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ghostrider

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  1. My mom just mentioned that there is a new place in Montclair, and a drive-by confirmed that they're open.  The location is the old Le Carousel/Top Notch, on the far end of the block that is also home to Belgiovone's (sp?), Marrakech, and Lalezar--across form Whole Foods on Bloomfield Ave. 

    Close - Belgiovine's - I'm still working there. Pop in for some mozz next tme!

    The rumor on the block is that the former hair salon is going to be a Cuban restaurant later this year.

  2. I think that all canned tomatoes are just blown away by the precious "Tuscan Tomato", and I say it from taste alone.  I first discovered them at Whole Foods. . . .

    I'm genuinely surprised nobody on eG talks about these!

    Ah HA! That's the brand I was talking about.

    They were mentioned above in this thread, but only under the company name "bionaturae" which I didn't recognize.

    I'm looking forward to trying them again.

  3. I like Muir Glen canned tomatoes, because of the CAN. Muir Glen lines its cans with plastic, so the tomatoes don't have that metallic taste I'm sensitive to.

    I've long agreed with that. But a few months ago I tried a can of some sort of imported Italian tomato from Whole Foods & it kicked the flavor stakes up a notch. It was pricey but I decided it was worth it as a splurge. I don't remember the brand name but I'll try to check next time I'm there.

    I haven't bought any more of either because my ShopRite held a going-out-of-business sale shortly thereafter & I've been working off my stock of ShopRite brand tomatoes ever since. They're pretty weak on flavor - I generally add a squeeze of Montali tomato paste to give the sauce some life - but such a bargain!

  4. Do you know if US made pasta has folic acid fortification requirements? If they do, then everything must be fortified.

    I'm on a r e a l l y  s l o w  internet connection, or I would try and look it up myself.

    Hard to find a definitive, clear statement, but so far this seems key:

    The agency is providing

    for fortification with folic acid only in the standards of identity for

    enriched cereal-grain products. Unenriched cereal-grain products

    without folic acid will continue to be available.

    http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/fr96305b.html

    Apparently enrichment is not required, but if a mfr chooses to enrich, then rules must be followed.

    This seems to apply to grain product enrichment of all sorts, not just w folic acid, but so far, hard to find documents dealing with other than folic.

  5. De Cecco considers themselves to be a sort of bridge between classic artisinal pasta and mass produced pasta.  DeCecco actually uses bronze dies for extruding the pasta, but they also use heat to dry their pasta.  In my opinion, what makes DeCecco not artisinal is the wheat that they use. They strive for a very consistent product and will use wheat from all over the world to maintain that consistency. And for anyone in the US, the DeCecco product that is exported to the US must be vitamin fortified, so it is not the same product that you eat in Italy.

    Those are some really interesting points - I knew that DeCecco uses the bronze dies but not the other points.

    But does the vitamin-fortified business not also apply to the Rustichella d'Abruzzo? If not, why are they exempt?

    Don't know if this is the right place to continue this or if I need to start a new thread, but for now -

    I did some label reading today & confirmed that Rustichella, Antico Pastificio del Gargano & other imported brands are not enriched / fortified.

    Some googling later led me to this statement:

    Are imported products (pasta, cereal, bread, etc.) equal in folic acid fortification to US-made ones?

    - A foreign manufacturer selling product in the U.S. must comply with the same laws for folic acid fortification of enriched grain products.

    - However, FDA does not require that all products be enriched. Once enriched, the FDA mandates what it must contain and in what amounts. Therefore, some imported products might not be enriched. If so, they would not be labeled enriched and would not be required to contain folic acid.

    http://www.ilovepasta.org/nutrition.html

    This seems to answer what I was wondering - De Cecco chooses to enrich the pasta it exports to the U.S., while other manufacturers don't, & this is all allowable under FDA regs.

  6. What is the other direction the grain runs in? as far as I can see, meat is a bundle of fibres and the grain is only in the direction of the fibres.

    Runs in the same direction in 2 of the 3 spatial dimensions in this corner of the universe (or multiverse, as the case may be).

  7. For a possibly more detailed look (my computer doesn't do MSNBC) --

    http://www.ajc.com/health/content/shared-a...nvm/604205.html

    Apparently the melamine chickens have already been sold & eaten, & there doesn't seem to be a wave of related human deaths. That's good.

    Offhand I'd think that the hogs & chickens are at greater risk than we are, but who knows. Everyone needs to find their own comfort level with this stuff.

  8. De Cecco considers themselves to be a sort of bridge between classic artisinal pasta and mass produced pasta.  DeCecco actually uses bronze dies for extruding the pasta, but they also use heat to dry their pasta.  In my opinion, what makes DeCecco not artisinal is the wheat that they use. They strive for a very consistent product and will use wheat from all over the world to maintain that consistency. And for anyone in the US, the DeCecco product that is exported to the US must be vitamin fortified, so it is not the same product that you eat in Italy.

    Those are some really interesting points - I knew that DeCecco uses the bronze dies but not the other points.

    But does the vitamin-fortified business not also apply to the Rustichella d'Abruzzo? If not, why are they exempt?

  9. Maybe try a cheese wire. you don't have to buy one of those expensive plastic based things, just a simple wire with two handles should do the trick.

    A

    Yes.

    Having recently realized that I'd been a fool for consuming only low-sodium cheeses & gone back to adding good cheese to my sandwiches, I found myself with the same frustration. I'd never had a wire slicer so decided to try one.

    After contemplating several Amazon models that cost over $20 and almost buying a $12 slicer at BB&B before deciding that it felt too heavy, I went for the $3.99 Ekco model from my local ShopRite's gadget rack. It's adjustable, well balanced & wonderfully efficient.

    I find that it's not too useful for REALLY soft & REALLY hard cheeses, but for the vast range in between, it's brilliant.

  10. Some delis will take the Genoa salami and cut the whole piece in half when they open it...some cut straight some on a steep angle, which makes each slice elongated rather than round.

    Anyone even notice this or have an opinion on which slice is better/preferred.

    T

    At the old-school Italian deli where I work, they go for the angled / elongated approach. Probably because they are building sandwiches on long rolls or 1/2 loaves of Italian bread. And trust me, these guys know how to build a sandwich.

  11. I think it's all nature + nurture. I loved black coffee from the get-go. Never liked sodas at all till I turned college age. Didn't much care for 'em even then.

    These days I have less patience with sweet & salty foods than I did 40 years ago. Your palate will change.

  12. Today's New York Times features the Portland Public Market demise and transition to the Portland Public Market House, now located at 28 Monument Square.

    Yo johnny & anyone else who knows -

    Do you have any sense of what the parking situation arond the PPMH might be for Awayers like me who might want to do a quick hit & run on the place?

    Is it the ultimate irony that the closest parking venue may still be the garage with the skywalk to the original PPM?

    TIA!

  13. Forgot to mention another favorite Ten Ren Tea, whom we first found about 5 years ago on a trip to Chinatown in NYC. . . .

    And there's a tea for every budget here.

    I was going to say "That's a joke, right?" but then remembered how long it's been since I was at their NYC shop & took a look at their website.

    You're right, they have expanded their offerings & price range. I think they've also moved; I seem to recall that their original shop was a narrow storefront on Canal St.

    When I first knew them - 25-30 years ago was it? - they specialized in high-end oolongs & seemed to have little else. The selection & quality were marvelous, & it was always a special treat to walk into the shop & get one or two precious little packets, but I wondered whether they were going to get enough trade on that level to stay in business. Apparently they have adapted & evolved & thrived. Good on them.

  14. I cannot imagine getting behind the wheel of a vehicle before breakfast.

    This whole area of the world is so alien to me, I feel like it's science fiction.

    It's nice to read about first-hand experiences, though, rather than simply watching it on TV.

  15. As I've said on many threads, Upton, cited immediately above, is my long-time favorite. I've checked out just about every tea merchant there is.

    I am not fond of scented/flavored teas & generally prefer single-estate blacks.

    I've come to favor Assams, Ceylons & Darjeelings, so can vouch for Upton's variety & quality in these areas. I'd expect that their Chinese offerings are equally good.

  16. I've long been intrigued by the idea of a CSA, but found it difficult to get hard info on the contents of a typical order from the one that serves my area. When I finally did, I saw that there was just too much stuff that we wouldn't eat. And even the edible stuff was boring: Golden Delicious apples when there are so many tastier varieties available? No thank you.

    Being able to choose my produce is both one of the important pleasures of life & a matter of economic necessity. So I will stick with the farmers' markets, organic or not as the case may be, & that is the end of the matter for me.

  17. That page had a link to an earlier story about the UK's best bacon butty:

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/wales/north_east/6150548.stm

    I must admit that the notion of a bacon + bread sandwich seems unappetizing, no matter how good the bacon. However the UK's best seems to have more stuff on it - scroll to the image at the bottom of the page and the "red & brown sauce" reference.

    Can someone explain exactly what is on this butty? Are those black olives or what? Thanks.

  18. I just want to say thank you for everyone who has chimed in to help - it appears that I am buying flank steak, but it must be some difference between US and Australian beef or cooking/marinating method... the stuff I have bought isn't nearly as flavourful or tender (which is odd as Australian beef is usually some of the best you can buy).

    I'm not much up on my cuts of meat, but I've consumed a lot of Australian beef here in the US, & the flavor is markedly different from US beef - generally a bit lighter & less intensely beefy.

    Of course this represents only what's available at my local supermarket, so it's highly anecdotal.

  19. Even other members of the "hospitality" industry like hotels will take a credit card number and charge you if you dont show up, and no one bats an eyelash.  Why should restaurants have to bear the economic brunt of the collective rudeness of a clueless and entitled clientele?

    The hotel thing has been cited more than once as an analogy here, but not quite precisely enough, in my experience. Hotels generally charge you if you don't show up, and haven't called to cancel by 6:00 pm on the day of your reservation.

    That seems a reasonable policy that gives both sides - customer & hospitality industrialist - plenty of leeway. Strikes me as perfectly appropriate for restaurants too.

  20. Area Food Consumers Alert!

    Couldn't help passing along a choice nugget of journalism about Whole Foods arrival in Portland.  The following opens a hysterical article in theBollard.com called

    "Hanna and Her Hot Hippie Sister"

    The article includes an item-per-item price comparison of 17 typical food items.

    Most amusing intro, though the price comparison is weak for not mentioning brand names.

    I was particularly struck by the chocolate dichotomy, given that I buy the 365 Organic Brand of Swiss chocolate (3 oz bars) at WF for $1.69. Maybe that's NJ pricing, or maybe Wilkins was going out of his way to buy the priciest choc in the store? I can spend that much at WF if I want, but I don't. In any event I can't find Swiss chocolate for anywhere near that price anywhere else.

    I suspect that WF chooses its loss-leader items very carefully & varies them from store to store.

  21. This Euclid business is interesting.  It reminds me of Funky Funky Broadway ("Every town I go....").  There was one in St. Louis where I grew up.  There's one in  Montclair NJ where I now work.  They're eveyrwhere.

    Camden, N.J., has a Broadway. Philadelphia does not. I guess they figured that Broad Street would suffice.

    Ellen: That Arnie's Whole Beef Halves tagline (actually, the commercial is from "TV or Not TV," the duo effort by half the Firesigns, [Philip] Proctor & [Peter] Bergman) brings back memories of another product that take-out place carried. A beverage, to be more specific. Unfortunately, posting that part of the commercial would probably get this post yanked. Any fan of wordplay has to appreciate the Firesign Theater, who revel in it ("They told me to go to the same old place..." "...Oh, you must mean the old Same place.")

    I'm glad we both have hung onto our warped senses of humor!

    The "Funky Broadway" reference was meant to indicate the ubiquity of Euclids ("Every town I go" - e.g., StL & Montclair).

    And to bring food back into the picture: Groat Clusters!

  22. The berries I mentioned previously weren't genuine Plant City, but the ones I got last night are, & oh so fragrant & tasty. $1.29 / lb at my local farmers market place. Hadn't been able to get there for a week, had become dispirited looking at the lifeless $2.99 / lb CA berries at the supermarket, but the farmers' market came through big time! I'm in strawberry heaven this weekend! :biggrin:

  23. Ahhhh ... at the risk of really getting "Fish Heads" stuck in your head, let me point you to yet another Wikipedia article, this one about the creators of "Fish Heads," a duo known as Barnes and Barnes (one of whom was Bill Mumy, of "Lost in Space" fame). And to really grind it into everyone's brain, here is a YouTube clip of the video for "Fish Heads," a truly bizarre piece of film.

    Heh. I was going to suggest some other song to get "Fish Heads" out of your head, but I can't think of any at the moment because now the Fish Heads are stuck in my head too. :laugh:

    I too have wondered about the popularity of naming urban streets after Euclid. There's one in Brooklyn too, if memory serves. Anybody got a clue about this?

    I remember seeing that Fish Heads film on TV in the early 1970s. I don't remember what show it was on. Who had the gall to put that out there to a national (or possibly local NYC) audience?

    This Euclid business is interesting. It reminds me of Funky Funky Broadway ("Every town I go...."). There was one in St. Louis where I grew up. There's one in Montclair NJ where I now work. They're eveyrwhere.

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