The Food Virgin Blog

The Food Virgin is the home of The Food Virgin articles and podcasts, providing everything you need to know to eat any cuisine. With advice covering what to expect, what to order, what the food is like and how to eat it, The Food Virgin provides answers for people who are trying a new cuisine for the first time, as well as experienced diners who want to eat like the experts.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

New Forum Sections

Hi Everyone~

Well, it's finally here: The new and improved Food Virgin Forum! For a while now, I've wanted to create better sections for the forum so that all the topics aren't just lumped in together ad hoc. And now, you can finally go there and find distinct sections. One for general topics and comments, one for recipes, and one for international dining etiquette. Hopefully, this will keep everything organized, so that visitors can find what they're looking for more easily.

Happy posting! Food Virgin Forum

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Food Stockpile

When's the last time you cleaned out your pantry?

For me, that question didn't come soon enough. We have such easy access to fresh ingredients from our local supermarket, deli, and Wholefoods that we tend to ignore all of the items lining our pantry. It's an incredibly well-stocked area, thanks to my husband's 'stockpile' mentality. He's not quite as bad as the end-of-the-world types who have five years' worth of canned beans and tuna at the ready, but he's not far off.

For the most part, this is fine. It's nice to have another bottle of ketchup at the ready when we give up pounding on the bottom of the current one and chuck it out. Unfortunately, I discovered the downside of this stockpiling two days ago... on Thanksgiving.

I had decided to make apple crumble for dessert and add oatmeal to the recipe. So, there I am, assembling the ingredients, and when it's time to add the oats, I pick up the container, open it up, and "AAAAUUGGHHH!!!" There was a whole ecosystem of bugs in there!! So gross. So I threw that out, and thought, "Well.. this is where it comes in handy to have a stockpile of food in the pantry!"

Smugly, I picked up the spare container of oatmeal, fully sealed as it had never been opened before. I peeled back the plastic, plucked open the lid, and, "AAAAAAAAAAAAAUUUUUUUUGHHHHHHHHHHH!!!" THIS one was even worse than the first!! There seriously were at least 3 different kinds of creatures in there.

Luckily, my recipe didn't call for oatmeal- it was just something I was thinking would be nice to add. I did, nonetheless, decide to add 'cleaning the pantry out' to my list of things to do this weekend. Sure enough, there were weevils in the rice, some of the noodles, ant critters in the popcorn (don't know how they got through the plastic, but they did!), and one fat spider enjoying it all.

The moral of the story: Don't keep too much stuff in the pantry that you never use!

Next, we'll be tackling the freezer. Does anyone know how long is too long for meat left in the freezer? :-)

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

What to eat for Thanksgiving?

Sick of eating turkey on Thanksgiving? Try some other kind of meat. Here are some options:

Goose- You can find this at Wholefoods, along with duck, cornish game hens and various cuts of turkey (not whole ones, so you don't have months of leftovers).

Roast a leg of lamb- Popular in Australia and the Middle East, lamb makes a nice change from roast beef. Or if you want less meat, roast a rack or two of lamb ribs.

Ham- Pop 'the other pink meat' into your oven. And the leftovers will make for tastier sandwiches than turkey, let's be honest.

Whatever you decide, have fun cooking and happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Best Fish Fingers- EVER!

Are you a landlubber who thinks they hate fish? I used to be. Here's a suggestion of some fish to try: Grouper. Why? When it's fresh, it's got a nice, gentle taste that would be hard for anyone to hate- definitely as mellow as chicken. Here's my latest grouper-eating tale:

So, we're at a hotel in the Bahamas that's just opened, and their kitchen isn't properly running yet. "We can make some crab cakes or fish fingers," the Manager says. Being no huge fan of crab cakes, my mind goes to fish fingers, but the fish fingers I envisioned were the frozen kind that I grew to dislike as a kid-- dry, fishy, and breaded in a coating that was mostly flavored with salt. Bleah. The Manager then explained that the fish choice was grouper, and that it was fresh. Yum!

These fish fingers were the tastiest ever! Basically, they were what any fish lover would want when eating fish and chips- moist, flaky white fish in a crisp and light breading! What's not to like? Fresh seafood dishes like this were a wonderful staple we found throughout the Bahamas and will most certainly keep us coming back.

P.S. For those of you who are wondering whether I tried conch, I actually chose not to because when I last had it, my lips started to swell, giving me the inkling that I might be allergic. Next time I go, though, I'll try to get my hands on a conch shell.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

What's on your french fries?

OK, so I was in the Bahamas this week, and excited about trying new food. At one restaurant, I ordered their grouper and fries. When the food came, the waitress asked me, "Do you want mango ketchup with that?" Frankly, it sounded a bit weird, but knowing that I like mango chutney on Indian pappadums, I said, "Sure!"

Well, what came out was golden colored with specks, and pretty runny. I dipped a fry into a pool I'd created on my plate and popped it in my mouth. It was sweet and cinnamon tasting, like a dessert! Very odd.

Watch this space for a report on mango chutney that I bought at a Bahamian general store.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Exciting times for foodies!

For anyone who hasn't stumbled upon it yet, Yahoo! has a new food area, called... yes, Yahoo! Food. It's mostly made up of content supplied by Martha Stewart (a lot of her video clips), Food and Wine magazine articles and recipes, and user-supplied Q&A. There are also blogs from food bloggers I'm not familiar with. I'm wondering if as they spread the section to their sites for other countries whether they'll need content there. It could be an interesting revenue-sharing opportunity.