Eat This Word: Pavolva

pavlova

 

WHAT? Named for the world-famous Russian ballerina Anna Pavlova, this fruit, whipped cream, and meringue dessert is claimed by rival nations. Aussies have long considered it their national dessert, but New Zealanders argue that they invented the pavlova, and they back up their claim with citations from cookbooks. The dancer toured both countries in the late 1920s. In Perth, Australia, she stayed at the Esplanade Hotel, whose chef, Herbert Sachse, is often credited with creating the dessert some six years later. Supposedly the pavlova acquired its name after someone proclaimed his dessert was "as light as pavlova." Others think the name stems from the fact that the ring-shaped meringue resembled pavlova's frilly, white costume in her most famous role, the Dying Swan. Pavlovas are traditionally filled with passion fruit.

 

WHERE? Finger Lakes Holiday Dinner

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Eat This Word: Geoduck

A geoduck, radish, and avocado canapé at the Beard House

 

WHAT? "These are the most bizarre-looking of all clams (and perhaps all foods)," James Peterson writes in Fish & Shellfish of the geoduck, which makes its home in the Pacific Northwest. Waverly Root wasn't much kinder, describing it as a "clam so fat that it cannot close its shell." The bigger specimens of the world's largest burrowing clam weigh as much as 20 pounds, live as long as 150 years, and their neck, or siphon, extends by as much as three feet. They resemble…er…something not polite to write here. But odd-looking as they are, the geoduck has many admirers, culinary and otherwise. "Geoduck meat is delicious," Alan Davidson writes in The Oxford Companion to Food. The siphon meat is stirred into chowders and used for sushi; the body is sautéed. Asians pay as much as $30 per pound to dine on them, according to William Dietrich in The Seattle Times, who... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Heritage Turkey

 

WHAT? If the Pilgrims did in fact feast on turkey at the first Thanksgiving in 1621, it's unlikely that the bird bore much resemblance to the turkeys on today's Thanksgiving tables. It may have looked more like a heritage turkey, the ancestor of the Broad-Breasted White turkey now sold in most supermarkets. Wild turkeys, which were native to the Americas and a primary source of meat for many Native American tribes, were domesticated in Europe and North America to create heritage breeds such as the Standard Bronze, Bourbon Red, Narragansett, Jersey Buff, Slate, Black Spanish, and the White Holland. By the 1960s the industrialized Broad-Breasted White, bred for its breast meat and ability to reach maturity in just two months, began to dominate the market, and by 1990 heritage turkeys were almost extinct. Usually raised on pasture, heritage breeds develop stronger legs, thighs, and breasts than their industrialized brethren, but since they take up to 30 weeks to reach market weight they are more expensive to... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Conch

 

WHAT? Over the centuries, Caribbean islanders have played tunes on the conch, drunk from it, made tools from it, adorned homes with it, used it as a primitive form of money, and--best of all--eaten it. "There is no doubt that since time immemorial, man has been breaking open conch shells in order to get at the succulent flesh inside," according to Culinaria, A Culinary Discovery: The Caribbean. The meat of this sea snail is tough and needs tenderizing with lime or by pounding before cooking. Its taste has been compared to clams and scallops. Conch, which propels itself along the ocean floor with its foot-like muscle, is used to make stews, chowders, and fritters. In the 17th century, the beautiful spiraled pink shell of the Queen Conch was prized in Europe. Today, entire conch orchestras make beautiful music in Key West at the island's annual Conch Blowing Contest.

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Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature® Presents James Beard Foundation's Taste America®

James Beard Foundation's® Taste America

 

At the James Beard Foundation, we specialize in the one of a kind. The annual James Beard Awards, known as the "Oscars of food," are the restaurant industry's premier event, while the James Beard House hosts some of the most singular dining experiences you'll find anywhere.

 

The James Beard Foundation's Taste America® is no exception. This year's ten-city tour includes some of the most remarkable chef collaborations we've ever assembled, from a visionary of molecular gastronomy joining forces with a Southern-food defender, to one of the country's most celebrated French masters teaming up with the queen of the gastropub.

 

The most exclusive access at Taste America events is reserved only for Chase Sapphire Preferred® Visa Signature® cardmembers via... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Jaggery

Jaggery

 

WHAT? A dark, unrefined sugar, jaggery is used in Southeast Asia and India, regions where-we're told-sugar is considered good for you! Jaggery, which accounts for 50 percent of the sugar eaten in India, is made from sugar cane and is processed by a method not unlike that used to make maple syrup. The sweet sap from the sugarcane is boiled down while several people help stir the steadily thickening syrup. The finished product has a distinctive taste and can have a consistency as soft as honey-butter or as solid as fudge. India's epic narrative Mahabharata describes how jaggery (and gur, a sugar made from date palms) was used in sophisticated sweets at the time of Lord Krishna's appearance 5,000 years ago. 

 

WHERE? Eating Stories: Montreal to New Delhi 

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Eat this Word: Huckleberry

Huckleberries

 

WHAT? Perhaps more associated with Mark Twain’s Huckleberry Finn than with fine cuisine, huckleberries grow most widely in the West, and along Midwestern rivers, like the Mississippi, on which Huck spent so many days lazing. Huckleberries come in many shades, including pink, white, blue-black, and purple, with the blue-black variety being the firmest and most widely available in the marketplace. James Beard was a fan, writing in American Cookery that they were “wonderful to the taste.” Unlike their close relatives, blueberries and cranberries, which have a multitude of soft, little seeds in their center, each huckleberry contains ten hard, small seeds, and their flavor is more tart. Huckleberries are not cultivated; their growing season is typically from June through August. According to Beard, they “make good pies and cakes and other typically American delights.”

 

WHERE? Jackson... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Daube

Daube

 

WHAT? "Daube might be called a more rustic cousin of boeuf à la bourguignonne, typically made with heartier red wine and perfumed with earthy dried cèpes," according to Saveur Cooks Authentic French. Daubes resemble many stews in that the meat is first browned over a high heat. Then aromatic vegetables and braising liquid (water, stock, or wine) are added, and the covered mixture is simmered for hours. Daubes are cooked in daubières, which can be made out of earthenware, stoneware, or copper. Daube de boeuf, traditionally affiliated with Provence, is the best-known daube, but every part of France has a variation, which may contain vegetables as varied as artichokes and celery, and other meats such as pork, goose, pheasant, and lamb. Originally, the cooking term daube referred to a meat dish that was braised and then served cold, but now they are almost all served hot.

 

WHERE? French... Read more >

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Preview: Atlanta

 

We’re off to the races this weekend with the first stops on the James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national food festival! The epicurean tour kicks off with two days in Atlanta, where James Beard Award Winner and Taste America All-Star Barbara Lynch will team up with James Beard Award–winning local chef Anne Quatrano. Join us Friday for a reception featuring dishes from some of the city’s hottest chefs, followed by a special dinner prepared by Lynch and Quatrano, who are joining forces on this unique menu for one night only. On Saturday the duo will take their skills to Sur La Table for cooking demos and book signings, where you’ll also have the chance to mix the national with the local with free tastings from local vendors High Road Craft Ice Cream & Sorbet and Spotter Trotter Charcuterie.

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James Beard Foundation's Taste America® Preview: Phoenix

Sherry Yard and Kevin Binkley

 

The James Beard Foundation’s Taste America® national epicurean tour begins this weekend with two days of star-studded events in Phoenix, featuring Taste America All-Star and JBF Award-winning Pastry Chef Sherry Yard, and local star Kevin Binkley. Friday night kicks off with a tasting reception from some of Phoenix’s finest, followed by an exclusive four course dinner prepared by Yard and Binkley. Saturday the action moves to Sur La Table, for cooking demos and book signings from Yard and James Beard Award Winner Chris Bianco, along with free tastings from local vendors Essence Bakery Café and Sphinx Date Co. Palm & Pantry.

 

For tickets and more information about the chefs and vendors appearing, check out jbftasteamerica.org... Read more >

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