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Posts posted by Dorine

  1. Jimmy Iovine says the brothers are contemplating moving all their prep and packaging operations to the RTM's basement. That would open up a fair amount of additional spelling space they would devote to a wider range of items, expanding Iovine's into more of a grocery store, according to Jimmy.

    Seems to me this would build on the success of Sunday openings in making the RTM more attractive for residents of Center City and nearby areas who actually shop there. Such an Iovine's expansion no doubt will help them compete when Whole Foods eventually moves closer to the RTM when it opens the 16th & Vine location.

    If that's their plan, I'd like to see them add materials for serious baking, especially an assortment of high quality flours (such as King Arthur's), including various specialty flours, whole wheat bread, all-purpose and pastry flour, whole grain rye flour, semolina, etc. Natural Connection has been falling down on the job of stocking flour, and for months they have only had one kind of whole wheat flour--a kind far too low in gluten to bake the kind of bread I prefer! They still do a good job of keeping bulk yeast on hand. Maybe Iovine's could carry baking soda and baking powder.

  2. I stopped by Reading Terminal Market on Friday and had a meal at the Down Home Diner. Given that the past few times I've ate there the food was pretty... bad..., I was surprised! They made a great meal - very basic, very good home cooked food.

    I find their breakfasts to be traditionally good, the bacon and egg type meals. They always fry my eggs right, sunny sude up and very runny, which not everybody gets right. It's the other meals that aren't so good. I'd rather eat lunch at Pearl's Oyster Bar. The raw clams and oysters are always briny bliss and the lobster bisque is velvety and good. Now if the service were just a bit better! A niece who visits a few times a year alway wants to be taken to Pearl's for the raw bivalves, too.

  3. While my personal choice is to make Sunday a day for church and family, so I do not expect to shop at the RTM on Sundays, I totally support the opportunity for those who want to sell and buy on Sundays to have the RTM available to them and equally support the merchants who want to stay closed on Sundays. It should be a matter of completely free choice. I also hope that the larger merchants, such as Iovine's, who open Sundays and who have employees outside their families will respect the ones who wish to keep Sunday a day for church and will not penalize them for choosing not to work on Sundays. It would be equally good to see them give weekly free time to any who keep their day of prayer on Friday or Saturday.

    I'd like to know that moron Street's reasons for his opposition!!! McD's inedible junk and booze, so why not fresh meat, fish and produce???

    I agree with those who think the RTM should stay open later in the evening and I wish the Amish would stay all the way to 6 PM. I recently asked one of them why they closed early and even earlier on Wednesdays and was told "That's how it's always been". I wish they'd open longer. But I also suppose keeping the shorter hours has something to do with their family values, with actually being home with their families for dinner, etc. I also understand that their culture is wedded to tradition and they don't like changing things.

    One can also understand that staying open after 6 PM may be a hardship for the small family stall owners who personally put in all the hours the market is open. Rosa (she and her husband Leo own Golden Seafood) was recently telling me how hard and exhausting it is to be open on Sundays, but that they appreciate the extra income. It is especially hard for her; she is the mother of a boy of 2 and is away from him an awful lot of hours.

    Street has no business interfering with the free enterprise of all the stall owners, whichever choice they make about Sunday opening.

  4. (By the way, had a great lunch today at the Handmade Noodle place (Nan Zhou?) on Race. He had a seafood soup that was delicious, I had the pork soy noodles. Watched the making of the noodles which always amazes me, the whole thing was $10.50- plus tip! Outrageous.)

    I first ate there when it was brand new, 3-4? years ago. DH and i were wandering Chinatown as we sed to love to do and came upon it. What a delight! Watching the show of the hand-drawn noodles being made is as much fun as eating them! The food is delicious and unbelievable cheap! the portion is immense, too.

  5. I've recently read about a new (maybe 4 years?) cheese from a monastery in Tibet made from yak's milk. Apparently it failed the first year but got help from Slow Food and as been coming to the US in small amounts (1500kg/year).

    It was created by a monk for a good cause; he had started a school to educated Tibetan nomads' children in Tibetan language, culture, literature, rhetorical styles, etc. (rather than the Chinese system imposed by China), and didn't want to charge fees to the very poor nomadic families. He decided to try making cheese from the yaks that are essential to their culture, and selling it to support the school. The nomads always use the yaks' fresh milk, butter and yogurt but these do not keep well enough to sell in the west (Chinese do not traditionally consume dairy so China itself is not a market) so he looked into aged cheese. Long story--he had a year 1 failure but with help from Slow Food volunteers, he has produced something nice in small but increasing quantities and ships to the US, which--surprise--has better laws than Europe for importing Tibetan products. The price here is comparable to that of parmigiano reggiano.

    I have never seen or heard of it befroe, and I always keep my eyes open for new cheeses to try at the cheese shops around here. Have any of you heard of it or tried it?

  6. ...We recently discovered Spanish cheeses. Oh my! Manchego is our new all-time favorite. ...

    Have you had a chance yet to try manchego that has been wrapped in grape leaves and soaked in olive oil for a year? Bliss!

    In the manchego DO area, in the province of Cuidad Real (south of Madrid, in Castilla la Nueva, in La Mancha--Don Quijote land--you can still see the white windmills there), if you are at a market in one of the villages, you can even get very fresh manchego, so fresh it is as white as feta but not as salty and much smoother in texture--none of the lttle holes, but a tad grainier than the aged kind. It's a very special treat!!!

    Your recipe sounds delicious; I'll have to try it soon.

  7. I learned how to make fabada asturiana in Spain some 35 years ago and have been making it from memory ever since. Looked at the link to JA's recipe and noticed a couple of things to coment on.

    1. He doesn't use morcilla (blood sausage). Neither do I, for two reasons. First, I don't like it; don't like eating blood anything. Second, it is unavailable where I live, and if not here, unlikely available anywhere in the US except perhaps tienda.com or in NYC.

    2. He adds onion, not in the recipe I was taught.

    3. He uses different forms of pork than I do (see below).

    I went to cocinavino.com to check recipes there (this site is based in Spain and in Spanish only; also uses only metric measures). Like JA's, all the recipes offered there are made with white beans (fabes in Asturiano, or habas blancas in Spanish). JA's entire head of garlic is in line with the entire heads called for in recipes there. The pimentón, saffron and chorizo afree with those recipes. Spanish recipes also call for punta de jamón (tip from jamón serrano) and and lacón (a boiling type ham similar to ours from Galicia and Asturias), both of which I always use when making fabada here. The bacon is not in the recipes there; the ham hock is in a minority of them. The pimentón and saffron JA calls for are part of what I learned and the cocinvino.com recipes.

    Hope this helps.

  8. I recently ordered this from La Tienda


    including Iberico Chorizo and a regular verity of picante Chorizo (which is much better than the D'artgnan I usually source from)


    I haven't tried the Iberico chorizo yet, but plan to during Thanksgiving.

    I like Cantimpalos best, and wish it were available here. I miss it!

  9. La Tienda looks better than ever, new website and everything. I noticed they've got the Ortiz stuff prominently displayed...if anyone is placing an order with La Tienda you might consider adding some Ortiz Bonito del Norte or ventresca to your order if you've never tried it before...it's a completely revelatory canned tuna experience! It's pricey (actually quite a bit pricier than here in Holland), but if you're a tuna lover you owe it to yourself...



    Totally agreed! I've been happily ordering from tienda.com for nearly a decade when I first heard about it through a Spanish teachers' e-group. Everything has arrived well and in perfect condition! It's the only place I know in the US to get horchata de chufas!

  10. Sorry to get off the aged gouda issue(which I find difficult to believe in a 10 year old gouda)...

    FWIW, I stopped in DiBruno's on Chestnut on Thursday.

    The "10-year aged gouda" they sell is from Noord Hollander. AFAICT, this cheese is imported to the US by Cheese Land, Inc., of Seattle--the Cheese Land web site address is printed on the Noord Hollander label--but there is no evidence of this cheese's existence on that web site.

    The plot thickens!

  11. José, you seem to be looking north and east for the wine that excites you.

    During the years I lived in Spain, I grew to love wines from the south and center. I love golden white Misa from Sevilla! And had a delicious local white in Ronda, Málaga drunk right at the vineyard. Gredos is lovely. You mention Garnache de Madrid, lovely! The wonderful Valdepeñas wines seem scarecely known outside Spain. I wish I could find them here. And the treasures of Málaga! What a delight they are! BArely known here and certainly never available in the wine shops, at last not here in PA. But then, we suffer under the yoke of the PA LCB monopoly. >:-( :wub::angry: Grrr! And the PLCB seems only interested in Rioja.

    Are Spanish wines any more readily available in other states?

  12. Thank you, Jose. That is a wonderful thing.  In addition to the Iberico, I have seen other pork products such as lomo and chorizos. Many of the justly famous Spanish canned products can be imported here and are available, though not widely. Are there any other unique Spanish products that you are working to facilitate entry to the US and North American markets?

    You and I know the kinds of vendors in our own cities that sell this kind of product and would be open to selling Spanish items.

    Philadelphia has at least a dozen outlets where Spanish products would sell well. There are places where those of us who know the products can publish recipes and reviews to encourage people to buy them.

    Some of also are aware of places in cities across the country where such products would be appreciated.

    Maybe Spain needs somebody to commit to a year of visiting these places and raising awareness! I'm open to the job if anybody is interested!

  13. Combining sweet and savory is a very Catalan thing. let's you get that balance.

    I want calcots and I would love to see someone try to grow them in America. Years back I convince an Amish guy to sell me his zucchini flowers. he thought I was crazy.

    How very interesting! My friends from Castilla la Vieja through Andalucía consistently condemn Americans for eating sweet and savory together!

    ¡No me diga! Mis amigos españoles de Castilla la Vieja a Andalucía desprecian a los EEUUenses por comer el dulce junto con lo salado.

    Nowadays you will find most Amish farmers, at least the ones in Lancaster Co., PA, a lot mor sophisticated and perfectly ready to charge you premium prices for their zucchini blossoms. You will find them even growing two colors of tomatillos, and if you form a relationship with one who is to supply your restaurant and tell him where to get the seeds, he will cheerfully grow calcots for you, too. I can even put you in touch with 2 or 3 to talk to if you want.

  14. Chef Andres,


    Could you tell us when will be able to taste Jamón Ibérico and what steps where taken to import it into the United States.

    And what makes this different than Jamon Serano.

    I am really looking forward to experiencing your Minibar, I hope to visit it soon.



    Well We need to thank Santiago Martin from Embutidos Fermin in La Alberca, Salamanca, for investing the money to make this happen. Long process and not fun.......

    The good news is that the Embutidos, Spanish air-dry sausages, are here already, and that the Iberico ham will be available at the end of 2007 and the KING the Bellota Iberico ham will arrive in 2008...........................

    ¡Qué bien! Me falta la paciencia durante los meses hasta qhe lleguen.

  15. You're absolutely right in that a burnt, old pot of coffee is just bad, bad, bad. Unfortunately, it is all too common, even in better restaurants.

    What I'd like to see in restaurants is a selection of coffees that can be paired with different desserts and coffee brewed to-order. In short, coffee that's done in a way that realizes its full potential.

    I'd rather get individually brewed offee made to order and a choice of varietals and brewing methods without an automatic refill than free refills of dishwater from the coffee dripping machine. Offer me a choice of a melitta expreso pot or a french press pot or a Turkish pot fresh at my table for a flat price--not for any choice but a separate flat price for each pot. I'd pay for that.

  16. Reading Terminal Market will have a TV in Center Court for Sunday's 1 p.m. Eagles-Tampa game. No huge screen, but at 32-inches it will be enough to keep tabs on the action while shopping.

    I believe you pondered the idea of having the Beer Garden open during Eagles games, and now that I think about it, is there really any downside to that? I'm not talking about them having the legal stuff such as proper licensing or any of that, I'm just saying image if they DID open the Beer Garden. It would be like going to a bar whose menu included everything from the Terminal. That's kind of insane now that I think about it. There's some serious potential there. They could just clear out a little more space then usual, get some microbrews on tap (my apologies if they already have local microbrews on tap, I haven't been there recently,) and get that projection screen in there. Could you imagine sitting at a table with a few friends and just being like "I'll be back in a minute. I'm going to grab a roast pork from Dinic's real fast." My head is starting to spin. Does this make too much sense? Would there be a more unique experience ANYWHERE then watching the Birds and drinking good beer with access to everything the Market has to offer?

    Oh, that's *brilliant*!!! Just as lovely an idea during baseball games! Why shuld there be any legal issues? Aren't they already a legal purveyor of beer?

    My fantsy could certainly include the DiNic's pulled pork sandwich with greens, but definitely includes the run for a plate of raw oysters!

    We need a *drooling* emoticon here!

  17. ¿Qué libro de cocina general considera usted el más importante o el mejor en la España de hoy? ¡Puede que sean libros distintos!

    ¿Qué libro considera el mejor para el ama de casa española, o la extranjera que quiera cocinar como ella?

    Y para el extranjero que sepa inglés pero no domina suificientemente el español, ¿puede sugerir un libro de cocina auténtica española?

    What general cookbook do you consider to be the most important or the best in Spain today? It may turn out to be different books!

    Which book do you consider best for the Spanish homemaker, or for the foreigner who wants to cook like her?

    And for the foreigner who knows English but has not mastered enough Spanish, can you suggest an authentic general Spanish cookbook in English?

  18. I agree, mrbigjas, DiBruno's is a very good store.  I think the problem lies w/the company supplying them with this product.

    I checked with a friend who is a major gouda importer in the US.  He says there is no such thing as a 10 yr old gouda and they are being lied to. 

    Giving the supplier the benefit of the doubt, maybe they are just embellishing and exaggerating to their retail customers like the food folks at DiBruno's.

    The DiBruno family has been in the cheese business for over 70 years and I have been buying from them for nearly 30, having tasted, bought and learned from the late Danny. They are not suckers to take being lied or exagerated to, even if some customers may be. Nor are they likely to exaggerate to custimers; I have never known them to be anything but honest and good cheese educators.

  19. I was generally accustomed to eating bechamel-filled croquettes when I lived in Spain, but mostly in priovate homes. I generally chose other things at tapas bars so can't speak to them.

    I love the bechamel-filled croquettes--and agree with the person who mentioned that they have to be hot enough.

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