Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 19

Food (Section) Fight! is my weekly look at The Washington Post's Food section and The New York Times' Dining section with my verdict on which section had the better content for the week.

There are weeks when reading the Washington Post Food section and the New York Times Dining section is a true pleasure and source of inspiration. This isn't one of those weeks.

Washington Post

The cover of today's Food section featured a big picture of different types of ice creams, which got me excited off the bat. Unfortunately, Tim Carman's story about Jamaican ice cream left me feeling like a soggy cone. While I thought his description of the ice cream was well written, I felt like he didn't adequately explain what Jamaican ice cream is or why it's a "thing" (why Jamaican? Is Puero Rican ice cream also a thing? Cuban? And why is a Caribbean island known for ice cream anyway, since, as far as I know, the only other region I've heard of that produces a well-known distinctive ice cream is Italy and its gelato).

Jane Black contributed an informative piece about FreshPaper, a new food invention that helps prolong the life of refrigerated produce by further inhibiting the growth of bacteria and fungus that makes food go bad. Sounds great. My only gripe is that although she told us we could get the product at a couple of area farmers markets, she didn't say that you can also get it here.

On the plus side, Bonnie Benwick delivered on her usually good Dinner in Minutes column with a recipe for Pan-Fried Veal Chops with Rosemary-Almond Aioli that sounds quite delicious. I also liked the short Good to Go feature on Sugar Magnolia, the new bakery storefront at Cleveland Park's Ripple.

New York Times

The Dining cover story is Jeff Gordinier's feature about the rising quality of food at music festivals, which is clever, but doesn't really interest me. Neither does Cathy Barrow's story about canning vegetables. I'm really not into canning. Julia Moskin's story about chefs Thomas Keller and Andoni Luis Aduriz was interesting, in which the famous chefs discuss inflated views about chefs' roles in saving the planet (they think it's unrealistic) and the drive to source ingredients locally (they buy locally, but they're really more interested in quality than local for the sake of it). The interview was conducted a Per Se, a restaurant I would love to visit someday (well actually, I have visited it, sort of, having gazed longingly at its interior from the doors, which then opened automatically when I got too close, drawing the hostess. Oops... embarrassing).

As usual, the page 2 recipes both sound really good, particularly Melissa Clark's Asparagus with Walnuts, Parmesan and Brown Butter. The other recipe, an Asian stir-fry of Twice-Cooked Duck with Pea Shoots from David Tanis sounds like another good answer to my question about what to do with pea shoots. The best recipe, though, is Mark Bittman's Frank de Carlo's Black Chickpea Soup, the latest entry from his new How to Cook Everything column. I've opined at length about my Mark Bittman fandom, which has driven me to buy the iPad app version, even though I already had the iPhone version (the iPad version is a much richer experience and his recipes are so good, it's worth it).

Pete Wells reviews Perla, a new Greenwich Village Italian restaurant that sounds decent but not noteworthy.


The New York Times. It's a tough call this week, but I think Mark Bittman and Thomas Keller beat veal chops and FreshPaper.


The New York Times: 11
The Washington Post: 8

1 comment:

  1. This Sugar Magnolia of which you speak. Tell me more.