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The Value of Acid – Making Your Food Pop, Part 2

When cooks talk about “acidity”, what they mean is simply sourness. Scientifically, they are the same thing. The sour taste buds fire when an acid meets water and releases hydrogen ions in your mouth. End of chemistry class.

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Salt
Acid
Fat
Crunch
A Telling Failure

At least in America, acidity is a quality frequently missing from home-cooked meals, …

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Salt, Acid, Fat, Crunch – Making Your Food Pop, Part 1

Ask a professional chef to taste and evaluate a dish, and odds are that if they think it needs something, that something will be salt, acid, fat, or crunch.

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Salt
Acid
Fat
Crunch
A Telling Failure

Why? Because these are fundamental elements that make food pop. They aren’t going to turn undercooked eggplant into a silk purse, but if …

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Why I’m A Vegetarian, Dammit

I’ve been a vegetarian for almost 25 years, which means I’ve probably answered the question “Why are you a vegetarian?” about 25 million times. Usually it is in a situation where only a sentence or two is wanted as an answer, so I’ll say “because I wouldn’t like to kill an animal, and it doesn’t …

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Understanding Deadly Food Allergies – This Post Could Save A Life

When I was a sophomore in college, a woman in my class named Katherine Brodsky died because she never imagined that a bowl of chili at a local pub would have peanut butter as a “secret ingredient”. She had the most severe form of food allergy, known as anaphylaxis. Her airway closed, and she died …

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The Sounds of A Restaurant Kitchen

I had an interesting experience yesterday. I was in the kitchen at Cafe Flora, pureeing the lentils, onions and pecans for our pate platter and feeling vaguely irritated with myself for choosing a messy way of dealing with the several batches that needed to go in the robocoupe (a big food processor). I was tired …

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Savory Cardoon Flan – Recipe

Savory Cardoon Flan

Cardoon: Looks like celery, tastes like artichoke.

Oxbow Farm is one of my favorite local farms. They are at several of our Seattle area farmer’s markets, and have a great educational center out in Carnation that is fantastic for taking city kids on field trips to learn where their veggies come from.  Last time we were out there, …

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How To Clean a Kitchen – Fast!

As you might have guessed, my home cooking tends to somewhat ambitious meals, even on “school nights”, and that sometimes leads to pretty substantial messes. Working at Cafe Flora confirms what I’ve often thought, I tend to work more like a restaurant cook even though I’m at home. The only little problem with that …

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