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cheesecurdsinparadise

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  1. So in American cookbooks I always read the term "Lowcountry cuisine" without any real definition as to what it is. As examples people cite shrimp & grits (which is served all over the gulf south and far from unique to the Georgia coast) and lowcountry boil and frogmore stew (is there a difference between these dishes? They sure seem like the same thing to me. Anyway they don't seem much different than a Louisiana seafood boil, save for the spices). I have also read about syllabub, but it's not like people really drink that on a regular basis in the 21st century. So I ask--is lowcountry cuisine a real thing that is distinguishable from general Southern cuisine (and in particular that of the gulf south)? What makes it so? What dishes do people really eat that represent this cuisine and, most importantly, where can I find them in restaurants (I live in Atlanta, but make occasional trips to Savannah)
  2. Thanks for all the advice. Most of it is really good. Just one thing--Cassonade doesn't come close to the brown sugar I'm after. Cassonade is raw cane sugar, and it has the texture of regular sugar and tastes completely different. American brown sugar packs like wet sand and tastes oh so good...
  3. I'm living in Limoges, France at the moment and while I have historically concentrated my cooking efforts on meats and sauces, have decided I ought to try baking a few American classics. The problem is that almost every recipe calls for something I don't have. Unlike when I lived in Aix-en-Provence, I haven't found any import stores with American food items here so I'll have to make do with what the French offer me. Amongst my issues --Brown Sugar. "Sucre roux" is not even close to the same thing. I've read that I can mix white sugar and molasses (for the moment I can not even find molasses), but I don't know anything about quantity. Until I find molasses, can chocolate chip cookies be made with white/roux sugar, and will they taste remotely the same? --Baking Powder. When I lived in Aix, I mixed cream of tartar with baking soda. There is no cream of tartar here. Someone told me they thought "levure chimique" might work, but I am suspicious of something called "chemical yeast." Is this the same thing? --Sweetened Condensed Milk: Does this exist in France? What's it called? --Cream Cheese: I've heard this compared to Neufchatel. Which European cheese would you use in cheesecakes? --Cherry pie filling: Can I make my own? What's in it besides Montmorency cherries? That's all for now. I'm sure I'll encounter more as time goes on. Thanks for any help you can offer.
  4. My mother wants to take my grandmother out for her birthday. Being from Wisconsin, we don't know much about the restaurant scene in Knoxville, TN. Does anyone have any fine dining suggestions?
  5. In Houston tonight and tomorrow, looking for restaurant recommendations. Read all the posts from autumn of last year and about the only place people people are in agreement about seems to be la Dolce Vita, but I ate at Arco Doro last night so I don't need any more Italian. I'm curious about anything that would be considered a truly iconic establishment, and especially about anything that might be considered regional cuisine (don't know what this entails in Houston--Tex/Mex, Chili joints, Pit BBQ???).
  6. Research is going along well. Some of you undoubtedly already know this, but apparently Mary Randolph was the first person ever to be buried in Arlington cemetery. Thinking about including Gael Greene, if there's room.
  7. I'm headed down to the Outback bowl, and I can't afford things like SideBerns or La Columbia. The name that keeps coming up in my searches for cheap places is La Teresita. What can y'all tell me about it?
  8. This is all fantastic! Things like Bitting starting the Library of Congress' collection is exactly what my editor is looking for. I've read Paddleford and excerpts from Randolph, but I didn't realize they were so important. But Fannie Farmer needs to be in there, because positive or negative, her impact on modern popular culture is undeniable.
  9. So, my committee chair is in charge of a collection of articles on influential women writers. She wants me to write a short article on American culinary authors, but this will stretch the limits of my knowledge. I figure Fannie Farmer and Julia Child are no-brainers, and I think Amelia Simmons and Karen Hess were revolutionary enough to be included. I have a couple more ideas I'm not too thrilled with, but basically beyond this I'm at a loss. Who do you feel is so influential, so revolutionary, or so iconic that they absolutely must be included in such an article?
  10. So the girl I'm dating and I are cooking for a derby party on Saturday, and I've never cooked KY cuisine before, except one attempt several years ago at a derby pie that cooked unevenly. Ironically, we're officially in charge of the derby pie this year. I also want to make hot browns and beef tenderloin w/Henry Bain sauce. Does anyone have any advice or tricks of the trade to help ensure my success?
  11. My original intent was to look at the whole of Louisiana, but it quickly became clear to me that that was an awful lot to research. I found the Creole stuff more interesting, with older documentation and more varied culinary traditions (including a culture of upscale restaurants that does not exist in traditional Cajun society). The racial, class-based, and ethnic interactions in New Orleans have shaped that cuisine in an entirely different way than the one-pot and reduction sauce ideals that absolutely dominate Cajun cuisine.
  12. Well, at the end of the document I have an index of 60-some dishes, and additionally I talked about a couple dozen gastronomic ideas/practices. The dishes ranged from Oysters Rockefeller and Coffee with chicory (restaurant) to Daube Glacee and Crawfish Bisque (homes) to black-eyed peas and gumbo z'herbes (holiday food). Gastronomic traditions included things like brunch, reveillon dinners, and paqueing easter eggs before eating them. Egullet posters helped me not only find dishes to taste in restaurants (so I could have a better concept of the things I'd studied academically), but led me to important sources for the history of dishes like King Cake and Red Beans & Rice. In terms of how, it was hard with so few academic texts on the subject. There have been a few articles on African contributions to Louisiana cuisine by authors such as Joseph Holloway and Sybil Kein, as well as non-academic texts by academics such as Jessica B Harris (thank you so much for what you've written), but the only text I'm aware of that is both academic and historic concerning the evolution of Louisiana cuisine is Brasseaux & Bienvenu's "Stir the Pot," and that's on Cajun food, not Creole. I used all sorts of non-traditional secondary sources: cookbooks (both old and new); articles in magazines like "Louisiana Cookin' " and "New Orleans Magazine"; journals from explorers like Robin and Pavie; personal memoirs, such as those from Robert Tallant and Eliza Ripley; personal correspondances with other academics, like historian Paul Hoffman; books on travel & tourism; as well as numerous online sources of all sorts. This wasn't really the type of paper that used primary sources, for the most part.
  13. Lots of things have been happening with me, and I haven't logged in in a while. Anyway, since so many of y'all helped me with my research, I figured some of the French speakers out there might be interested in knowing that my thesis on the French and West African roots of New Orleans' cuisine is online. Standard citation rules apply. You can find it here: http://etd.lsu.edu/docs/available/etd-03232007-130307/ My committee has convinced me to write an English language book based on it. I am working up a proposal for the publisher now. I'll keep y'all posted.
  14. Congris just means black-eyed peas in Louisiana French, and the versions of Hoppin' John served down here were once called Jambalaya au Congris. I know who was doing the washing on Mondays, and I know how West Africans brought beans & rice dishes to the whole of the caribbean. The question is whether it was the Haitians or somebody else who brought the dish to LA, and how the modern version evolved. I see an implicit link (the ingredients in the Louisiana & Haitian versions are remarkably similar) as well as opportunity (the influx of refugees from the St Domingue slave revolt in 1790). I just want some third party somewhere with some academic or gastronomic credibility to offer something that confirms or rejects my theory.
  15. I'm supposed to defend my thesis on the 30th of this month, but there is an unresolved question I've been working for months on to no avail. I've searched libraries and the internet extensively in trying to figure out as much of the etymology of the dish as possible, as well as how it got to Louisiana from ??? (Haiti, I presume, but I've found no proof that the dish developed there). I know there are variations of beans & rice all over the Caribbean, and that red beans & rice the way it is served in Louisiana (with pork & dissolved vegetables) is popular in Haiti and some parts of Cuba. What can y'all tell me about this dish?
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