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By Lisa Shock
Years ago, when I visited Tokyo, I ate in a small but fascinating restaurant called 'It's Vegetable' which is now, unfortunately, closed. The chef was from Taiwan, and he made Buddhist vegetarian and vegan dishes that resembled meat. During my visit, several monks wearing robes stopped in to eat dinner. The dishes were pretty amazing. I understood some of them, like using seitan to mimic chicken in stir fry dishes, others used tofu products like yuba, but, others were complex and obviously difficult. One very notable dish we enjoyed was a large 'fish' fillet designed to serve several people. It had a 'skin' made of carefully layered 'scales' cut from nori and attached to the surface. Inside, the white 'flesh' flaked and tasted much like a mild fish. Anyway, apparently Buddhist fake meat meals are very popular in Taiwan and many places, cheap through to fine dining serve them. Yes, if I worked on it for a while, I could probably refine one or two dishes on my own, but, I am wondering if there's a Modernist Cuisine type cookbook for skillfully making these mock meats from scratch? (I have heard that some items are commercially made and available frozen there, much like soy-based burgers are in the US.) I am willing to try almost any offering, even if it's entirely in Chinese. And, I know how to use remailers to purchase regional items from the various local retailers worldwide who do not ship to the US.
I got an e-mail this morning about the Modernist team's next project - pizza!
Modernist Pizza is Underway!
After taking on the world of bread, we’re thrilled to announce the topic of our next book: pizza. Modernist Pizza will explore the science, history, equipment, technology, and people that have made pizza so beloved.
Authors Nathan Myhrvold and Francisco Migoya, with the Modernist Cuisine team, are currently at work conducting extensive research and testing long-held pizza-making beliefs; this quest for knowledge has already taken them to cities across the United States, Italy, and beyond. The result of their work will be a multivolume cookbook that includes both traditional and innovative recipes for pizzas found around the globe along with techniques that will help you make pizza the way you like it.
Modernist Pizza is in its early stages, and although we’ve begun to dig in, we still have a lot of work ahead of us. Although we can’t guarantee when it will arrive at your door just yet, we can promise that this book will deliver the complete story of pizza as it’s never been told before.
In the meantime, we would love to hear from you as we continue to research pizza from around the world. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about your favorite pizzerias and their pizza. Connect with us on social media to get all the latest Modernist Pizza updates.
Tonight I finished Kristen Kish Cooking, Recipes and Techniques. Alas these are restaurant or competition dishes, and while I would probably enjoy most of them, I saw nothing that I am compelled to cook. Nor for that matter am competent to cook. I commend her for sharing them. I appreciate her definition of culinary terms. My only gripe is that after assuring us she uses a Packojet at work, her ice cream recipes call for a home ice cream maker.
Kristen moved me. I was taken by her back story as a gay interracial adoptee. I can relate to that.
Does anyone know of a source for a vegan confectioner's glaze suitable for sugar/chocolate panning (for sealing the candies from the Evils of the Outside World)? I have a couple of friends who are vegan or vegetarian, and I'd like to avoid being a total jerk if I can help it ("Look at these tasty treats I made THAT YOU CAN'T EAT!! MWAHAHA!!"). I need small quantities, as this is just for occasional home use.
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