Tangerine Dream?

Gates5

Gates3

Gates2 

Gates1_1

Gates7

Gates8

Gates4

Gates6

Would this be a New York blog without the obligatory post of photos of The Gates?

Admittedly, this post comes a little late, as The Gates exhibition closed yesterday. I only saw them for the first time last Friday, when I took these pictures early in the morning when the sun was bright and the ground had a dusting of fresh snow.

Although the color of the fabric was billed by artists Christo and Jeanne Claude as saffron, to my mind it was much closer to various hues of orange than mellow yellow. The shade of The Gates did change depending on the intensity of sunlight and its direction (as you can well see in the above photos), but, as has been noted on blogs and in the New York Times, the fabric's actual color might have been better described by other food items:

It's not that I don't love saffron. Truth is, I'm just mad about saffron. (heh.) But what I saw was tangerine. Miles and miles of tangerine. Flattened Clementines strung up in sheets. My eyes thus attuned to the color, I saw it everywhere for the rest of the afternoon. Tangerine scarves, tangerine subway seats, tangerine balloons and sweaters and traffic cones. [Hedonista]

As dazzling as The Gates is/are, there’s no way the color can be described as saffron, as every reporter who doesn’t know how to spell sunrise seems be doing reflexively. If the light is hitting the fabric just right, the proper word is clementine. [Gastropoda]

"Saffron produces a golden color, like a taxicab," said Ed Schoenfeld, a restaurant consultant and an expert cook who lives in Brooklyn. Like many other cooks, he was surprised that the artists called the fabric saffron. "This color is orange - more like a persimmon than saffron," he said. [New York Times]

As The Gates are taken down today and become just a memory, what food do you think best describes their color?

 


Agenda Addenda: Keller in Conversation

Keller3_1Thomas Keller with Alexandra Leaf, uber-chef Thomas Keller, of French Laundry, Per Se, and Bouchon, will chat with author and historian Alexandra Leaf, Tuesday, March 1, 8:15 p.m., at the 92nd Street Y, 92nd Street at Lexington Avenue. $25/person (212.415.5500).

Photo: French Laundry.

 


Agenda: 2/23 to 3/1

1. Alpage Cheeses and Valley Wines, wine pairings with cheeses from the Alpine peaks of Italy, France, Switzerland, and Austria, Thursday, Feb 24, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at the Artisanal Cheese Center, 500 West 37th Street, 2nd Floor. $75.00/person (877.797.1200).

2. Olives & Olive Oils, discussion and tasting of olive oil varieties, Thursday, February 24, 7:30 p.m., at Makor, Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th Street. $12/advance, $15/at the door (212.415.5500).

3. "Natural" Winemakers' Week, wine tastings, dinners, and wine education at selected restaurants in New York City, Friday, February 25, through Tuesday, March 1 (646.322.4254).

4. Happy Birdday, D'Artagnan, the purveyor of foie gras and organic game and poultry, is celebrating its 20th anniversary with a series of events. The festivities continue through Monday, February 28.

ONGOING EVENTS

1. Have You Eaten Yet? The Chinese Restaurant in America, an exhibit exploring the Chinese restaurant’s origin and growth in America and its cultural significance, at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor). The exhibit continues through June 2005. Suggested admission is $3 (212.619.4785).

2. Cookin': A Sizzling Entertainment, "a fast-paced kitchen percussion show combining comedy, rhythm, and non-verbal performance," at the Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane (212.420.8000).

 


Best Thing to Happen to Rice Since Sake

Redrice_1

High in the mountains of Ibaraki, near Nagano, Japan, the Kiuchi Brewery produces what is probably the only beer in the world brewed from the rice used to make sake. For this distinction, The Food Section bestows upon Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale the illustrious honor "Best Thing to Happen to Rice Since Sake."

I first got a taste of Kiuchi Brewery's Hitachino Nest beers at the Mermaid Inn, the New England-style seafood spot in New York's East Village. There, I had Hitachino Nest White Ale, a Belgian-style witbier bursting with fruit and spice flavors of orange and coriander. This might seem unorthodox, but its bright, juicy flavor was the perfect accompaniment to a lobster roll.

Ifflogosm

In addition to Red Rice Ale and White Ale, Kiuchi Brewery also exports a German-style Weizen (wheat beer) and a Sweet Stout made with lactose, or milk sugar.

Established in 1823, Kiuchi Brewery has been devoted to producing sake for most of its history. It was not until 1996 that the brewery started producing its line of Hitachino Nest beers.

According to Richard Scholz, owner of beer emporium Bierkraft in Brooklyn, where I buy the Hitachino beers, Kiuchi Brewery is one of the only breweries in the world using high quality rice to make beer (another is Yinpu, a Chinese beer made from so-called “forbidden” black rice).

The use of rice as an ingredient in making beer is not without precedent. In fact, low quality rice is a common ingredient in beer. “Budweiser is 60 percent rice,” said Mr. Scholz. “They invented the term ‘Brewer’s Rice,’ which is basically the cheapest, leftover broken rice you can find. All cheap yellow beer is made with rice or corn because it is one third of the price of barley.”

Red Rice Ale is made from polished red rice, the same rice that Kiuchi Brewery uses to make sake (the polishing process grinds the rice down to remove up to 40 percent of the outer kernel). The yeast used in the brewing process is also the same as that used in making sake, though you won’t find the addition of any koji, the rice mold central to sake production.

The beer is unlike any other I have ever tasted.

The hazy, reddish-orange ale has a slightly pink cast, and you are reminded of sake as soon as you pour it in a glass and breathe in its aroma. Take a sip, and the taste of sake greets your tongue, along with hints of citrus and caramel.

Sake and beer? It tastes like the weirdest experiment gone terribly right.

Hitachino Nest Red Rice Ale is $5.00 for a 11.2 oz bottle at Bierkraft, 191 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn (718.230.7600).

"Best Thing to Happen to Rice Since Sake" is an official award of the Independent Food Festival & Awards, presented by TasteEverything.org.

 


Curacao, Part II: Bright Spot

Portomari_1

If our run-in with bad bitterballen was the low point of our brief introduction to Dutch Caribbean cuisine, we hit a much more positive note at the snack bar at Playa PortoMari, a long swath of sand and coral about a half hour's drive from our hotel.

We scanned the menu for something to eat and found a platter of chicken satay to our liking. A major improvement on regular beach fare, the satay must have been another artifact of colonialism (in this case, a vestige of Dutch imperialism in Indonesia).

AmstelSatay

We washed down our chicken satay with two bottles of Amstel Bright. The light yellow beer, bottled in clear glass with a painted label and a wedge of lime propped in its neck, is a dead ringer for Corona. Brewed locally from desalinated Caribbean sea water at the Amstel Brouwerij in Curacao, Amstel Bright looks and tastes like the Mexican party beer, only with a Dutch Caribbean pedigree.

Kurahul Archit Orange LizardCasabaoSnowman

Travel Notes: 1. The Hotel Kura Hulanda (top row) is an outstanding boutique hotel and resort located in Otrobanda, one of the two districts that make up Willemstad, Curacao’s capital city. While the area directly surrounding the hotel is in disrepair, the Kura Hulanda (which include two pools and three restaurants) is a pristine complex of restored buildings comprising several blocks of the city. The property also houses a museum and institute devoted to African history and the slave trade. 2. The Curacao Liqueur Distillery produces Curacao liqueur in the Chobolobo Mansion, one of the island's historic landhuisen (plantation houses). Curacao liqueur is made from the dried skin of the Laraha orange (middle row, left), a bitter fruit so unpalatable that, according to legend, it was refused even by goats. We went to the distillery on a rainy day in search of a tour, as promised in our guidebook. However, the tours turned out to be "self-guided," and there wasn't too much else to see. Of course, there’s a gift shop selling the liqueur -- in customary bright blue, more subdued clear, and, oddly enough, chocolate and rum raisin versions. 3. The aforementioned Playa PortoMari is a favorite of snorkelers and divers, not to mention humongous reptiles, as pictured above (actually, we only saw one). The beach boasts a series of snorkel trails consisting of "reefballs." I’m not so adventurous, though. After spotting a menacing eel nestled in the center of one reefball, I headed back to shore for another Amstel Bright. 4. A less frequented and more attractive beach is Cas Abao (bottom row, left), located just up the coast from Playa PortoMari. There, on a late December day, you may just find a miniature snowman made of sand.

 


Your Ad Here

Blogadsbutton

Did you know that you could buy an ad on The Food Section and reach thousands of savvy (and hungry) gastronomes, not to mention high-powered food media folks who occasionally drop by for appetizers?

There is a range of advertising opportunities available on this site, from custom advertisements to sponsorships to buying a Blogad.

What's more, through the spanking new NYC Blogads network, advertisers may also place an ad on this and several other New York City blogs with a single click and reach more than 200,000 New York City blog readers via 17 sites. Amy Langfield has more details about the new NYC Blogads network, as well as opportunities for weblogs to create other theme-based mini-networks.

For inquiries about advertising on The Food Section, send an email to advertising@thefoodsection.com.

 


Agenda: 2/16 to 2/22

1. The Good Soup Comes from the Good Earth: West African Food & Culture, the Culinary Historians of New York will present a lecture by author and teacher Fran Osseo-Asare on the food and foodways of Ghana, Thursday, February 17, 6:30 p.m., at Park Avenue Methodist Church, 86th Street at Park Avenue. $25/members, $30/guests (212.334.4175).

2. The Treasures of Portugal, tasting of Fonseca, Taylor Fladgate, Croft, and Delaforce port wines, Friday, February 18, 6:30 p.m., at the French Culinary Institute, 462 Broadway. $95/person (866.562.7263).

3. Happy Birdday, D'Artagnan, the purveyor of foie gras and organic game and poultry, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a week's worth of events. Festivities, including a "Duckathlon," will take place from Sunday, February 20, through Monday, February 28.

4. Full Fats: Why Skim Milk Is Bad For You And Other Myths About Fats Debunked, Nina Planck, former Director of Greenmarket and author of The Farmers' Market Cookbook, will discuss "the important role of fats in digestion, health, and happiness." Tastings will include comparisons of butter, milk, and cheese in various fat levels. The event will take place Tuesday, February 22, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Murray's Cheese Shop, 254 Bleecker Street, between 6th and 7th Avenues. $35/person (212.243.3289, ext. 25).

ONGOING EVENTS

1. Have You Eaten Yet? The Chinese Restaurant in America, an exhibit exploring the Chinese restaurant’s origin and growth in America and its cultural significance, at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor). The exhibit continues through June 2005. Suggested admission is $3 (212.619.4785).

2. Cookin': A Sizzling Entertainment, "a fast-paced kitchen percussion show combining comedy, rhythm, and non-verbal performance," at the Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane (212.420.8000).

 


Curacao, Part I: Beach Blanket Bitterballen

Punda_1

The huge wheels of Gouda on display in the Curacao airport were the first edible indication of the tiny Caribbean island's history as a Dutch colony. Though Curacao is now independent (as part the Netherlands Antilles, which includes St. Maarten, Bonaire, and Aruba), it is still part of the Dutch Kingdom and is a magnet for tourists from Holland.

Dutch vacationers, greatly outnumbering Americans, were everywhere on our visit over the winter holiday, as were their snacks -- small plates of sandwiches and fried foods served at the beach, bars, and cafes. During an afternoon exploring the brightly colored Dutch caribbean architecture of Punda (one of the two districts that make up the capital city of Willemstad), we had our first taste of the Dutch specialties.

Read More >

 

 


Agenda: 2/9 to 2/15

COMING UP

Happy Birdday, D'Artagnan, the purveyor of foie gras and organic game and poultry, will celebrate its 20th anniversary with a week's worth of events. Festivities, including a "Duckathlon," will take place from Sunday, February 20, through Monday, February 28.

VALENTINE'S DAY ROUND UPS

»Valentine's 3-Day Planner [New York]
»It's Heart Blanche [New York Post]
»Sweetheart deals [New York Daily News]
»Valentine's Day Options [Strong Buzz]

EVENTS THIS WEEK

1. Chocolate Chat, PastryScoop.com presents a live, online chat with Alison Nelson, co-owner of Chocolate Bar in the West Village, Wednesday, February 9, 12:00 to 1:00 p.m. Free.

2. Food on Film Salon, a film series at Makor exploring the intersection of gastronomy and cinema, continues on Thursday, February 10, with Chocolat (2000). Screening is at 7:30 p.m. at the Steinhardt Building, 35 West 67th Street, followed by a post-screening discussion and chocolate tasting with chef Suvir Saran of Devi. $15/person (212.601.1000).

3. Seasonal Accompaniments for Cheese, find out what to pair with cheese in winter, Thursday, February 10, 6:30 to 8:00 p.m., at the Artisanal Cheese Center, 500 West 37th Street at 10th Avenue, 2nd Floor. $75/person (877.797.1200).

4. A Night in Sicily, Italian wine dinner featuring cookbook author Anna Tasca Lanza from Sicily, Tuesday, February 15, 6:30 p.m. reception/7:30 p.m. dinner, at Bellavitae, 24 Minetta Lane. $95/person (212.473.5121).

ONGOING EVENTS

1. Have You Eaten Yet? The Chinese Restaurant in America, an exhibit exploring the Chinese restaurant’s origin and growth in America and its cultural significance, at the Museum of Chinese in the Americas (70 Mulberry Street, 2nd Floor). The exhibit continues through June 2005. Suggested admission is $3 (212.619.4785).

2. Cookin': A Sizzling Entertainment, "a fast-paced kitchen percussion show combining comedy, rhythm, and non-verbal performance," at the Minetta Lane Theatre, 18 Minetta Lane (212.420.8000).

 


Personal Fruit

Scrapbook

A page of fruit illustration clippings in the Emma Saxton Pascoe Scrapbook, from the scrapbook collection at The Emergence of Advertising in America: 1850 - 1920, Duke University:

The Emma Louise Saxton Pascoe Scrapbook probably was created between about 1890 and 1908. Emma Louise Saxton was born in 1880 in Viroqua, Wisconsin. She taught for several years in Wisconsin before moving to Michigan in 1904. While teaching in Bessemer, Michigan, she met and married Edward George Pascoe. Names of several relatives appear on name cards and reward of merit cards: Erma Favor, Fannie Favor, and Clement Saxton.