Long-form Food Writing: Journalism You Can Sink Your Teeth Into
Great story. Not something I’d ever heard of before. And I also thought the term hoagie was limited to PA and NJ.
It smelled like a hazelnut torte that had taken a tumble in the moss with a wood nymph. It was the prettiest piece of fungus I’d ever seen, wrapped in a jewel-like burgundy coat. As I shaved it over linguine, waves of cocoa, clove cigarettes, and sweaty spice billowed up, as seductive as anything I’d encountered in Europe. I thought: Has one of the world’s greatest wild ingredients been sitting in our backyard all along, waiting for someone to notice?
Another article on the subject:
Interesting claim that Oregon truffles are better when they’re hunted with dogs.
Kind of makes sense intuitively- they found those truffles in the Outdoor article without the dog but they had no smell and were unripe. I guess if they’re pungent it’s more likely a dog would be able to locate them…?
Dave Arnold mentioned a couple times he tried to train his dog to find truffles using truffle oil. I think he used the synthetic product but it seemed worth a try in case the “active ingredient” is present in the oil and the truffle (plus I think he wasn’t about to bust out actual truffles to train his dog). That said, as I recall the dog got good at finding the oil but never ran into any truffles where he lived. Hard to say if it was because there were no truffles, the dog wasn’t that great at finding them or if it just didn’t work but kind of an interesting attempt all the same.
Artificial truffle aroma attempts to replicate the aroma of white Alba truffles (Tuber magnatum Pico). Most other truffles smell nothing like those. From those articles I don’t get the impression that Appalachian or pecan truffles do.
Yup, that’s certainly a likely explanation why it didn’t work. He talked about that a little bit and it kind of seemed like more of a lark that he wasn’t pursuing very seriously
(This is from 1967 and written by Nicholas Pileggi who also “Goodfellas” and “Casino” - the books and screenplays.)
Warning that this is a disquieting read (as it should be, given the topic).
On a weekend afternoon in 2021, Blanca met with several trackers at a restaurant near a beach south of Los Mochis. Over grilled fish, ceviche, and aguachile, the women teased and argued and bantered. Mentions of forensics and visits to the prosecutor’s office were punctuated by the snap of Tecate beer cans opening.
“Feasting allows the loneliness and terror of existence to be forgotten, at least momentarily,” anthropologist Gina Rae La Cerva has written. “Such pleasure brings us into that raw, mad, deep love of life.” Feasting can also be a venue for the sharing and salving of pain.
@robert posted this link in a thread discussing the lack of Fujian restaurants in LA.
It’s well worth a read.
And, if you find that interesting, you might want to check out Patrick Radden Keefe’s “The Snakehead: An Epic Tale of the Chinatown Underworld and the American Dream”:
I like the Murakami vibe.
There are so many wrong things in that piece it may take me a few days to get them all down.
You may like my 40 minute presentation on why Los Angeles has the best Chinese food in the United States. Not scholarly but it meanders through 170 years of Chinese American history and my own life history. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, I would love to know more, @chandavkl - an email will be sent. Thank you.
I often wonder what inspires people to combine ingredients into dishes: fortuitousness, the spirit of exploration, hunger pangs, and empty larders that demand you make something out of that old bread or sour milk. We’ll never know what inspired some pimento cheese ur-ancestor to mix cheese, peppers, mayo, and the world in a bowl. Why someone layered it between two slices of bread, or why people like me prefer it on sesame crackers or as a sumptuous burger condiment-that’s-more-embellishment-than-condiment.
I “lost” the recipe I’d been using for pimento cheese but this sounds right.
I grew up in the South btw
It took me a day or so to sit down and read this article but I ended up enjoying both the prose and the content:
It reads like low stakes muckraking as the author even admits…
I suppose I don’t know what I was trying to find. This wasn’t Dr. Richard Kimble discovering the truth about Provasic, or Michael Clayton finding out about U/North’s carcinogenic weed killer
…but it does delve into a subject and world I’ve been curious about for some time and I learned a few things.
As someone who works in documentary I deeply, deeply sympathize with the thankless, arduous path to getting straight answers from folks (especially in such proprietary institutions like flavor houses).
A bonus was the quote from Michael Moss, the journalist and author of Salt Sugar Fat which I highly recommend. Didn’t know Moss had written another book! Looking forward to reading it