Fondue

Cooking with cheese and wine. This is the foundation of Fondue. First mentioned around 800 – 725 BC, cooking cheese with wine started with goat cheese, wine, and flour. Homer’s Iliad was the first source to mention this. Greeks called it “kykeon”, a common drink among peasants or something used to break a sacred fast. …

Gruyère Cheese

snowy majestic mountain near clear cold lake

Gruyère (grew-YAIR) cheese is considered a Swiss product although it was formed a thousand years ago during Charlemagne’s Holy Roman Empire (800-1806 AD). The empire included areas now known as France, Switzerland, and parts of Germany. At the time, the forests where called gruyères. Lumberjacks sold wood to cheesemakers who made Comté and Gruyère. The …

Kung Pao Chicken

selective focus photography of white hen

Traditional Kung Pao Chicken uses Sichuan peppercorns. This gives off a “ma” sensation or numbing effect on the tongue and mouth. This was not used in the American version of Kung Pao Chicken because Sichuan peppercorns were banned by the US Food and Drug Administration until 2005. The peppercorns could carry citrus canker bacterial disease, …

Humboldt Fog Cheese

A remarkable goat cheese that won first place from the American Cheese Society is Humboldt Fog, produced by Cypress Grove. The center of the cheese feels like a cloud is melting in your mouth. It echoes the place where it is made – the northwest coast of California in Humboldt County, a place where the …

Morbier Cheese

When shopping for the perfect Morbier cheese watch out for labels with “Fabriqué en Poitou” or “Fabriqué en Auvergne.” These are bland and not true Morbiers. True morbier is from Franche-Conté, Jura, or Doubs. It is a semi-soft cheese labeled as “au lait cru,” meaning raw milk (as opposed to pasteurized.) The cheeses from Poitou …

Brisket

When most Americans hear the word brisket, they immediately think of Texan smoked meat with barbeque sauce, “The National Dish of Texas.” And they wouldn’t be far from wrong. Brisket is a part of Southern history. However, it actually originated as Jewish cuisine. The Ashkenazi Jewish community started cooking brisket in Central and Eastern Europe. …

Coq au Vin

Coq au Vin is commonly known as chicken in wine. However, coq actually means rooster. Therefore, Poulet au Vin would be more accurate to what is popularly known today. The term coq implies to many that Coq au Vin is a peasant dish in origin due to the fact that rooster meat is very tough …

Bibimbap

Bibimbap is a traditional ethnic dish of Korea that has now made itself known around the world. In fact, it has made its way into military combat rations and space food. Korean Air began serving it in the 1990’s and it has become one of their most desired dishes, Bibim means mixed vegetables and bap …

Tlalpeño

One of the most famous soups in Mexico is Caldo Tlalpeño. It is one of my favorites too and I order it at Los Potrillos, Santa Fe, NM every time I go there. It is made up of chicken, chickpeas, various vegetables (carrots, zucchini, chayote squash, onions, garlic or tomatoes) and chicken broth. Then it …

Pu erh Tea

Pu erh tea originated in Yunnan province in the southwest region of China some 4700 years ago. This is the region where it is thought that tea originated. Yunan borders on the countries of Vietnam, Laos and Myanmar (Burma). The area is known to be tropical and subtropical moist broadleaf forests. Thousands of years ago …

Cinnamon and Cassia

Cinnamon (Cinnamomon verum), considered true cinnamon, is one of the oldest spices recorded in history. Cassia (Cinnamomon cassia) is a cheaper and similar tasting spice but does not have the same health benefits as cinnamon. In fact, in large doses it can cause liver cancer and disfunctions. Cassia is a little more pungent and so …

Chili Rellenos

Chili Rellenos, literally “stuffed chili”, is a fusion between Mexican and Spanish cooking. The origin is from Puebla, Mexico and the chili most commonly used for the dish is Poblano, derived from the city’s name. Other peppers that are now used are Anaheim, pasilla, and jalapeno. It can basically be described as a Spanish “hot …

Oolong Tea

What is Oolong tea? The name is derived from Chinese for “black dragon.” It is a tea that comes from the plant Camellia sinensis as do other green and black teas. The difference is in how Oolong teas are processed. They are oxidized more than green teas but less than black teas. Then they are …

Salt

Salt has a long and interesting history. The word salary, origin Latin salarium, is derived from salt because it was used as a form of trade and currency. “Not worth his salt” comes from the idea that Greek slave traders used salt to barter for slaves. Ethiopians still use salt as money among the nomads. …