Travel is Good for the Soul and the Belly
Fried food extravaganza Let’s face it. Fried food tastes good. A few times a year I need a fried food fix and I don’t think it’s the end of the world.
Preparing a fried food extravaganza takes a little planning, but if it’s done right, you only have one pot to clean and some collateral splatters.
Let’s face it, if you live in North America, we’re still in Root Season: potatoes, turnips, parsnips, carrots, celery root. Perhaps the spring smelling breezes are making you long for fresh ramps and fiddle head ferns, but the reality is, it’s March, and we’re still eating roots. One of my favorite tuber pick-me-ups is the parsnip. It just never gets the love that other tubers get.
High Atlitude Chopped I’ve got at least 20 years of experience under my belt, or in my ski boots, whatever the case may be, but I still think high altitude cooking is a royal pain. It’s like playing an endless game of Chopped. Fresh food ebbs and flows depending on if anyone has gone down into the valley to shop, or has someone passed along some mountain stash, or is it time to break out the frozen vegetables? If we tap into Kevin’s stash of canned goods, then things are dire.
For centuries, for millennium, olives were picked the same way: grasp a branch and lightly running your fingers downward, gently pluck and pull the olive away from the branch. Let the olives drop into a basket or a well placed net. At the end of the day, your hands feel soft and supple from handling the fruit, and your arms are a little stiff from reaching for the next branch. Picking olives is fun and romantic when it’s a hobby, but far more serious when it’s your life’s work.
Even the most casual wine drinker probably knows the difference between a chardonnay and a white zinfandel. If this is the case, why don’t the most passionate chefs or home cooks know more about their olive oil? Maybe the chefs know a brand name, but do they know what variety of olive is used?
The concept of terroir or terrain or terreno (French-English-Italian) is frequently discussed with grapes and wine; why not with olive oil? If sun, soil and climate affect a grape, it stands to reason it would affect the flavor of an olive and it’s oil.