Friday, November 30, 2007

Do you like it raw?

The whole raw-milk debate seems to be picking up steam lately. On one side are the folks who believe that pasteurization actually kills many of the important components of milk and negatively affects the flavor, on the other side are the folks (and the government regulators) who believe that pasteurization is the only way to guarantee 'safe' milk.

Apparently California has the most permissive raw milk regulations, allowing for retail sale. But according to this piece, that's soon to change.

I don't know much about raw milk one way or the other, but in general, I think as long as producers are required to provide a warning when it comes to products such as raw milk, raw milk cheese, cured meats, etc., consumers should be able to buy these products. While they might not be perfectly safe by the government's point of view, we should have the right to eat natural products at our own discretion, as long as risk information is made available. God knows the government looks the other way in terms of additives and other unsavory aspects of the dominant food culture, the least they can do is offer a little leniency when it comes to foods humans have safely been consuming for thousands of years.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Feeling spaetzle

Contrary to popular belief, I'm a man who likes my sausages. And as a Wisconsin boy born and bred, German cuisine holds a special place in my heart. Of course, insofar as I want to keep that heart ticking for the next fifty or sixty years, I limit my intake of bratwurst and schnitzel to special occasions. But I'm sad to say that German (and Austrian) cuisine hasn't gotten much of a toe-hold out in NY. That's why I'm happy to have noticed a recent trend towards more German-accented food here. The New York Post featured a piece on the recent proliferation of Wiener Schnitzel in the city, and to add to the burgeoning Teutonic-mania, the Times ran a piece this Sunday about the burgeoning food scene in Germany--sure to have an effect on New York cuisine before too long.

Friday, November 2, 2007

Book 'em, Danno!

Cookbook's are certainly a fetish item for me. Since I work at a publishing house, I'm constantly bringing home new cookbooks to the tune of one or so a week. But when I'm honest with myself, I only occasionally attempt new recipes from the dozens of books on my shelves. Lately I've been much more diligent about exploring new recipes in the books I have, and I've had some nice successes.

Michael Ruhlman recently asked readers to write in with cookbook ideas they wish existed. It's a pretty interesting and comprehensive thread.
In other news, I just got my hands on a copy of Made in Italy by Giorgio Locatelli. It's a really sweet book--Locatelli is sort of the Mario Batali of London, and the book has narrative, recipes, and lots of intense photos. Check it out if you get a chance.