Category Archives: Strange but Tasty

Food discoveries that I find strange

Salami Haiku

Salami 

Diamonds are not

always a girls’ best friend so

take that Tiffany’s.

**the model in this picture was shot on white ceramic at magic hour in the tungsten light of a kitchen.  She’s wearing a sausage casing (her own).

(artisinal Salami is from Baie-St-Paul in Charelvoix.  Read more and drool…)


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Filed under Food Haiku, Strange but Tasty, Travel and Food

Gwyneth Paltrow is GOOPing on my territory

My mouth is a bit smaller than in this picture.

First the acting, then the singing, next a cookbook and now a blog post about cheese. I’m exhausted GP.  You don’t have to do everything.  Let me do the cheese- seriously.  I mean, really…what else do I have?  A small film called Salami Heaven, songs at pre-school where I keep my voice low enough to blend in with the hum of the fan and a kick-ass recipe for fudge.  But no cook book.

All I had was the cheese.  And now you had to go there.  And I had to go there to get the link to your post. It’s just unjust.  But, it is kind of a good post.  I grudgingly admit.

And I do love, love, love (love) La Fromagerie in London, and their cheese room and their soft-boiled egg for breakfast with the imported Italian coffee.  And nothing bad to say about Murray’s cheese in New York either.

The newspaper is for when you eat breakfast alone-- which is the best way to dine in the early morning.

Just one thing, I resent the “cheese is kind of unhealthy” disclaimer off the top.  At its best, made with care and with pristine milk I would consider it pretty darn healthy.  And btw, so does Patricia Michelson, owner of La Fromagerie.  A quote from her first book, The Cheese Room (personally autographed–(ha GP!)– to my husband… but details..),

“Who would have thought a book on cheese would contain a beauty tip? Not such a daft idea as we should all know about the health enhancing qualities of cheese–good for teeth and bones as well as the blessed dietary attributes of Parmigiano Reggiano for young children, women in pregnancy, the elderly and sporty types.”

She’s talking about the fact that Italian scientists have studied the benefits of Parmigiano-Reggiano for many years. It is easy to digest for children (and people with gastrointestinal problems) as the long ageing process slowly breaks down the milk proteins. It has high levels of calcium and phosphorus making it very good for people suffering from osteoporosis.  Plus for athlete’s it can provide the protein they might get from meat, but is lower in cholesterol and generally one of the lower-fat cheeses.

BTW, Patricia’s books are wonderful and fun to read, not only if you love cheese but if you enjoy food.  And if you’re in London, you must absolutely head to her store.  Even more important than a visit to Top Shop,  afterall,  you can dress in cheese, but you can’t eat clothes.

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Filed under Cheese/Cheese Related, Cookbooks, Magazines (+recipes from), Strange but Tasty

You crazy Czechs!

Imagine peeling back the fingernail.

Unwanted company?  No problem.  Use your basic Linzer Cookie Dough and bake up some bloody finger pastry.

This was passed down to my mom through the Czech email chain.  It’s for the “blushing bride”.

See how practical the East Europeans are?  Scare away your guests but do it using a good homemade pastry.  And good jam–mainly fruit.  You don’t want to look like a bad hostess for God’s sake. And you’re not going to let these perfectly good cookies go to waste.  They’ll be great for dipping in coffee. Not like those rock-hard biscotti things the Italians make.

And while we’re on the subject of Czech humour (were we?)…..please forgive this.  (and don’t think there’s not a “Will you take a Czech?” panel too.)

Why isn't it in Czech?

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Filed under All Recipes, Strange but Tasty

The Grapple: one awkward lovemaking session

For when you're not sure what size fruit you want to eat.

When you see apples encased in solid plastic, you read the label. Maybe they’re special.  Limited editions that you can store away between your Sidney Crosby rookie card and the weird eggplant that looks like Joan Rivers.

It was at the small Italian grocer near my house that I came upon the Grapple. “Looks like an apple. Tastes like a grape.”  Even at $1.50 per apple I couldn’t resist the bizarre apple freak show.  Or is a grape freak show?

Perhaps blue sky thinking shouldn’t be allowed when it comes to cross-breeding.

Maybe this was the prototype for vodka infused watermelon.  Luckily the Grapple website explains everything:

A relaxing bathing process prepares our apples for you or your kids. The apple takes on no additional sugars or calories. They are not genetically altered in any way. The apple is as healthy as ever but now has the new exciting grape flavor.

Amazingly, you may have more questions and luckily there is an FAQ page.  The first question answered  is “Is this an offshoot of the Japanese program that tried to cross a cow with a whale?”

But FYI–the Grapple just tastes, well, like an apple.   Who’s your daddy?



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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Ruminations on the Edible, Strange but Tasty

Eyebrow on the Lowbrow: Mug Cake for the Royal Wedding

Don't knock it til you nuke it.

Me thinks molten chocolate cake has finally jumped the shark by becoming Mug Cake.

I do wonder when I still see Molten Chocolate cake on dessert menus.

Has the molten cake not had its day pastry people?  At least mix it up a little.  How about molten on the outside, cake on the inside!

Wait, that’s chocolate cake with sauce.  OK.  It’s over.

Or is it?  A little Dr. Oetker Mug Cake made its way into my house recently.  Did I raise my inner foodie eyebrow?  Oh yes, I did.

But, forging ahead with an open mind and open cupboard, I pulled out a mug and did some baking.  Using my 10-year-old, not so high-powered microwave, after a couple minutes I  pulled out a moist, chocolate cake in a mug—kind of goopy in the centre where it hadn’t finished cooking.  You bet I ate the whole thing.

And then I really opened my mind to the universe and thought, Who’s to say you couldn’t pour a little Drambuie on this baby and flambé it up?   Just call it Flug Cake.

And since I’m on a drunken roll, here’s another great idea:  Mug cake for high tea!  Watch the Royal nuptials while sipping a mug of warm cake.

Just call it Smug Cake.

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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Strange but Tasty

Let them eat cake…at your funeral.

I find it harder to have your cake and not eat it.

Sometimes things just click. When your babysitter brings a Stubbe’s Lemon Torte to your house you know you chose the right caregiver. We picked Donna to babysit Felix after a rigorous vetting process investigating which dessert shops she frequented in Toronto.

Cake fits any occasion–a quick lunch, after a bikini wax or as a sympathy gift.  No one will know who sent what bunch of smelly lilies to a funeral but your chocolate cake gift basket will stand out like the beacon of plastic-wrapped comfort food that is is.

And let’s face it,  attendance would soar.  Next time I fantasize about who’s coming to my funeral I’m going to imagine myself in an open coffin with my hands  arranged to hold a large chocolate Krispy Bunny.  I think it will get more kids motivated to participate.  Nibbles encouraged.

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Filed under Restaurants and Products, Ruminations on the Edible, Strange but Tasty