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LorenzoGA's Profile

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Best tasting broth sold in a store?

I'm almost certain Serious Eats did a taste-off. Check over there.

about 12 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Where to buy blood

Thanks for editing your post to add the reason you're seeking it.

Why do you want to try different kinds of blood? Wouldn't pig, which is probably the most widely available and most commonly used for black pudding, work just fine? Granted, lamb is sometimes used, but why bother? If the answer is simply "for the sake of experimentation," well, then that makes sense. There are a lot of experimenters on CH. Have fun. I've made black pudding, but only with pig blood.

about 12 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Where to buy blood

You can't leave us hanging like that. Everyone is going to want to know WHY.

Pig blood is not too difficult to find in multi-ethnic markets near me. I've never seen any other kind for sale.

about 14 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Typical American breakfast foods you don't enjoy at breakfast?

Ah, resurrecting an old thread. Okay, I'm bored today.

I don't care for any sort of sweet baked goods for breakfast. To my palate, "sweet" is for dessert only.

Factoid: Belgium may be famous for waffles, but Belgians do not eat waffles for breakfast. Rather, they're considered an afternoon sort of snack that you'd eat on the go. My Belgian-born wife likes to point this out every time we see waffles on a breakfast menu in the US.

about 17 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

What is omakase?

Agree completely. There's no doubt a large spectrum between run-of-the-mill and high-end, and perhaps I shouldn't have used the word "high-end" in making my point. I'm purely talking about the definition of the word. My point is only that, strictly speaking, the word "omakase" has nothing to do with the type or quality of items served.

about 17 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

What is omakase?

Bkeats, I think that definition is also more or less confined to high-end sushi places. If I sit down at the very ordinary sushi place I frequent and tell the chef I want "omakase," he's happy to oblige, but what he presents is generally just humdrum nigiri and such--nothing I couldn't have ordered myself. So I guess what I'm saying is that the term "omakase" doesn't literally mean a thoughtful progression of interesting items (though perhaps it is increasingly taking on that meaning in the minds of foodie readers as a result of more people reporting on their high-end omakase experiences). All it literally means is that the chef is going to choose what the diner is going to receive.

about 18 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Where Were the Shad?

Ditto for me! I remember in the '70s when my mom would bring home shad and shad roe--it was a seasonal rite that we would look forward to. From that graph, it looks like the shad fishery was already on shaky legs in the '70s. I also remember sportfishermen talking about the shad run in the Delaware river.

about 18 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

What is omakase?

Maybe I'm being a bit of a pedantic jerk, but in your first post you seemed to misunderstand the meaning of the word "omakase" and in this post you seemed to misunderstand the meaning of the word "hoodwinked." To be hoodwinked is to be fooled, cheated or swindled out of something.

In any event, it looks like you found what you were looking for. For the record, it seems you were looking for uncommon items that aren't on most sushi restaurants' regular menu but which the chef might decide to prepare when someone orders a high-end omakase. I've never had a high-end omakase, so I can only be envious. The omakase I have had in run-of-the-mill sushi bars hasn't resulted in the chef offering me anything that I couldn't have ordered myself off the regular menu.

It sounds like fun. I guess I won't get an invitation due to being a pedantic jerk ;-) In all seriousness, enjoy and have fun!

about 20 hours ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

Is it not for the consumer to shoulder SOME portion of the risk? I suppose a retailer could, at one extreme, test the fruit daily or otherwise take great care to ensure it has the absolute most desirable characteristics, but that kind of care would come at a cost. In some instances, I'd rather pay less and take some risk than pay more and take less risk.

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

Tee hee. I just bought peaches here in GA that were labeled as being from New Jersey (the season being over here). But I bought with full knowledge of that fact and that I was taking my chances with peaches trucked in from afar. They weren't too bad.

I'm sure the OP's cherries were labeled with their origin. I think anyone buying cherries in late August in the Southeast is taking their chances. If I'm not mistaken, even way up in the northern Midwest and Pacific Northwest the season is over for cherries, is it not?

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Return "sweet" fruit that isn't sweet?

Another vote for not returning unsatisfactory produce that is otherwise in what is generally considered salable condition, i.e., not rotten or damaged. It has long been my view that we as consumers have to shoulder part of the risk. How palatable an item is isn't always apparent from inspecting it in the store--as in the case of the OP's cherries. (BTW, you didn't really buy cherries in August in the Southeast, did you?--they are imported from far far away.)

I am conflicted, though. The consuming American public accepting low-quality produce is a major reason groceries continue to supply it to us. Putting our foot down--voting with our wallets--is the only way I see to change this. It IS possible for a major grocery chain to offer fruit that is appropriately sweet, juicy, or whatever it's supposed to be. When I travel to France and Belgium, for example, the fruits and vegetables in the supermarket almost always deliver on whatever characteristics they are supposed to have--perhaps not QUITE as delicious as if from a roadside farmstand, but on average far better than what we Americans are willing to accept from our grocery chains. Maybe if we start returning fruit that is dry, mealy, not sweet, or otherwise unpalatable, the grocery chains will rise to meet the new demand for better quality?

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Worst thing you ate before working-out.

Burrito. I love them, and I've made the mistake more than once. I am a glutton for punishment.

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

What is omakase?

Your post got swindled?

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Gulf area Oysters compared to Northern varieties (General Comp)

Did the shutdown have something to do with the GA-FL water wars?--inadequate river flow into the bay? A quick Google found nothing about this. Just curious.

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in New Orleans

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

Yeah, I think we're getting hung up on terminology. It seems all the OP is asking for is suggestions for an interesting array of things that might be offered at a sushi restaurant in addition to the common sushi items.

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

Okay, I see you reworded your question since I posted this reply. I think it's clearer now. Just asking for suggestions for serving "omakase" at home struck me as odd. I hope you receive useful answers.

1 day ago
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

ISO authentic arepa/taco meat recipes

1. "Reddish" eh? At least as far as chicken, it sounds like you may be thinking of Chicken Tinga. Try Googling that for recipes. There are many ways to prepare chicken and beef for tacos--the only clue in your post as to more specifically what you're searching for is your reference to "reddish." Have you considered a cookbook?

2 days ago
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Sushi and small plate dinner ideas need.

I'm curious as to what the alternative to omakase would be for serving sushi at home. Doesn't "omakase" simply mean that what is served is up to the sushi chef as opposed to the customer? In my house, the "customers" get what I choose to serve them--always.

2 days ago
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking
1

Gulf area Oysters compared to Northern varieties (General Comp)

When? Why? I haven't shopped for oysters lately, so I may be out of the loop.

2 days ago
LorenzoGA in New Orleans

Gulf area Oysters compared to Northern varieties (General Comp)

Any idea where the oysters were from that you had in Savannah? Savannah isn't really known as an oyster harvesting area. Charleston is, but Savannah not so much. If you don't know their origin, they could very well have been Apalachicolas from the Gulf--the standard go-to oyster in the Al/N.FL/GA region. When river water flow is high, they do tend to get watered down.

Aug 24, 2014
LorenzoGA in New Orleans

paella: fish sauce

I admit that for my seafood paella I use a mix of commercial stock bases, generally chicken and fish. But one could certainly use only fish stock. The widely available Better Than Bouillon brand, for example, has a fish stock as well as a seafood stock and a clam stock. Making fish stock from scratch is not THAT difficult, but for something like paella I find the commercial stuff adequate. If I were making bouillabaisse or fish soup, I would make it from scratch.

Aug 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

paella: fish sauce

Did the use of chorizo in paella originate in Spain, even if it wasn't used in earlier times? If it's a Spanish innovation, then it's okay with me!

Aug 22, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Harissa not spicy?

I WILL! A quick Google suggests that pretty much ALL harissa brands come in yellow tubes with red peppers, so I can't be certain I haven't tried this brand before. But I will keep an eye out for it.

Aug 21, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Harissa not spicy?

Harissa is more sweet than hot to my palate. It is not what I would call a "hot sauce." I have only tried commercial/packaged versions, never in a restaurant. I use it more as a sandwich spread than something I would dab on food to make it hotter.

Aug 21, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Premade enchiladas for camping

I think you're asking the impossible if you are concerned that reheating enchiladas will be "too mushy." As enchiladas that sit for a couple of hours before serving become mushy, I can't imagine how soaked-through those tortillas will be after storage and reheating at a campsite--they will fall apart. Why not just settle for burritos instead of enchiladas? Bring some tortillas and bring the filling separately, then assemble on-site. Warming tortillas over a campfire can be fun.

Aug 21, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking
1

paella: fish sauce

"So I'm thinking a fish stock wouldn't be out of place...or would it be overkill?"

No, fish stock would NOT be out of place. But Asian fish sauce is not even remotely the same thing as fish stock! I have used fish stock, and it works fine--not too fishy at all for my wife's and my palates, as we are fish lovers. Just make sure it's of the right concentration--not too strong. If you want to add a dash of fish sauce to the fish stock, give it a try, but too much fish sauce will not only make your stock too salty but the end result will taste nothing like Spanish paella.

France: One great meal in Lyon?

Well, no. We stumbled upon Rue de l'Arbe Sec while walking down Rue de La Republique, and it seemed that area was still lively at 9-10 pm. The bouchon we found was Le Petit Flore on Rue du Garet.

Aug 20, 2014
LorenzoGA in France

Specialties from the Vaucluse (Avignon) part of Provence?

Based on the same recommendations you must have read here, I had the bouillabaisse at Fonfon a couple of weeks ago. It met my expectations, and Fonfon's location is as picturesque as it gets. But I had never sampled bouillabaisse before, with the exception of my mom's attempt at making Julia Child's recipe when I was a kid in the '70s. I'm not sure what constitutes "tourist trap," though, since they seem to get plenty of tourists.

As for hotel breakfasts, as thrifty people, my wife and I always skipped the 10 euro (or more) hotel breakfast in favor of grabbing a quick croissant and coffee elsewhere for 2-3 euros.

Aug 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in France

France: One great meal in Lyon?

OP here, reporting back! I'd really like to report on more of our 3-week loop around France, but for now, here's a follow-up on Lyon. Troisgros (in nearby Roanne) was the only Michelin-starred resto of our trip--a real splurge for us--and although we ate very well everywhere we traveled, our meal at Troisgros was a major highlight. We had grins on our faces for days and will remember it fondly for years, I suspect.

The entire trip was a whirlwind, and we should have allotted twice as much time to each destination. And so we found ourselves racing to make our lunch reservation from somewhere near Dijon where we had stopped for the night on our way down from Belgium. (Due to our lack of foresight, we were just in time to join the August traffic madness heading south.) Anyway, with the help of GPS we managed to arrive in Roanne in time and enjoyed a Champagne and amuse-bouche in their garden. We were asked if we wanted a tour of the kitchen, and we excitedly accepted. Once through the kitchen we were seated at a perfect table by the window, looking into the garden. To avoid having to think too hard, we chose the wine pairing menu. For the sake of space, I won't describe every course, but I will say everything was superb. I did not photograph everything, but I did discreetly (I think) snap a few pics. I know my initial post was sketchy, but Troisgros turned out to be exactly the kind of experience we were seeking. Thank you, ChefJune, for recommending Troisgros.

We drove on to Lyon and had a very difficult time navigating the inner city, even with the aid of GPS. By the time we checked into our hotel and changed into some more casual clothes, it was close to 8:00 pm, and we went out to explore on foot. Because we had no idea in advance what time we would arrive or whether we would even be hungry, we hadn't made a dinner reservation. Of course, by 9:00 pm, we WERE hungry, and we searched for--what else--a bouchon. We found (this was closing in on 9:30) that a couple of those that often receive mention were no longer serving and/or were full or simply closed. There are, of course, numerous places that call themselves bouchons but rarely receive much notice, and we satisfied ourselves with one. So we at least had a chance to sample andouillette and quenelle de brochet. We remain blissfully ignorant whether the renditions were up to par.

Before heading out of town the next day, we visited Les Halles. I wanted to mention this because, well, we were a little disappointed. I suppose whatever we had read had led us to expect it would be grander. We found larger and more interesting markets elsewhere on our trip. We had also thought we might find something to eat on the spot there, but there's really nothing like that. There are a couple of restaurant outposts, a place to eat oysters and a Spanish ham bar. (I don't know what we were thinking/expecting--Asian-style hawker stalls?) We bought some St. Marcellin and some Brillat Savarin from Mere Richard's cheese shop, as well as some items from other vendors, and had these later or the next day as a picnic. Some of the best meals of the trip were our picnics--cheese, bread, pates, even oysters and whelks. As we made our loop around France, we tried to eat and drink whatever was local/regional. The vendors were always happy to steer us to such items.

With regard to Lyon, I suspect we will return. But it will definitely be done by train (from Brussels where we visit my wife's family once or twice a year). It's a great food city, though I'm not sure it deserves the label "gastronomic capital of France" that I have seen used. Bouchon cuisine definitely needs further investigation, not to mention the tourist sites that I suppose I should see between meals ;-)

My intent is to post a broader trip report soon.

Aug 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in France

Biarritz or Bayonne?

Excellent advice. Thank you. I have seen your replies in other threads about this region and hoped you would reply. Let me know if the facts in my reply to mangeur change any of your advice.

Since we will not be visiting Spain, we very much would like to get a taste of pintxos, even if it is not as much a part of the region's culture as it is over the border.

Jul 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in France