Food Snob Chronicles — Cabbage 101, and a nifty soup recipe

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. — H. L. Mencken, American journalist, satirist Ah, cabbage. On one hand, it’s an Orwellian example of living within the confines of Big Brother. On the other, it’s the label on a very […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Food Lore: Bread & Butter Pickles

Food lore fascinates me – whether it’s a modern tale, such as emergency workers using Coca Cola to clean wreck scenes of blood, or ancient legends of native-Americans eating hot peppers to protect themselves from poison. But I also dig the name game. And this week’s culinary mystery surrounds Bread & Butter Pickles. Where in […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Cushaw: The best pumpkin you’ve never heard of

If we can have Christmas in July, why can’t we have Thanksgiving in August? Yep, we’re talking pumpkin today. And this pumpkin — the Cushaw — is usually harvested during the hot months, like its summer squash brethren. What is a Cushaw Pumpkin? This striped beauty goes by many common names, including Tennessee Sweet Potato […]

Food Snob Chronicles – American comfort food: A brief history of some classics

What do rabbis and Romans have in common with old school French and southern U.S. cooks? They helped establish the comfort food standards that millions of Americans have enjoyed for generations. Meatloaf Guess what? This very-American comfort dish has roots way deeper than the Declaration of Independence. Heck, meatloaf is older than more than two-thirds […]

Food Snob Chronicles — A brief history of fair fare (Recipe: Donkey Tails)

Do you view today’s fair fare as funky? You know, chicken fried bacon (State Fair of Texas), deep-fried Kool-Aid balls (San Diego County Fair) and spaghetti & meatballs on a stick (Minnesota State Fair)? Well, someone at one time walked past a corn dog stand and said ‘It’ll never sell.’ Naysayers likely uttered similar words […]

Food Snob Chronicles – Hot diggity! Hot dog lore!

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Every other cable network is running some sort of re-run about this or that hot dog restaurant. And our reliable ‘list’ makers are reminding us that we should be eating hot dogs between ‘National Gingersnap Day’ and ‘National Chocolate Pudding Day’. With all due respect to the folks who have waited all […]

Food Snob Chronicles — Rice 101

It is the second most grown crop (corn is first) in the world — harvested on every continent (except Antarctica). It is a staple of the extremely impoverished, but also served to the uncommonly wealthy. There are more than 80,000 plant varieties that produce this seed pod, but we know it as just one four-letter word. […]

Food Snob Chronicles – Soul Food: An interview with a culinary griot

Many of us in the U.S. know ‘soul’ food as greens, smothered pork chops or chicken and waffles. But there is more to it than that. Much more. Soul food is to American Southern cuisine what 17th century Scottish folk songs are to Nashville-produced country music. They are the roots. Washington D.C.-based Chef Dadisi Olutosin […]