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canuk going to hawaii. - moved from General Chowhounding Board

I would absolutely insist on coming home with a pound of Kona; preferably bought directly from a farm on the big island. There's a lot of stuff of questionable quality and origin being sold in the myriad ABC stores (under the "Kona Blend" moniker) in Hawaii so the farms themselves are the most trusted sources.
On Maui, there's a little vineyard (upcountry) that does surprisingly good wine. Not sure if you could fly with it or not, and I can't remember the name, but they give free samples and it makes for a nice daytrip if you're going upcountry.
Of course, as Babette said, Macadamia nuts are a must!!

May 27, 2011
cafesimile in Hawaii

Words that Annoy You in Restaurant Reviews

Things that are overly or excessively sweet must always be described as "cloyingly sweet". One rarely sees a negative dessert review without these two words joined together, and it drives me nuts.

May 19, 2011
cafesimile in Food Media & News

How Does Subway Stay in Business?

Subway (and especially McDonald's) maintains a brisk overseas business and attributing their success to America's inability to appreciate 'quality' is thick.

Oct 28, 2010
cafesimile in Chains

Maui Honeymoon - not trying to annoy, but

"Fish eating" and "vegetarian" are really mutually exclusive terms. One cannot be both at the same time. Having said that, Mama's Fish House never disappoints. Never.

-----
Mama's Fish House
Paia HI, Paia, HI

Oct 06, 2010
cafesimile in Hawaii

Avoid Farmers' Market Faux Pas

I've seen produce (lemons) squeezed and thoroughly inspected by a group of elderly ladies in Italy. No hands were slapped. They are not quite the germaphobes we are and it seemed quite acceptable. My issue was with the suggestion that in Europe, people do not handle produce, or if they do, it's done with much more panache. Rubbish. What is rude in one country remains rude in another. I've seen it on both continents.

Sep 03, 2010
cafesimile in Features

Restaurant tourist traps

Limster that was clever!!!

Sep 01, 2010
cafesimile in General Topics

Avoid Farmers' Market Faux Pas

"Because there *can* be such a vast and marked difference between rude and respectful, for starters?"

Thanks for clearing that up.

Sep 01, 2010
cafesimile in Features

Avoid Farmers' Market Faux Pas

"In Europe, you would get your hand slapped right away if you started fondling all the fruit." Why do people act as if European behavior and choices are the yardstick by which everything should be judged?

Aug 31, 2010
cafesimile in Features

are you obsessed with any food product in particular?

One of my obsessions is olive oil. All of it!! I truly feel that if given a blind tasting most people wouldn't be able to tell European olive oils from the really good ones from California. Right now California is doing with olive oil what it did with wine in the 70's and 80's. Let your obsession go domestic, Jadore!! You won't be sorry.

Jul 13, 2010
cafesimile in General Topics

Five Guys suggestion

The biggest reason I love Five Guys as well: Fresh Jalepenos. At least here in Murfreesboro, TN. they're fresh and not pickled. After that, just add cheese and mayo. Taste bud nirvana!!

Jun 16, 2010
cafesimile in Chains

Problems with San Marzano tomatoes in sauce

I have a highly technical recipe I've developed for tomato sauce using San Marzanos. I use it on my pizzas and pasta:

1 can of San Marzano tomatoes
Salt to taste. Cooked for approximately 10 minutes.

Really. That's it. The simplicity of the tomatoes is fantastic tasting

Jun 09, 2010
cafesimile in Home Cooking
1

Chains That Are EAsy to Love

Popeye's is a really guilty pleasure of mine that I allow myself every 2 or 3 years. After I eat it, I can almost hear my arteries clogging. I really have to disagree on Cracker Barrel. Recently they stopped using pure maple syrup on their pancakes in favor of "100% Natural syrup", which is some sort of sweet concoction. It was then I withdrew any hope for Cracker Barrel.

I'd like to nominate Chuy's as a chain that is extremely easy to love. I could almost eat Chuy's every night.

Apr 07, 2010
cafesimile in Chains

Mail order olive oil? What's the best?

I've always been fond of Bariani olive oil from Sacramento, particularly the early green olive harvest. Not for the faint of heart, though. I wouldn't describe their olive oil as either subtle or buttery. It's a bold, robust oil full of olive flavor.

http://barianioliveoil.com/

Apr 06, 2010
cafesimile in General Topics

Foods you can't keep in the house because you can't stop yourself eating them

Vanilla Oreos. I like chocolate/ original ones O.K., but when they came out with the blond ones, it was all over for me. Now, I have to just keep walking when I pass them in the store, lest I buy-scarf the package.

Mar 25, 2010
cafesimile in General Topics

First Visit to Nashville - mid March

Zola. It's my favorite restaurant in Nashville. Chef Paquette, with a pronounded Spanish bent to her cooking, is always creative and her dishes are well executed. Watermark also has wonderful food, but a bit more pricey and the atmosphere is a little stuffy for me. You'll probably get a few recommendations for Cafe Margot before this is all said and done, but I think the quality has fallen off a bit lately, and I was a little disappointed by my last couple of visits.

So what's in your tuna sandwich?

...but that's not a tuna sandwich

Sep 23, 2009
cafesimile in Home Cooking

Is this a good Bolognese Recipe?

I personally like Mario's recipe. . . and he leaves lots of room for personal touches too.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HqBqiG...

Jan 02, 2009
cafesimile in Home Cooking

How Fresh Is That Olive Oil You're Using? A Must Read If You Like Olive Oil...

Unfortunately, it's long been a standard practice that the United States gets the "runt" of the European litter when it comes to olive oil. There are ,however, some very good Californian oils out there- especially right now. . . Bariani comes to mind as they are shipping their "October Harvest" oil. Amazing stuff!! FWIW I heartily endorse Colavita for frying in. . . It's inexpensive and unadulterated if a little long in the tooth.
Thanks for the codes, Billy

Dec 30, 2008
cafesimile in General Topics

Have you ever "trained" yourself to eat something?

Anchovies. First time I tried one, the only thing I could think of was the smell of opening a can of 9-lives for my cat when I was a kid. Come to think of it, it matched perfectly the idea of what cat food would taste like also. Then, curiously, I tried a pizza with basil, pecorino ramano and anchovies and my aversion evaporated. Still can't eat the fishies alone, though. They are definitely an accompanying food

Jan 04, 2008
cafesimile in General Topics

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

It's beginning to sound to me that you know what you want you're just waiting for someone to validate it (re: your last two posts). O.K., get the kitchenAide mixer, the toaster oven and the food processor with one of the lesser quality cookware sets. . . I think it's a good call.

Sep 23, 2007
cafesimile in Cookware

If you were choosing one of these cookware sets...

Nicole, I think the key word in your original post is "rewards". I suggest you go ahead and get the All-Clad and reward yourself. I don't think anyone will dispute the quality or durability of All-Clad; bang for the buck where most All-Clad arguments start, and this is where you have a distinct advantage with your insurance rewards. Wow, I wish I had your dilemma. Whatever you choose, enjoy.

Sep 22, 2007
cafesimile in Cookware

Bestest Yogurt [Moved from The Best]

Sorry it took me so long. I use a cheesecloth over a mason jar for about 4 hours, any longer than that you really start entering sour cream territory. That's not really a bad thing, though, as wife loves it on her baked potatoe

Mar 17, 2007
cafesimile in General Topics

Bestest Yogurt [Moved from The Best]

I like to just strain plain ole Dannon yogurt. It's much less expensive that Fage and I absolutely cannot tell the difference. There are no "fillers" in Dannon either, it's just too thin and "Americanized". Once it's been strained, add honey and or nuts and enjoy!

Mar 11, 2007
cafesimile in General Topics

Brands to check out for a heavier chef's knife with a wide blade?

I must ask why the "stay away from Henckels" statement. A company that's been making professional grade cutlery since the 18th century deserves a little elaboration. I own both Wusthof (classic) and Henckels (4 star) they are both great tools.

Mar 03, 2007
cafesimile in Cookware

Help with popcorn

I don't know if you make clarified butter or not, but if you do, try using the milk solids portion of the butter to put on your fresh hot corn. It gives it a cheesey, butter taste. Incredible. Fresh grated parmesan has momma slapping potential as well. I love stove popped corn.

Mar 03, 2007
cafesimile in Home Cooking

What does catfish taste like?

I don't know, I put cod and roughy in the plain, white, mild fish category. Catfish has a twangy taste (for lack of a better word) that defies my attempt at classification. If it's fried, and it mostly is, there is a taste in the background, behind the cornmeal coating plucking on a banjo.

Feb 24, 2007
cafesimile in General Topics

Is Fondue back? - The Melting Pot opinions.

I was a bit thrown off by the oil bit as well. My wife and I always get the coq au vin to cook in (chicken broth, white wine, spices) and have enjoyed ourselves and our food every time, if not a little poorer.

Feb 24, 2007
cafesimile in Chains

Anthony Bourdain blogs about the Food Network...

This isn't a fansite. Maybe you should evaluate your expectations when opening a thread. I always expect to find people on every side of an issue when reading through a thread. A healthy exchange makes for great ideas. Did you really think that this would be just a bunch of people rephrasing "Bourdain is a twisted genius" sixty times? By the way, I like the guy.

Feb 24, 2007
cafesimile in Food Media & News

Best olive oil for general cooking

Spelled Colavita.

Feb 18, 2007
cafesimile in Home Cooking

Best olive oil for general cooking

I just always go with colivita (in the tin). I think it's probably the best of the easily accessable brands. Of course I'm sure someone is going to chime in with a recommendation from Trader Joe's / Costco. Those names pop up in just about every thread. I speak from envy as I have neither of those stores near me.

Feb 18, 2007
cafesimile in Home Cooking