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LorenzoGA's Profile

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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

Biarritz or Bayonne?

Since we have a car, we are flexible with our route ... but not too flexible with our time, I'm afraid. We will be arriving from Rivehaut, where my wife's cousin lives. From Bayonne, we will be driving north up to Brittany. (I know it's a lot for one trip, but a Yank's got to do what a Yank's got to do.)

Jul 19, 2014
LorenzoGA in France

Home-made caesar dressing vs the OG Cardini table-prepared one?

I'm glad you found that. The one we make at home looks a lot better. Now I'm not tempted to visit the restaurant.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Biarritz or Bayonne?

We have about a day and a half to swing through the French Basque country. We are leaning toward Bayonne and skipping Biarritz--no time to see both. Thoughts? I found very few threads here on Bayonne. Is there a pintxos culture like in the Spanish Basque country? We will have had a number of restaurant meals by this point in our trip, and a pintxos crawl or a picnic or something along those lines sounds like a nice change.

Should I mention we love seafood, in any form.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in France

Venison Steak Tartare

I don't know why you would treat it any differently than beef in making tartare. I'm sure it will be fine. Not sure why the truffle oil, but if you enjoy it, then why not.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Venison Steak Tartare

Do they carry parasites? Wild boar sure does. I have no idea about deer.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Home-made caesar dressing vs the OG Cardini table-prepared one?

You had me at the first full sentence. Great story!

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Home-made caesar dressing vs the OG Cardini table-prepared one?

For more Caesar history, look up Julia Child's interview with Caesar Cardini's daughter.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Oyster Craze

I agree wholeheartedly. I can't speak for others, but as far as my posts in this thread I was merely focusing in on a relatively small "tree" of interest to me. I try to stay aware of the forest and usually scrutinize the origin of my food before buying.

Jul 18, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

Planes are reasonably efficient for transporting people and some high-value, low-weight goods, but not for bulk items. Oysters are not just luxury goods, but heavy, bulky, perishable goods that need to be surrounded by frozen packing material. That strikes me as almost a frivolous use of air freight resources. Whether it's economically justified is a different issue. Clearly, market forces say it is. Believe me, I understand that sushi restaurants buy fish flown in daily from Japan. That's the way the world works, and I am not trying to change the world. You speak as though I am coming off as preachy, and if I am, then I fully apologize. I'm not trying to persuade anyone to change anything they are doing. I will admit my own carbon footprint is regrettable. Sure, I fly all over the world, and some of those trips are more frivolous than others. Heck, I hardly even recycle at home. I'm lazy. That said, I do like the concept of putting a price on carbon emissions, and if airline tickets were to take that into account for all passengers, I wouldn't balk at paying it.

My contribution here was merely to say that flying a luxury item like seafood all over the world strikes me as a poor choice of how to most efficiently use the limited natural resources we have--and I'm referring to both the jet fuel and the tuna.

I think I am beating a dead oyster. That's all I've got.

Jul 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Tourist Hate

Hmm. His posts begins:

"Why is it there is all the hate of tourists on this site?

For those that live in Paris do you realize that you live in one of the most visited cities in the world?"

So I figured he was talking about Parisians on this site. I'm confused.

Jul 16, 2014
LorenzoGA in France
2

Tourist Hate

I have visited Paris three times (and will soon be visiting other parts of France for a few weeks), and I don't recall experiencing any "hate" because I was a tourist. I do recall a couple of instances in which a Parisian seemed impatient with me because I was not familiar with what I was trying to do at the moment and could not speak French well, but I can imagine the same thing happening to a tourist in New York. I think Parisians are similar to New Yorkers in this way--New York and Paris are both busy cities, and although the locals appreciate the tourism, the ones who are not directly involved in the tourist industry can't be bothered with some inept tourist slowing down his daily routine. I can understand this. People can't always be expected to cheerfully make allowances for tourists when they're on their way to work or whatever.

San Francisco may be different.

Jul 15, 2014
LorenzoGA in France
1

Oyster Craze

So shipping a planeload of rocks would be an "efficient" use of jet fuel, human resources, airport resources, air traffic control, airspace, etc.? And from an environmental point of view, if one accepts that the atmosphere can deal with only so much carbon emission (and yeah this is treading on controversial ground), wouldn't it be better for us all to allocate the carbon emitted from cargo planes to shipping the most critical items rather than near-frivolous luxuries like oysters encased in frozen gel packs? Heavy, bulky non-perishable items are generally shipped by rail or sea because it is, by generally accepted definition, more "efficient." Look up the amount of energy required to ship one pound of material one mile by rail or container ship and compare that to the amount of energy required to ship one pound of material by overnight air. And as I noted with the carbon emission, energy efficiency is just one measure--efficient usage of environmental resources is another.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

But you haven't related any facts that I don't agree with, so I don't know what you are "explaining" to me. People enjoy oysters. Economics dictates they will be shipped in any way that suits supply and demand. Simple as that.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Must have mexican cookbooks

Fair enough. With a large immigrant population, we're spoiled for choice in markets that stock items for Mexican cooking in Atlanta. I didn't need or care for Rick's suggestions of what to substitute in place of traditional ingredients, but I can certainly see how that would be appreciated elsewhere.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Oyster Craze

Don't burst my bubble, Buddha ;) Seriously, it's no doubt a complex equation. I do like the idea of supporting local or regional producers, though, whatever the carbon footprint difference may or may not be.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

You haven't explained anything to me, though your posts seem to be in reply to me for some reason. I know well how and why oysters are marketed. In the interest of avoiding an argument, though, let me assure you I'm not a locavorism activist. I don't like activists, and I wouldn't want any one else telling me what they think I should do. I'm relating what I myself do and why I choose to do it.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

You are missing the point. IF they could actually fill a 747 with oysters, that might actually be efficient. You do get that I'm using that hypothetical to make a point, and that we all know nobody ships an entire planeload of oysters? Of COURSE they are shipped along with all manner of other cargo. When they ship oysters wholesale (or retail) by air, they're packed in gel packs to keep them cold. They might ship them in 1000 lb. lots (that's a LOT of gel) to a retailer, or ship just a dozen to an individual. The packaging can in some instances weigh more than the oysters. I'm saying that shipping oysters by overnight air, which is how much of the small-producer oyster trade is conducted these days, is not especially efficient.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Must have mexican cookbooks

You can have my copy of Mexican Everyday if you want it. I've spent plenty of time in Mexico, too, at the markets, and even peering over the shoulder of a home cook, and I find Mexican Everyday to be dumbed down. But DiningDiva explained to me in a previous thread on this topic that not all his books are like that. However, it's the only Bayless book I am familiar with. I've really got to get a Diana Kennedy book so I can talk more intelligently about this topic.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Must have mexican cookbooks

Your Santibanez recommendations from previous threads on this topic have kept me and my wife busy for the past year! If only we had the time to cook from another one of your knowledgeable recommendations!

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in Home Cooking

Any recommendation breakfast between airport and le meridisn hotel

Okay then! SJM's suggestions below are excellent breakfast spots. Another time-honored hole-in-the-wall Southern breakfast joint would be the Silver Skillet on 14th Street: www.thesilverskillet.com.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in Atlanta

Oyster Craze

I agree with your tastes. I really don't like oysters from the Gulf of Mexico as much as those from the Northeast and West Coast, but I like the idea of supporting our regional fisheries. So to the extent possible I choose Apalachicola oysters, Georgia shrimp, etc., if I'm going to eat seafood here in Atlanta. But as the (so far, lone) locavore voice here, I'll add that I do try to save my oyster consumption for trips to the Northeast and West Coasts.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

Yeah, I recalled the CL article. I wasn't sure if posting a link to it here was permissible.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Oyster Craze

Before I read your whole post, I was going to mention that in the 19th century they were shipped by railcar. Today, though, fancy oysters are shipped by air from one coast to the other. I'm sure they are not filling up a 747. If they were shipped by truck from a few hundred miles away rather than from Maine to Idaho by air freight, that would sit much better with me.

As for the consumer electronics you mention, they are shipped by sea in containers, which is pretty efficient.

I assume avocados are shipped by truck, which is still not very efficient as far as I'm concerned. Most of the produce I eat is in fact grown in Florida--a neighboring state. In any event, I didn't say I absolutely refuse to consume anything but local foods. I find extreme locavorism to be impractical. (As an aside, if my wife had her way, we would eat no vegetable or fruit that we ourselves didn't grow on our land, which is the way she grew up.) What I said was the idea of eating foods--indeed, a luxury food like oysters--shipped from thousands of miles away doesn't sit well with me.

Jul 14, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Any recommendation breakfast between airport and le meridisn hotel

Are you driving a car or taking MARTA or a taxi from the airport? How far off your route up the interstate to Le Meridien at Perimeter are you willing to go for a good breakfast? What is your idea of a "good" breakfast spot? Does that mean a place where hipsters serve egg white and spinach omelettes with a side of house-made granola? A traditional Southern diner breakfast served by white-haired ladies who call you "honey"? Lox and bagels? Give us something to go on.

Jul 13, 2014
LorenzoGA in Atlanta

Oyster Craze

I've been pondering this myself for a while now. It's not just Atlanta, of course, but quite a few other of the landlocked places in the US, where restaurants are flying in oysters from far and wide. I could write a lengthy article on my thoughts about it.

zackly makes the point that oysters of different species or the same species but raised in different environments ("meroir," like "terroir," is a word that's been used) can taste really different from each other. Yes, oysters from New England and the West Coast can be delicious, and some think they taste superior to our relatively local Apalachicolas. I know I do. So I can see why people would WANT to import them.

What bothers me a little is the carbon footprint of shipping oysters all over the country. It's not like a bulk, non-perishable product, where you can ship it efficiently by freight. Oysters, like other seafood, are highly perishable. There is a lot of environmental overhead in shipping seafood. I try to eat local or at least regional food to the extent possible. I have long been bothered by the idea of Red Lobster selling lobsters all over the landlocked regions of the US. If you live in Iowa, eat pork, not lobster. I admittedly have been guilty of eating oysters shipped in from thousands of miles away, just as I am of eating other seafood that's been shipped in. I don't feel good about eating this way. If we live in Georgia, we should do our best to eat stuff grown in Georgia or at least avoid stuff shipped in from thousands of miles away. We have Apalachicolas that, while not local, are at least considered regional. If they're not good enough, then move to New England or the West Coast.

Jul 13, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Why do people like sea urchin?

I was being facetious.

Jul 09, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

Why do people like sea urchin?

I've heard the same thing said of oysters: "tastes like the sea." I think it's fair to put oysters and uni in the same category, and I would venture to guess that if someone likes one they also like the other.

Jul 09, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics

No Special Treatment for Vegetarians at Barbecues

People with dietary restrictions or limited palates can gracefully decline my cookout invitation. The word barbecue refers and has always referred to some sort of animal cooked over a fire. If someone wants to put vegetables on a grill, that's fine--vegetables are delicious--but that is not what I am inviting my guests to my house to cook for them when I invite them. I also wouldn't ask anyone to bring their own food. I supply the food when I invite people to my house to eat.

Jul 08, 2014
LorenzoGA in Features
1

Why do people like sea urchin?

"I almost threw up the first time I tried it...now I can't get enough!"

To which part of your post does the "it" refer?

Jul 08, 2014
LorenzoGA in General Topics