Even the most adventurous eaters often give their inner food warrior the day off on Thanksgiving – nothing but the same turkey, stuffing (or dressing!), cranberries, green bean casserole and pumpkin pie they've been eating since childhood. If one of those dishes goes missing, the whole meal just doesn't feel right.
Other families stray away from the standards (some friends of ours have to have collard greens, whiskey sours and banana pudding for the day to feel right, while another family dives into duck) and develop their own must-indulge traditions.
Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.
We don’t usually think of wine and the U.S. military as going hand in hand (I doubt many of our guys are pouring themselves glasses of Napa Cabernet while on duty in Afghanistan), but there are actually a quite a few top-notch winemakers who also served in one of the branches of the armed forces. Why not buy one of the wines they’ve made and lift a toast to them - and everyone else who’s a veteran this week?
While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.
Your cure for a case of the nutty Mondays - November 7 is National Bittersweet Chocolate with Almonds Day!
If chocolate is good for you, and so are almonds, today is guaranteed to get the serotonin going and brighten up the beginning of your week.
Bittersweet chocolate, also called semisweet, is exactly what the name brings to mind - unsweetened chocolate combined with a small amount, less than a third, of sugar. It's best for baking, especially in chocolate chip cookies, but it also pairs well with the woodsy and slightly sweet tang of almonds.
But you don't just want to take a bite of bittersweet chocolate and snack on a few almonds (though who are we to stop you?); instead, get creative and try deep dark chocolate biscotti, chocolate almond fudge squares or this luscious chocolate citrus almond torte.
Here's hoping end of the day isn't a bittersweet parting for you.
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