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Posts posted by eatrustic

  1. Agreed. And then there's mouth chemistry. I don't know how often I've tried a whisky (or wine) for the first time and not liked it only to find on retasting at a later date it was something I'd eaten or drunk just prior that was the real cause. If I was lucky I had more of it to go back to and realize my error.

  2. I can't find the thread (there are so many about drinking!) but in a discussion about whiskey sand Bourbons I mentioned I had tried a whiskey with a Japanese name that was awful. Couldn't remember the name. Was back there recently and wrote down the name: Nikka Taketsuru, so I could report back. I could barely get it down. Expensive, too.

    I'll chalk up your reaction to the Taketsuru to personal preference. The Taketsuru line of whiskys are very good. I just brought back a bottle of the 17 year old along with the Hibiki 17 year from a New Year's trip to Japan. I have the Taketsuru 21 as well and it is excellent.

    For those looking to buy higher end Japanense whisky while travelling there you will find the best prices by a pretty good margin at the duty free's in the airports. I wasn't sure and bought the Hibiki 17 in a store in Kyoto for 8500 yen and it turned up at duty free for 6500! Bought the 17 Nikka Taketsuru at duty free though so made back some of the loss.

    Having said that you will only find the mainstream high end at Duty Free and in most liqour stores. Yamazaki and Nikka being the main players with their range of brands. If you want the higher end Mars, Ichiro's etc. you really need to search out specialty stores like the one in Tokyo train station.

  3. Thought I'd bring this thread back into the light...... besides the previously mentioned whiskies what else is recommended these days? I have a friend going to Japan soon by way of Okinawa and she has offered to bring back whatever I would like!

    I'm giving myself a $100/9500 yen budget for a bottle. I'd love to get some Yamazaki 18 yr around that price but not sure if it's going for a lot more. I've heard great things about the Nikka Taketsuru 17 year as well as the Hibiki 17. If these prove to be above budget then perhaps the Yoichi 12 year sounds pretty tasty as well....Any other suggestions?

    If anyone is aware of current pricing in Japan I'd be most appreciative so that I can give some decent direction to my non-drinking (Japanese) friend.

  4. [Moderator note: This topic became too large for our servers to handle, so we've divided it up; the earlier part of the discussion is here: What did you buy at the liquor store today?]



    Picked up a bottle of Canadian Club 20 year. Don't see it everywhere so bought it as a backup to one I've got on the go. Not really a fan of the usual CC products (as above, 40 Creek rings my bell) but the CC 20 is fantastic stuff.

  5. The original book uses weights as well (unless I'm losing it!). That was one of the great things about it for the time.

    What I'm curious about is if she addresses the issue of converting recipes that started out as naturally yeasted breads to commercial yeast.

    Dan Leaders book Local Breads visited some of the same areas as Field and breads like the Pane Genzano are actually sourdoughs.

    I hate to think that with all the attention to detail in her books that she has dumbed down some of these classic recipes and has not corrected them for the much more sophisticated bakers of today.

    Leader's book has a poor record for actually putting a correct recipe on the page but I don't doubt his research.

  6. The original The Italian Baker was a groundbreaking book with it's well researched recipes and techniques on rustic Italian breads and pastries. It was a huge influence on my style of baking and I'm excited to see there is an updated version. I'll be picking up a copy in the next couple of weeks but I was wondering if anyone has gotten their hands on the new version and can comment on how much it has evolved?

  7. I gave up buying Jalapenos a couple of years ago for that very reason. Luckily most places sell the smaller Serranos alongside the Jalapenos and they (so far) have kept a pretty decent heat level and are now my go-to for a relatively hot green chili.

  8. No help on sourcing Pommeau but I have to chime in on how delicious (and addictive) it is. I was in Normandy in the Fall and it was my daily aperitif.

    I also had the great fortune to visit Camut (Semainville) arguably the best Calvados producer in Normandy and was given a bottle of the Pommeau they make for their family after buying some of their older Calvados to bring back home. Stuff to dream on....

  9. What makes this book worthwhile is that fact it's so compact. If you bought his whole grain book with all the crazy techniques this is dead simple in comparison. As previously mentioned Rheinhart has picked up tricks from other recent baking books as well as some of his own so if you've been buying the latest bread books this isn't a must have.

    I've tried the Pain a l'Ancienne (a real keeper with my favorite style of very wet dough that makes delicious hearth breads). There are three variations of the simple yeasted white dough in this section with the P.a'L being the wettest and the Classic French dough being the sturdier of the group. The Lean Bread (he could have come up with a better name) is the bridge between the two and his choice for the best of both worlds. The stretch and fold technique will give any novice a great result. I would really recommend tracking down a yard or so of French linen to use in place of parchment or floured boards for the wetter doughs as the longer rising times will cause some grief (especially for the ciabatta) as you try flipping the dough over.

    What makes life easier is the fact that the Pain a l'Ancienne dough recipe will make a simple hearth bread and with the addition of olive oil will also make a pretty decent Ciabatta and a Foccacia. (although I found his Foccacia technique to be pretty fidgety with the back and forth in the warm oven.)

    The 100% Whole Wheat hearth bread came out quite well but there will be huge variation in results depending on where you get your whole wheat flour from -especially if it's the kind that is really white flour with the bran added back and most certainly has additives to help the rising process-(vs the serious stone ground organic that will be much heartier). Some people may not like the addition of oil but it certainly helps to create a less dense product.

    A hit for the class I taught was the Struan loaf which Rheinhart states is his absolute favorite loaf for toast and one of the recipes he has made since he came out with his first book "Brother Juniper" eons ago. It's mildly sweet and interesting texturally while still being more white than wheat.

    Other than that I've tried the Cinnamon Buns and they're ok but not to die for.

    He also uses the same dough for the Panettone and the Stollen which is a big sin in my books (it's much more a Panettone dough).

    All in all he packs a heck of a lot of info and bread styles into a very slim book, the recipes are quite accurate (using a scale) so don't get scared if the dough looks way to wet, if you've measured properly trust the techniques before adding more flour.

  10. Fuel Restaurant on W. 4th in Kitsilano has announced it will be closing Nov. 29 and reopening Dec. 2 as a more casual neighbourhood style venue. Sad to see the original concept fall by the wayside but very happy that their style and quality will continue in a more affordable direction.

    Fried Chicken Fridays will continue to the end of the month and their third annual Whole Hog Dinner will take place Nov. 25, 26, 27.

    Looking forward to December.

  11. I'm planning a split couple of weeks first in Normandy and then in the Dordogne starting in mid October. While I'm sure to find all kinds of great Walnut breads in the Dordogne I haven't come up with much on Normandy in the way of Pain de Campagne. Although I plan to set up base in Calvados country I'll travel anywhere for great breads.

    In particular I've seen recipes in some N. American baking books (Jeffrey Hamelman as well as Joe Ortiz in the Village Baker) referring to a levain bread made with apples and cider that originated in Normandy. Is this a common bread or a specialty item? Any help locating a bakery making bread like this would be much appreciated.

    As well, any great Patisserie suggestions are welcome.


  12. Here's a couple of things: There must be a place that sells soups and stocks in Toronto? They should make demi but in any case you might want to try posting in the Ontario Cooking section here as you'll get a much better response.

    I'm assuming this is for home use so you might want to consider making your own and freezing it. I use chicken bones for mine using the exact technique for veal bones and you'd be hard put to tell the difference especially if you use it to make things like Beef Short Ribs etc.

    In fact here's a link to a blog that shows that exact technique [post='http://livingstoncooks.blogspot.com/2007/12/sauce-production-101-chicken-demi-glace.html']Chicken Demi.. One good batch will freeze up for a few months worth of meals at a fraction of what you would be charged for what is very often a lousy quality faux demi that has powdered beef base and too much thickener.

  13. Have you considered the Anvil 10 qt. It's a counter top model that appears to be tough enough to handle what you are asking it to do.  I don't have one nor have I used one, but it is one that I have considered.  Prices vary from $999 to $1200 depending on vendor. Bob R in OKC

    I went with a Canadian manufacturer called BakeMax, and I'm impressed. The build quality, the price, the service.

    This machine is not just like a Hobart; it is a Hobart for 1/3 the price.

    I paid $1645 USD including to-my-door liftgate delivery.

    I certainly underestimated the size of the 20qt, though.

    It's gigantic.

    The wire whisk attachment is 1.5 times the size of my head.

    It weighs 250 lbs and stands to my waist.

    Yeah, a 20qt. is surprisingly big and heavy. No one-handing this bad boy off the counter and into the cupboard :laugh:.

    At this weight the upside is they don't dance around while mixing.

    Did you get a spiral dough hook with it and how well does it work?

  14. Anyone know anywhere in Vancouver or Richmond that sells cilantro / coriander WITH THE ROOTS ATTACHED! Everywhere I look these days the roots have been removed, and how can I make good Tom Yum without cilantro roots?

    This time of year there's lots of local stuff so they can have the roots attached (just not ones coming across the border).

    South China Seas at Granville Island and on Victoria usually carries the root on cilantro whenever it's available.

  15. Wow, if you like Nooks crust better than Serious Pie than I have to give them a try. I'm crazy about Serious Pie but I can appreciate different styles of crust as long as they're well made.

    I wonder if Hestia's experience was a case of not liking the style or inconsistent product? Time will tell.

  16. Not really a restaurant but the long running Basic Stock on W. 4th is going to become another kitchen gadget store called "Call the Kettle Black".

    I assume it's the same store as the one in Edmonton which is packed with all kinds of middle to high end kitchen stuff. Prices there are about like Basic Stock's so other than selection it should be interesting to see how they fit into the Vancouver market.

  17. I'd say that the local farmer's markets are your best bet. They're in season now and available at West Coast farmer's markets so I assume that other parts of the country must be close depending on the weather.

  18. Does Go Fish serve lunch on a weekday?  Hope to grab some local fresh seafood there, absolutely loved it last time...i think we had the fish n chips and the scallop 'burger'.

    Are Spot Prawns going to still be around first week July / Do they serve them there?


    I am pretty sure that Go Fish serves lunch on weekdays. Spotted prawns may still be in season in early July. I think a nice way to have it is at a Chinese restaurant - stir fried with seafood soy.

    They are open from just before noon till around 6:30, except Mondays when they are closed.

    If spot prawns are still coming off the boats they will have them as a special item.

  19. "The Thermapen Private Sale Has Ended

    Thanks for your interest in the private sale. We had a phenomenal response."


    Should I get the "old" termapen on sale for $74 or the new improved model for $96?

    Has anybody been using the new model? Is it really that much better?


    I'd go for the new one for another $20. With their rep updated technology should be worth the $$. Waterproof is always a good thing when you accidentally drop it in the soup pot :huh:

    I used to agonize over stuff like that when it came to my kitchen gadgets until I realized how much money I dropped on a bottle of wine, a meal, even lattes and then to go cheap on a proven and well used kitchen implement that will last you for years became a bit ridiculous.

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