April 4th, 2014
01:45 PM ET
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Larry Clinton of Bessemer City, North Carolina, has expressed a wish for his ashes to be buried in a Duke's mayonnaise jar. This is a sentiment behind which we can get.

Not only is the the best sandwich in the universe crafted expressly with Duke's mayonnaise - it also is a source of intense regional pride and identity, as we expounded upon in a mayoni-festo a while back.
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Filed under: Mayonnaise • Obsessions • Weird News


Obsessions: Trinidadian doubles
March 5th, 2014
10:45 AM ET
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Cara Reedy is an Executive Assistant at CNN. She previously wrote for Eatocracy on being a small cook in a big kitchen, St. Louis' Provel cheese and her family's soul food traditions. She caveats that doubles aren't pretty (as pictured above) but they sure are delicious.

The Bedford Stuyvesant neighborhood in Brooklyn has been home to a vibrant Caribbean and African American community since the great migration of the twentieth century. African American people moved to northern states to escape the racial segregation of Jim Crow laws, while at the same time Caribbean people moved to New York for better employment opportunities. The slow Southern charm mixed with the warmth of the Caribbean people make it a neighborhood unlike any other.

When I arrived five years ago, I was a Caribbean food novice. I soon caught up and caught on to the wonderful flavors. My favorite discovery is doubles, a Trinidadian street food that is a Bed Stuy breakfast tradition.

Despite its plural name, a double is a singular sandwich made of two pieces of fried bread (bara) filled with curried chickpea stew (channa) and then topped with tamarind chutney, kuchela (chutney made of green mangoes) and pepper (a vinegary sauce made from scotch bonnet peppers).
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Filed under: Breakfast • Carribean • Cuisines • Dishes • Obsessions • Regional Sandwiches • Sandwiches


February 7th, 2014
07:30 PM ET
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KSTU reports that Utah liquor laws allow some connoisseurs of coveted bourbon Pappy Van Winkle to score a bottle for a delicious price.

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Filed under: Obsessions • Sip • Spirits


January 27th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked - even overwhelmed.

He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: "Ecstasy."

Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea's Choco Pies - two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream - are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.

But on the other side of the Korean border, the snacks are viewed as exotic, highly prized treats, selling on North Korea's black markets for as much as $10, according to analysts. Their rising popularity in the north reveals an unexpected common ground between the two Koreas, despite their fractious relationship - a shared sweet tooth.
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For the love of Macau's egg tarts
December 12th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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There aren't many people who can claim that their lives have been changed by an egg tart, but chef Raymond Wong - who heads Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies Educational Restaurant - says when he tasted Macau’s famous local Portuguese tarts there was no looking back.

“I left Hong Kong when I was just nine years old,” says Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied at the culinary program at San Francisco City College.

“But when I came back here in 2004, I went to Macau with my fiancé and she took me to a famous shop for egg tarts.”
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Filed under: Asian • China • Chinese • Obsessions


Hungry for Home: Provel cheese
April 23rd, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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There are some foods that are so tied to their region, eating them is like a hug from home. Expats seek creative ways to get them shipped or find the closest equivalent in their new city. In the first installment of Hungry for Home, contributor Cara Reedy pines for St. Louis' Provel cheese.

When I moved to New York eleven years ago, I got a lot of blank stares when I told people I was from St. Louis. Some people would say genius things like “Oh right, you have that arch,” or my favorite, “I’ve been in the airport, is there anything in the city?”

People went out of their way to tell me I spoke weirdly. Cab drivers consistently tried to take me on long rides around the city, thinking I was a tourist. I got really homesick after six months.

To cheer myself up I decided to make a St. Louis-style, crisp-crust, square-sliced pizza. I went to my local grocery store to buy supplies. They had everything I needed except the most important ingredient, Provel cheese.

Provel is a little hard to describe. It’s processed, gooey, a little smoky and when heated is takes on the qualities of molten lava. It’s really just delicious and it tastes like home.
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Filed under: Cuisines • Hungry for Home • Missouri • Obsessions • Pizza


Nutella-gate! Columbia students swipe pounds of popular spread from cafeteria
March 7th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
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When students trade their high school diplomas for college dorm rooms, friends and family wish them luck and tell them to enjoy their new-found freedom by “going nuts.” But while most students blow off steam by partying until the wee hours of the morning, some students at Columbia University seem to have taken the “go nuts” advice a little too literally.

According to the Columbia Spectator,the Ivy League institution introduced Nutella to its campus dining halls last month, hoping to give its students a taste of luxury living (because living on the Upper West Side of New York City is clearly "roughing it").

To the administration’s surprise, students’ demand for Nutella quickly exploded to the tune of 100 pounds consumed per day. But consuming the “breakfast food” in the dining room wasn’t enough for some of the sticky-fingered undergrads, who ultimately decided to abscond with the buttery, chocolaty, hazelnut spread by the jar.
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Filed under: News • Obsessions


Doomsday dining: your last orders
December 21st, 2012
11:00 AM ET
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Remember back in May of 2011 when we gave away all our stuff and road-tripped down to Florida in a Judgment Day caravan to warn people about the impending Rapture? How about 153 days after that when the world similarly failed to go kaplooey?

Shockingly enough, we used those opportunities to ask people how they'd chow down if they knew it was going to be their last meal on Earth. Seeing as we're up against Armageddon (again), according to the Mayan calendar (sort of), here's a little inspiration for a final feast.

Out of 378 responses, the most frequently mentioned foodstuffs were:
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Filed under: 100 Places to Eat • Hungry for Home • Obsessions • Travel


In the dead of winter, orange you glad for clementines?
November 27th, 2012
09:30 AM ET
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Here in the cold, dark, horrible nub end months of the year, I jam clementines into my mouth like it's my job. Two, four, six at a sitting, I'll dig the edge of my least-ragged nail into the rind and claw away the loose skin to reveal the dewy, seedless segments inside. Rinds pile up in pungent heaps on every flat surface around me - exoskeletons shed by sweet-blooded alien insects that have come to Earth to lift me from my seasonal funk.

I'd stop and take them to a trash bin, but that would mean precious seconds not spent stuffing oranges into my face in the manner of a crazed bonobo. I will set upon a cheap, plywood crate or red net sack full of clementines and dispatch quarters, thirds, halves at a time until there is nothing left but a fine mist of citrus oil coating all nearby surfaces like a cheery arterial spray.

I am certain it is horrifying to watch, and it is in the best interest of all my personal and professional relationships that these little fruits are only available for a brief period each winter.
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