Food

Quotes

Perpetual cooking

When I cook at home I very rarely follow recipes, it is more about feel and taste but also what I have on hand and want to use up.

Something that I try to convey in my recipes but is admittedly very hard to articulate is the intersection of intuition and thrift and laziness in home cooking [...]

Anyway I'm always pursuing the idea that one meal can flow into the next and the next, building flavor but also feelings and memories, instead of fixing hermetically sealed little meals that just make 1-2 portions, but instead big batches that evolve over time, richer and deeper meals that carry a literal trace of the meal you had before it.

[...] I remember eating many lunches at Moosewood in Ithaca and seeing how Monday's salsa became Tuesday's marinara became Wednesday's ribolitta, which is also how any decent line cook will interpret leftovers into a memorable family meal.

A taste of armadillo

The armadillo, remarkable for its laminated shell, when baked in its scaly coat is a good treat, the flesh being considered delicate eating, somewhat like a rabbit in taste and colour. The flesh of the large twelve-banded Brazilian one (Dasypus Tatouay) is said to be the best of all. In South America there are several species of armadillo, all of which are used for food when met with.


Notes

Polar bear dinner

A polar bear can eat 50-60 kilograms of meat (usually seal) for dinner. Translated into 4-year-old units, that is my whole daughter and three of her kindergarten friends.

When hunting is good, the considerate bear will just eat the seal’s skin and blubber, leaving the rest of the meat for other animals. When it’s not so good, a carcass, some rodents or human garbage will do.

Weird Old Book Finder

Clive Thompson has made a wonderful little site called Weird Old Book Finder, where you can input a search term and get a random old book in return. I tried searching for “food” and was presented with this mouthful of a title from 1859: “The Curiosities of Food; or the Dainties and Delicacies of Different Nations Obtained from the Animal Kingdom” (Google Books) The gist of it is: if an animal exists, someone has made good eatin’ out of it. It reads like some explorer has traveled the world and eaten his way through a list of exotic and endangered animals. Elephant’s paw? Yes, please! Here’s a taste:

The armadillo, remarkable for its laminated shell, when baked in its scaly coat is a good treat, the flesh being considered delicate eating, somewhat like a rabbit in taste and colour. The flesh of the large twelve-banded Brazilian one (Dasypus Tatouay) is said to be the best of all. In South America there are several species of armadillo, all of which are used for food when met with.

Isothiocyanate

The stuff that causes the burning sensation in your nose when you have a bit too much mustard or horseradish (what I’ve now learned is called a pungent taste) is called an isothiocyanate.