Sunday, September 22, 2013
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
Friday, September 6, 2013
Thursday, August 29, 2013
C is for Cookie by the Cookie Monster – Bring on the cookies! Isn’t this everyone’s first food song?!
Eat the Rich by Motorhead – This band rocks! This is metal…period. Those eighties hair bands got nothing on these guys. Metalli-who?
Thursday, August 22, 2013
Monday, August 19, 2013
Visit Wooster Street, New Haven’s Little Italy and at the halfway point you will likely see a long line next to a parking lot. You’re at Pepe’s. At the back of the parking lot (talk to Joey about getting a spot, but odds are slim) you will see a small Pepe’s. This building houses the original coal-fired pizza oven, built in 1925, and a beautifully simple restaurant. This oven served as the model for all following Pepe’s locations – they even took a mold of the door so they could forge exact replicas. Next door you will find the newer Pepe’s (fear not, it was opened by Frank in 1936) and a slightly nicer dining room. Both places feature the same menu, same ingredients, and same ovens. But we aren’t here to look around – we are here for pizza.
The menu is simple and seems to be unchanged in years as there are no faddish additions or twists. There are 16 ingredients other than tomato sauce and basil and just a few classic combinations including their legendary hallmark, the white clam pizza. You can get a salad too and wine, beer, and sodas. But don’t expect a wide selection – pizza takes center stage. And what a pizza!
While they looked gorgeous, they tasted truly heavenly. The tomato sauce was light and fresh, not sweetened or pasty in any way – simple, straight, unadorned, fresh tomato sauce. The crust, the key to any great pizza, was thin in the middle, but firm enough to withstand being picked up without too much slouching. The charred and bubbled bits tasted so good, and the kids gave most of theirs to me! The toppings… well, the sausage and pepperoni looked delicious, but was consumed before I tasted any. No complaints, though. The clam pizza, while unlike any pizza I have ever had, was worth the trip alone. It tasted like the most perfect combination of pizza crust and the sea. The clams were fresh, not canned, and their juices blended with the crust like nothing I can really describe. The fresh tomato pizza with anchovies was wonderfully balanced – the anchovies were obviously present but not overpowering. The tomatoes popped with summer flavor. Nancy dropped by a few times to make sure all was well - and was it! While this looked like a huge quantity of food for seven, we had little problem devouring it all, even if I was responsible for more than my share. These are the things we do in the name of research.
Monday, August 12, 2013
If we can agree that trying preserve local character, customs, and culture is important, are anatopisms threatening? Do they threaten the local culture or just add to the diversity and curiosity of a place? Do they bring far flung experiences to us when we can’t all afford elaborate travel?
Is pineapple on a pizza a mini-anatopism on a plate? How about lobster in a burrito or sushi made with Maryland crab? Are any of these things anatopisms or just evidence of globalization – or both?
Saturday, August 10, 2013
I grew up in New England, at least until the age of 8. Extended family for the most part remained, and for the last twenty years or so I have spent some vacation time each year with family on the New England coast. Now in my forties with two kids, I find myself reflecting quite a bit on where certain interests and passions come from. All it takes is a brief return to New England to realize where so much originated. I travel the roads driving from family event to tourist site to family event trying to explain this seemingly foreign culture and landscape to the kids in the back seat. I can’t help but think about my youth and what remains. I am a Red Sox, Patriots, Celtics and Bruins fan, have thoroughly enjoyed the last decade or so, and feel comforted by hats and stickers everywhere. I see housing developments hidden behind forests on the outskirts of small towns and realize I think housing developments should cut down a minimum of trees and keep the ponds, roads should have bends, yards should have stone walls and hardware stores should be small and locally-owned. In the fall the forest should explode with color, and it ought to snow enough to plow. On the perimeter of Boston and Providence I adjust to aggressive driving and realize that there’s nothing wrong with using the breakdown lane at rush hour or ignoring your blinker, lest you give the guy behind you a chance to cut you off.
I grew up in a world almost void of chains. The closest McDonald’s to my house was at least 15 miles away and the closest with a playground was more than twice that far. My neighborhoods were not lined with box stores and fast food restaurants. Going out to eat called for patience and was rewarded with local creativity. Fast food meant pizza and subs, and every town had a few places to choose from. I suspect anyone my age or older anywhere in the country has memories of the world before chains took over.
|Aunt Carrie's in Narragansett, Rhode Island|
Thursday, July 25, 2013
What are your favorite summer food memories?