Chances are you live a stone’s throw away from a Thai restaurant in your neighborhood, and you’ve got a go-to local favorite for pad thai. These days I often find myself traveling north of Berkeley, where there’s quite a few wonderful Thai eateries clustered in Albany, El Cerrito and San Pablo locales.
In Ms. Basitanich’s new book “Lidia’s Italy in America,” which she wrote with her daughter Tanya Bastianich Manuali, the focus is on the unique ways Italian American immigrants interpreted dishes from their homeland throughout the United States. Watch “Lidia Celebrates America — Holiday Tables & Traditions” on KQED TV.
From Mark Kurlansky, the author of Cod and Salt, comes The Food of a Younger Land (Riverhead Books: 397 pages, $27.95)– “A portrait of American food before the national highway system– before chain restaurants, and before frozen food, when the nation’s food was seasonal, regional, and traditional– from the lost WPA files.”
That’s quite a mouthful.
Reading this book at a time in history when eating local, organic, seasonal food in an urban setting like San Francisco is either a genuine passion, a fashion statement for those wealthy enough to afford it, or somewhere in between, it’s a pleasure to find a book that chronicles a time when eating in such a manner was not a matter of choice or politics, but rather one’s only option.
The National Association for the Specialty Food Trade put on their 34th Winter Fancy Food Show this week, allowing for exhibitors from around the world to do precisely that– exhibit themselves. Thousands of vendors and merchants descended upon the Moscone Center in San Francisco from January 18 to January 20th for a fancy food frenzy.
I’m not sure I would agree with the term “fancy”– it’s always been a troubling word. As a noun, the word “fancy” connotes a liking formed by caprice rather than reason. As a transitive verb, it is an action of mistaken belief, of pure imagination. As an adjective, which is how, in this case, it is applied, the word suggests that the food exhibited at the show is “of particular excellent or highest grade.”
My friend Mark, who knows about everything before I do, has been wanting to go to Brenda’s French Soul Food for months. He planned to take some people to brunch there a few Sundays ago. It was, however, closed. They don’t do Sunday brunch. Who can blame them? Unless drag queens are somehow involved, the […]