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Pete Wells Explores Korean Restaurants in Queens

I spent two weeks in Seoul (& a weekend on Jeju!) in October and now I crave Korean food constantly. Coincidentally I was going to be in Flushing the day after tomorrow, figuring I'd hit H Mart for some ingredients. So I am taking notes here because I want to have a delicious lunch.

Also I want tteok, the bean-filled kind, the mugwort ones, the honey-filled ones that look like mandu. Any suggestions about where to get this stuff FRESH in Queens?

Dec 17, 2014
Pipenta in Outer Boroughs

Turf to Surf: If Terroir Is a Thing, What About "Meroir"?

Why wouldn't differences in salinity and temperature change the flavor? Not to mention the regional differences in the sediments, microrganisms and what all else the animals are filtering from the water.

May 01, 2014
Pipenta in Features


Anything good in or near Melbourne? Restaurants, food trucks, roadside dives, farmstands?


The only memorable food I found in the area was locally-grown mangos.

Enlighten me, please!

Feb 25, 2014
Pipenta in Florida

How do you feel about people who season food that you have carefully prepared?

I have a friend who pours hot sauce over everything. We are close enough that I tell him, DUDE YOU ARE MISSING THE NUANCE. But I'm laughing when I say it. He likes what he likes. As long as he only pours sriracha on the food that he is eating, why should I get worked up about it?

Feb 25, 2014
Pipenta in Not About Food

Migraines: What are your triggers?

I had one migraine in my life. It was about thirty years ago and it was terrifying. I got it when I drank a sweet white German wine that was served to me at a luncheon. The pain was so bad that I have only just started to drink wine again. Not whites. Not German wines.

Feb 25, 2014
Pipenta in Not About Food

Genetically Modified (GM) Foods

Above and beyond the safety of the food itself, the plants are modified to withstand herbicide applications. So where you have GMO crops, you have fields being systematically drenched with poison. So, as Joon Boolay (see below) would say, that's not good.

Feb 25, 2014
Pipenta in General Topics

Beach + Barn Bar and Bistro in Branford?

Anyone tried it yet?

Feb 23, 2014
Pipenta in Southern New England feel ill..

All mushrooms? You're pretty much talking about an entire kingdom there. Me, I don't do shiitake anymore, they make me bloat. I know a woman who can't eat Laetiporus species. Maybe it's just the agarics that make you ill. Perhaps try sampling other species?

Cook whatever mushrooms you try. Raw buttons and their ilk contain hydrazines, which are very toxic. That might be what is making you sick.

Feb 11, 2014
Pipenta in General Topics feel ill..

Don't you just love gastronomical taxonomy? Always there are surprises!

Feb 11, 2014
Pipenta in General Topics

Dried mushrooms? What's the point?

Wild mushrooms are seasonal. Sometimes you are up to your ears in a given species, while most of the year they are not available. Some mushrooms, black trumpets for example, are as good dried as fresh. Chanterelles, on the other hand, loose that delicate apricot scent and once reconstituted, they are a bit tough. Porcini are good either way. Drying can concentrate flavors. A small handful of dried mushrooms can flavor stock as intensely as any bouillon cube. It varies greatly with the species of mushroom. Not all mushrooms can be dried. Shaggy manes are too fragile, they'll liquify. Often the author of a recipe doesn't know mushrooms. Wild mushrooms might mean anything besides "Agaricus bisporus" (button, crimini, portabello). Wild mushrooms is pretty vague, it's kind of like having a recipe that calls for two cups of vegetables or a half a pound of fruit.

Recombinant Cuisine

The Baroque Cycle is fantastic stuff.

Feb 11, 2014
Pipenta in General Topics

Gluten Free Friendly Lunch in New Haven?

How about Mezcal?

Nov 20, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Advice for a cake hack

I recently made one of those gluten free orange almond cakes.

You know how they go:

2 entire oranges (simmered until soft then pureed)
6 eggs
1 cup sugar
1 cup almond flour (fine meal)
1 t baking powder

You mix up the eggs & sugar, then add the orange puree, then the dry ingredients. Put the batter in a springform pan (Lined or whatever. I greased and dusted with rice flour.) Bake in a low oven for an hour or two. Recipe said 116°. My oven is wonky and it may have been more like 200°.

It didn't really rise, but I didn't expect it would. It came out of the pan nicely, smelled heavenly. Every step of the prep smelled pretty wonderful, actually. The color was lovely. It cut well. Is on beyond moist, almost damp. The flavors were nice but it wasn't quite there and danced on the edge of being cloying. It was missing something, it needed a bit of salt.

I'm going to make this again for a potluck this Sunday. I want to tweak it. I am reluctant to put salt in the batter because it is primarily egg and the salt might mess with the texture of the protein as it cooks. Maybe I'm being needlessly cautious. Perhaps the baking powder is already messing with the proteins. Maybe I don't need the baking powder at all.

Working with pieces of the cake I've already baked, I first tried sprinkling a bit of sea salt on the top. It was better, but not yet there. So I melted some nice dark chocolate on the top and put the salt on that and it terrific, bitter & salty giving the sweet almond orange flavors a bit of balance.

The thing is, i don't want the chocolate to be super hard on top of the cake. I don't want more sweet, so I don't want to do a chocolate syrup. And this is a nondairy thing I'm doing, so ganache or the quick variants thereof are out.

What I am considering is mixing a bit of cashew butter with the melted chocolate and then spiraling that over the top of the cake before I salt it.

It's been a while since I messed with making desserts, so I'm rusty. I would greatly appreciate advice. Does this sound like it would work?

Nov 07, 2013
Pipenta in Home Cooking

The definitive gluten free "BEST OF" list! Please add your favorite retail GF stuff.

I second the KIND bars. Especially when I am on the road, I try to always have some on me.

Nov 03, 2013
Pipenta in Special Diets

Boom, Westbrook, CT

They do have the chowder w/sweet potatoes... if, if you can't get past the security guard to park your car.

Nov 03, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Boom, Westbrook, CT (Long)

Ate at Boom last night. Food was decent, but then I wasn't picking up the tab. Service was good, but not amazing.

The reason I'm bothering to post is the odd and unpleasant way our Boom experience started. The place is located in a boatyard. To get in after hours there is a security gate. I'm sure the place is jumping in the summer, but at six or so yesterday when we showed up, there wasn't much boaty going on. It was quiet. We pull up to the gate and the security kiosk is empty. There is a small notice with an intercom with instructions to push the button. We do. We push it and push it and push it. We talk in to it. Nothing. We call the restaurant. We wait. I get out of the car and look around. No sign of anything. I go up to the gate and test it to see if we can lift it. This, apparently, finally inspires the security guard to come and let us in. He is NOT gracious about it. In fact, he lectures us and tells us that if the gate should break, that's five grand out of our pocket. By the time he's done posturing and scolding, our jaws are all a danglin'. Yeah, he was a charmer.

And we get in to the restaurant and mention what happened and they just kind of shrugged it off, because that was the security company, not them. Seems to me if they don't deal with this kind of thing, they'll be less Boom & more Bust.

In any event, we won't be going back.

Nov 03, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Best Place for Pizza in New Haven for Group of 8 Including Kids

I raised kids in New Haven and the easiest place to bring them for the most authentic New Haven pie was bar on Crown Street. It's a big place and it is not at all unusual to see children there. In fact, I've even attended a kid party in a room on one of the upper floors, not sure how you'd count it above the mezzanines and all.

bar is big, the pizza is the real thing, and the space is engaging and accommodating.

Oct 29, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Roia Restaurant & Cafe - New Haven, CT

Has anyone tried this place since? The reviewers are all over the place. NYT swooned, many yelpers bitched. CH is silent.

Anyone? Anyone?

Oct 29, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven

I just want to mention that the only reviews I'm seeing on line are by bloggers who've been comped the thing and are just wetting their pants with excitement from getting a free big ticket item. Gah. I gather it is nice. It's big and it shines - woo hoo. But I want to hear about it from someone who either did not get it for free, or at least a jaded professional who is perfectly capable of looking a gift horse in the mouth, someone who won't just regurgitate the promotional material like a seventh grader pasting a term paper together right off wikipedia. Two sentences jammed in at the end to the effect that the reviewer has made two recipes in the damn thing and gosh, they turned out delicious, is not sufficient to count as a review.


My mom is thinking about the damn thing.

So yeah, I want a regular chowhounder's feedback, or at least a known grouch.

Oct 12, 2013
Pipenta in Cookware

Wolfgang Puck Pressure Oven

The bastard child of a pressure cooker and a toaster oven. Might be really nifty, might be ridiculous. I'm wondering what's involved with cleaning the thing.

Anybody got one? Review it for us plz?

Oct 12, 2013
Pipenta in Cookware

Foraged Food: Honey Mushrooms

But forays are FUN! Even if you aren't collecting to eat, it's glorious to walk in the woods and learn about mushroom.

All the "time and effort" is the payoff, eating mushrooms can be a happy side benefit.

"It's not worth all the time and effort (hot to mention the risks) so I just buy mine at the commercial outlets." Sums up all that is wrong with our modern lives. It all has to take place in the market. Want to stack up the numbers of people who have been sickened, given serious illness that cause permanent damage or actually died from food they bought in a supermarket. MMMmmyum. Let's have some pinkslime e.coli H70157 infested beef, eggs full of bacteria and some contaminated peanut butter. Yummy let's have processed foods so very artificial that you couldn't make them in a kitchen, you'd have to make them in a lab. Veal raised in tiny boxes, strawberries thick with fungicides, arsenic in our rice, blueberry muffins that contain no blueberries and and and...

Me? I try to minimize the number of purchases I make in a supermarket. Sometimes there aren't any options. But big food scares me way more than mushrooming does.

And I especially like that nobody is making a profit by my mushrooming.

Oct 07, 2013
Pipenta in Home Cooking

Any Tamales in the Greater New Haven Area? In Connecticut?

I'm embarking on making my own. I've got fresh green husks for wrapping. Going to do one batch with lard and another batch with shortening. If this doesn't bring me to my knees, I'll be able to evaluate what I like about the dough for further tweaking. Plan to steam them in a pressure cooker. Filling will include huitlacoche. One batch with chilis, one batch mild. So four types: regular mild, regular hot, veggie mild, veggie hot.

I wonder if I can wrap them one day and steam them the next?


Sep 13, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Foraging Board?

c. oliver,

I hear you and I feel you and a couple years ago the only thing I would have said after your comment would have been AMEN. But I've learned a few things since then, not the least of which is how mycophobic our culture is. Americans, most, don't do wild mushrooms. We fear them. We are taught to LOATHE toadstools. We're so afraid them them that many people won't touch them. And that is telling because even poisonous mushrooms are not venomous mushrooms and touching them won't hurt you.

But that is how much we fear them.

Yet mushrooms are the fruiting bodies of fungus and you consume fungus every day: bread, cheese, beer, wine.

Hmmm, beer and wine? Now those are DANGEROUS. Do you know how many people are killed by alcohol compared to mushrooms? Even in places where mycophagy is common, alcohol is far more dangerous.

There are berries that are poisonous. Fish can be poisonous, think about ciguatera! And frankly, more people are killed by eating rare hamburger than mushrooms and there would be a huge uproar if the discussion of burgers was banned on the boards.

Fungi is a Kingdom, one that is as important to life on Earth as Animalia and Plantae! Millions of species. Some are very tricky to identify. But some, and happily some of the most delicious wild mushrooms are both common and easy to identify.

If , for example, sparrow were poisonous, you might decide not to hunt anything in that order, give all the passerines a pass, even if some were good, safe, nutritious and delicious. But if ostriches were good to eat, surely you could tell them from other birds, even emus and rheas.

And there aren’t as many really dangerous mushrooms as you think. There are some that will kill you and others that will make you so sick you’d wish you were dead. There are mushrooms that are find and delicious and no problem to eat UNLESS YOU DRINK ALCOHOL with them, and then, oh baby, are you gonna be sick.

Some mushrooms are eaten with great enthusiasm by most people, but are digested well by others. My mom can’t eat chicken of the woods. I can eat the $h*t out of it, and my digestion can be very touchy with other things. Maybe you can eat oysters. They make so ill I dunno whether to ride the bus or drive it, if you know what I mean.

And there are a lot of mushrooms that just don’t taste good, are too bitter, or flavorless or yucky. And then there are those that some people like and others don’t. Some people love broccoli, some don’t. I have a friend who is revolted by red meat, while my son loves nothing better than a bloody rare steak.

I’m new at this and I’m sticking to the screamingly obvious mushrooms. Things like hen of the woods, chicken mushrooms, black trumpets and chanterelles. As time goes by I learn more. I can tell the safe puffballs from the toxic ones. I don’t do a lot of the gilled mushrooms, but I sure lovely the honey mushrooms that you can gather by the bushel in the fall. I make a point of learning if there are nasty look alikes at the same time I am learning the new mushroom. I tend to eat the common edibles because I see them more often. The more I see something, the better I know it. I’m even starting to learn some of the boletes.

Mushrooming requires that one is responsible. But so does food prep and cocktails. The thing is, the more you know about these things, the safer you are. We can’t force people to be sensible, but that’s a bad reason to withhold information. In the end, that never works out. Because foolish people will do foolish things no matter what.

I am, like I said, a beginner. I have a stack of books and I am a member of an excellent mushroom club. And I’ve found FIVE DIFFERENT SPECIES OF CHANTERELLE IN MY TOWN THIS YEAR! You cannot buy these things and they are AWESOME.

If there is to be a wild food board, you don’t want to ban fungi as a topic. Yes, somebody might do something stupid. But they might make poison ivy into a salad too. And there’s plenty of dangerous food for sale in the average supermarket.

In what part of the country do you live c. oliver? Come on down, not the primrose path, but the mushroom path. You are a foodie. You will dig it.

Five kinds of chanterelles.

Black trumpets.

and if you live in the right part of the country, morels. OMG!

Aug 19, 2013
Pipenta in Site Talk

Foraging Board?

I'd love to see a mushroom board. They ain't animal/meat and they ain't plant/vegetable, we're talking a whole different KINGDOM. Lots of ignorance about the topic. The US is largely a mycophobic country, but that's changing. Still, I don't know if there are enough mycophiles here to carry a board... yet.

But what about a foraging board? A hunter/gatherers board? Not everyone has land for a garden or a backyard for chickens. Wild foods are getting more attention, but it isn't like they ever really went away.

It would encompass wild plants, fish, game & mushrooms, aspects of gathering/catching (locations, regulations, methods) and the obvious prep and recipes, festivals, specialty restaurant and chefs.

It's a happening thing and it would get more interest if it was all under one roof, errr, on one board.

Aug 19, 2013
Pipenta in Site Talk

Contamination in Dried Mushrooms

Anyone know anything on this topic? Cesium in particular, imported mushrooms in particular, but I'm interested in all of it.


gonna xpost in food media

Aug 19, 2013
Pipenta in General Topics

fresh huitlacoche?

Any one have any ideas about where to find fresh huitlacoche (corn smut) in Connecticut?


Aug 19, 2013
Pipenta in Southern New England

Mango Ripening Time?

I was in Florida several days ago and picked up a half dozen big green mangos from a fellow who had an orchard/grove of trees on Merritt Island. They are big fruit. Some have a red blush.

I was very excited about home grown mangos. I packed them up in my suitcase and brought them back to CT.

The grower told me they'd be ripe in about three days. It's been more like five and they are all pretty hard. Any suggestions? Should I pop them in a paper bag or look for recipes for green mango?

Jun 15, 2013
Pipenta in Gardening

Virgin Gin and Tonic

I am certainly going to try this. I love G&T's, but if you try to use them to quench your thirst after working outside on a hot day, they'll knock you flat on your ass. So I've been longing for a non-alcoholic drink that would be as refreshing for years. I tried combining juniper soda and tonic water. The juniper soda was delicious all on its own, but it couldn't stand up to the tonic. Yep, I'm going to try this. Any particular brands of non-alcoholic wine you'd suggest?

Jan 10, 2013
Pipenta in Recipes

California's Shark Fin Ban Survives a Challenge

Foie gras and shark fins have very little to do with each other. The one is an issue of farming practices. The other is about extinctions. Gone. Forever. Y'all want some roast passenger pigeon? How about dodo? Hmmm. Let's eat snow leopard, tiger, rhino. Let's eat chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla. Let's have the last condors with buffalo sauce and blue cheese. I bet those pink Amazon river dolphins are tasty.

And sharks, sharks are ever so much older than EVERY human culture.

Jan 03, 2013
Pipenta in Features

Lenny and Joes in New Haven

I'll probably be giving it a try at some point. My mother is always jonesin' for seafood and while she likes the food at Stowe's, unless the weather is perfect for sitting outside (not too hot, not too cold, not too wet, not too breezy, etc etc...) she doesn't like it.

So I've had to hump up I-95 more often than not. I've had so-so meals at both of the L&J and also at Lenny's Indian Head.

The thing is, even if this place ain't spiffin' awesome, at least it's in town. And I can stop by Ikea and pick up a HOLMØPZ or a VARKBLARGÜNDOOF or something.

Dec 20, 2012
Pipenta in Southern New England