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Everything posted by cheesecurdsinparadise

  1. I’m going to be in Fort Collins and Colorado Springs in late September early October. I search online reviews to see which restaurants the masses like, but I also like to check in with you guys because you have given me good recommendations before. What are some of your favorite places, unique eats, food from obscure ethnic nations, etc. feel free to link me to old threads if there are some.
  2. 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)
  3. 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...
  4. 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.
  5. 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?
  6. 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???).
  7. 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.
  8. 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?
  9. 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.
  10. 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?
  11. 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?
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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.
  16. 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?
  17. I'm headed to New Orleans on Tuesday, and dying to try grillades for the first time. Where are some of the best places for grillades? Are they only a breakfast/brunch item, or can I find them in the afternoon/evening?
  18. This is for my thesis... I'm trying to learn a thing or two about the evolution of king cakes in New Orleans with only moderate success. There are many sites out there that talk about the history of the king cake, but they basically concentrate on its European history & development in France. So far here's what I've gathered about the development of the dish in New Orleans. 1. It probably migrated over from France in the late 1800s. 2. The Twelfth Night Revelers were the ones who really popularized the dish, making it the "in thing" for high society balls. 3. McKenzie's further popularized the dish. They were also allegedly the first bakery to begin the tradition of plastic babies (or at least to make this the standard inclusion, replacing beans & pecans). Some people claim that they were the ones to first include the green, gold, and purple sprinkles on the cake (others claim this tradition is older, some saying it dates back to shortly after Rex made those official Mardi Gras colors in 1872). 4. Today, the most famous bakeries for king cakes are Haydel's, Gambino's, and Randazzo (am I forgetting any truly important ones?). This is piddly. Anyone have any important insights? How did the traditional cinnamon dough come about? Who was the first to start offering filled cakes? First cream cheese filling? Anyone I didn't mention play an important role in the development or popularization of current traditions?
  19. So apart from St Mary's county stuffed hams and some good ol' fashioned Maryland blue crab dishes, I'm not very familiar with DelMarVa cuisine. What is it? What are some of the traits that characterize it? Any particular dishes you would consider traditional/iconic DelMarVa? Any food that's unique to Delaware (something I've often wondered)?
  20. A Hungarian once wrote the lonely planet food board to ask if Bouillabaisse was similar to Hungarian fish soup. The variations on this dish have to be found on every inhabitable continent. I was thinking the other day about the similarity of wrapped rice dishes--Sushi, Korean Kimbap, Hawaiian Poke. And there are variations of curry all over the place--Southeast Asian curries very different than South Asian ones, different than African ones, different than ones in places like Surinam. One could almost consider American chili a curry, especially the old Texan way, slow simmered meat that's heavy on the Cumin and Hot Pepper. Fried bits of meal are another one--fritters of some type are huge in the americas, the caribbean, africa... Mixed rice/meat/veggie dishes share an awful lot of similarities--people always say jambalaya is descended from paella, but why? There are plenty such dishes in West Africa and the Caribbean, and the spanish didn't seem to leave any other marks on Louisiana cuisine, whereas traces of the latter areas are omnipresent. (I've heard arguments for spanish influence, but the fact of the matter is that very few Spaniards actually settled in Louisiana; the government hired islenos and acadians to come populate the state. Apart from the architecture, there is very little trace of spanish rule. And don't say hot peppers--those were as popular in the french speaking caribbean as they were in any spanish speaking area).
  21. Wondering if anyone can help me with my research. I am a student at LSU in Baton Rouge attempting to write a master's thesis on how french speaking countries shaped the current culinary landscape of Louisiana. I've been studying American food history for a few years now, and feel as though I have exhausted the TX section (cookbooks and the like) of most libraries, having read some of the most famous works on Louisiana food cover to cover (eg, the Picayune Creole Cookbook and John Folse's 800 page Encyclopedia). I have information on the origins of most traditional Louisiana dishes, but I am having trouble going beyond the dishes themselves. I have been tearing apart libraries and web pages in an attempt to learn more about the foodways of old creole society in new orleans (both high and low class) and of early cajun societies. I am curious about customs, culinary etiquette/table manners, cooking techniques, consumption patterns, linguistics--anything other than your basic "bananas foster was invented in the 1950s at Brennan's by Paul Blange" type information. I'm surprised at how little seems to be out there, but perhaps I'm not looking in the right places. Would any of y'all be able to guide me to resources/people/information that may be of help? If there are any professional food historians in the bunch, perhaps you could clue me in on research techniques in food history that might not be evident to a 25 year old master's student. You can contact me directly, too. mhunts1@lsu.edu 225-281-9687, though it hasn't been working since the hurricane.
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