Spices

Sep. 28th, 2010 03:33 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (ykk)
Can someone tell me why the jaggery powder at the nearest Indian market has fat/saturated fat in it? o_O I was in there for cumin and I thought I'd take a look at it (I'm thinking about switching to something like muscovado for my coffee and tea, since it has vitamins and minerals that even turbinado sugar doesn't). It didn't list any ingredients other than dried cane sugar, but as I've noticed on the labels of Japanese items, the translated labels are completely wrong as often as not.

(This is true even on things that would be to their advantage to list, like fiber, protein, and vitamins--I'm guessing there are high fees or laborious processes involved in getting those things officially re-tested by the FDA or something. :/ I don't know whether the manufacturers realize how obsessively certain Americans read food labels, particularly foodie and health nut types who shop at Asian markets; they're probably depressing their sales quite a bit this way. Enough to offset the fees that I imagine exist? I have no idea...)

I need to get more glass or metal jars. If there are some out there that come with little spoons attached, that would be ideal...I paid $1.29 for 100g of cumin, but I could have gotten 200g for $2.29 or 400g for $3.99. The price difference on the cardamom compared to Safeway is really striking, even considering that I am not cool enough to deal with the pods (yet). Anyway, we use a lot of cumin around here, so it'd be good to be able to keep more of it around.

I'm reading Monsoon Diary: A Memoir with Recipes, by Shoba Narayan, and it's both interesting (a firmly placed view of a specific part of India [outside Madras], a specific class, being a girl and a woman, etc.) and appetizing. I like Indian vegetarian food, but as with many topics, I often learn better from a narrative than from reading a list ("South Indian food often features flavors x, y, and z, but does not include a, b, and c more commonly found in the north.") It's much better to have an image of young Shoba's dad drinking coffee (not tea) or her orthodox Brahmin aunt making a fuss about an eggless cake made in a pan that had previously had a cake with eggs in it. I know memoirs are personal memories, and those are always up for debate (C.'s international students from the same used to argue about whether certain dishes were authentic, what certain symbols meant, and so on, and I've gotten in similar arguments about slang and food.) So when I was younger, I used to acquire history by sort of triangulating among the best-researched historical fiction, rather than basing what I took in on any one book.

EDIT: Narayan's book goes places many food memoirs don't--college, grad school (not culinary school), etc. I'm still reading it and it keeps changing. :)

Anyway, I recommend it, and it's one of the rare food memoirs that will be good for vegetarians. The recipes will make anyone hungry, though, so don't read it on an empty stomach!
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (kogura_shinobu-EH?!-me)
TO: Male commenters on a certain science blog
Re: Conversation about a female postdoc's query about what to do regarding her discomfort over being called "dear" repeatedly by a male professor

PROTIP: Nobody cares that YOU don't mind when female colleagues and superiors call YOU "dear." Inverting a historically unequal power relationship IS NOT THE SAME GODDAMNED THING.

Thanks for playing!

(In other news, it totally doesn't bother me when Indian people wear kilts.* Tell your friends.)

(God.)

(*You know that was sarcasm, right? Actually, I would find it delightful, but it has no bearing at all on any OTHER matter.)



TO: Betty Crocker ... if that is your real name
Re: "Five-ingredient rhubarb dessert squares"

PROTIP: Four (butter, sugar, eggs, rhubarb) plus twenty-two [Sugar, Enriched Flour Bleached (Wheat Flour, Niacin, Iron, Thiamin Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Folic Acid), Partially Hydrogenated Soybean and/or Cottonseed Oil, Dextrose, Modified Corn Starch, Corn Starch, Baking Soda, Propylene Glycol, Monoesters of Fatty Acids, Salt, Sodium Aluminum Phosphate, Monocalcium Phosphate, Dicalcium Phosphate, Distilled Monoglycerides, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate, Datem, Xanthan Gum, Monoglycerides, Artificial Flavor, Aluminum Sulfate, Colored With (Yellow 5&6, Artificial Color), Nonfat Milk] is twenty-six. Technically.

Whoa.

Apr. 7th, 2009 11:39 am
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
The Moss Room at the Academy of Sciences (a new gourmet restaurant) made it on the SF Chronicle's top 100 restaurants list. Here's their previous full review.

[insert habitual complaint about the Chronicle's claim to be a metro area paper but massive fear of letting their staff foot in Santa Clara County lest they become uncool, man]

Anyway, I really want to try it!

(Crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] museumpeople.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (clamp-mkr-cookingme)
My attempt to recreate a pasta dish (with pancetta and butternut squash) that I had at the Academy of Sciences cafe with [livejournal.com profile] toratigris using this recipe pretty much worked. It was 85% as delicious, which is pretty good, considering the cafe has Real Chefs and schmancy ingredients. Woohoo!

Also, typical scene tonight:

Kitchen: *emits funny noises*
Me: Clint, what are you doing?
Clint: Putting Sriracha sauce on an orange.
Me: ...why do I ask...
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-fugu-me)
A List of 100 Japanese Foods to Try at Least Once, from the ever impressive Maki of Just Hungry and Just Bento. It even has handy pop-out explanations (that unfortunately render the list un-cut-and-paste-able).

By my reckoning, I've eaten 60 out of 100, given that I might have missed something due to not knowing its name and not understanding the explanation, and that I might have included stuff incorrectly as well, like one of the endless forms of mochi sweets when I actually ate something that looked the same to me but which is actually entirely different omg.

I didn't give myself credit for "fresh-as-possible sashimi"--while I'm guessing the kaiseki ryori sashimi we ate on our honeymoon in Japan was fresher than the stuff that's frozen and shipped across the sea by the Unification Church True World Foods, I imagine it wasn't as fresh as some of the things I've seen on the Japanese sushi TV shows where the proprietor catches the fish in the morning and serves it at lunch. But I'm not eating any of that living fish stuff.

Some of the other things on the list are things I would probably not like, but at least I don't think they'd send me to the Ninth Circle of Fish Hell.

Dang, fugu's not on there, and I've even had it. (I didn't order it, but it was served to me, so ... )

Man, I can't believe I missed my chance to try kiritanpo when it was on the specials board at Yuki! I've learned my lesson--since then we don't fear looking stupid or uneducated. If we don't know what a special is (or how to eat something they've randomly given us), we just ask. They haven't laughed at us yet.

Seriously, overall I'm finding that's a nice benefit of being 31, or something. I care less about looking like an idiot and more about getting to the point/not missing out on things. (Though I also have a lot less patience for movies and books and manga where the entire plot would unravel if one character would just SAY something instead of trying to keep from losing face.)

Where the hell was I? Oh yeah. Food. Which of the ones have I not eaten and really want to try? Well, fresh (non-mortal-soul-endangering) sashimi, a whole grilled wild Japanese matsutake, and sobagaki with sobayu, which I hadn't heard of before. Plus any of the sweets I haven't had before.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Red Mango, Pinkberry, Yoswirl, Fro-ggie, Yogurtastic, Sweetgreens, BlissBerry, Yoforia, Mr. Yogato, Iceberry, etc.

(I haven't been in most of these; my local favorite is actually Yogurtastic, but I have plans to try the Red Mango owned by Yul Kwon over in Palo Alto one of these days.)

If you find one of these places or any other strangely named new frozen yogurt place advertising "tart" frozen yogurt opening up near you, you need to go check it out--at least if you fondly remember the early frozen yogurt from the 80s (?) that still had the nip of actual yogurt to it. Froyo with actual yogurt qualities became popular in Korea with the Red Mango chain (debatably? as far as I understand it?) and then the Pinkberry chain knocked it off and ran with it in the LA area in the US, and then Red Mango followed them here, and then tons of copycats ran with the idea. But I hear tell people have come to blows over varying beliefs about that particular chain of events. Whatever, I'm just glad that frozen yogurt has gotten its groove back.

The best places will:

a) advertise or note live culture yogurt
b) be self-serve and sold by weight (it adds up fast), soft-serve in a large paper tub, so you can put swirls of several flavors (like original tart, tart pomegranate, matcha, and dark chocolate) in one tub
c) let you choose your own toppings and MUST include mochi pieces, which combine blissfully with the tangy yogurt, as well as things like mango chunks, kiwi pieces, and other fresh fruit, candy, cereal, flavored powders, and preferably a bunch of the colorful toppings used on shaved ice desserts in most parts of East and maritime Asia--red beans, fruit and coconut gelatins, etc.
d) include some non-tart versions for people who can't deal and for some variety

It's been around for some time now in California but since Yoforia has brought it to Atlanta and all, I figure i should mention it since it's hitting critical mass and you might miss out on it if you don't know what it is! So fabulous. :D Much like pearl milk tea with custard instead of pearls, it's quickly become one of my favorite things. It's usually low-fat and can taste watery to some folks; it doesn't have the luxurious mouthfeel of high-milkfat ice cream, but for me they're two totally different desserts, with tart yogurt being a much lighter and more refreshing choice for a totally different kind of dessert mood.

Anyway, if you're near any major metro in the US, try checking Yelp for "tart frozen yogurt" and see if you can get lucky, or keep your eye out for a place with a wacky name.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Just saw an ad for "haiga rice" in Japanese on KTSF. C. noticed that it seemed to be "off-white," neither white nor brown, so I looked it up. Indeed, it's short grain white rice with the bran removed but the germ still attached and has apparently only been available outside Japan for about 8 years. If you don't really like the taste of brown rice but you want something a little more nutritious than white rice, it might be worth a try. We're actually planning on trying some if it's not fabulously expensive (it might have dropped since the linked article was published 7 years ago). I like brown rice but there are some dishes I don't feel it goes well with, and yet white rice isn't all that healthy.

I don't know if it'd be helpful for people watching their blood sugar, but anyway.

OK, this is really interesting...apparently it WOULDN'T help, but I learned something else from reading Chowhound. "As a diabetic, my main concern was that I try to get a lower Glycemic index rice - I eat rice all the time, often with breakfast, lunch and dinner - I eat small portions so that I don't have to take that extra dose of insulin - but once in a while, I want that second bowl, and finding a low glycemic index rice would really help.
As it turns out, my main issue was that I was eating the cal-rose vs. koshihikari. Cal-rose has a GI in the 80's, which is high, but Koshihikari's GI is in the 30's. The difference is the ration of amylose to amylopectin - the two main forms of starch. Amylose is harder to digest, so a higher ratio of amylose insures a slower uptake of carbohydrate. In other words, Haiga helped - but so did plain white Koshihikari. In fact, I personally don't see much of a difference. The partial whole grain benefits of haiga may be in other forms - nutritional concerns, for example, but from the GI issue, it's not significantly greater. "

It seems wild to me that Koshihikari rice, one of the most common short-grain rice varieties in Japan, would have that much lower of a glycemic index than Calrose.

So, in fact, looking at http://www.mendosa.com/gilists.htm , if you're diabetic, it may be better to eat a serving of Koshikari (Japonica), white, short-grain (glycemic load, which as I understand it is a better number to focus on than glycemic index of 18) rather than a serving of most brands of brown rice. I mean, assuming you can't tolerate parboiled/converted rice (blechhh). It's still not a LOW GL, but we're talking about rice here.

I dunno, [livejournal.com profile] kyspaz, this might be worth looking into--I can always ship you some if you like rice and you can't buy it in Dallas (although I bet you can). :P

And feel free to smack me if I misunderstood any of that.

Tim Tams

Nov. 17th, 2008 09:34 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
1) Very pleased that [livejournal.com profile] hillarygayle mentioned that Pepperidge Farms is temporarily selling Tim Tams in the USA. I love getting to try sweets from other countries! [livejournal.com profile] kyspaz will be amused to read that they were apparently named after the 1958 Kentucky Derby winner.

2) Bleah, Australian sweets are just as obscenely sugary as US ones. It says a serving size is two--which is probably accurate; these cookies are *thick*--but I could only eat one. The back of my throat is burning from all the sugar.

#2 probably would not have been my reaction if it weren't for that three months I spent in Taiwan. Seriously, after that experience I believe that Americans' (and Canadians', British people's, and Australians', based on what I've tried) sugar settings are dialed way, WAY up over what they should be. After three months of no candy bars--but plenty of decadent European/Asian/Euro-Asian pastries and occasional chocolate and lots of fruit--when I came back, almost all the candy bars I'd previously enjoyed just tasted disgustingly, overpoweringly, burningly sweet. The only ones I can still eat are really things like Reese's that counter it with peanut butter or something, but even then...

Anyway, I still enjoy cake and fudge and pieces of chocolate and caramel apples and so forth, I'm just mostly off of candy bars--apparently for life. I think that's a good thing.

I did like the cookie/biscuit part, though. Nice texture. And I think C. will like them. (And I think it's awesome that we get to have them here, even if it's temporary, and I never would have noticed them if [livejournal.com profile] hillarygayle hadn't posted/twittered about them!)

P. S.

Oct. 20th, 2008 06:38 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Quark is delicious. (Well, I haven't had pure quark. It's lemon. And it's pasteurized a bit because this is the US and we're paranoid. But I could still eat it with my fingers. OM NOM NOM.)

(The Sunday farmers' market at Newpark is, as predicted, 1000% more awesome now that there's a dairy there. WE LOVE YOU SPRING HILL FARMS.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-kaiseki-me)
This is great:
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2008/09/30/FDCF1364QM.DTL
http://tatakisushibar.com

Article and link for a new sustainable seafood sushi restaurant in San Francisco, something that's shockingly rare. A lot of the most popular sushi is horribly environmentally unfriendly, and likely to lead to the disappearance of those fish if we keep eating it. So I'm glad to see a few people trying to do something about it. I'm looking forward to trying Tataki sometime soon.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
This is why restaurants REALLY NEED TO POST NUTRITIONAL INFO IN THE RESTAURANT. It won't make me leave or spend less money; it'll just stress me out less! I mean, look at these seemingly comparable items:

Strawberry Poppyseed & Chicken Salad
Calories 310
Fat 3.5 g
Saturated Fat 0.5 g
Sodium 530 mg
(not too bad!)

Fuji Apple Chicken Salad
Calories 580
Fat 30 g
Saturated Fat 7 g
Sodium 1,020 mg
(whaaaa?!)

And would you have guessed that ANY Crispani pizza thing has less calories than ANY of their sandwiches? Sheesh.

I also got a shock a few days ago when I read the sodium content of ... well, everything at Chipotle. No wonder we quit eating out when Mom had to go on a low-salt diet.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
[livejournal.com profile] naomikritzer has her own Omnivore's Inventory: You start with 100, deduct 1 point for every "yes," and then brag about your score like you did in college ("ooooh, I am SO CORRUPT you probably don't want to associate with me...")

My score: 58.

1. Have you ever eaten artichoke? Yes. Tasty!
2. Okra? Yes; it's OK fried.
3. Cactus? Nopales. Meh.
4. Kumquats? Yes.
5. Persimmon? Yes--Fuyu are best; I don't like the mushy Midwestern kind.
6. Star fruit? Yes. <3
7. Turnip or mustard greens? Yes, though usually Asian preparations, not Southern.
8. Have you eaten a habanero pepper? No, but I've had habanero salsa.
9. More than once?
10. Have you ever eaten dandelions? I don't think so.It gets weirder below--much weirder! )

I'm kind of amused that on the other memoid, all the Arkansas people on my f'list are like "EWWW! CHITLINS!!! NOOOO!!!!" Me too.

Sometime I'll make my own list with things that seemed exotic and weird or challenging or special to me when I first ate them. :)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Via [livejournal.com profile] artfulruin and [livejournal.com profile] retrobabble:

Bold the foods you've tried; strike the ones you don't want to try.
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile Read more... )

Darn, if only bear or yak had been on there.

P. S. I'm kind of amused that the alarming Chinese alcohol is the only one of the alcoholic entries on here that I've tried or am ever likely to try--I don't *like* alcohol, and I've learned from experience that things that SOUND tasty like a "peach Bellini" taste just as bad as the rest of it. :P To me.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Official website; Chronicle article. I want to go if there are enough cheap or free events ... and if it's not competing against something else, haha. Hey, [livejournal.com profile] kyspaz, want to teleport over for it? :p



(and re. the candle thing: I know there are some issues with it, but still, I think there's something to it.)
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
I looked up this link of photos from What the World Eats because I thought it might make a good discussion post for Readable Blog. I ignored it when it went around last year. But wow. They're striking photos.

North Carolina, Cllingbourne Ducis, etc., I'm looking at you. This stuff? In the boxes? IT'S NOT FOOD.

(Well, some of it is, but mostly not.)

I know that to my mother and people of older generations and developing countries and poor backgrounds, the stuff in the shiny bags and boxes is AFFLUENCE. It's SCIENCE. It's THE GOAL.

Heck, even many of my Japanese friends who are my age believe that if something comes in a nice bright box and says "Kraft" or "Yoplait" or some other American brand name on the box, it must be healthy and nutritious. This blows me away because I assume the opposite--stuff from Kraft and their ilk is probably full of sugar, fat, and preservatives, and means I'd better check the box info carefully if it's something I think I want.

And, you know, I don't want to live on a peck of lentils and some grubs, either, but I also want what I'm eating to be food. Not Oreos and Coke and Hamburger Helper and Froot Loops.

Also, I hate how our poison has filtered out to just about everywhere, except perhaps Tingo and Breidjing. (Also one of the few photos where they have a reason to be drinking bottled water, I suspect. The rest of us? Not so much.)

Er.

May. 3rd, 2008 07:23 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
What the hell is "arribiata pesto?"

I assume this is either a horrible misspelling of "arrabbiata" or a horrible grafting of "arriba" and "arrabbiata," but either way, disturbing! I mean, to have it printed on one's label and all...You'd think Trader JOe's could afford to check on things.

"Arribiata" does have many google hits, but so far they're all from people who spell "their" as "there" and "tried" as "tryed," etc.



Unrelatedly, I need to find someone to knit or crochet me some armwarmers to wear around the house--my arms get cold but putting on a sweater often gives me a headache. I fear this would be an expensive proposition, though, because my skin is so touchy that both wool and acrylic are out of the question. (What's even left? Bah.) I just kind of doubt that the Sock Dreams ones wold go over my chunky upper arms at all.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
Ad in the Metro free paper: "Grand Opening -- Tofu House & Chocolate Sushi."

Yep, it's a Korean tofu place that also has dessert in the form of chocolate and other candy made to look like sushi. Madness. I have to try it. EDIT: Dammit. It's just a former fusion restaurant named Chocolate Sushi for no good reason (there *is* a chocolate sushi company in the bay area, so I didn't think it was impossible. Sob.). Like a huge percentage of the "Japanese" restaurants in the bay area, it's essentially a Korean-owned sushi place that is now also serving a Korean menu. But they do have chocolate martinis. Oh well, what I said about Korean tofu stands.

(If the thought of a tofu restaurant makes you un-thrilled, but you've never tried Korean tofu, I beg you to give it a try. It's not at all like the spongy, disgusting salad tofu I was exposed to as a kid. It's piping hot, soft, and creamy and usually delightfully spicy, but sometimes just deliciously savory. Gahhhh, so good, especially in cold weather.)

Anyway, speaking of food, yesterday we adapted [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor's mom's ham & asparagus bundles recipe, which I'd never tried. Actually, it was really good. I think if I made it again I'd put a bit of stone-ground mustard inside, and let the cheese cook a little more to brown. I shouldn't have chosen fontina in terms of presentation, as it melts a little too well, but in terms of flavor, it was PERFECT. We also had lemon pappardelle pasta with just a bit of lemon artichoke pesto, challah, and a raspberry-chocolate tart. It was a pretty good dinner if we do say so ourselves.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (clamp-mkr-cookingme)
We had to eat part of [livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor's Valentine's sweets early, because I wasn't sure how long we could keep them: these handmade marshmallows from Satura in Palo Alto. Oh, man... DELICIOUS. I heard they're not hard to make, but either way, so worth it.
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (photos-kaiseki-me)
I need to for two reasons. One, we (and Japan) are eating it out of existence. Two, it's full of mercury.

Actually, I don't think I eat it more than once a month anyway. But perhaps even less would be better--or not at all. We shouldn't be encouraging restaurants to help destroy this species.



Unrelated P. S. Dear neighbors: I do not want to hear your accursed bassline. Turn your music down, for crying out loud. (Apparently the message of my thumping on the wall repeatedly was lost on you.) No love, me.

Mmm.

Aug. 22nd, 2007 09:42 pm
wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (papercut-doublehappiness-me)
Fourth anniversary dinner was an DIVINE antipasti platter, gnocchi fiorentina (me) and ravioli ... crema ... noci something ([livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor), tea and tiramisu (me), and creme caramel ([livejournal.com profile] assaultdoor). The right half of the tiny restaurant (it's the size of my living room, about) was filled with a 30+ person Italian/Italian-American wedding party. I love Il Porcino.

They had slices of cantaloupe and watermelon in the water pitchers. Nummy.

We gave each other books. Predictably.

Profile

wintersweet: Main character from Yokohama Shopping Project: Just being alive means you've made a clear profit. ☆ 人生、生きちょるだけで丸儲け. (Default)
wintersweet

April 2017

S M T W T F S
      1
234 5678
9101112131415
16171819202122
23242526272829
30      

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Oct. 18th, 2017 08:23 pm
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios