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Kraft String Cheese is OUD

It's not really a premium. They do not benefit from economies of scale the way the big players do. I had a friend who was a mashgiach for Miller's years ago and they did a 2-day run in a dairy on an irregular schedule. So the dairy would be operating 5-6 days a week for the bigger companies and then shut down and kasher the equipment and then run kosher batches for 2 days (in a month or every other month, it varied). He monitored the kashering, the rennet pour and the transfer of the curds to barrels for shipment to Miller's packagers. When you're dealing in relatively small quantities then it's hard to compete effectively on price.

I don't want to come across as an apologist for Kosher cheesemakers, but you gotta give them some credit for addressing the needs of the market. I don't doubt that they would prefer to sell more broadly and at cheaper prices, but unlike kosher meat, where it carries a cachet that may persuade non-kosher buyers to pay a premium, nobody's paying extra for string cheese or American cheese unless it's an issue of dietary observance. So nobody's getting super-wealthy on kosher cheese alone.

about 1 hour ago
ferret in Kosher

common names for kosher cuts of beef?

Boneless beef shin (meat from the front legs).

about 3 hours ago
ferret in Kosher

Smell Taste Memory?

There are many chefs whose palettes (not palate) are based in food memories or smells associated with certain food experiences, Grant Achatz and Joan Roca are obvious ones. They play on those smell/taste associations - which, as you note, can be pretty strong and sustained - in their presentations.

about 3 hours ago
ferret in General Topics

What NOT to buy at Costco's

The plain ones or the Kirkland "Everybody's Nuts!" salt & pepper pistachios? (We like them both).

1 day ago
ferret in Chains

Turns Out That Cooking May Be Rocket Science After All.

1 day ago
ferret in Cookware

What NOT to buy at Costco's

From Costco's website:

"Merchandise:

We guarantee your satisfaction on every product we sell with a full refund. The following must be returned within 90 days of purchase for a refund: televisions, projectors, computers, cameras, camcorders, touchscreen tablets, MP3 players and cellular phones. "

1 day ago
ferret in Chains

New incarnations of foods?

The wife makes this all the time:

http://www.medicaldaily.com/veggetti-...

Jul 21, 2014
ferret in General Topics

sensational sour cream but only sold in part of the midwest

We get Kalona in Chicago. It's a terrific product (at a very premium price).

Jul 21, 2014
ferret in General Topics

Pureeing the Myth of Sriracha Sauce

The green spout on a red bottle is more evocative of the freshly-picked pepper and its stem. Tabasco may have thought of it first, but it's imagery that pre-dates modern packaging.

Jul 21, 2014
ferret in General Topics

What NOT to buy at Costco's

That's not a standard practice these days. They go out of their way to point out that it's a 90-day return policy. There's even an envelope attached to each TV box defining the limits of their return policy.

Jul 21, 2014
ferret in Chains

What NOT to buy at Costco's

Those are the worst. My wife decided to be healthier in snack purchases and the plus side was that we didn't feel like eating anything for at least an hour after trying those.

Jul 21, 2014
ferret in Chains

Looking for a great ice cream place in Chicago -- not a chain.

With kids, you may also want to try iCream in Wicker Park. It's part of a chain but their schtick is custom ice cream on the spot using liquid nitrogen. Might be fun for the kids.

Jul 18, 2014
ferret in Chicago Area

What NOT to buy at Costco's

Electronics went to a 90-day return several years ago (although they doubled the manufacturer's warranty to balance it out). I know people who were buying PCs and returning them when the new models came out and repeating that process, so eventually Costco realized they needed to balance out the "unlimited upgrade" abusers.

Jul 18, 2014
ferret in Chains

Looking for a great ice cream place in Chicago -- not a chain.

Scooter's is great for custard and Black Dog has great gelato, but they're not downtown, they're several blocks apart on Belmont between Asland and Damen. "Downtown" is somewhat limited for ice cream.

Jul 17, 2014
ferret in Chicago Area
1

Using Parchment Paper on Induction Stove to protect Surface when using heavy (cast iron) pans

Silicone mats are generally safe for oven use to 500 degrees. If you're getting surface temps that high from your stovetop cookware then you're doing something wrong.

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Cookware

Macaroni and Cheese in a Restaurant

What are you doing that takes 30 minutes?

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Home Cooking

Macaroni and Cheese in a Restaurant

Baked or more of a pasta/sauce preparation? One of the best mac & cheese dishes I ever had was in a fine-r dining restaurant with homemade pasta. It was served like any other pasta dish and prepared to order. Those are always the most successful. Otherwise, if it's a baked preparation then individual servings in ramekins can be prepared pretty quickly to order (

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Home Cooking

Minelli Brothers + Hot Italian Sausage (Long)

Just my own curiosity here, but you're responding to an 11-year-old thread. How did you even find it to respond to?

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Chicago Area

Kosher restaurants w/corkage

"Would they have the mashgiach check every bottle of wine brought in to make sure it was kosher?"

Uh, yeah. That would likely add some justification for a corkage fee. Kosher wine labeling isn't all that complicated and an added step of confirming the kashruth of a wine before opening and pouring is pretty insignificant.

And in an area like mine (Chicago), the cost of obtaining a liquor license is high and the process is cumbersome, so many (non-Kosher) restaurants opt for BYOB. Checking wines for proper certification seems like a very manageable step (it's likely to be in the 10-20 bottles per night range - and I'm probably overestimating).

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Kosher

Plug for the new Field Roast Burgers

Well, it's not really made from mushrooms, it's a fungus in that family but it's lab-propagated and bears little resemblance to mushrooms.

Jul 16, 2014
ferret in Vegetarian & Vegan

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

Most chimneys (not an enclosure for the fire) are lined with a double-walled flue (per code) and are generally brick. Fireboxes (the actual enclosure) are made of firebrick because it's non-combustble. You also need a non-combustible hearth. Wood fires are unpredictable and often unstable. Wood burns in an unpredictable manner and logs shift and may fall out of the grate and onto the floor.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in Cookware

I Don't Like Cheese - Am I Alone?

Life may still be awesome, but without cheese it's less awesome.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in General Topics

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

"Firecode rated" can be fire brick, it can be steel and fire-rated drywall -- it can be a number of things. Not all brick is fire rated, by the way.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in Cookware
1

Has anybody installed a charcoal grill in their kitchen?

You also have to remember that fireplaces are contained in firecode-rated enclosures and there are strict requirements for chimney flues that aren't directly applicable to range hoods. Residential range hoods are rated for movement of air and odors, not hot gases which are the byproduct of burning wood or charcoal.

You will likely need to look for commercial venting systems.

Fireplaces also have strict requirements about exposure to combustible materials, so you will likely need non-combustible materials at all sides, including the floor below. Probably not an issue for most kitchens, but you won't be able to install near cabinets, drywall or adjacent to wood flooring.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in Cookware
1

Supermarket caramelized onions?

We do have AC but we also have windows. We usually keep the windows and patio door open to get a little ventilation in because we don't run the AC non-stop. I've lived through many, many (many) summers and while I certainly don't cook indoors every day, I don't shy away from it just because it's a hot day.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in General Topics

Supermarket caramelized onions?

Really? You avoid cooking indoors the entire summer? I made a huge batch of caramelized onions in a dutch oven (in our gas oven) over the 4th - indoors. Don't really recall it being a hot chore.

Jul 15, 2014
ferret in General Topics

How to transform awful Amazon sesame sticks

Amazon clearly didn't make these. Do you want to share then name of the manufacturer so others don't make the same error?

Jul 14, 2014
ferret in General Topics

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

I really don't look at it that way. They're different things for different moods.

Jul 12, 2014
ferret in General Topics

Famous foods from your region you find tasty and delicious.

As a nearly lifelong Chicagoan, and having frequented the original Malnati's since it opened, deep dish is definitely not just for tourists. We also have a favorite spot for tavern-style as well as another spot for NY style and still another for Neapolitan. Oh and another 4 or 5 other places if we happen to be nearby. They're all delicious.

Jul 12, 2014
ferret in General Topics
2

Simple is better than exotic for some foods

Just the other day I had French toast with a fried egg cooked in the middle covered in sliced strawberries and chunks of battered chicken with a bbq maple syrup drizzled over it all. Freakin' awesome and I wouldn't have changed a thing. Part of dining out is gaining insight into others' creativity. Far from being "gussied up" this dish was clever, delicious and threw flavors together in a non-obvious way.

Jul 11, 2014
ferret in General Topics