Showing posts with label Pok Pok. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pok Pok. Show all posts

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Highs and Lows for 2012

by Sheila Connolly

It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness…

So said Charles Dickens, in A Tale of Two Cities.  Substitute "food" for "times" and you have the key to this post. I thought it might be fun to take a quick look at the food highs and lows of this past year for the writer-chefs of Mystery Lovers' Kitchen—and you!

Pop quiz (no grades!):

A. What's the best thing you ate this past year? (Don't think too hard, just say what pops into your head first.) What one food or dish was completely unforgettable?

B. Or, if there are too many memorable examples to pick from, what food did you try for the first time in 2012?

C. What's the worst thing you ate this past year, the one thing you will never, ever try again and will warn all your friends and relatives to stay away from?

We at MLK would love to hear about your culinary experiences, both good and bad.

I'll start off.  Here are my examples:

A.  Yes, too many to count, so I'll skip ahead to

B.  Samphire.  Say what?  I'd never seen or heard of it until it showed up in a dish of steamed mussels I had in a pub in Dublin.  Samphire (also known as sea fennel) is an herb or vegetable that grows on muddy, sandy flats (marsh samphire) near the sea or on rocky seaside cliffs (rock samphire, which grows in such places as the White Cliffs of Dover, where Shakespeare mentioned it). It tastes a bit like asparagus but with a salty flavor, and it adds crunch to dishes.  (And I love the name.)

C. Durian.  This was something I'd heard of but never met face to face.  I came upon it at a trendy Thai restaurant called Pok Pok in Brooklyn.  It is a large thorny fruit that stinks, so why do people eat it?  Well, as one of my tablemates at the restaurant said, "it smells like **** but it tastes like heaven."  At Pok Pok it was served in a dessert, in the form of a custard on sweet sticky rice.  The **** odor was noticeable, at least at first taste; the "heaven" part might be a bit exaggerated, although it was pleasant enough, or at least, not awful.  Anyway, I'm not going back for more, but I'm happy to check durian on my bucket list.

Please share your Bests and Worsts from 2012.  Leave us a comment!