If anything embodies local and seasonal food, it's the ramp.
A delicate plant with green leaves, ruby red stems, and white bulbs, ramps grow wild in the woods of eastern North America. They are foraged by ramp hunters and brought to farmers markets each year in early spring to a growing crowd of anxious enthusiasts. The wild leeks have a unique flavor of garlic and nuanced spring onion. The tender leaves melt in your mouth. These fleeting flavors beg to be paired with eggs. I added them to a spaghetti carbonara for a spring meal worth waiting for. 2 Read more
It was a perfect spring day when I arrived on the waterfront. The sun was out, a cool breeze rolled off the water, craft brews were poured, and ramen was dished up hot.
There were booths and tables of mouthwatering handmade food, from chocolate-covered caramels to cheese. Did I mention it was the perfect day? I arrived wide-eyed, and I wanted to eat it all. (more…)
There are some foods that are truly regional. You will almost always hear that real bagels come from New York.
Any attempt to eat a bagel outside of its natural concrete habitat is perceived as a criminal act punishable by the snobbiest judgment. “Oh, those were pretty good, but they’re not like the ones I used to get in New York.” Rumors of magical water turning dough into gourmet gold have persisted. Given that bagels live surrounded by all this hype, I wanted to see if I could make them at home with any sort of success. (See "Bagels in Montreal") 6 Read more
It is a dynamic red concoction. At once savory and sweet, with just the right amount of puckering twang, it is slathered and squirted onto our favorite foods.
Even the most barren of refrigerators has a lingering bottle that clatters with the whoosh of an opened door. It is the hero of American condiments: ketchup. (more…)
I have a problem. I keep trying to put away my winter coat. Yet somehow I am always defeated.
It seems every time I try, some (aptly named) freak Arctic weather pattern comes roaring through and I am left pulling my furry-hooded coat from storage once more.
On one such day, I found myself slogging into a grocery store through the slush, feeling gray and uninspired, when I caught a flash of shiny crimson out of the corner of my eye. I whipped my cart around to investigate. As I wheeled closer, I felt relief. It was a sign. It was rhubarb. 0 Read more
Some people wake up thinking about the world, or about some man or woman, or about the man or woman compelling them to leave their cocoon of blankets and to go to work.
I wake up thinking about the earthy smell of dark roasted coffee. That, and what might go with it. A dish of cool yogurt drizzled with golden honey? A puffy croissant, or maybe just a humble piece of buttered toast? This is what gets me out of bed in the morning. (more…)