Updates from December, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • simonathibault 4:29 pm on December 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Eating The Best. 

    In November, I was asked – along with a slew of other food writers and bloggers – to give my two cents on what I thought were the best food trends happening in Halifax. I wrote:

    The best trend in this city right now is how we, the dining public, look at food. We, as diners, have become much more adventurous in what and where we eat.  We just want to eat good food, and that comes in all sorts of places, from fine dining establishments playing with modernist techniques to hole-in-the-wall joints that serve cheap burgers. We are treating food as a much more democratic place, and everyone and anyone can eat anything and anywhere.

    I was thinking of doing a year-end “best of” or “fave things” list of some sort, but ever since I wrote that, I feel like I’m not done with that comment.  If I want to leave the year on some sort of note of reflection, I’d rather do it on how we as Haligonians eat, rather than post a list of enjoyable things.

    It’s hard to talk or write about food today without the word “foodie” come up.  We already know that the term has been experiencing a backlash for some time now – B.R. Meyers wrote about it in March of 2011 – and it could almost be argued that the term is garnering derision amongst food-loving circles.  It’s like being called a hipster, no one wants to be called it or admit to being one. But those of us who love food, read about it, think about it and plan our lives around it, are often called it. Many of us – myself included – have been guilty of taking photos of our food and posting them to Instagram or Facebook or various other social media platforms.


    This post amounts to more than a hill of beans, I promise you

    But beyond the social and cultural critiques of how we look with food, the point is that we are looking at it, thinking about it and are cognizant of what food means, perhaps now more than ever.  Brillat-Savarin’s famously misquoted quote of, “Tell me what you eat and I will tell you who you are” has even more resonance now in a world of ethically sourced foodstuffs and “epic” meal. (I use the term epic in quotes because I’m one of those people who think the word should be used for grand stories in grand books and not for gluttonous though delicious experiences).

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    • Samie 2:43 pm on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      Great article, and reflective of how cities should be approaching food. Places like French Laundry etc. a nice treat, but it’s much more comforting to have Halifax’s own array of invested chefs and food-interested people creating a Haligonian food culture. Although I am curious — where can one find good pho in Halifax?

    • simonathibault 3:33 pm on January 9, 2013 Permalink | Reply

      There are a few places in the city that serve it, and I wouldn’t want to take away any credit to any particular place. So I would say make your own. You’ll be glad you did. Check out Naomi Duguid and Jeffrey Alford’s “Hot Sour Salty Sweet” for a great recipe. Naomi was recently interviewed for Passable, and I rhapsodised about making pho. http://passable.ca/2012/10/17/passable-interview-naomi-duguid/

  • simonathibault 3:41 pm on December 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It For December 14th, 2012 

    This week’s Read Up On It goes all over the world, from Japan to the U.K. to Korea via the U.S. and more. Eat it up!


    A still from David Chang’s “The Mind Of A Chef”

    • There is nothing worse than an overdone burger. Here in Nova Scotia, burgers can only be served in restaurants once they have reached an internal temperature of 160F. Well, looks like the same thing is happening in the U.K. according to The Telegraph.
    • Pepsi and roast chicken? In a potato chip? Only in China. (Via Gawker)
    • Michael Ruhlman releases a new book, only for the iPad. The subject: schmaltz.
    • I used to think I was adventurous to try lutefisk, that scandinavian holiday treat. Now, not so much. (Via Chow)
    • As for the most bizarre food moment of the year, I think this video is right up there. From the PBS series, “The Mind Of A Chef”, a strange primer on making kimchi. Also, pineapple in kimchi?
     
  • simonathibault 3:13 pm on December 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    A new gig. 

    I’ve got some pretty exciting news I had to share.

    As of yesterday, I am now a monthly contributor to Zester Daily, a site that looks to promote food, wine and travel from around the world.

    I will be writing about Nova Scotian and Atlantic Canadian food and food culture for the site. I look forward to telling as many people as possible about what is happening here in our region.

    For my first story, I decided to take a personal approach and talk about a favourite holiday treat, my grandfather’s sugar cookies. Take a peek at the story and and the recipe, here.

     
    • Clanmother 4:01 pm on December 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Congratulations! I know that you will experience great success…

  • simonathibault 4:21 am on December 7, 2012 Permalink | Reply
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    Read Up On It For December 7th, 2012 

    This week’s collection of links take you into the world of intellectual property, stinky durians and the lost foods of Hong Kong. Read Up On It!


    Image via Encyclopedia Britannica

    • How does one maintain ownership of an culinary technique or idea? Can you? Eater’s Gabe Ulla posts a great piece on the culture of kitchens, and the difficulty in maintaining “ownership” over one’s own ideas.
    • I remember I once bought some frozen durian. They were sealed in a vacuum-packed package, as well as wrapped in more plastic. Even frozen, the smell of the stuff was so potent that by the end of the day, even my fridge smelled like durian. Oh, and my breath smelled like I’d been sucking on a sewer pipe. So why does it stink so bad? The Smithsonian looks into it.
    • Finally, Gourmet Traveller goes to Hong Kong, looking for forgotten – or nearly forgotten – dishes. Take the Golden Coin Sandwhich: “Some dub it the “cholesterol sandwich”: individual sliders made up of pork-belly fat, char siu, and chicken liver, all squished together in a steamed bun.”
     
  • simonathibault 6:44 pm on December 5, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Hug Your Nanny Goat Cheese,   

    Got Goats? Get Milk. Get Love. 

    Virginia Smith talks about her goats like they are her children. All one hundred and twenty of them.

    “Lily and Willow were my first two goats,” she says, smiling as she thinks of them. Smith and her goats live in Weymouth Falls, a small village in southwestern Nova Scotia, about 25 minutes outside of Digby. It’s also where Smith runs Fromagerie Hug Your Nanny Goat Cheese, where she makes all manner of cheeses.

    Smith jokes that she grew up in a family of dairy lovers. She says when her cousins come to visit, “I give them fresh cream and cheese, and they roll their eyes back in their head, and are like, ‘I can die now.’ Seeing that reaction in people and feeling it in myself makes the work worthwhile.”

    Smith hasn’t always been a cheesemaker. She was born and raised in Elliott’s Cove on Random Island, a small coastal community in Newfoundland. “We were isolated but not as isolated as some islands in Newfoundland because we had a causeway, so we could drive a car and interact with civilisation,” she says. “I grew up listening to my dad telling stories about taking the horse and sleigh across the bay during the winter. The ice would be several feet thick, so they would take their work horse across the bay and pick up supplies like sugar, butter and flour, and the good stuff to keep them alive during the winter.”

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