August 19, 2004
Food Section Digestion - August 19, 2004

This week the news is all about Julia, cheese, and a shout out to a fellow blogger.

It's Olympics time, so we start in Greece this week. Connie Phillipson writes in the Athens News on how the modern Greek diet evolved. Recipes for an apricot marmalade tart and stuffed peppers with feta are included with the article.

Feta might be one of the cheeses coveted by Joe Prytherch. He's got an article in the London Guardian this week about cheese, glorious cheese. I've just acquired 96 rennet tablets so this is a subject near to my heart. Friends and family be warned, there's cheese coming your way. It's cheese season!

On, New Zealand's Daily News is offering recipes and a story about Whitebait, a small transparent fish that's itself coming into season down under. Bok choy is also in season and Steve Manfredi of the Sydney Morning Herald has a go at the small chinese cabbage. Why an Aussie newspaper is on a New Zealand site, I can't say. Kiwi, kiwi, kiwi, Oy , oy, oy?

The SMH itself has an article on tapas in Barcelona, which is notable for the recipes for Crema Catalan, Chicken with Samfaina, and Pimentos stuffed with Salt cod puree that accompany the piece. If you've thought about chucking it all and starting a farm or a bakery in the country, you'd do well to read Jacqui Taffel's article about Aussies who have moved to the country and are making it in the food industry. Some are struggling, and some are doing well. All are living their dream.

Many dream of sulfite free wines, but the Japan Times tells us that's just silly. In a piece that uses classic John Stossel phrases like "peudo-science" and "trend-consciscious", William Campbell describes how sulfites are used in the wine industry and conducts a tasting of sulphured and sulfite-free versions of wines.

You won't find a wine store with great selection in the middle of Alaska where, eight hours east of Anchorage, The New York Times' Julia Moskin reports on the struggle of man against nature, giant kohlrabi, and the chefs who produce fine food at the edge of civilization R.W. Apple, Jr.(tm) recalls Julia Child, who died last week at 92. In a development that I can't yet classify as delightful or revolting, milkshakes are back on the menu at fine restaurants around the country, but the flavors are a little odd, like tomato, coconut milk and kaffir lime.

Julia Child is on the mind of Judith Weinraub at the Washington Post, and she shares a Julia Child recipe for a Fresh Apricot or Fresh Peach tart. Robert Wolke answers the questions of an apprentice cheese maker about mold and old (or about blue cheese mold and aging to be more precise). Janelle Erlichman Diamond shares a technique for omelets in a bag, suitable for cooking in the great outdoors.

The Chicago Tribune's tribute to Julia Child involves her recipe for sole poached in white wine and a "jolly sweater". Bill Daley writes a perfect Chicago story as he tries to pair wine with hot dogs. There's also a ton of recipes for tiny tasty treats in Heather Shouse's article on mezze/tapas/small plate dinners.

The cheese story conspiracy continues in New Orleans at the Times-Picayune where Judy Walker answers the question "what is rennet?". Marcelle Bienvenu writes about fig preserves and writes a recipe for fig cake and fig tarts. Who knew figs grew in Louisiana?

Olivia Wu at the San Francisco Chronicle knows that heirloom tomatoes are all the rage right now. Karola Saekel gets the Julia rememberance duty at the Chronicle and uses Child's recipe for steak au poivre to eulogize her.

The Denver Post goes a bit Julia crazy devoting their entire food section to her. Kristen Browning-Blas quotes Child, four beautiful recipes from Child's books are included, Ellen Sweets recalls dinner with Mrs. Child, Kyle Wagner talks about her impact, and Bill St. John's recollections about Child are saddled with the hideous headline, "She baked us a Batch of Love". I don't think Julia would have approved of the headline, but she might have appreciated the story.

Julia would have loved a big batch of zucchini, of course. The Los Angeles Times features the August avalanch with recipes to help us use up the 300 pounds of zucchini we'll no doubt receive from our gardening neighbors. Laurie Winer gets us back to the Olympic theme with Greek recipes fit for a god. Russ Parsons is the one tagged to recall Julia Child for the Times and does a pretty good job of it.

And of course, we'd be remiss if we didn't point you to fellow food blogger Clotide Dusolier's article in the LA Times about the Wine and Fooding Tour 2004 in Paris. With luck we'll be digesting Clotide's stories more frequently in the next few months.

Until next time.

picture from's Julia Child shrine

Posted by Barrett in Maryland at August 19, 2004 9:02 AM | TrackBack Print-friendly version

Many of the newspaper food writers recent articles on Julia Child missed the point on what Julia brought to cooking at home. While they usually tell us that Julia brought the joy of French cooking to our kitchens, they usually miss the real points of how she taught us to cook and be adventurous. Most of the writers seemed to be playing a game of “I interviewed Julia one time” or “I met her two times” or “I met her many times”. Sorry, I’m not impressed. I wanted to know the effect Julia had on you and your cooking or, heaven forbid that you got out of your office to write the article, what her affect was on the average home cook. Suzanne Martinson of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette came the closest, even though she did had to include descriptions of two meetings with Julia. Maybe the problem is, as Rosanne Gold, author of Recipes 1-2-3, said that food writers write for other food writers and the end user is being ignored. Julia didn’t get famous with her PBS shows with just food writers and chefs watching.

I learned to appreciate Julia as an Air Force officer flying combat missions in Southeast Asia. We got Julia and the Galloping Gourmet on Armed Forces TV. We watched the Galloping Gourmet more for his comedic effect. Julia, on the other hand, was watched as a real professional who reminded us of home and who inspired us to go to the local markets and cook meals on a small grill when we got tired of eating in the mess. My cooking adventures expanded considerably after I got back to the states.

As I get older, I see so many older people giving up on cooking and eating fast food. Julia kept showing us the thrill of cooking and good food up till the day she died. The younger generations are going to appreciate Julia’s legacy from articles about meeting Julia. I just hope that we can continue to see her on PBS.

Posted by aardvarknav on August 20, 2004 at 2:43 PM
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