Every moderately religious Jewish child remembers that week in April during which bread and other leavened products are not to be eaten. To some, this would throw their entire week inside out—no more spaghetti with meat sauce, grandma’s chocolate chip cookies, or, by far the most detrimental, pizza. But the worst part is having to substitute these delicious staples of one’s diet with a dry, flavorless unsalted cracker called matzoh, or matzos. I won’t explain the tradition behind eating this flat baked form of bread, but the point is it is not risen dough because when the Jews escaped Egypt they had no time to wait for their bread to rise while it baked. So they ate this rather tasteless substitute. It serves as a reminder of the struggles the Jewish people went through when they were escaping the pharaohs that enslaved them. Read more
With Easter just around the corner, it is time to brush the cobwebs off your floral dresses that you’ve pulled out from the back of your closet and get your suits and ties pressed for the special day. While it is important to look your best (hair slicked back for boys and bows for girls, of course), it is even more important that you are eating your best, also known as eating all the Easter candy that your body can handle. Here are ten candies that are holiday favorites that make great Easter basket fillers, and even better fillers for your stomach!
LOCAL. It’s the new organic. It has a similar footprint – pastoral images of small farms and boutique shops and its own nuanced vocabulary and iconography – but with the added sense that its benefits are more localized. Buy local, they say, and you’re supporting your neighbors. Buy local, and you’re doing what your grandparents would have done. Read more
First and foremost, Machu Chicken is not the same as Machu Picchu, which is across the street with the same owner, Rosy Cerna from Peru. It is similar in that it is authentic and delicious Peruvian food, but far more casual and less expensive than its sibling restaurant. Read more
With spring beginning to shed its light upon us, citrus can add that same magical brightness to our meals. To make meals ranging from tart to sweet, citrus is an ingredient that no one should live with out. It can be that one ingredient that you did not know you were originally missing! Here I am going to take you through an entire meal from appetizer to dessert using citrus every step of the way to add that pivotal pop. Read more
Harvest Restaurant’s Executive Pastry Chef, Brian Mercury spoke at Tufts earlier this year and much to my dismay, I could not attend. On March 27, I had another opportunity to see Mercury in action this time for a baking demonstration sponsored by the Culinary Society. Per TCS’s instructions, I crept through Dewick’s side entrance. My feeling of mischievous anticipation at getting a glimpse into the inner workings of Tufts Dining gave way to a sense of foreboding as the heavy door closed behind me, and I faced a dimly lit, windowless hallway. Goodbye world, I hope to see you soon. After a moment of panic, I found my way into the baking kitchen where Mr. Mercury had already begun to talk about the extra-salty sea salt he acquires specifically from Maine and sprinkles on top of his desserts to enhance their flavor. I squeezed my way into the crowd of nineteen students standing in a semi-circle around a large, wooden table, adorned with baking implements and Tupperware. Read more
Mushrooms are ridiculously versatile and delicious ingredients that really are a bit of a culinary chameleon. They are meatiness incarnate, and not just in their pleasant chew and substance but in their rich stores of natural glutamates (the source of the ‘meat’ flavor; nutritionally they even mimic meat in their rich stores of minerals and B vitamins and high protein content). Their taste and texture makes them great in the place of meat or alongside it. While they aren’t the cheapest ingredients, there are plenty of ways to use them regardless of your budget. Here are some tips on saving money with mushrooms as well as three great recipes for using mushrooms that showcase their versatility. Read more