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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Reel Food: Summer’s End in the Berkshires

A regular visitor to the Beard House kitchen, the Red Lion Inn's Brian Alberg is a champion of the Berkshires and its community of farmers and artisans. His latest House event highlighted this region's culinary charms and also paid tribute some of his most memorable meals around the country. Watch the video below for a glimpse of his late-summer dinner.

 

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What We're Reading: September 29, 2014

 

Popeye’s new beer can chicken isn’t actually made with beer. [USA Today

 

Is there a worthy domestic alternative to imported Parmigiano-Reggiano? [Serious Eats

 

Cantonese carbonara? Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone open up shop in Hong Kong. [Eater

 

Meet marasca, the cherry behind maraschino liqueur. [The Kitchn

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Happy Hour: James Beard's Standard Manhattan

Manhattan cocktail

 

Don Draper’s brooding gaze and chiseled features aren’t the only appeal of AMC’s Mad Men—for serious cocktail enthusiasts, the hit television series also provided a weekly fix of timeless libations. One such example is the Manhattan, which is rumored to have originated at New York City's Manhattan Club is 1874, and is made from a strapping blend of Rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, and a dash of Angostura bitters. Classic, elegant, and strong, this cocktail is the liquid form of Don Draper himself. To start your weekend with unequivocal grace, get the recipe James Beard favored and start sipping. 

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on Twitter and Instagram.

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On the Menu: Week of September 29

 

Here's what's coming up at the James Beard House and around the country:

 

Monday, September 29, 7:00 P.M 
California Wine Country Excursion 
Winemaking and culinary creation go hand-in-hand with this award-winning team from Wente Vineyards. Priding themselves on a strong family legacy and sustainable, local ingredients, chef Matt Greco and fourth-generation winegrower Carolyn Wente will showcase all that the Livermore Valley has to offer.

 

Tuesday, September 30, 7:00 P.M 
Four Seasons Finesse
From cosmopolitan chic to resort retreat, the Four Seasons brand defines luxury. Leave your suitcase behind and join us for a chance to savor the myriad cuisines available at Four Seasons properties around the U.S.—you’ll have a five-star vacation without leaving your seat.... Read more >

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Sustainability Matters: September 26, 2014

 

The Alliance for a Healthier Generation and the American Beverage Association pledge to reduce beverage calories consumed per person nationally by 20% by 2025. [Food Politics]

 

Scientists across the country are testing the impact of ozone and carbon on crops to discover to what extent climate change will affect the global food supply. [NY Times]

 

Agriculture giant Cargill has pledged to protect forests in the company’s supply chains and endorse measures stated in the New York Declaration on Forests, part of the UN summit on climate change. [Grist]

 

Following the horse meat scandal that swept Eu... Read more >

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Expo News: Culinary Director and Exhibition Designer Named, Pavilion Concrete Poured!

 

Construction of the 26,000-square-foot American Pavilion at next year's Expo Milano is underway, as evidenced by the above shot of concrete being poured for the structure's foundations.

 

In other Expo news, Friends of the USA Pavilion Milano 2015 has named Thinc Design as the pavilion's exhibition designer. A renowned exhibit-design firm, Thinc will highlight America’s unique role in the future of food around the world through interactive exhibits about food security and policy, international relations, science and technology, nutrition and health, and culinary culture.​ 

 

Pavilion planners have also appointed Grant MacPherson as culinary director. Chef MacPherson, whose resume spans five continents, will oversee all meals prepared and served at the American... Read more >

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Throwback Thursday: Jack Daniel's Birthday at the Beard House

 

It’s officially fall. It’s the end of bikini season, it’s time to go apple-picking, and you can’t go two feet without stumbling over a pumpkin-spiced something.

 

In a nod to the season of spiked cider and hot toddies, here's a look back at Hill Country Barbecue’s 2009 Beard House dinner celebrating the birthday of Jasper Newton "Jack" Daniel, known by some as the founder of the Jack Daniel's distillery. Duff Goldman of Ace of Cakes was on hand for a very special dessert: a 60-pound cake in the shape of the birthday boy, complete with a whiskey barrel and a bottle of the eponymous liquor. In perfect fall form, the food was decadent, the cocktails flowed, and the cake’s flavor? Pumpkin, of course.

 

Take a peek at the video below to watch Duff ceremoniously cutting the cake:

 

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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 Hol... Read more >

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What We're Reading: September 25, 2014

 

When it comes to holiday challahs shapes, round is just the beginning. [NPR

 

The funky history behind Gorgonzola. [MUNCHIES

 

NYT Staffers weigh in on their favorite kitchen tools. [NYT

 

A Japanese gadget will magically turn your eggs into puddin... Read more >

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