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Daniel Rogov

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  1. Shorthand systems for making wine notes are always idiosyncratic to the person making those notes. More that, they develop over a span of years. Best bet is to start off making a short list of what I call top-line factual items that you consider essential to your review (e.g. color, body, tannins, acidity, etc), assigning each of those a number and then making up a sublist of possibilities: e.g. Color = 1. Light ruby = a; Medium ruby = b; and on and on to ruby towards garnet; garnet towards royal purple, etc, etc. Body Light = a; light-medium= b; medium= c etc.... Also top of the line might be: overall balance, structure Then go to bottom line items among which might be fruit flavors, herbal flavors, mineral flavors(Some might require sub-headings such as earthy-minerals, flinty minerals, etc) other flavors, length A final shorthand comment might look much like: 1A, 2C+,3H, 4B/5D, 4E- None of which exempts one from writing at least a few key words to add to one's memory afterwards, those keywords being critical to the overall evaluation. After having devised such a listing, print it out and take the printout to tastings with you. Use those guidelines, refining them to your own need as required. And, I promise (scout's honor), after a while the codes become internalized and what at first seems like a chore becomes a gift from heaven. Hope that helps more than it confused
  2. You do have a problem. Most truly fine shawarma is made from lamb and chicken, although somewhat lower in cholesterol, is considered distinctlly second-class. If ever I am elected prime-minister of Israel, president of Egypt or made king of any country in which shwarma is served I can assure you that the first thing I will do is to make chicken shwarma a felony offense. I do exaggerate. But believe me, not by much. Best (albeit smiling) Rogov
  3. For those who may be interested, my guide to recommended restaurants in Israel is now on line in two parts. Part I: Tel Aviv http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/villag...hp?f=30&t=16960 Part II: The Rest of Israel: http://www.wineloverspage.com/forum/villag...hp?f=30&t=16961
  4. Not for gourmet food but one of the most "fun" festivals - the annual Chile championships at Terralingua, Texas. Also just for fun, the annual garlic festival in Gilroy, California.
  5. Rich, Hi.... If you can hold for about one week, my updated guide to Israeli restaurants (appearrs weekly in HaAretz newspaper) will be on line and I will post a link to that. If more urgent than that, drop me a line to drogov@cheerful.com
  6. Reflecting on the krembo and my comments above and realizing that at least several chefs (especially thinking of talented chef Eran Shroitman of Tel Aviv's Orca) have come up with very sophisticated variations on the theme of that famed fast-food snack to create rather enchanting desserts in their restaurants. Those desserts are ordered primarily by the 25-35 year olds who attend fine restaurants. Their elders continue to go for less playful options.
  7. One does hate to be a curmudgeon but there is a clear historical reason why women tend to be pastry chefs. Until the days of the French revolution there were taverns and auberges but no restaurants as we know the today, most of the fine cookery taking place in the homes of royalty, the landed gentry and the weatlthy. Informally from the time of Lucullus (ancient Rome) and certainly formally starting in the Middle-Ages, men were responsible for forming the guilds of chefs and, in order tn to protect theiir perceived "turf" those guilds were closed to women. The slot that was left open in kitchens that required the, were as either personal cooks for the household (cooks as opposed to chefs) or as pastry chefs. With no apologies on my part (I was not around during the Middle-Ages), male chauvisism has continued to play ts role,being a pastry chef being defined as requiring "few hours and less physical energy" and here too relegated largely to those "of the weaker sex". You know its nonsense and I know its nonsense, but talk to those French and Italian super-star chefs that even today will not allow women into their kitches except as pastry or dessert chefs. Sheesh......from the time it opened until the day it closed, Paris' famed Cafe Anglais would not even allow a women to VISIT their kitchens.
  8. Apologies first for not seeing this thread earlier. Apologies second for shattering a few myths........ 1. The Israeli Krembo was indeed a rip-off of the American Malomar cookie. Unlike Malomars, however, that are supposed to appeal to adults and children alie, the Krembo was originally targeted at the 3-9 year old crowd When first released even Strauss (a mega-food producer by Israeli standards) was astonished to realize that anyone over the mental age of 5 could enjoy them. 2. Indeed the mashmallow (and not meringue!) filling of the Krembo is far softer (one might say "more mushy" ) than the filling of Malomars The cookie base is cheaper,the chocolate topping not as thick. 3. If there is a proof to Gael Greene's dictum to the effect that "in the heart of every gourmet lies the soul of a fast-food lover", that proof is the Krembo. 4. Most sophisticated or even quasi-sophisticated or even wanna-be sophisticates among Israelis will loudly proclaim that their love of the Krembo has nothing to do with fine eating but with nostalgia. 5. In my opinion there are three major ngredients in a Krembo: empty calories, empty calories and empty calories Beyond that all that is there is a bit of foamy air wrapped in a super-cheap foil. And, of course, oostalgia. As to Malomars - not all that many years ago, after a zillion or so years away from life in the USA, I heard that malomars were stilll being produced. I sent an email to my brother (who lives in Masachusetts) and commented aout my childhood memories of those (puncture the malomar with a finger, dip in hot chocolate or coffee). My brother, a geerous soul, did not send me a single box of malomars...he sent me a case of 48 boxes. Miracle of miracles, they survived trans-Atlantic shippnng and on the following day I brewed up some hot chocolate, sat down to feast on my malomars and realized...My God! I once liked this stuff? No fear, I have two nieces. Those malomars made the best gift I had ever given them. And do, please keep in mind the two great scenes from "Sally and Harry", the most otable of course that ends with the line "Ill have whatever it was that she was eating" and the other of Harry, in a depressed mood lying on his bed and poppng malomar after malomar into his mouth. And yes, from time to time I'll pop a Krembo. Never, however, in pubic when one of my readers might see me. That might ruin my repuation!
  9. A vast love of food A vast love for the relationships between food, psychology, philosophy, sociology, anthropology, history and literature At first spending just about every franc I had in restaurants A great deal of good luck.
  10. Trek, Hello..... Let me disagree with two of your premises, the first being that a great many chefs are "divorced, alcoholics, drug addicts or never see their kids". That is no more true for chefs than it is for doctors, lawyers, engineers, restaurant critics or business-people in general. Second, let me disagree that cooking kosher is "so limiting". That is true only with mediocre chefs of little imagination. It is true that there will be certain ingredients and combinations you will not be able to use and that is precisely the challenge - preparing high-quality dishes of interest not by using "substitutes" but by finding new and interesting ways to make your dishes. I suggest before you go any further that you dine at Lilith in Tel Aviv and at Canela in Jerusalem, both of which are kosher but both of which offer up often excellent dining.
  11. Two perhaps silly questions: 1. It is my understanding that many vegans object to the use of eggs in any form and quite a few wines are fined with egg whites. Will this be a problem? 2. Do the wines have to be organic?
  12. Given a pleasant evening or afternoon and a fine view, even if it is only of the town squqre, dining out-of-doors can be one of life's great pleasures. Many of the world's best restaurants justifiably boast about the terraces on which one can dine and wherever one travels, much of the finest bistro, trattoria and tavernna style dining is done en plein air.
  13. Scout's honor, I did not even know it was forbidden to bring some cheeses or meats into the USA, but have never missed the opportunity to bring back fine samples for friends and family. I've always declared the excess wine I bring in (usually 4 - 6 bottles more than the limit) but have never been charged a cent for those. And never been stopped at American customs..... I suppose I live right.
  14. Great topic. I suppose over a lifetime of dining and hunting up foodstuffs, I've brought almot everything you can think of in my baggege. My one limit is bringing anything that might prove dangerous (e.g. plants or vegetables that might contain viruses or insects that could harm the ecology). Best story was during the period when it was illegal to import cheese into Israel. Came back with about 8 kilos of Parmigiano Reggiano and was stopped at the customs desk. Was told that cheese couldn't be brought in. I looked at the inspector with astonishment and told him it wasn't a cheese, it was a spice. He in turn looked at me with skepticism, I scraped off a bit (it was still legal then to carry corkscrews onto airplanes), gave it to him to taste and he agreed immediately that it wasn't cheese but indeed a spice. Power, as it is said, to some of the people.
  15. Should anyone be interested in an article on the history of such restaurant guides (and a criticism of those guides), see my little piece at http://www.stratsplace.com/rogov/mini_guide_rest.html
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