Toasted roll with the New England flat sided "hotdog" roll. Fresh o fresh lobster. Butter, lemon. Cyndi's Dockside, Poland Spring, Maine.
The fish burrito I ate at this funky joint in Portland, Maine was so perfect, and so hugely generous in size, that I took half back to where I was staying, and happily ate it cold, two days later, as I drove from Maine down to a town on the Hudson River.
But right then and there, in Silly's, my nephew and I shared a divine chocolate cake slice--triple layer, people!--and barely managed to save a two inch portion for those back on the farm. Notice the way they serve the Java: pression. Impressively fresh.
Silly's has a jazzy, retro interior, and serves up drinking water in wine bottles. Fab.
In the tranquility of Ubud's Hotel Tjampuhan open air dining area, we ate perfect omelets, croissants, the local ( lousy) powdered Balinese coffee, fruit, and, for "dessert," Bubuh Injin or black rice pudding, a not-too-sweet treat that goes well with the excellent tea we chose, after enduring the poor coffee.
( With Sumatra and Java right next door, how is it that Bali coffee, Kopi Bali, reigns supreme? One can get fine Italian-style coffees, yes, at cafes, but not at the hotel, and non touristic restaurants.)
Bubuh Injin---Black Rice Pudding via Bali The Online Travel Guide
1/2 cup of black glutinous rice (see below).
Mix the black and white glutinous rice, and rinse under running water to remove starch.
Back from exploring some of the foods of Bali, we can attest that rice is primary, along with sweet potatoes intermingled with flowers, as well as chiles and other veggies.
Rice feeds 50% of the world's population, of course, bolstered by America's many offerings to Asia, chiles and sweets among them.
But oh, the mangosteen! A rare non-sweet perfect tropical fruit, its segments are hidden under a thick, maroon rind, and well worth the seeking. (Those at left were on sale in a huge Hong Kong mall supermarket.)
The mangosteen has only one fault; it is impossible to eat enough of it, but, strictly speaking, perhaps that is a defect in the eater rather than in the fruit. It would be mere blasphemy to attempt to describe its wonderful taste, the very culmination of culinary art for any unspoilt palate.
--Eric Mjöberg, author of "Forest life and adventures in the Malay Archipelago" 1930
( NB Posting from this remarkable part of the world on a regular basis was well nigh impossible--WiFi was sorely lacking in NZ and OZ, other than in (!) McDonald's', posting was time consuming, and we had to pay for Internet access everywhere until we reached Bali. Bali, the land of mega overseas visitors, marked a return to WiFi, and free access in many cafes and restaurants. )
Along the route up to Northland in NZ we stopped to change drivers and met an Englishman trained at the Savoy in London who now operates from a van at this turnoff. He roasts his own coffee beans from Papua New Guinea, bakes his own whole grain with rosemary bread, and produces authentic Cornish pasties from scratch. From his van!
We had coffee, the best egg salad sandwich ever, and a spud pastie with melting pastry.
And, bonus, friendly chickens milling about who apparently emerge each day from "the bush."
Planning an upcoming trip, we came across this site, Airline Meals, that details what one can expect to be served on an enormous list of airlines. Food matters, right? Especially on long journeys.
Zowie. This one makes the Best of 2011, week 18, economy meal via Thai Airways.
This handsome mega-book weighs far more than most of us will eat today, and, alas, it fell open to an entry titled "French Fries in Ghent." ( No!) Those of you who know me and this blog well understand that we speak of Belgian Fries, particularly if zeroing in on a Belgian city.
Anyway--It's Food Journeys of a Lifetime--500 Extraordinary Places to Eat Around the World, created by National Geographic. Over 300 pages, it's filled with the rich photography the National Geographic is known for. It's also one giant cliche---paella in Spain, baguettes in France, feijoada in Rio. Anyone who has traveled has eaten these things. Sake in Japan, wine in Sonoma.........you get the picture.
Even though it lists websites, recipes, and suggests places and concepts of interest to the alert traveler, it is decidedly a book for those who have not yet begun to travel, or those who want to contemplate travels completed. But, to give it credit, it has taken on the entire world of eating, an absurdly gargantuan task.
The most interesting sections are the book's top 10's--and in one of them, our own country's top edible, apparently, is the hamburger.
(Crayfish are big in Finland, as this photo attests. )
Today, children, we turn our attention to the magnificent leaping mullet, the mostly-vegetarian fish with a gizzard ( tastes like flying chicken?) and the focus both of a kiddie book, The Wise Mullet of Cook Bayou, and an October event in Florida's northwest panhandle with the enticing name Boggy Bayou Mullet Festival.
The book was written by journalist and native Floridian Timothy Weeks. It tells the strong simple story of three mullet in a Florida bayou who choose different life paths, with the "wise" one making out the best. Weeks says his book is based on a story by the Persian Sufi mystic Rumi, a philospher and poet who inspired the "whirling dervishes," those for whom dance was a pathway to the Divine. Many old hand Floridians say the mullet "leaps for joy," as often as it leaps to avoid danger, so the Rumi connection is fitting.
Weeks' children's book project became a family affair. His mother, Jeanne, did the illustrations. His sister, Kimberly Bryant did the editing, and his Dad, David inspired his early interest in mullet. Crazy as it may sound, this shiny, tidy book laid out with a combo of hand drawings and computer graphics, smells terrific, sort of a petroleum and printing press melange. The odor does not from the two recipes by Jeanne at the back for Golden Brown Mullet and Cheese Grits, staple foods of the denizens of Cook Bayou. ( Contact Weeks directly for the book-- educators can obtain a teaching packet as well. )
Once we saw the mighty leap of one of these fish in Florida, we decided perhaps we harbored a mullet-within, and became loathe to eat them. Before the infamous net ban of 1995, mullet was the least expensive fish in local Florida markets. Today it's harder to find, though the smoked mullet at South Pasadena's( St. Petersburg) Ted Peters Famous Smoked Fish is a favorite.
For more things mullet, visit the B.B. Mullet Festival in Niceville, named Boggy Bayou until the citizenry wanted a more Up Town name. You and 100,000 other visitors will eat 10 tons of mullet ( we know, mullet doesn't sound scarce) during three days, October 20, 21 and 22.
(For exhaustive info on fishing mullet in the UK, click here. Seems they will bite at flakes of white bread..)
As for the fabled "do," known as The Mullet, no mullet possibly could leap to the notion that its arrangement of fins (?) ( see the mullet pic up top) would spawn an entire culture. Wikipedia says the mullet --short everywhere, but long in the back, was sported by fishermen in the 19th c to keep the backs of their heads warm.
Yes, fellow foodies, our glorious book ( says Foodie modestly,) is now in stock and raring to be bought by you and yours.
Christmas is coming, so snap up this one for your foodie friends and family members hunkered down in armchairs, waiting for fuel prices to drop. Or buy the book for active foodie travelers bored with all the usual sites. Gastronomie! is the first extensive exploration ever of French food historic sites.
No one else delivers you this kind of book, food-lovers, packed with colorful photos from our trek and from The FOOD Museum's collections. We traveled over 10,000 kilometers around France ( someone had to do it) to bring you the backstory of French food.
France, the mother country of Western cuisine, is the home of more museums about food, and more initiatives to preserve food heritage traditions and sites, than any other.
Explore the Saffron Museum in Boynes, the world food museum at Agropolis in Montpellier, the ruins of a huge Roman mill outside Arles, the Olive Museum in Nyons, the fig orchards of Sollies-Pont, the oyster beds of Ile d'Oleron, the turkey parade and festival in Licques, the village ovens of Bugey, the Chocolate Museum in Biarritz, the Newfoundland Fishing Museum in Fecamp, the Honey Museum in Gramont, the melon statue in Cavaillon, the truffle market in Lalbenque, and more.
And sample a few choice recipes, as well.
Buy it! ( Only 19.95.) In stores, via Amazon, or on-line. ( By Meredith Sayles Hughes and Tom Hughes, Bunker Hill Publishing.)
" I signed up for a couple of courses with Susan Trilling at Seasons of My Heart. Susana's classes were particularly well-suited to my interests--not only did she work overtime exposing us to every possible traditional Oaxacan food, she also lectured on food origins, arranged for us to have a local scholar show us through the Ethnobotanical Gardens and lecture on the history of food domestification, cultivation, and processing in Oaxaca ( where the first maize may have been bred)
and she took us to a Zapotec village in the mountains, where the women taught us how to use pre-Hispanic cooking tools and techniques to prepare an almost entirely pre-Hispanic meal.
We also had heaps of fun in the classroom/kitchen at Susana's Racho Aurora, where we prepared a wide range of traditional Oaxacan specialties on both traditional and modern equipment. It was simply splendid--and just the sort of thing I thought might interest others interested in food history."
Foodie pal Marc recently sent us a book called Here Speeching American--A Very Strange Guide to English as It is Garbled Around the World, by Kathryn Petras and Ross Petras, Villard Books, NY. The authors are quick to note that, yes, they do not speak Hindu well either, and that American travelers butcher the world's languages regularly.
Having said all that, they offer some funny tidbits, such as these menu examples translated into English by the locals:
Shrimps in Spit
Bacon and Germs
Chicken Mouse in Tartlet
Appendix Salad ( Pork)
Toes with Butter and Jam
Pork Condom Bleu
Deep Fried Peking Dumpings
Boiled Tasteless Jam Pork Soup