August 21, 2015 |
The iconic foodstuffs of the Delaware Valley are many. The roast pork sandwich has rightfully become a point of pride, recognized in publications local and national. And we can't seem to shake our notoriety for the cheesesteak, even though our local food scene has evolved so far beyond this humble sandwich. There is, however, one summertime staple that is pure Philly, deserves elite culinary status, and is largely unsung. My grandmother made it, and yours might have, too. If you have Italian heritage, a Jersey Shore tradition, and someone who likes to cook in your family, it may well be on this weekend's meal plan.
March 29, 1987 |
"Everyone," says Dick Kauffman, "loves a crab apple tree in spring, but often gardeners don't realize the potential of some old and many newer varieties to remain attractive throughout the balance of the growing season. " Scab and rust, two diseases that can wipe out crab apple foliage by early July, leaving a tree bare until the next spring, have given these plants a bad reputation. Large fruit, no longer needed by cooks to produce pectin, also was considered a drawback. So far, breeders haven't produced the perfect crab apple, but they have made much improvement, and Kauffman grows at his wholesale London Grove Nursery in Chester County about 18 of the best varieties for this area.
October 18, 2007
It's true, says Chester County's Frank Barbalace, that the subtly sweet, crab-scented marinara sauce he (and partner Steve Donze) are bottling is indeed, as the label says, "Grandmom Concetta's, since 1929, original recipe. " He ought to know; it was his grandmother, born in Naples, who cooked the sauce from crabs at the Jersey Shore when he was a kid. Good over penne; better, Frank says, with sauteed shrimp added. - Rick Nichols A charitable twist Those in the loop - that October-centric pink-ribbon loop, that is - get yet another chance to contribute to breast cancer research, by savoring soft pretzels that forego the usual triple-twist in favor of the familiar ribbon's single loop shape.
April 1, 1990 |
In Grandfather's day, crab apple trees had mixed reputations. In the spring, they produced glorious blooms. But by the family picnic in August, they already had dropped countless diseased leaves on the lawn. Then, they frequently produced rather messy fruit that had to be swept from the walk or patio. "Crabs have changed," says J. Richard Kauffman, president of London Grove Nursery Inc., a wholesale tree nursery near Avondale. "Thanks to extensive study conducted by Penn State and other universities, researchers have developed crabs resistant to the diseases that caused them to lose their leaves so early in the year, and many of the newer varieties have smaller fruit, more like that of a holly, which will often remain on the tree until the following spring.
May 10, 1991 |
Ever feel like you've been cast, unwittingly, as an extra in a particularly loopy science-fiction film? Try walking along the boardwalk here on Martin Z. Mollusk Day. Beneath you, in a large square etched in the sand, elementary-school-aged pigs sporting yellow ribbons are having a hoedown with what resemble three- legged scarecrows and black cows. (Or are they crows? Who knows.) A man dressed in a garbage can is serenading a crustacean to the tune of "Some Enchanted Evening.
August 9, 2009 |
I love the quirky limitations of regional foodways, I really do. But our lack of destinations for good whole crabs - just as the crustacean season is about to hit its peak - has gotten me steamed up. How is it that Philadelphia is so close to the Chesapeake Bay, yet so far from its love of hard-shell culture? Dainty crab cakes? We have plenty. But when it comes to the messy pursuit of whole critters piled high and all that they entail - the big dining halls filled with paper-topped tables, the joyous sound of mallets crunching down, the tangy celery spice of Old Bay seasoning the air - Philadelphia has far too few places to indulge.
June 1, 2013 |
For more than 15 years, University of Delaware researcher Nancy Targett has been on an odd quest to identify what it is about horseshoe crab scent that makes the crab such alluring bait - for eels and whelks. Alas, she never succeeded. She still doesn't know what precisely constitutes eau de crab. But this week, she and other officials announced a breakthrough that could help solve one of fishery management's knottiest problems - how to lessen the harvest of crabs to save the birds that feed on their eggs, yet still allow watermen who use them as bait to make a living.
October 16, 1987 |
If you've been searching for an attractive and comfortable place where you can let your hair down and get serious about seafood, then Crab & Company is the spot to drop anchor. This two-month-old restaurant, with a moderately priced and simple menu, is on Passyunk Avenue about a stone-crab's throw from South Street. It has a quiet, soft charm that makes it suitable for ties and jackets, as well as rolled-up sleeves. The attractive bar has a well-rounded selection of wines and spirits.
August 26, 2016
Few culinary basics divide American and French kitchens quite as starkly as the omelet. In the diner tradition, the omelet is basically like a burrito - all about the stuffings, the number of eggs (where more is better), and the golden tones of color from the pan inevitably spotting the finished product. In France, where cooks believe ill-advised color accents the egg's sulphur smell, the priority is more on delicacy and luxurious fluff. And the ability to prepare a perfect one is considered an essential skill.
September 1, 2012 |
Marine biologist Chris Wojcik spent months building a 46-foot horseshoe crab replica, meant to function as an artificial reef off the New Jersey coast. The plan Thursday was to sink the anatomically proportionate concrete sculpture - and the 50-foot barge to which it was bolted - three miles east of Mantoloking in Ocean County. The work would rest on the ocean floor, providing an environment for lobsters, fish, and about 150 other species, according to the state Department of Environmental Protection, which gave the operation its approval.