Friday Fry #17

by Jeanne

After a month long break Friday Fry is back.  Bits and bytes all featured on food news menu. Big playoff championship game this weekend, with the New England Patriots meeting up with the Pittsburgh Steelers. We held off Peyton Manning last week. Pass the microbrew and nachos this promises to be a "super" game.  GO PATS!

Ppr The presidential inauguration was held yesterday.  I think I’ve been in denial over what is ahead for America and the rest of the world.  Seymour M. Hersch’s recent essay in the New Yorker will wake you up and out of your depression into near panic.  More interesting to those of us who think about food is another piece in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel that provides information on a new self-published cookbook, Politics and Pot Roast: A Flavorful Look at the Presidency.  William Henry Harrison’s inaugural featured a pound cake shaped like the U.S. Capitol building weighing in at 800 pounds.  Ulysses S. Grant’s libation of lemon sherbet, rum and Cointreau and Champagne most certainly made for a festive bunch of revelers.  The Swift Report has a hilarious take on the inaugural dinner–anyone for Coca Cola Brined Pilgrim’s Turkey with Dunkin Donuts Old-Fashioned Doughnut Sweet and Savory Stuffing?

Solar-powered cocoa from Uganda generates three times as much than their primary export, coffee.  An Italian chocolate company trained the workers to use a new technique that uses a plastic sheeting that converts the sun’s UV rays into infrared.  The beans are placed underneath after workers have rubbed them in sieves removing dust and mold.  This process improves the quality and quantity of beans and also moves the beans into standards required for exporting to the EU and North America.

Truffles Trifolau, truffle hunters, will roam the hills around Alba for a few more weeks. Due to a rainy season the 2004 truffle season continues. The 2003 season was weak due to dry and hot weather. The Bloomberg article is filled with lots of facts including:

  • White truffles can’t be cultivated as they are a type of fungus related to mushrooms so they grow randomly underground usually under oak trees.
  • If a truffle smells of ammonia or isn’t firm when pressed lightly it isn’t fresh.
  • Eat truffles within 10 days after it’s unearthed.

Forbes outlines the declining market size of truffles. Italy and France have long been the main supplier but today Croatia, China and Spain are the producers.  In the article, truffle dealers state that 50% to 60% of what France sells as French black actually come from Spain; 70% of Italian white truffles are from Croatia.  Truffles farming is now in it’s early development stages in Oregon, New Zealand and Tasmania.  In fact the town of Abejar, two and a half hours from Madrid is the home to the world’s largest truffle plantation. So why is it that we mere mammals are attracted to truffles?  As the article states, "because it can include the phermome alpha-androstenol, found in the perspiration of men and the urine of women."  Thrilled to know that.

Thomas Jefferson’s Macaroons Recipe

Truffle & Truffle Oil Recipes via What’s Cooking America