Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Food (Section) Fight!: Week 33

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.

New York Times
1)  Bargains From American Vines,” The Pour wine column by Eric Asimov. Asimov showcases 12 affordable ($15-$20) domestic wines of various white and red varietals. Lots of California, of course, but not exclusively. The Oberon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 piqued my interest. He describes it as an example of an affordable wine made from high-quality grapes—a “hush hush” phenomenon Chris and I heard about in Napa last year that came about because of the recession. Rather than drop the price on their top-tier labels, wineries instead sold their top grapes to be produced under different names. I haven’t tried the wine yet, but I’m hoping it will be something special.

2) “A Pancake Brings Corn and Berries Together,” A Good Appetite column and recipe by Melissa Clark. I’ve been on a corn kick lately and I like blackberries, so this pancake that brings the two together sounds really good.

3) “A Few Things All Baskets Need,” How to Cook Everything column by Mark Bittman. Mark shares a couple of picnic basket favorites, including his hummus, which I’ve made before. I would definitely suggest taking his advice about adding extra water, as my hummus came out too thick when I made it.

4) “Fire Meets Its Match: Spices,” article by John Willoughby and Chris Schlesinger. Those fortunate to have an outdoor grill may be growing tired of their traditional standbys (I envy such fatigue, really), so in swoops Willoughby and Schlesinger to suggest turning to Indian cuisine for inspiration to spice up those dishes. The recipes sound good, particularly the Spice-Rubbed Grilled Chicken Thighs with Tomato-Cucumber Relish.

Washington Post
1)  How ‘no’ gets translated,” feature by Tim Carman. The Food Section guys score a cover story trifecta today: we get front-page work from Carman, David Hagedorn and Joe Yonan, all of them doing what they do best. Carman, of course, takes the most academic route, an interesting look at how restrictions on certain imported foods in the United States can have cultural consequences. He puts particular focus on the California foie gras ban and what that means for the French who live in the U.S., bus also examines restricted delicacies like pufferfish (the infamous sushi dish that will kill you if prepared wrong), shark fin and haggis.

2) “Even on vacation, a cook can learn,” The Process column by David Hagedorn. On vacation at his Alabama lake house, Hagedorn treats us to a peak inside all the amazing food his family is consuming there, including a delish recipe for Smoked Chicken Salad.

3) “With fruit, I’m flexible,” Cooking for One column by Joe Yonan. Speaking of family getaways, Yonan is still sequestered on his family’s southern Maine homestead, from where he tells us that the arduous task of satisfying his sweet tooth involves going outside to the garden and picking something. Oh Joe! He tells us how although the berry harvest was disappointing this year, he’s definitely excited for the stone fruit crop. The accompanying Faux Summer Berry Tart sounds easy and satisfying.

The Washington Post. In an essay-heavy week (I didn’t bother telling you about the Times’ essays on why new fathers get fat and how busy parents can get other people to plan their dinners for them), I favored the great stories and vacation postcards from Carman, Hagedorn and Yonan.

It’s tied again!

The Washington Post: 16
The New York Times: 16

1 comment:

  1. The Oberon Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon 2009 is good!