Reading the Fish Wrap (#16)

There are many nuggets of goodness in the wraps this week, but we’re busy people, so here’s the CliffsNotes: some farmers are abandoning gas-guzzling tractors for the new (er, old) grass-powered oxen (Times); and some new mothers in the food/hospitality industry are just strapping the kids on their backs and heading to work (Post). All good things.

Worth-reading: Pop-up lunch served on the L train–“the dining car” (Times); and Buffalo Trace continues its admirable quest for The Best Bourbon Ever (Post).

And if you’re not going to follow that link to the bourbon piece, here’s a passage you shouldn’t miss:

Brown shared with us a list of descriptors that Buffalo Trace tries to avoid in its whiskeymaking. “In no highly rated bourbon did the words ‘puke,’ ‘tar,’ ‘jasmine’ or ‘balsamic’ turn up in the review,” he said. Other descriptors they seek to avoid: blue cheese, popcorn, pumpkin, peanuts, celery and roses.

I found the last of those — “roses” — interesting and a little confounding. Earlier in the day, I’d visited the nearby Four Roses distillery in Lawrenceburg. While there, I tasted the company’s delicious new limited-edition single-barrel bourbon. Everyone in the Four Roses tasting room, including me, was excited about the unique floral aroma that this bourbon exhibits — and that some people would describe as having a hint of . . . freshly cut roses.

Also in the Post, the Irish chef from Restaurant Eve, Cathal Armstrong, carves out a meal from his homeland:

He banned the potato from the menu, if only to dodge cracks such as the one Colman Andrews reprises in his book “The Country Cooking of Ireland”: “An Irish seven-course dinner, went the old joke, was a potato and a six-pack of Guinness.” In the same vein, Armstrong said, “I didn’t want to do salmon.”

Instead, he devised a concise three-course meal that opened with a smoked mackerel salad with wild garlic, dandelion greens, fennel puree and pickled fennel. (“In medieval Ireland,” noted the menu description, “fennel was hung over doorways on Midsummer’s Eve to ward off evil spirits.”) The lamb course followed, served with barley wildflower-honey cakes. (The menu again: “. . . in ancient Ireland bees were associated with wisdom and were thought to be the messengers between our world and the spirit realm.”) Dessert was a trio of custards — mead, wild berry and apple-caramel — and tiny squares of shortbread. (“In Celtic mythology, it was said that a river of mead flowed through paradise and apples were used as a symbol of fruitfulness and healing.”)

Well, done Washington Post! Haven’t had a streak like this in a while. There’s even a recipe to try: Chorizo Carbonara.

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