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Insights, tips, and restaurant reports from CHOW editors and Chowhound.

Hey McDonald’s, What’s Peddled Cheese?

McDonald's in Canada has launched a line of food tied in to the Vancouver Olympics. One of the new menu items is the Parmagiana Chicken Snack Wrap, described by the company as "real peddled parmesan cheese and savoury marinara sauce, all wrapped with seasoned crispy or grilled chicken in a flour tortilla."

"Apart from the fact that the whole concept is nonsensical (psuedo-Italian ingredients wrapped up in a ... tortilla? whatever), has anyone come across the term 'peddled' before in relation to parmesan?" asks dxs. "I can't find references to it anywhere."

"It is totally made up," says kayehm. "No such thing as peddled parmesan. McD's can not afford to put real parmesan in their food—so they made up something to make the fake (avec filler) parmesan sound more impressive."

"Perhaps Mr. Ronald McDonald purchased the aforementioned formaggio from a wizened old Italian peddler man," speculates adamshoe, while Sam Fujisaka says it's just "a polite way to say 'pimped' parmesan."

Discuss: Anyone heard of 'peddled parmesan cheese'??

Does a Chicken Lay Eggs Year-Round?

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Give a poor chicken a break. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How Are Fresh Eggs Different?

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Let's count the ways. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Get Fresh Eggs Clean

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Soap won't always do the trick. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Chickens Need Calcium Too

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Feed them eggshells. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

What Makes a Good Chicken Coop?

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It's more than chicken wire. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Does Supermarket Camembert Ripen?

PorkButt read that any Camembert cheese could benefit from a few days outside of the refrigerator, to ripen and improve in flavor. But would this apply to mass-market Camembert sold at supermarkets? PorkButt decided to see.

"An unheated part of my house ranged from the high 40s to mid 50s so I left it out wrapped in a paper towel and checked it day to day," says PorkButt. "After four days, the center had sagged a bit but the cheese still felt hard. I cut it open and while it didn't develop any creamy ooziness, the interior was definitely softer. The rind was harder and had to be cut away. Taste wise, maybe there was some improvement but I think that had mostly to do with the texture and temperature," says PorkButt. "My verdict is that mass-market Camembert is a dead product."

But, if you can get "non-industrial" Camembert in your area, it may indeed benefit from a bit of affinage.

Discuss: Supermarket Camembert affinage

Overheard on the General Topics Boards

"Tinned sardines have always been my invalid food, ever since I was a child. Dusted with flour and quickly fried. Or, even better, mashed with lots of pepper and malt vinegar as a sandwich filling." - Harters

"There's always some sort of legend or myth behind the origin of a dish (even something as common as Cantonese dry-fried beef chow fun which was created out of desperation), it makes the food a lot more interesting." - K K

"Dialing-in the right amount of fat and cooking the meat to a preferred doneness is what separates us from the apes." - steve h.

Insider’s Guide to Korean Barbecue

In search of good Korean barbecue, fondue asked if there was a "must go to" spot around Boston. Short answer: No. Hounds tout a variety of Korean joints, but it turns out that each has its downsides as well as its strong points:

Chung Ki Wa
Good: High-quality meats; a nice, complex housemade chile sauce; lipoff says they have the greatest variety of panchan around, sublime tea, and serve a delicious yogurt drink after the meal.
Bad: Avoid the noodles, says lipoff; robertlf is no fan of the salads or sushi, either.

New Jang Su BBQ Restaurant
Good: Easygoing atmosphere; beloved by local Koreans.
Bad: No booze; waiters tend to cook dishes on aluminum foil instead of directly on the tabletop grill; "They also scolded us for touching the food while it cooked and having the waitress hanging out at our table was a little off-putting," says noodlely.

Korea Garden
Good: Nice banchan selection; very traditional food, including side dishes like steamed egg and bean paste soup.
Bad: No tabletop grill, though they do have portable grills brought upon request; parking can be difficult.

Koreana
Good: Nicer dining room than other options; better ventilation than other places; wonderful sushi, including many vegetarian maki; lipoff says that the best thing there is the sujeonggwa, the persimmon punch served after the meal.
Bad: lipoff says that "both the beef and the panchan are a cut lower."

Chung Ki Wa [North of Boston]
27 Riverside Avenue, Medford
781-391-5606

New Jang Su BBQ Restaurant [North of Boston]
260 Cambridge Street, Burlington
781-272-3787

Korea Garden [Allston]
122 Harvard Avenue, Boston
617-562-8989

Koreana [Cambridge]
154 Prospect Street, Cambridge
617-576-8661

Discuss: Korean BBQ

Partying with Donald Link

Donald Link is one of New Orleans' best chefs, known for his down-home Cajun cuisine at Cochon and his Frenchified Southern food at Herbsaint. His most recent project, the Cochon Butcher shop, is a holy trinity of deli, sWINE bar (that's a pork-focused wine bar), and butcher counter, where Link is serving muffulettas and Cuban sandwiches and selling fresh cuts of meat as well as house-cured salumi. At the bar, you can get a glass of wine and bar snacks such as wings with sweet potato hot sauce and pimento cheese sliders.

Chef Link designed a Mardi Gras menu for us (spiced candied nuts, boudin balls, chile-roasted shrimp, artichokes and pickled shrimp, meat pies, and a satsuma Mojito—delicious!). We caught up with him to discuss how the holiday is really done.

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