October 30, 2004

Friday Fry #9 Next week World on a Plate is dedicated to celebrating Día de los Muertos, the Day of the Dead. Content will explore the food traditions surrounding this annual cultural ritual which, remembers and embraces those that have passed. Moles, breads, chocolate...hasta luego. Condimently Yours Malcom Gladwell had a great piece in the recent Food Issue of The New Yorker called, The Ketchup Conundrum--Mustard now comes in dozens of varieties. Why has ketchup stayed the same? If you missed the issue now off of the newstand you are lucky--this was one of the better articles. Digestible history, good stuff. Fish Tales The caviar world is in a state of unprecedented upheaval. Overfishing in the Caspian Sea, where 90% is harvested, is driving prices upward. Places such as Petrossian, the New York branch of the Paris-based caviar emporium , has begun offering American-grown caviar produced on farms in California. Recipe for Seared Wild Sturgeon with Caviar Beurre Blanc And coincidently the Moscow Times, reviews The Taste of Dreams, which "follows the author's path from restless girl to reckless adolescent to ambitious young journalist in the 1990s Russia. Caviar is one of the obsessions that lures her to Russia, and one of the disillusionments that sends her back home." The story she covers is the business of caviar from the battle for fishing rights to "communists' hellbent pollution of the sturgeon's spawning grounds, to the poaching of the post-Soviet era. Globalization of Witches Halloween has cast its spell on European consumers. Since 2001...
Aztec Gold One of Mexico's gifts to the world is chocolate. Today Mexican chocolate is made from dark, bitter chocolate mixed with sugar, cinnamon, and sometimes nuts. The end result of cooking with this type of chocolate is a "grainy" less smooth product. The Aztec people made a wide range of drinks from chocolate combining it with honey, nuts, seeds, and spices. Chocolate was so valued it was used by the Aztecs as both a food and currency. During the Day of the Dead festival many a soul of the living is warmed during the long nights in the cemetery with a cup of chocolate. There are many variations to the drinking of chocolate in Mexico. Atole (ah-toh-lay) is a warm, thick drink made dense with masa or more commonly today cornmeal. It is usually served with tamales. The chocolate-flavored version of this drink is called champurrado. This drink is a bit like hot chocolate but thickened with masa and flavored with piloncillo and aniseeds. The consistency of this pre-Hispanic beverage is similar to porridge. It is also served as a dessert with churros or with pan de muertos. The drinks are whipped together using a wooden whisk called a molinillo (moh-lin-nyee-oh) although a blender will do. Agua de chocolateis Mexican hot chocolate that is made by frothing together warmed milk or water with a disk of cinnamon-laced chocolate. Tejate is a pre-Hispanic Oaxacan specialty. Said to have been drunk by Zapotec kings it is refreshing, invigorating, aphrodisiacal, and medicinal; it is...


what happens to the hole when the donut is gone?

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