Recently I ate lunch at a restaurant in Jackson called Babalu. The menu was very interesting and the food was delicious. It was kinda, sorta Mexican with some Mediterranean touches. I ordered lamb sliders. The server offered several sauces, among them Comeback.
Thanksgiving dinner without some form of cranberry side dish is practically un-American. Because cranberries are grown in almost the same location as the site of the very first Thanksgiving feast, it seems logical that the tart red fruit has been around since the Pilgrims and Indians first celebrated.
For a child who enjoyed reading the encyclopedia, the internet is a dream come true. As I was pondering the question of the oldest restaurant in Europe, rather than searching through pages and pages of a heavy book, I had several answers in just a few seconds.
For the last two weeks at my house we have been totally absorbed in “The Tale of Peter Rabbit.” If is, you see, the theme of a birthday party to be held on Saturday. The birthday boy, all of 2 years old, is completely enchanted with Peter and his mischievous escapades.
When doing research for one of these culinary writings, often I stumble upon amazing facts. Not being a sports fan, I have lived on the fringes of tailgating. I assumed tailgating happened about the time college football became popular.
There is a strange, circuitous route to the subject of this column each week. Sometimes the subject is the result of my insatiable curiosity about all things food. More likely, the subject just pops up. The latter is the source of this week's writing.
Last week we discussed a number of facts about one of the oldest foods created and eaten on this planet. I related a story about Mr. Ed Edelman of The Ideal Cheese Shop in New York. Out of curiosity, I emailed The Ideal Cheese Shop. The reply to my email said that Mr. Edelman was living happily and healthily in Florida.
As early as 1500 BC, cheese was an established food. The Romans were very adept at making many different kinds of cheese. It is said that more than 600 kinds of Cheddar cheese are made in Britain alone. General, and later president of France, Charles de Gaulle said in 1962, “How can you govern a country which has 246 varieties of cheese?”
A principle that has always been of paramount importance to me in my work is authenticity. If I wrote on a menu that the entree was a French Cassoulet, then it would have sausages, duck, a bread crust and other essential ingredients. Although the sausages might be American made, they would be as close to the French ones as possible.
The day I’m writing this, Aug. 15, the birthday of an important woman, should be declared a national holiday to honor this woman who changed the face of eating in America. In 1912, Julia Carolyn McWilliams was born in Pasadena, Calif., into an upper middle class family.