Some Like It Hot and Salty

September 25th, 2017 § 0 comments § permalink

HG likes fiery food. So, a stocked larder of hot sauces is essential. HG’s essential blazers include Frank’s Red Hot Sauce (better than Tabasco and the ONLY hot sauce to be used in preparing Buffalo Chicken wings); Frank’s Red Hot Sweet Chile Sauce (essential with dim sum); Sriracha (best when squirted into bowls of pho-like Asian soups); Harissa (middle eastern food necessity). Two super potent sauces HG adores: Chrug (phonetic spelling as HG can’t make out the Hebrew brand name), a Yemeni/Israeli hot sauce that Yossi M., HG’s admired brother-in-law, brings to HG from his annual visit to Israel and Lao Gan Ma Chili Crisp Sauce. The bottle of Chrug has a stern looking bearded patriarch on its label and the Chinese killer sauce has a picture of a dour unsmiling woman. Food writer Pete Meehan notes that one shouldn’t feel sorry for the pictured woman (founder and owner of the sauce company) as her net worth is in the hundreds of millions of dollars. HG is not fond of sweet (except in the aforementioned sweet chili sauce) but likes salty. A favored snack (or appetizer) is a dish of jarred Piquillo peppers adorned with anchovies and a splash of olive oil. HG always wondered why Canadian markets keep their tinned anchovies refrigerated while US markets keep anchovies on the shelves with tuna, sardines, etc. HG found the answer in a recent communication from Zingerman’s, the midwest’s answer to Zabar’s: If anchovies aren’t kept refrigerated, they get soft and lose flavor. Sardines and tuna increase in flavor when they are stored in the pantry. Go figure.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese

May 20th, 2013 § 0 comments § permalink

Okay, Philadelphia Cream Cheese, available in every super market and grocery in the United States, is a dumb cheese. Thoroughly generic, absolutely processed and totally boring; however, HG admits, the cheese has its place. HG likes it with a chunk of guava jelly. Goya produces guava jelly in a big round, flat can. Very cheap. Very good. HG also likesĀ it spread on buttery Ritz crackers (yes, HG likes some proletarian treats) and topped with fiery jalapeno pepper jelly. The best cream cheese ever was produced by the Daitch Dairy stores in The Bronx and Manhattan. Today’s closest approximation can be obtained by mail order from Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Be forewarned. It’s not cheap.