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Aquitaine

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Everything posted by Aquitaine

  1. Eric, How interesting! I know about various candied squash dishes, and what we call pumpkin, but hadn't heard of turnips. Oh! I just discovered that Modesto's book is available in English translation (at the New York Public library, Humanities Research Division -- just love having the catalog online!), so I'll go check it out. Thanks for the heads-up. Also going over to La Española (new to me; thanks). BTW, what opera? And what role do you play in it -- instrument (a la Schroeder?) or voice? It's so easy to forget about the enormous diversity of work people do; nice to be reminded that there is life outside office buildings!
  2. Jim, interesting that you make your quince paste with wine. I don't think I've seen that variation. I assume you like the additional flavor added? How much flavor, do you think, is added? Doesn't the quince tend to overpower anything else? Also, was the cugna you brought back in a jar of spoonable consistency, then? Do you remember whether this jar had a commercial-type label, or was it homemade or artisanal?
  3. My vote goes to Neath's, also. Both times I went, I was happy with both with the quiet (can talk with companions) and the food. Be prepared for a much more bustly scene at Al Forno....Best known for their thin-crust pizza (in case you didn't already know) I've heard that Cav (14 Imperial Place, 401/751-9164) is definitely worth checking out....
  4. I grew up in New Hampshire where fiddleheads were a harbinger of spring. Steamed with butter, dressed with lemon juice.... That said: Worst case of food poisoning in my life -- 15 years ago -- was after a restaurant dinner in NYC that included fiddleheads (dining companion also got ill). May NOT have been related, but consider these notes (just dug into my handy-dandy research bucket): And also this: And finally, to end on a positive note: So tread -- and chew -- carefully.
  5. Bill, 1) Are these Italian fruit paste candies (since the French "pate de fruit" -- sorry, no accents here -- is my jumping-off-point for the fruit pastes ) mass-produced commercial variety or artisanal? Cut into squares or molded in the shapes of fruits?? Rolled in sugar? Available at confectionerery stores or general food markets or cheesemongers? 2) Never seen the spelling "moustarda" -- believe it or not, another major interest of mine (bee in the bonnet variety) for several years is mostarda (e.g., mostarda di Cremona, but there are a lot of varieties, including a sweet one made in Sicily). Could you be more specific about "cugna" being called "moustarda"?? Specific types of cugna (i.e., fruits) or seasonings? Where in Piemonte, small towns? etcetera, etcetera, and so forth.... BTW, Elizabeth David has written about mostarda, including the note that what one gets nowadays bears no relation to what it should be. (Avoid the Sperlarli brand like the plague!) Artuso Pellegrini has some interesting stuff on it, too...
  6. Too many pots (aka threads) on the fire -- going back and forth between marmelade and membrillo threads. (I can't even imagine being in a professional kitchen!). Sorry, Vanessa. Even sorrier, Chloe....but thanks everyone!
  7. Thanks, Bux and Vanessa. Bux -- Dulce de naranja is pretty unusual, I think. ....I just came it for the first time in a book I was checking into at the Brooklyn Public Library. I can't for the life of me put my hands on the pages at the moment, but stay tuned... Next time you pass the upscale shop, if you think of it, please check for me whether it is sold in a tub or in a "brick," as Vanessa writes. Vanessa -- Any chance of recipes or referrals to recipes for the pastes made with the other fruits? (As for the tomato, I've seen only a couple of southern-French recipes -- e.g., Michel Bras -- and Steven Raichlen's recipe for something from Santo Domingo which I don't think is actually made into a paste...) Also, in Portugal are these all typically eaten with cheese, or only some flavors, or is it idiosyncratic? Particular cheeses favored (e.g., mild, fresh, young "cream" cheeses?) Does stuff made in Madeira vary considerably from other regions? (And, pardon my ignorance, but is Madeira akin to Paris for France and London for England, or is that Lisbon or another city, i.e., the cosmopolitan center of the country? Dulce de membrillo / dulce de bimbrio (Spanish for quince, or at least one word for it) appears also to be a Sephardic treat. Several Sephardic cookbooks I've looked at recently point this out. The example I last found is from Rabbi Robert Sternberg, who writes: I believe these dulces (what is the Spanish plural?) are VERY much related to the glyko / spoon sweets of Greece, Armenia, etc. As for "ancient" history of quince marmelade, Andrew Dalby writes: I've been going quote-happy, I'm afraid, but others have written such interesting stuff and I get excited when I read it and want to share! I posted something about quince on the marmalade thread that you referred me to, Vanessa. Thanks for that, too.... The decline in popularity of the quince coincided with the fall in price of sugar and the increase in demand for jam by the British public towards the end of the 19th century, if I remember my reading...the introduction of a commercial pectin making it possible to preserve all sorts of other fruits without having either to first create an apple pectin stock or to find large numbers of quince to throw into the pot -- either of which had traditionally been used as means of ensuring a gel (since many fruits and berries are too low in pectin to gel)....
  8. Bill, what you wrote is fabulous! I had heard the word "cugna" at DiPalo's but didn't put two and two together. (Or rather, my Italian doesn't extend to dialects and off-color usage!) Grape must is another one of my interests, so you hit two birds with this stone. Lou Di Palo told me that fruit pastes used to be made without sugar -- and I am still hoping he can put me in touch with someone who can talk to me about this tradition. But he didn't mention grape must; since it was often used as a sweetener, that makes plenty of sense. (And speaking of honey with cheese, one of my favorites is chestnut honey with a pecorino and hazelnuts or fresh pear.) I think it is possible that this fruit paste may be called *confettura solida* -- at least that's what Azienda Agricola Marzano labels theirs. Does that ring a bell with you? Is your friend's confettura di rose a firm, sliceable or molded preserve, or is it spreadable? And any chance you could talk with her about what variety of roses are typically used, where she got her recipe, how long she typically keeps the confettura, whether she learned at the shoulder of an older generation for example, whether she knows others who make it or is it simply an idosyncratic or family recipe (or is she online and I could begin an e-mail conversation with my limited Italian)? And even ask for the recipe? (All in the interest of learning, since it is highly unlikely I will ever make it....) Please feel free to e-mail me directly. Thanks once again.... (and what are you doing in Piemonte -- just a lucky guy?)
  9. Oh, my goodness, Craig! How lovely. I look forward to hearing the results. And would you be so kind as to e-mail me the Italian when you've translated it? Mine is not fluent and I'd love to know how the translation should read.... And, really, there is no rush. (Although I will be aspettando-ing...)
  10. I have begun research on the British preserved called damson (plum) cheese and am looking for any information you might have regarding fruit *cheeses* in general. I understand that it is typically a farmhouse tradition and may generally have gone by the wayside. Damson cheese is similar to membrillo (Spanish) and cotignac (French) quince paste, in that it is sort of a fruit preserve cooked long enough to dry firmly and be cut into slices. I've started other threads related to this topic: In the UK forum: Fruit cheese / Damson cheese, Seeking info: UK tradition -- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...f=9&t=18619&st= In the Latin American forum: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=42&t=18627& In the France forum: Cotignac / quince paste, Research / traditions -- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=10&t=18630& In the Italy forum: Fruit *cheese* / Quince paste / Cotognata, Research / traditions -- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=39&t=18623& The cookbook author Joyce Goldstein writes: I know lots about the French and Italian quince pastes -- molded into beautiful forms in Sicily -- and next to nothing about other fruit pastes... Would like to learn more about artisanal membrillo, historical traditions, regional and social variations... My apologies for not knowing Spanish, except for what I can guess from French and Italian...My initial questions are these: What is the Spanish word or phrase for this item, i.e., generic (*dulce de xxxx*)? In Latin America fruit pastes seem to be called *ate de xxxx*... Is there a difference in meaning? Is membrillo now just upscale consumer’s find, or do you know of a tradition of farmhouse fruit pastes? When you buy a *good* version, is membrillo usually sold in a box or by the slab? Do you know of artisanal sources? Regional variants (e.g., spiced, citron or lemon peel added, etc....) Historical sources? [other than the "Libre de Totes Maneres de Confits," or the "Manuscrito Anonimo"] What do you know about Spanish fruit pastes made with other fruit? Is membrillo popular in Portugal, and what is it called if not membrillo? Cheese: Most commonly mentioned as an accompaniment to Manchego and sometimes to queso blanco or other fresh cheeses. Any thoughts? Have you heard the expression "Romeo and Juliet" in terms of the pairing of membrillo and queso blanco (or perhaps another fruit paste, such as guava, and another cheese]? Have you ever seen molds used to make quince paste? Ever hear of it in context of the Medieval concept of *epices de chambre* -- presented to royalty in an elaborate box... Any thoughts about other sources of information about this? I am wearing out the pages of books in the New York Public Library and culinary libraries around me... Thanks in advance!
  11. I have begun research on damson cheese and am looking for any information you might have regarding fruit *cheeses* in general. I understand that it is typically a farmhouse tradition and may generally have gone by the wayside. Damson cheese is similar to membrillo (Spanish) and cotignac (French) quince paste, in that it is sort of a fruit preserve cooked long enough to dry firmly and be cut into slices. I've started other threads related to this topic: In the UK forum: Fruit cheese / Damson cheese, Seeking info: UK tradition -- http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...f=9&t=18619&st= In the Central & Latin American forum: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...T&f=42&t=18627& In the Spain & Portugal forum: http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?act=ST...8&t=18625&st=0& The cookbook author Joyce Goldstein writes: I know lots about quince pastes -- found all over Italy, and molded into beautiful forms in Sicily, and of course, membrillo in Spain -- and next to nothing about other fruit pastes... My initial questions are these: Are you familiar with the Aziena Agricola Marzano fruit pastes? Where do you buy them, and what do you think? [Available in New York City at Citarella shops and DiPalo’s Dairy at 200 Grand Street in Little Italy -- wonderful people and THE place to buy Parmigiano-Reggiano...] What is the Italian word or phrase for this item, i.e., generic (pasta di frutta?) Is this just an upscale consumer’s find, or do you know of a tradition of fruit pastes? Have you seen it commercially, and if so, where (farmer’s markets, upscale cheese stores, etc.)? Do you remember brands? Is it packed in a pot or sold by the slab? Do you knowof artisanal sources? Historical sources? What do you know about persicata, made with peaches (apparently a specialty of Lombardy)? How do you eat it? With a fork, or spread on bread, etc.? Is it eaten with cheese, and if so, which (or once again, the local variant? as opposed to “the best companion” a la Manchego with membrillo? What seems to be popular? Know anything about sources for the molds used to make cotignac / quince paste? Any thoughts about other sources of information about this? I am wearing out the pages of books in the New York Public Library and culinary libraries around me... Thanks in advance!
  12. Adam, do you remember the name/address of this shop? Would love to check it out....Thanks.
  13. Kim, Are you (still) looking for: [*]Ricotta cheesecake [*]Budino di ricotta (a crustless cheesecake) [*]Crostata di ricotta (made with pasta frolla), or [*]Traditional Easter cake, which uses cream of farina or whole wheat kernels? There are a zillion out there, and I have a bunch of recipes...(most of which I haven't tried, unfortunately) I could pass something along if you're still interested and we could narrow it down to type.
  14. Suvir, I *do* realize that the Hampton Chutneys are nowhere in the right league...just lazy sometimes, when I don't want to eat Palak and can't get to Kalustyan's or make my own...trying desperately for redemption! Shall try the canned tomatoes, since it's likely to be quite some time before tasty fresh ones appear.... (fingers crossed!).
  15. Query: Canned tomatoes for this raved-about chutney -- blasphemous in summer -- permitted in winter? * Reading all these posts today, I have barely been able keep the drool off my computer keyboard.... Right now I am watching the snow fall on Manhattan and wondering whether one can make a decent version of this chutney with canned tomatoes, e.g., Muir Glen brand (diced, or whole)....Anyone tried it yet? With thanks to all who have contributed tips, acted as guinea pigs, and sent chortles down the wires..... p.s. I've been eating Hampton Chutney Company's tomato chutney for some time now, delishuss on roasted cauliflower or with zucchini pancakes...Can't wait to try this one, however.
  16. Thanks for the additional information, Michael. (How do you know so much about what would seem to be an esoteric item? I'm new to the forum, so I'm guessing that you are a professional....and that you have access to it through wholesalers??)
  17. Thanks, Nightscotsman. I was wondering whether canned tomatoes might work (decidedly better than most available winter tomatoes)! Re the anise: I think chervil is much more subtle (having had it only once in my life, however, I am not positive), so perhaps that would alter the taste....
  18. Source for "brik" ---- Paris Gourmet (800) PASTRY-1 (727-8791) Also called: Feuille de brik. Paris Gourmet calls it “Shape-a-crepe”; apparently it is a thin, pliable, light whole-wheat crepe, uncooked; you can shape in any form desired, spray with butter and fry it. Retains the shape you mold it into, e.g., a muffin tin (I guess you would then lift it out of the tin and put it onto a baking sheet?). Not sure where home cooks/amateurs can buy it. Paris Gourmet says that Otto Brehm (914) 968-6100 is a distributor in Yonkers that carries it. (Just happened to come across it in the Fall 2002 issue of Art Culinaire....never heard of it before, and now, bang! I guess that's why it's called coincidence.....) Anyone who happens to get their hands on some, please let us know where, and what you do/did with it!
  19. Nightscotsman, I also was intrigued by the tomato pate de fruits recipe from "The Notebooks of Michel Bras: Desserts." I think it's a brilliant idea....What kind of tomatoes did you use, and any thoughts about what you'd use next time? Also, anyone know where you could find a reasonably-priced refractometer, often suggested in recipes for pate de fruits? (Pretty pricey for most home cooks...) Note: J.B. Prince here in New York (www.jbprince.com) carries caramel rulers, both in sets and individually... * * "All happiness depends on a leisurely breakfast."--John Gunther [unfortunately, I'm missing the source for this quote.]
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