Food Archive

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How Slavic Became the Flavor of the Moment

11.11.2016 Posted in Cooking, Food No Comments

Fermented, foraged, whole-grain and invigoratingly herbal, the flavors of the moment are straight out of Central and Eastern Europe. Why does this old-world food seem so right-now? (published in The Wall Street Journal http://www.wsj.com/articles/how-slavic-became-the-flavor-of-the-moment-1478110466) SUPER BOWL | Silesian dumplings in carrot broth (kluski slaskie), served at Apteka in Pittsburgh. PHOTO: F. MARTIN RAMIN/THE WALL STREET JOURNAL, FOOD STYLING BY SARAH KARNASIEWICZ, PROP STYLING BY CARLA GONZALEZ-HART By SARAH KARNASIEWICZ Updated Nov. 2, 2016 3:48 p.m. ET 30 COMMENTS STICK-TO-YOUR RIBS stews, vegetables simmered into submission, doughy dumplings as chubby and pale as a child’s fist: Mention Eastern European food to most Americans, and these are the images they’ll conjure. Never mind that at its largest, the U.S.S.R. covered one-sixth of the earth’s land, swallowing spice routes and diverse empires that were sustained by much more than pork and potatoes. Twenty-five years after the dissolution of the Soviet Union—and with more than 14 million Russian, Ukrainian and Polish Americans among us—popular notions of Slavic food have remained largely frozen in amber. SEE THE RECIPES Blame it on cultural baggage: The Slavic penchant for hospitality has always been most vigorously practiced at home, and the privations of life behind the Iron Curtain during most of the last century hardly made for a robust restaurant culture. Nevertheless, a new generation of stateside chefs is embracing Central and Eastern European ingredients and techniques, putting fresh—dare I say hip?—spins on a colorful cuisine that ranges far beyond stereotypical babushka cooking. At Apteka, a modern Polish restaurant […]

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At Manhattan’s Russian Tea Room, $295 Caviar Is Shielded From Politics

29.07.2014 Posted in Food, Politics No Comments

A great and fun article to read by Halia Pavliva and Elena Popina Source /Bloomberg /news I ususally do not repost – but I think many of you will enjoy reading it July 24 (Bloomberg) –- Bloomberg View Columnist Leonid Bershidsky discusses the world’s impression of Russia and what Putin can do to reverse the negative public opinion. He speaks to Mark Barton on Bloomberg Television’s “Countdown.” (Source: Bloomberg) As Karen Peterson posed for a picture beside a set of matryoshka dolls in the Russian Tea Room, the midtown-Manhattan restaurant founded by anti-Bolshevik immigrants in 1927, she was in no mood to talk about Vladimir Putin. “I love Russian food, not Russian politics,” said Peterson, a New Yorker who was dining with a friend. “There is much more to Russia than Putin.” Half a world away from the bloody fighting in eastern Ukraine that is ensnaring Russia in its worst diplomatic standoff with the U.S. since the Cold War, business is booming at the Russian Tea Room. Early one afternoon this week, tables were packed with people picking through a menu highlighted by items like the $295 golden osetra caviar, $38 chicken Kiev and $25 Beluga vodka shots. Since the crisis began with Putin’s annexation of the Crimea peninsula in March, some out-of-town tourists have come looking to talk politics, hostess Anna Zinenko said. The Russian-speaking clients have gone quiet on the conflict, a subject made even more sensitive by last week’s downing of a passenger flight that killed 298 […]

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The New Parisian Gourmet Touch is Red

8.07.2014 Posted in Food No Comments

Last week-end a friend of mine from Chicago came to visit me in Paris for a few days. Unwilling to miss out on any Parisian gourmet delights, we were well-prepared for the visit, armed with Zagat and Michelin guides as well as advice from friends. So if you are in Paris for a few days and would like to enjoy some new Parisian restaurants (all tinted with red): –          Have breakfast or lunch at Café de l’Alma Before going there I had my reservations (no pun intended). The critiques I found on the website about this relatively new and contemporary restaurant were not positive. Many did not like the service or prices. Luckily, it turned out we had no reason to worry. This elegant French café-restaurant on the left bank, not far from the Eiffel Tower, offers excellent steak tartare, rare done tuna fish and carpaccio de boeuf. It is also open for breakfast from 7.30 am, offering one of the best café crème, coffee with milk, I had ever had in Paris. True, the restaurant is a bit on a pricy side (starting from 18€ per course), and it also closely resembles the style and menus of the Costes Restaurants, but such establishments are not very common near the Eiffel Tower — for some reason most restaurants in the area tend to be more traditional— also the food and service were excellent. How to get there: 5 Avenue Rapp, 75007 Paris, Metro: Pont de l’Alma,  tel. for reservations: +33 […]

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Menier Chocolate

14.03.2014 Posted in Food No Comments

A few days ago I watched the most amusing documentary about Menier Chocolate, one of the first chocolate producers in France. What does this  have to do with Red? Most of the publicity of the once famous Menier Chocolate was Red I also thought it was a beautiful story. Though I have been living in France for 15 years, this was the first time I haa heard about the Menier family and the chocolate they produced. The company was created in 1816 by Antoine Brutus Menier, the founding patriarch of the Menier business. Mr Menier was a pharmaceutical manufacturer at the time, when chocolate was a medicinal product used for coating bitter –tasting pills. Menirer had a factory in Noisiel, a small village in the suburbs of Paris, where he produced his chocolate powder and where a few years later he produced his first block of chocolate wrapped in decorative paper. By 1864 Menier had become the largest chocolate producer in France. The family expanded their business. To attract workers they built houses in Noisiel, a school for children who eventually would work in the factory, a hospital, grocery shops, a retirement home and a town hall where the inhabitants of Noisiel could meet, enlarging the community from 200 to a few thousand. The Menier family were real pioneers of advertising. An image of a girl wearing a red blouse and holding a red umbrella was a real breakthrough in publicity, which hugely increased the consumption of their products. The […]

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Red Caviar

10.01.2014 Posted in Food No Comments

Everyone knows about Black caviar but not many know about the Red version . Red caviar can come from different kinds of fish : –       the most popular is from pink salmon; it has a  light orange colour; –       followed by a much Redder trout caviar ; –       in the higher price range you have caviar of keta and red salmon – both  have a pronounced Red color. Red caviar has its advantages It is cheaper than the sturgeon varieties; Still the prices can be as high as 5000€ per kilo, unless you go to Russia where the prices for  caviar remain much more affordable; It has a lot of protein; It contains many vitamins; Because of  all its qualities, it is prescribed to sportsmen, pregnant women and weak children. How to serve caviar? The most traditional way is to serve it – as an appetizer –       In a small vase; –       Directly on  blini or on  toast; –       Or simply spoon the caviar onto a piece of white bread  and enjoy the taste of it; It is good to add a bit of unsalted butter, which tempers the salty flavor; And of course if you are lucky enough to have high quality caviar, just it eat it plain with a spoon. Otherwise, the bread will spoil the taste of the caviar. What to drink it with? At home we usually pair caviar with a glass of white wine; Chardonnay is probably the best because of its impressive range of […]

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Red Crabs of Kamchatka

18.10.2013 Posted in Food No Comments

Red food manifests  in variety of different products. Everyone knows cherries and tomatoes; many are experts in red wine. During one of my recent visits to Moscow, I ordered the Crabs of Kamchatka. A few minutes later I was served the impressive slender claws and legs, which were over a half-meter long and which were … red. They were presented on a large plate with lemon and home-made mayonnaise for  dipping,  and had unexpectedly mild, juicy-sweet taste. The Crabs of Kamchatka  are a kind of  king crab whose legs’span can be up to 1.8 meters. They are found in the Okhotsk and Bering Seas, close to Japan. The crabs were one of the wonders of the Soviet economy. Few products were available in Russia and one of them was the crabs. They were so common that buyers had to be persuaded that they had to consume them. “Everyone has to taste how delicious and tasty the crabs are,” announced  Soviet advertisements  of the 1960s. Considered a delicacy outside of Russia, one of the surprises that waited for me during the first trips abroad after the 1985 perestroika was the price of the Crabs in the supermarkets which ranged from thirty to a few hundred euros. Back in France after my recent Kamchatka Crab experience in Moscow, I saw the same impressive claws and legs on the market. The Royal King Crab was among the products in the seafood stalls in the 16th arrondissement, beautifully displayed in the crushed ice as only French […]