- ciabatta family
How long does a loaf of bread last for a normal person? More than one day? Yeah, I thought so.
As you know, I am not of the normal variety of humans, thus the ciabatta grande (grande being a rough Italian translation for, "if you eat this whole thing, you're a pig") from Sullivan Street Bakery did not last more than a day. It didn't even last an entire day. Hell, not even half of a day. I've never gotten a grande before (it's safer for me to get a media), but my logic for buying it was that it would last two days. I had to plan ahead because today (Sunday, or perhaps that holiday called "Easter"; my unreligious self celebrates absolutely noooothing) I'm almost certainly not stepping outside. As I procrastinate by writing this blog entry, Word™©billgatesownstheworld is concurrently open to my food history paper of ultimate doom on dim sum. It's full of doom because unlike dim sum, it's absolute crap. For a food history paper, it doesn't have a lot of history in it, which will probably give me a negative grade. My teacher will have to invent a new alphabet of negative value to accomodate the atrocity that I'll have to email to him tomorrow, email because he's in Italy right now, where people probably do not eat grande ciabatta loaves in less than a day.
On a random note, one of my friends got robbed on a train in Italy last week. Very robbed (as opposed to only somewhat robbed). I'd like to visit Italy someday, but I guess I'll keep all my belongings in my pants. Or underwear. And then lock my underwear. Or the train cabin that I'm in.
What did I do with all that bread? I mainly soaked it in extra virgin olive oil sprinkled with black pepper, but I did try a slice with my new jar of Colorado sweet yellow clover beeraw honey. Creamy and sweet, oohh yeah. I didn't go into Dean & Deluca with the intention of buying honey, but it was there, it looked pretty, and a jar would probably last me more than a year, so I wouldn't say it's a huge investment.
I did have a reason to be at D&D, not even related to buying food, even though that's what I ultimately did. I'm currently working on a commodity food chain something-or-other essay (I forgot the official name) for my Food and Nurtition in a Global Society course and I picked beeraw's buckwheat honey. We were allowed to choose just about any food if it fit within certain guidelines. Examples of foods other people are doing are Tropicana orange juice, Kraft cheese singles, and JIF peanut butter. Why did I choose honey? Well...I'm stupid. (And I really like their honey.)
One part of our project is to contact the company and get information about how the product is made, where it comes from, how it's transported, etc. The difference between beeraw and just about any other company is that it's small. Very small. I thought that maybe they had employees to deal with customer service, but the number on the homepage appears to be for the owner's, Zeke Freeman, cell phone. While in a sense it could be easier to get information from a small company than a large one, it's also harder because getting ahold of one person responsible for running a company is harder than getting ahold of a customer service rep for, say, Tropicana.
I understand that, of course, so I can't hold a grudge against the company. I'll just warn you that if you want to email them with questions, you probably won't get an answer. There's an email address on the page for a reason, right? I guess that's in case of an emergency ("THE BEES ARE LOOSE!!!"), which certainly isn't my paper. I did get to talk to Zeke one time and we had a nice conversation, but I was terribly unprepared for it, thus I wanted to schedule another time for me to make follow-up questions. It never happened. Although my essay would be a lot better with confirmed information straight from the source, it won't die without it, and I can make educated guesses about the information I'm not sure about.
Oh...so I went to D&D to ask someone there where they got the honey from. I'm pretty bad with interacting with people, so it took me a while to figure out how the hell to go about asking someone, especially on a crowded Saturday afternoon. After a long time of staring at the honey rack (which is painfully located right by the cookie rack, which is painfully overloaded with delicious cookies from around the world, even MCVITIE'S DIGESTIVES, OOH HAA!!), I realized, "Hey, these people work here. I buy stuff from here. I think I deserve...almost any kind of information I want, and maybe that magical monkey's paw I've had my eye on." An employee helped find me a guy that I could ask my distribution question to, and I found out...well, not much. They get their honey from Roger's International, who in turn gets the honey from "I don't know, so I guess I have to find out."
My essay is gonna suck balls.
I didn't want to leave empty handed, so I impulsively bought a raisin scone from Sarabeth's ($2.50). It wasn't like any other scone I had--instead of tender and crumbly, it was more bready and squishy--but it was definitely one of the better scones I've had.
Behold, another impulsive buy. You may have noticed that I'm not one to get boxes of cookies very much, instead preferring to get obscenely huge one-serving cookies (if a serving is 500+ calories). For some reason, the tubes of Moravian cookies ($10) tempted me, odd because 1) I couldn't see what they looked like and 2) their claim to fame is "world's thinnest cookie", which in my opinion isn't something you shout to the world to gain attention. "This cookie has the thickness of a piece of tissue paper; ephemeral cookie-ness can be your's, NOW!!!" Hell, gimme the world's thickest cookie; now we're talkin' (death by cookie). However, while I was standing by the rack and killing time, I overhead a guy excitedly point out the cookies and say, "These are the best cookies ever!" Oh crap. If he's excited about the cookies, then I'm excited about the cookies.
Dear Salem Baking Company: Oh my god, do not make these cookies anymore. THEY ARE SO TASTY. I don't know how to describe them. They're just...well, they're tasty and insanely easy to snack on because, yes, they're really thin and crispy like crackers, which means you can easily eat a whole tube in a day. I'll have you know that I didn't eat the whole tube in a day (perhaps...half the tube), but it will be gone by the stroke of midnight, or more likely before then. [sigh] These cookies smell awesome, and they tasted even awesomer. They possess the happiness inducing, concentrated flavor of heart-clogging sunshine. Must be the fat. And the sugar. And the combination of the two. I can never, ever buy these cookies again. Moravia, what have you done to me?
Speaking of cookies, I tore into Bouchon Bakery's nutter butter cookie sandwich the other day. Unsurprisingly, I was blown away, despite that the cookie was just crispy (with buttery-ness, ooh-hooo!) and not chewy-centered like my favorites. The creamy peanut butter filling was....uguhg...(brain melts). Yeah. The peanut butter cream was enhanced with extra drool-inducing powers. If you like peanuts, you must try this cookie. There were actually peanut chunks in the cookie. And if you don't like peanuts, you should try it anyway.
For lunch on Friday, I went to Focacceria on MacDougal Street due to a sandwich craving (I found the restaurant by browing the sandwiches section on menupages...because I have no life).
For a small place, it feels somewhat spacious due to the large open kitchen and high ceiling. I liked the bright yellows and blues. They felt kinda rustic. Or mediterranean. ...Yeah, I dunno what I'm talking about. It's a comfortable environment, especially on a rainy afternoon.
My meal began with a plate of free bready things. NOO, BREAD IS MY DOOM! I ate some of the bruschetta, but the real star was the focaccia, which is obvious since the place is called Focacceria. I'd like to think of a better description besides "pillowy soft", but it was pillowy soft, and I'd totally use a loaf as a pillow if I didn't think the oil would rub off all over my head and...yeah, that's gross, nevermind. My head is oily enough from my hair folicles. And yes, that was too much information.
I ordered the "Honey Roasted Turkey, Fontina Cheese & Caramelized Onions" sandwich on rosemary focaccia, which came with a small side salad of baby greens perfectly coated in olive oil and vinegar dressing. BREAD!!! I LOVE YOU, BREAD. Not being any kind of expert on focaccia, I thought this bread was pretty awesome. Look at those adorably, fluffy, golden rounds! My only complaint, probably because I'm not the hugest meat fan, is that there was more meat than I would've liked in proportion to the other ingredients. I did like the turkey though, even though I don't usually like cold sliced turkey. I think I would've been happier with just a cheese and onion sandwich, which I'll keep in mind for the future. "NO MEAT, JUST GIMME DA CHEESE. And pungent bulbs."
"Pungent Bulbs" would be a horrible name for a band.
My bill including the tip (kind of a big tip considering that the sandwich wasn't very expensive, but the one waitress in the restasurant was nice) was about $10. Not bad. I don't think I'd go back by myself, but if anyone wants to go out for sandwiches, I'm there.
Friday night I saw a Franz Ferdinand and Death Cab for Cutie concert with the incomparably music obsessed duo (I'm not kidding; they stayed out until 3 AM and although I haven't gotten the final word yet, that probably means they met many musicians) of Honey and Yetta. Since Yetta is Jewish, she couldn't eat regular food and thus brought her own "Jewish food". She shared some almond cookies and marshmallows with me.
...Man, I love Jewish food. Bring on the cookies.