It was the third of September, a day I'll always remember. Cause that was the day...after the first "Fall" Food Section Digestion.
Can you believe how fast the summer has gone? Here in Chicago, this has been "the summer that never was" as temperatures got into the 90's only three days this year. And now we're at Labor Day.
Labor Day is seen as the functional end of summer in the U.S. as kids get sent off to school with a lunch they'll enjoy. The Chicago Tribune suggests that you celebrate the end of summer by packing a picnic featuring delicious ethnic sandwiches. Those sandwiches will make for a nice lunch for a field trip to Michigan to make your own wine on the wine bus Heather Shouse writes about. If your wine turns out well, read Bill Daley's column on how to match wine with cheese.
With wine, the question is usually "red or white?" With shrimp in New Orleans, Pableaux* Johnson in the Times-Pacayune reports the question is "brown or white?" Both Marcelle Bienvenu and Judy Walker's readers have put together Labor Day menus for one last big summer bash.
The Hartford Courant prints Phyllis Glazer's AP piece on a summer treat - watermelon. She recommends trying it Israeli style, with feta and basil. A slanderous article about hamburgers by Josh Ozersky from Newsday is picked up by the Courant, probably because of the assertion that a place called Louis' Lunch in New Haven invented the burger in 1900, which was later popularized by the St. Louis World's Fair in 1904. Poppycock. Even if you discount the burgers sold at the 1893 World's Fair in Chicago, you still have to contend with the claims of Frank and Charles Menches at the Erie County Fair in, Ahem, Hamburg, New York in 1885. Personally, I believe it was around in some form a lot earlier than that, possibly in Europe. How hard is it to think up patting down and frying that exta meat you ground for another purpose?
In St. Louis, the Post-Dispatch is silent on burgers this week. Cleora Hughes tries to help make your children's school lunch stand out from the rest. Roberta L. Duyff points out pomegranites are in season and are trendy. I don't think I'd put one in a child's lunch bag, though.
The Denver Post goes transcendental on us this week. Kyle Wagner takes us to the Shoshoni Yoga retreat which is part yoga center, part spa, and part cooking school. Wagner explains the theory of Ayurveda practiced at the lodge and how it affects what you should eat in a companion piece.
Regina Schrambling continues the summer send-off in the Los Angeles Times with barbecued brisket, coleslaw and potato salad. Barbara Hansen reviews "Encarnación's Kitchen", a translation of the first cookbook written by a Latino in the United States (it's from 1898). Also of interest (especially to those with friends living abroad) is an article on the capricious enforcement of U.S. customs laws regarding food brought back by travellers.
In the Washington Post, Emily Kaiser extolls the virtues of mise en place. Tony Rosenfeld has ideas about how you can get more out of your humble vegetable peeler, and Ben Giliberti proclaims Argentina the South American wine champion over Chile.
The San Francisco Chronicle's site has Karola Saekel's take on perfect potato salads.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer restaurant critic Penelope Corcoran shares her pet peeves about dining out.
In the New York Times this week, David Gage asserts the greegage plum is the best fruit in the world. Christopher Pala and Florence Fabricant deliver the alarming news that caviar imports and exports are about to come to a halt. Whatever will I substitute on my peanut-butter, jelly, and beluga sandwiches? Mark Bittman, the Minimalist, makes a standing rib roast.
South Africa's Star Tonight newspaper has an article about a tasting of South African wines and which came out as best value for money. (link down as of 5:26pm 9/2/04)
Our own Todd in New Orleans opined on elephant meat yesterday, but that's child's play compared to a whale omelet. Melanie Burton hit the streets of Tokyo for the Japan Times to find out who'd sampled cetacean. Chris Bamforth this week takes on a tour of Tokyo's Big Little Italy.
In Sydney at the Morning Herald, John Newton writes about the next best thing to a barbecue - a woodfired oven, perfect for the coming winter. But it's summer coming up in the Southern hemisphere, isn't it? Brigette Hafner tells us the best way to cook fish is simply with oil, salt, lemon, and dukkah. Dukkah? She explains.
Greg Tourelle in the NZPA of New Zealand's stuff.co.nz site declares victory in the Australia/New Zealand war over who invented the Pavlova, a meringue dessert loved by Kiwis and Aussies alike. Jessica Brien is 11 and is also an official ice cream reviewer according to the Timaru Herald at the same site.
I wish we had more international content this week, but it seems all the food reviewers have taken off early to enjoy the last week of the summer. I wish I'd thought of that.
See you next week.
* This is why I'm eager to visit New Orleans. Were else would Pablo get spelled with an -eaux?.