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Food in the time of a pandemic


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7 minutes ago, weinoo said:

Deliveries this week included some weirdness:

 

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Oh yeah, I was watching a video about chirashi prep, and this is the specific brand recommended.  If I grow a third eye, you'll know why. I'm quite interested in trying this allegedly 100%  wasabi powder, and I think the stuff in the tube is also alleged to be pure.

 

Moving to France:

 

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One of our favorite cheeses, this is a 30-month age Comté. And it's freakin' delicious.

 

Ain't that America:

 

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Mini-heirlooms. From an upstate NY farm, women-owned, via Fresh Direct.  One of the reasons I don't mind Fresh Direct is because they help some of these smaller farms sell their product, and that's good for the farmers and customers.  

 

They taste as good as they look.

 

Nice haul.  I got those mini-heirlooms from Fresh Direct last week.  While I thought some of them better than others (the round orange ones I found really sweet), all in all I was slightly disappointed because none of them had that intense tomato flavor that I got when I grew my own in my living room. Then again, those probably wouldn't have survived shipping 100 feet, forget about from upstate!  But I guess I let my expectations get the best of me.  Or maybe it was just me and my slightly out of whack sense of taste/smell...  But they were the same price as the Campari tomatoes I usually get (when they're not on sale) so at least they weren't horrendously expensive.

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@weinoo  Those flavor packets bring back memories of @torakris  when she was living in Japan.  Housewives use them all the time. Sure you will report back.   Oh that cheese - I had to go look in the mirror to see if I was literally  "green with envy"

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15 minutes ago, weinoo said:

The blog was probably a Japanese housewife blog.

 

You know way better.  She showed us some amazing info

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39 minutes ago, weinoo said:

 

No - I was referring to the video I watched initially, which directed me toward that product.

 

Not @torakris's.

 

Sorry! I sometimes type before I think. I shall blame the Pandemic 

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7 hours ago, weinoo said:

 

Mini-heirlooms. From an upstate NY farm, women-owned, via Fresh Direct.  One of the reasons I don't mind Fresh Direct is because they help some of these smaller farms sell their product, and that's good for the farmers and customers.  

 

 

FreshDirect keeps saying they're going to expand to Boston eventually, and I wish they'd hurry up 🤣

They have been in DC for a couple of years now.

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7 hours ago, KennethT said:

Nice haul.  I got those mini-heirlooms from Fresh Direct last week.  While I thought some of them better than others (the round orange ones I found really sweet), all in all I was slightly disappointed because none of them had that intense tomato flavor that I got when I grew my own in my living room. Then again, those probably wouldn't have survived shipping 100 feet, forget about from upstate!  But I guess I let my expectations get the best of me.  Or maybe it was just me and my slightly out of whack sense of taste/smell...  But they were the same price as the Campari tomatoes I usually get (when they're not on sale) so at least they weren't horrendously expensive.

Unless fruit (and tomato is after all a fruit) is on the verge of overripe, I find that leaving them out at room temp for, say, 48 hours greatly improves the flavor.    And of course, we never refrigerate tomatoes.

eGullet member #80.

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42 minutes ago, Margaret Pilgrim said:

Unless fruit (and tomato is after all a fruit) is on the verge of overripe, I find that leaving them out at room temp for, say, 48 hours greatly improves the flavor.    And of course, we never refrigerate tomatoes.

I leave them out all week and they do soften and get sweeter, but that's not really ripening.  That's a form of rotting.  Ripening only occurs on the plant - not only is there the accumulation of water and sugars, but other flavors develop as well in the later stages of ripening that don't happen on the counter.

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2 minutes ago, weinoo said:

I find that cutting them up, tossing with salt and olive oil and letting them sit for an hour, they’re fine.

 

Some good oregano never hurts and a few drops of precious balsamic >>>dinner

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33 minutes ago, KennethT said:

I leave them out all week and they do soften and get sweeter, but that's not really ripening.  That's a form of rotting.  Ripening only occurs on the plant - not only is there the accumulation of water and sugars, but other flavors develop as well in the later stages of ripening that don't happen on the counter.

 

I agree with you.  The same holds true with peaches.  People say that they will ripen if you leave them on the counter for a few days.  To me, if you do that you end  up with a softer, not to be confused with a riper peach, a mushy texture and little peach flavour.

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16 hours ago, weinoo said:

I find that cutting them up, tossing with salt and olive oil and letting them sit for an hour, they’re fine.

I cut them up and salt them too (long before eating) and they're certainly better that way, but as you said, nothing is like a garden tomato - wherever your garden may be.

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On 8/28/2020 at 5:13 PM, ElsieD said:

 

I agree with you.  The same holds true with peaches.  People say that they will ripen if you leave them on the counter for a few days.  To me, if you do that you end  up with a softer, not to be confused with a riper peach, a mushy texture and little peach flavour.

Actually if you put peaches on a perforated pan with a cotton cloth over top - they will be perfect in a day or two. 

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20 hours ago, Kerry Beal said:

Actually if you put peaches on a perforated pan with a cotton cloth over top - they will be perfect in a day or two. 

 

Thank you.  I'll give it a try with a couple of peaches.

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On 8/28/2020 at 4:36 PM, KennethT said:

I leave them out all week and they do soften and get sweeter, but that's not really ripening.  That's a form of rotting.  Ripening only occurs on the plant - not only is there the accumulation of water and sugars, but other flavors develop as well in the later stages of ripening that don't happen on the counter.

 

This is true for some fruits but not others (I think the technical terms are climacteric vs non-climacteric). Some fruits stop ripening the minute they're picked — pineapples, for instance, will get softer in a way that can be pleasant, but never sweeter. Others will in fact continue to ripen to a limited degree — stone fruits among them. A handful — avocados, for example — actually will never ripen until they're picked or fall off the tree.

 

On 8/28/2020 at 5:13 PM, ElsieD said:

 

I agree with you.  The same holds true with peaches.  People say that they will ripen if you leave them on the counter for a few days.  To me, if you do that you end  up with a softer, not to be confused with a riper peach, a mushy texture and little peach flavour.

 

I think this depends on exactly the stage at which the peach was picked. If they're picked under-ripe, they never get to a ripe state before they go mushy and mealy.

 

When I buy peaches directly from farmers who say they're picked "firm ripe," they do improve in texture and flavor if left out in a paper bag. 

 

The key difference seems to be smell -- if they're firm but fragrant when I buy them, they usually ripen nicely. If they smell like nothing, they never get better.

 

(If anyone can tell me a similar trick for pears, I would love to know it. Those are the fruit that disappoint me the most.)

 

Edited by dtremit (log)
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A few observations on the ripening topic...

 

Many times have I pulled tomatoes, even from a green stage, and they have 'ripened' on the counter (turned a darker color, lost acidity, gained sugars, etc).  Avocados as noted above ripen beautifully in a brown paper bag under a window.

 

As an aside, green tomatoes are fantastic 'marinaded' - a very Italian method - slice them, salt heavily, pat off, then add oregano, vinegar and olive oil - sometimes garlic - enjoy.

 

 

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I had time to go to Russian grocery store today.   Black bread with coriander (borodinsky), buckwheat, spicy Georgian sauce.  Georgian wine.

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I have a weekly subscription for a CSA-type delivery that saved us during lockdown (Seriously, the day of my first delivery with them, I didn't have food for that night). They sell a lot of extra products besides seasonal fruit and vegetables from local and less local farms, like fabulous dairy and bread (the best of both available to me now), even some wine (all of it pretty crappy), and some “exotic” items, such as ginger or avocados. There’s also pasta and affettati  and meat (all pretty excellent).

So this is today’s delivery. It’s a bit of an odd selection, because you can switch out up to four items (and I switched out all the squash and a cabbage because I detest all forms of the former and wasn’t in the mood for the latter).

This is the first time I’ve ever gotten a plant in my delivery (haha) but I kept it even though I have two-three basil plants on my balcony already and I’m glad I did because it’s the most aromatic basil ever!

I love these guys. Aside from the stuff being super high quality, the service is excellent.

 

So I get the veg only box, but added in some "Percocca" peaches and some "Verdello" lemons (that stay green); there are some zucchini flowers, Borlotti beans, yellow peppers, Friggitelli peppers, eggplants, green onions, ginger and avocados. The dairy in the upper left corner is ricotta, mozzarella and burrata. And a couple of bottles of kefir. I forgot the butter, which is the best I've had in my entire life. Next week. 

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Here is the white bread, but we also got a wheat bread. 

 

Excuse the hideous table cloth, it is to collect the water from the washed veg. :) 

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Edited by ambra (log)
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