nine things tagged “food”

On Garlic

“Garlic is divine. Few food items can taste so many distinct ways, handled correctly. Misuse of garlic is a crime. Old garlic, burnt garlic, garlic cut too long ago and garlic that has been tragically smashed through one of those abominations, the garlic press, are all disgusting. Please treat your garlic with respect. Sliver it for pasta, like you saw in Goodfellas; don’t burn it. Smash it, with the flat of your knife blade if you like, but don’t put it through a press. I don’t know what that junk is that squeezes out the end of those things, but it ain’t garlic. And try roasting garlic. It gets mellower and sweeter if you roast it whole, still on the clove, to be squeezed out later when it’s soft and brown. Nothing will permeate your food more irrevocably and irreparably than burnt or rancid garlic. Avoid at all costs that vile spew you see rotting in oil in screw-top jars. Too lazy to peel fresh? You don’t deserve to eat garlic.”

Anthony Bourdain, Kitchen Confidential

If this resonates with you, you might love Sri Lankan Garlic Curry

You Cannot Overcook Mushrooms

Note that you can certainly burn them. That’s not ‘cooking’, however. The key here is that mushroom cell walls are composed of chitin which is far more heat-stable by virtue of the structures it forms, compared to pectin which is what you’d find in veggies1.

In this video, Dan Souza explains all this and does something quite surprising when cooking mushrooms: He sautés the mushrooms in water to ‘collapse’ them prior to cooking them in just a teeny bit of oil (and the usual salt, pepper, butter, and herbs.) Amazing.

  1. You’ll also find chitin in the “exoskeletons of arthropods, such as crustaceans and insects, the radulae of molluscs, cephalopod beaks, and the scales of fish and skin of lissamphibians.” Leave it to fungi to be weird 😍🍄 ↩︎

On A Good Burrito

I remember the very first burrito I had in the Mission District in San Francisco. My friend warned me that it would be “around the size of your forearm” and that, if I tried to finish it in a single sitting, I would be an idiot. It was, I did, I am 🙏

i do not fuck with any burrito without heft. if your shit is convenient and portable, take it elsewhere. i want a burrito that is burdensome. unwieldy. when i raise it to my mouth, i should feel the weight of the mistake i am about to make. no child should be able to eat this.

if your burrito doesn’t make me hate myself both physically and spiritually, what’s the point? grow up. don’t waste my time.

@mnateshyamalan

Ottoman Food

I found out I am to thank the Ottomans for a lot of my favorite things to eat and drink:

  • Baklava (which dates back two thousand years, to the Assyrian Empire)
  • Coffee made the Right Way™
  • The modern kebab
  • Shawarma
  • Sherbet
  • Dolma (stuffed food) and Sarma (wrapped food)
  • An ancestor of the hummus: a chickpea spread flavored with cinnamon, pine nuts, and currants. Consumed with bread and popular in the 15th century
  • Ayran: My absolute favorite thing to drink on a hot day. Couldn’t find many differences between ayran and the laban I grew up drinking.

It’s Never Finished

I think my job doesn’t have an end goal. Words like “finished” or “complete” don’t exist. We do our best with today’s menu and entertain our guests. That’s all for today, it’s repetition.

– Chef Nozumu Abe, Sushi Noz