December 9, 2014 |
It was clear right at the start that these were not going to be your mother's potato pancakes. After all, how many of your mother's latkes could be described as Cajun? Or be, for that matter, a potato pancake version of the Greek spinach pie - "spanalatke" - right down to the tzatziki sauce? Yet the 3,300 latkes that were consumed by a sellout crowd of 400 men, women, and children Sunday afternoon at the Gershman Y's 12th annual Latkepalooza reflected the diversity of the cuisine of the nine restaurants - and the venerable Betty the Caterer, who accepted the invitation to participate.
November 26, 2014 |
HUNDREDS OF people flooded Philadelphia's streets yesterday, weaving through tumbledown blocks of North Philly to share a unified message: Things need to change. For the second consecutive day, local protesters - residents, Temple University students and spiritual leaders - rallied to decry the grand jury's decision Monday to not indict Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer who fatally shot Michael Brown. But the fervor in Philly wasn't just reserved for Ferguson: The demonstrators had a long list of demands, including body cameras for city police officers, freedom for Mumia Abu-Jamal and the release of two of their own. "It's incredible, I didn't expect to have so many positive vibes," Naveed Ahsan said last night after he was arraigned on a disorderly conduct charge at the Central Detective Division, on 21st Street near Hamilton in Spring Garden.
November 21, 2014 |
According to a recent poll by Food & Wine magazine, 58 percent of Americans who drink wine on Thanksgiving (and that's 86 percent of drinkers) go for pinot noir. It's no wonder, since that mid-weight red is among the most flexible choices to handle the wide range of flavors on the table. But which pinot to purchase? I side with the 68 percent of those surveyed who go for American for this definitively all-American holiday. And in years past, I've gravitated toward the earthier, tarter bottles from Oregon.
October 10, 2014 |
IT'S OFFICIALLY fall. And for many, the seasonal change has nothing to do with the weather or a date on the calendar. Fall arrives when Starbucks is once again offering Pumpkin Spice Latte. Never mind that the iconic latte doesn't contain any pumpkin. The signature flavoring is all in the spice blend. And it works. Starbucks has sold more than 200 million of the drinks since its introduction in 2003. The exact blend varies. Cinnamon. Nutmeg. Ginger. Allspice. Perhaps a little clove.
August 29, 2014 |
If it smells kind of scorched around here, it's probably not the errant crumbs in your toaster oven. More likely it's the wafting scent of all the fire-scarred foods coming out of local restaurants: Charred salad greens, charred squids and octopi, charred slices of bread with charred vegetable spreads. And there's no escaping the avalanche of charred brussels sprouts. "The trend we're seeing is open-flame cooking. Whether it's wood-burning ovens, charcoal grills, wood-burning grills, or simple gas ranges, cooks are really experimenting with fire," says Greg Vernick of Vernick Food & Drink.
August 22, 2014 |
One of summer's greatest culinary pleasures is food cooked on a grill, with backyard flames enhancing flavors like nothing else. But fire and hot coals can transform so much more than just burgers and dogs. Almost all the produce bursting from local farms and gardens can be cooked outside - creating flavorful fare from appetizers through desserts. Grilled whole, sliced, layered or wrapped, almost every vegetable and many fruits can be converted into tasty fare on a barbecue grill.
May 9, 2014
BUZZ: Hey, Marnie, can grapes grow indoors? My neighbor does hydroponic tomatoes in his sunroom, so why not wine grapes? Marnie: Grapevines are more like little trees than tomato plants, Buzz. They need to put down deep roots and would require tending for decades. Besides, hydroponic grapes would make for pretty bland wine. Buzz: Why's that? Marnie: Well, hydroponic gardening uses no soil - plant roots are bathed in a nutrient solution instead. This produces decent flavor in herbs and greens, since leaves have a simple flavor structure, but grapes are more multidimensional.
May 5, 2014
PHILLY is increasingly known as a vegan-forward town, with places in most neighborhoods where you can enjoy an animal-free dinner or lunch. But what about breakfast? Recently, a friend staying in town overnight asked for a good weekday vegan breakfast spot, and I was stumped. Partly that's because I tend to be at my house at breakfast time, and partly it's because breakfast flies under the radar: You don't think about it that much until you really need it. I posed the question on the Web and got some great info from fellow vegans and "vegan-friendlies.
April 14, 2014 |
What? You missed the Cool Alert from Rita's Italian Ice about the newest flavor, Starburst Orange? Anyone with a sense of right, wrong, and sugary frozen treats has downloaded the Rita's app and constantly monitors the device to keep track of news of what flavors are available. Don't you realize that, with Monday's announcement of Rita's third marketing deal with candy-maker Starburst, Starburst Orange ice went on sale April 7, will be available only until April 27, and then will disappear forever?
April 13, 2014 |
Ford is getting a lot of mileage out of its Fiesta. For the last year, the Detroit automaker has been rolling out the 2014 update of its popular subcompact in dribs and drabs: starting with its 38 m.p.g. S last summer, followed by its street-legal rally-crosser - the 35 m.p.g. ST, last fall - and, most recently, a 45 m.p.g. 1-liter SFE that's been on sale since December but was made available to the media only in March. To put the 1-liter in context, it is so compact that a Ford engineer packed the engine block in a carry-on suitcase and took it through TSA security without a hitch.