested… you can read all about the greens, the cheese, the spices and flavourings and the ‘how to’ on The Guardian.
A Cottage Kitchen
A typical country kitchen with a brick floor and pot on the open fire.
err, Bacon Cake???
The wine today is no longer in my rack…
I drank it on Saturday to celebrate the Argentine game against Iran in the FIFA World Cup…
Ugni Blanc Chardonnay 2013 from Viñas de Balbo, Mendoza, Argentina.
“This generic wine is obtained from the harmonic combination of Ugni Blanc and Chardonnay varieties which gives this wine a delicate yellow color with hints of green, a subtle and persistent aroma and a particular soft and fruity flavor. It goes well with white meats, soft cheese, fish and seafood.” – Don Cano Wines
Although I drank it with weinerschnitzel, boiled minted potatoes and cauliflower with cheese sauce…
Good price, went down a treat, looking for more.
The Mendoza region in northwest Argentina produces many great wines. Here’s a good guide to northwest wines: Grape Travel
My rating: Definitely not plonk.
Wine and Cheese?
Not all art need to be on a canvas, nor indeed photographic. I could be on the walls or floors, in fact anywhere, ask Bansky.
Today, it’s on a wall, a kitchen wall.
I think that looks just fantastic.
Source: Luxury, Lifestyle & Design
Ayr Brewing Company Ltd
“Rabbie’s porter is brewed using Challenger & Pioneer Hops from the U.K. With Crystal and Chocolate Malts to produce this robust, full bodied Ale.” – Home page
SIBA Silver Medal 2011 Bottled Beers – Rabbie’s Porter
The Ayr Brewing Company is a 5 Barrel Micro Brewery situated in the heart of Rabbie Burns’ country.
Why fat is back on the menu
Lard is being smeared on sourdough, draped over scallops and boiled up for triple-cooked chips – and it might even be good for us. Are you a fan of pig fat?
Lardo di colonnata, the fanciest of fats. Photograph: Alamy
You’ve got to love food fashion. Just an arrhythmic heartbeat ago, or so it seems, lard was the artery-clogging work of the devil. These days, if you’re not scoffing whipped fat on sourdough, you’re just not keeping up.
I realise that not all of us are lauding lard, but there’s no denying it’s having a “moment”. Across the land, lard – aka solidified pig fat – is being draped over seafood, smeared on toast, flung on pizza and boiled up for triple-cooked chips.
Before the second world war, Britons couldn’t get enough of the stuff, of course. But concerns that it travelled straight from lips to hips, furring our arteries in the process, saw it slither from favour. Privately, chefs have always loved lard for its flavour and versatility – it produces heavenly pastry and crispy, flavoursome tatties – but until recently it has been their dirty little secret. So what’s changed to bring this love for lard out of the closet?
The trend for nose-to-tail dining – eating all parts of the animals we kill for human consumption – has something to do with it. But our views about eating animal fat are also changing. While the official line on saturated fat (the type found in meat and dairy) remains to limit our intake, a growing body of evidence is challenging the accepted wisdom that animal fat increases the risk of heart attack and disease. Some writers such as Gary Taubes, the author of Why We Get Fat, even argue that lard can be good for us. So with the heat off fat, and sugar taking its place in the firing line, it seems we’re enjoying a lardy binge.
Marianne Lumb, the chef and owner of Marianne restaurant, loves lard, especially the fanciest of fats, lardo di colonnata (back fat from Tuscan pigs). “I think it’s so popular in my kitchen because it is so versatile,” she says. “We introduced lardo di colonnata in our canapés by slicing it very thinly and using it instead of rice paper to wrap mint, radish and carrots. I also use it on a scallop dish, again sliced very thinly, and I gently blowtorch it so it goes translucent. It offers delicious flavour and also a real visual treat to a dish.”
She says customers need no persuading when it comes to ordering a dish garnished with fat, although she concedes description is key. “My front of house, Francesca, pronounces lardo di colonnata in perfect Italian, which makes it sound irresistible, compared to just ‘lard’!”
Lardo, pig butter, prosciutto bianco, salo – call it what you will, I love it all, from the herb-infused, whisper-thin posh stuff to the discards nicked from other people’s plates after a steak supper (yes, my family is repulsed).
But I do wonder what my late granny – who used to fondly recall the bread-and-dripping austerity suppers of her childhood – would make of our growing appetite for chic lards and drippings. I’m fairly sure she would have had a good chuckle at my recent experience at the Guild of Fine Food Great Taste awards, where I and other judges were asked to ruminate on a selection of fancy fats. As delicious as they were, I reckon Granny would opt for the stuff scooped from the bottom of the roasting pan – along with the all-important meat crud – any day.
What about you? Do you like your food draped in fat? Or is fat a food fad too far?
Source: The Guardian
I don’t have many Brazilian wines in my rack.
However, I do have a half bottle (500ml) of Aurora Late Harvest 2012 from the south, Bento Gonçalves.
Page in English
Grape variety: Semillon Mavasia Bianca
Best temp: 10 – 16ºC
Food pairings: desserts, mousse, cheesecake, chocolate fondue. Also with ‘blue vein cheeses, Roquefort and Gorgonzola.
Be interesting to try it.
This is a reblog:
We’d like to propose a toast.
But first, we’ll need some bread.
Also, cheese, a sandwich press, some vodka and a martini glass.
Introducing the Grilled Cheese Martini, a comfort food cocktail that counts grilled-cheese-flavored vodka as its main ingredient, available off-menu now at Beecher’s.
Let’s begin with some seemingly arbitrary numbers: 37. 24. 1.
37: tries it took a team of bartenders to successfully fuse vodka and grilled cheese.
24: hours that the sandwich is left to sit in a vat of vodka.
1: amount of times before tonight this has been served on American soil.
Link on Urban Daddy for the story
Source: Fromage Homage