RE: RE: At the Risk of Sounding Like a Complete Fat Ass...

Friday, September 19, 2008

from a comment on my post at the risk of sounding like a complete fat ass:

"goober grape! i haven't thought about that in years. that was the sh*t!" very interesting list but I can't say i'm surprised since you're a foodie connoisseur. so, questions for you, (for another blog post?):"
--her royal spleeness

so, here we go...

- what was your first experience of black pudding like & how old were you?
the real first time i had it, i was probably about 10. i thought it was absolutely vile. my dad used to buy it from the hungarian butcher, and he would steam it and eat it like some people eat hot dogs. this is going to sound really strange, but have you ever put the contacts of a 9-volt battery on your tongue? the metallic flavor that is left in your mouth after the tingling stops, is very much what it tastes like. the first time that i enjoyed boudin noir was in culinary school; i was probably about 22. i had an austro-german instructor named chef rainer heinerwadel that used to make all sorts of european delicacies at his house, and he would bring them in for us to try. the whole 9-volt battery thing didn't apply to his boudin. it's definitely an acquired taste. brasserie les halles in new york city makes a fabulous boudin noir, fresh everyday.

- you've *tasted* borscht, but do you like it?
i do actually like it, as long as it's cold. borscht is kind of like sake in a weird way, depending on who you ask, it's supposed to be served hot or it's supposed to be cold. just like my sake, i prefer my borscht cold. the summer borscht at veselka is the best borscht i've ever had. (and they don't mind serving it cold.) that's an actual picture of it; doesn't it just scream barbie! delicious?!?

- what is bagna cauda?
bagna cauda is a fancy name for hot antipasto. it's sort of the italian version of fondue, only you dip bread and blanched vegetables in a little simmering cauldron filled with a mixture of olive oil, butter, garlic, anchovy paste and sometimes cream. the hot flavored oil warms/cooks the the veggies, as well as coats them in deliciousness. it's one of only two times that i enjoy the taste of anchovies, the other is in fresh caesar salad dressing.

- not a question, but laughed out loud at your adding "clotted" to moist & trundle as taboo words!

words to be deleted from the webster's dictionary:
--moist? check.
--trundle? check.
--clotted? check.
...and instantly the world would be a better place. this is the foundation of my plan for world peace.


- did you eat chocolate grasshoppers on purpose? what was the occasion?
i did eat one on purpose, as well as a fried meal worm. it was while i was in culinary school, and i was just curious what the hype was all about. nothing too exciting about them, to tell you the truth. they kind of taste like chocolate covered pretzels without salt. meal worms on the other hand, remember when timon and pumba were eating bugs in the lion king? and timon says "oh, my favorite, the cream filled kind." timon must have been eating a meal worm. i just threw up in my mouth a little just thinking about it. let's just liken it to a fried twinkie and move on. chocolate covered grasshoppers=good. fried meal worms=bad.

- wtf is phaal and is it foul?
i wouldn't say it's "foul," but as i noted in the original post: "i'm going to have to say no, because the pain of a burning sphincter is not appetizing to me." here's what i meant by that: in a typical indian restaurant, you order your dish and denote the level of spice (spice=heat, not flavor) that you prefer. most indian restaurants offer four temperatures: korma/mild, curry/medium, madras/medium hot and vindaloo/hot. though not available in many restaurants, after vindaloo in terms of hotness, comes tindaloo, which i can only assume is like chugging a bottle of tabasco sauce and snorting a line of black pepper up your nose. phaal, that comes after tindaloo on the hot list. it's the hottest shit you can get. (funnily enough phaal means 'jump' in hindu, most likely denoting the hopping to the toilet with your buttcheeks squeezed together after taking a bite.) in some indian joints, they serve it to you in the bathroom stall with a bottle of pepto. so i'll have to stick with my original answer, i love my sphincter too much to put it through the pain of phaal.

- tell us about sweetbreads! when did you eat them?
contrary to popular belief (holly) sweetbreads are not brains, so there's no need to rush to turn into a zombie to enjoy them. they are actually the thymus gland from the necks of moo-cows. veal sweetbreads are the most delicious, and are most often fried until crispy and served with a light vinaigrette or aioli. i love to eat them but never make them myself. it's one of those things that tastes better if you don't make it yourself, and much like mussels, i don't eat them at restaurants where i don't know the chef. the best sweetbreads on the planet are at a little place called gracie's in providence, ri. they serve them with roasted garlic and leek puree. yummo!

- ok, so krispy kreme was on the list but what is your favorite donut brand/flavor?
i'm a serious lover of boston creme donuts from real bakeries and donut shops. that would have to be my all time favorite. the only kind of donut that i will eat from dunkin donuts is their blueberry cake donuts, which for some strange reason are extra delicious. i also love apple fritters from wawa, all that sugary gooey goodness that they pile on top, sooo good. and on the krispy kreme front, i never really understood what all the hype was about. their donuts are just ok and their coffee consistently sucks.

- have you ever eaten someone else's hollandaise and gotten ill??
i've made hollandaise a gazillion times, and it sucks. in fact no one likes making it. it's a royal pain in the ass, and to tell you the truth, it's really not that good. i've never gotten sick from it, and honestly you don't need to be worried about it anymore these days. any restaurant that does serious business and has it on their menu is using hollandaise made from a powder that you mix with butter and cream; and any upscale restaurant that bothers with it is making it to order. but when it comes to hollandaise, anthony bourdain said it best: "bacteria love hollandaise... most likely, the stuff on your eggs was made hours ago and held on station. equally as disturbing is the likelihood that the butter used in the hollandaise is melted table butter, heated, clarified and strained to get out all the bread crumbs and cigarette butts... hollandaise sauce is a veritable petri dish of bio-hazards." need i say more?

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