I’ve written about the psychology of disgust for volume 3 of Cereal Magazine. I have to say with complete honesty that Cereal is one of the most beautiful mags to have hit my door matt in a long time. The paper stock, the design, the images, the typeset. It has been put together with a lot of thought and makes me feel calm just looking through it. They have a pretty wide, global distribution so if you see it in your city or on your travels do take a look.
I’ve written about the food of St. Louis for United Airlines’ inflight magazine Hemispheres. It actually spans the entire food section of the magazine. I passed through St. Louis last October on a large research trip that took me through 17 states looking into regional styles of barbecue; which has become a mild obsession. Regarding barbecue, there’s a piece in the section on St. Louis snoots and another on Ron Buechele’s Capitalist Pig. There’s a segment on St. Louis Gooey Butter Cake and another piece on Chef and James Beard nominee Gerrard Craft, who has been taking ramen in an Italian direction.
If you are jetting about within the US on a UNited flight this month, or outside the US for that matter, do check it out – there’s a good cocktail recipe in there too.
Links to the pieces online are below
I’ve written about sake for Gin & It’s second issue. I’ve become enamoured with sake following a recent trip to Tokyo where I brought back as many bottle as I could physically fit into both mine and my wife’s luggage. Sadly, my supplies have long since disappeared. You can find Gin & It issue two in Books for Cooks, Foyles, Magma and a collection of other independent magazine specialist in various countries. Better yet, you can subscribe direct here.
At the time of year when enthusiasm for the Christmas meal runs high and the preemptive appetite seems almost insatiable, pressure in the kitchen inevitably begins to build. The cook (let’s not just assume it’s going to be mum) will deal with a volume of food that neither they, nor their kitchen are used to. It’s when we tend to make the most effort in feeding our loved ones, and beyond the perils of the still-frozen turkey or the Christmas pudding that explodes in the microwave, there is the added danger of just trying too damn hard.
Continue reading at The Guardian here.
As a child climbing trees in the Dorset woodlands, lichen regularly supplied my trousers with stains, and my mother the arduous task of removing them. The thought that the greenish-grey growth could ever be useful for anything never occurred to me, but encouraged to take a deep whiff of moss harvested from an oak tree, I instantly become intrigued…
Continue reading at The Times here.
As I walk into Calumet Fisheries, a thin man with a whispy grey beard is being handed his order. He’s opted for fried shrimp and a large chunk of smoked salmon. The women behind the counter have wrapped it up in white paper and, in blue biro, have written what’s inside. He’s obviously a regular as they know him by name. “See you Friday, Don,” they say in unison. The white washed wooden building sits deep in Chicago’s southside on the edge of the 95th street bridge. The same bridge that John Belushi and Dan Akroyd jump in The Blues Brothers movie. Completely out on its own, Calumet Fisheries doesn’t seem to be very local to anywhere, yet it has an army of loyal customers. “We never used to see young guys like you down here,” explains manager Carlos Rosas. “If we ever saw someone your age in here, we knew it would be for their mother, or their grandmother.” Things changed a little when Anthony Bourdain featured Calumet on his tv show and now young folk aren’t quite so few and far between.
Whilst I was working out whether to go for the black pepper and garlic smoked salmon, or the smoked catfish, Carlos came from out the back and offered me some salmon cheeks, still warm from the smoker. I picked one up by the crisp pectoral fin, which is placed just in front of the gill. It carried a healthy hit of smoke flavour and the fatty cheek had broken down into a deliciously tender chunk of flesh. Carlos gave me a knowing smile. I ordered both the catfish and the salmon and followed it up with an order of smoked shrimp.
Calumet smoke three days a week and I was lucky enough to have arrived on a Monday as a batch of salmon was nearing the end of its smoking. Carlos took me to see the brick smokehouse that sits just outside the back door of the main building. The smokehouse has two doors and during the 6-7 hour smoke, the doors are opened and closed to control the density of smoke and also the temperature. As I’m taking a look, the bottom door is open to let the temperature drop, but to retain a certain density of smoke. We chatted about the food of Chicago whilst making our way though a large piece of smoked sturgeon. It carried a subtle smoke flavour and had a real meaty texture.
Calumet only offer smoked or fried seafood and regulars take their paper wrapped goods a few yards away to the edge of the 95th street bridge. The thick, flat railings of the bridge make for an impromptu counter on which to eat their packages of smoked and fried seafood. On Carlos’ recommendation, Emma and I decided to take a two minute drive up 95th to Calumet park and ate our smoked seafood overlooking Lake Michigan. Unlike smoked salmon you may be used to in the UK or Europe, the smoked fish at Calumet comes in thick, steak-like slabs. I love Calumet because it’s rugged and has a medium to heavy smoke. It’s a bit of a drive down through Chicago’s south side, but if you have the opportunity to get down there, an order of black pepper and garlic salmon and some smoked shrimp are certainly worth your dollars.
3259 East 95th Street,
“My first encounter with insects at mealtimes was in Spain during the early Nineties. I’d taken a bite into a nectarine and as I sucked the juices from the soft, ripe flesh, I felt something tickle the underside of my lip…”
Read the whole article on The Independent here
I’ve written about Dave Muller and his amazing bread for Huck Magazine. Dave owns Outerlands with his wife in the Outer Sunset, a neighbourhood on San Francisco’s Pacific coast. The same conditions he is paying attention to for surfing; humidity, temperature and wind direction, are the same variables that affect his sourdough. If you’re heading out anytime soon, make sure you get over there. Pick up issue 34 of Huck to read more.