anna brones

writer + artist + producer

Posts Tagged ‘foodie

The Foolproof Foodie Menu Guide

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A down and dirty guide for planning the menu at your upcoming restaurant. No really, you’ll want mason jars.

Aperitif

Bourbon, bitters and definitely something infused, preferably with bacon.

Champagne and elderflower.

Appetizers

Choose either a dynamic or intentionally plain name for this section of the menu. Anything in French will do, or simple phrases like “small plates.” Then make sure to have at least two of the following:

Wilted bitter greens.

Some type of carb with crust cut off.

A basket of bread studded with as much farmhouse cheddar or bacon as possible. Rosemary is so 2005.

Goat cheese. Preferably on beets, but other roots will do in a pinch. Think parsnips or rutabaga.

Braised greens on brioche. Both are on foodie menus everywhere, but in such an inventive pairing? Sure to get you a write up.

Full tongue in cheek guide here.

Written by Anna Brones

December 12, 2011 at 14:28

America’s Foodie Reputation

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A surprising discovery when I lived in France was L’Americain. In the land of gourmet cheeses and perfected baguettes, food is more than something that you just consume for nourishment; it’s art. Which is why I was a little shell-shocked the first time I came acrossL’Americain, a late night favorite, post-pop music dance party, made up of a baguette stuffed with hamburger meat, french fries and ketchup.

If the French vision of American food had been unclear before, after this particular sandwich run in, it was very clear. For the French, there was no point in glorifying this version of junk street food, when they could just call it what they thought it represented: America.

As a nation, we have often been at the bottom of the list of culinary tradition. Sure, at home we’ve created a foodie culture and mastered combining dishes from around the world, but abroad, there remains a view that we’re all about pizza, hot dogs and chips. Our global foodie reputation is defined more by sugar and fat than by local ingredients with a cosmopolitan twist.

In fact, enter any “American” food store in another country and you’ll get a handful of classic ingredients. I’ve seen everything from swirled jars of peanut butter and jelly to marshmallow cream (things my American counterparts would never dream of buying at home), and much less abroad. But the international crowd loves this stuff. One of my best Swedish friends has specifically requested that next time I come visit she wants Reese’s Miniatures and several bags of Sour Patch Kids.

What is it that has made the rest of the world crave some of our most terrible exports and glaze over our more respectable creations? You don’t see Alice Waters shrines or bookshelves stocked with Mark Bittman translations abroad, but you’ll most certainly come across a sampling of the following.

Hamburgers

McDonald’s has swept the world like a virus, but it’s not just Big Macs that have made their way around the world. Grab an “American” menu in Southeast Asia and you’re sure to find some version of a meat patty wrapped in a bun. For some reason this American classic has other people hooked, albeit poor spellings on menus and misconceptions of what a bun should look like.

Pringles

It’s not just chips in general, but there’s something about “once you pop you can’t stop,” that has seduced the international consumer. Turns out they’re marketed in at least a hundred countries and bring in $1 billion in sales. Sure, in other countries the packaging is often smaller,  because other places know better than to serve up ten servings in one container that we’re sure to down in a single sitting — but those brightly colored canisters with the goofy, mustached man are all over the place.

Mediocre – yet complicated – coffee drinks

Leave it to the global coffee chain Starbucks to make it perfectly acceptable to order a caramel machiatto in countries where coffee consumption is holy. The result is, well, abhorrent. Thanks to the chain it’s trendy to cruise the streets of Paris with a disposable cup and you can now buy Frappacinos in Guatemala. The company’s new instant product alone was responsible for $100 million in global sales last year.

Peanut Butter

It seems like such a staple product and yet for many it’s a luxury. Some love it and some hate it, but peanut butter to Europeans is just as exotic as caviar and foie gras are to many Americans. Try tracking it down outside of the U.S. and you’ll have a difficult time, and yet somehow, everyone knows about it. A former, very typical French roommate of mine (he wouldn’t dream of keeping his smelly cheeses in the refrigerator), thought there was nothing better on his weekend brioche than some good old Jiffy, imported by friends of course.

But forget our foodie reputation for a second.

Although it would be great to be known for all the fantastic, organic and healthy items that many American chefs whip up on a daily basis, wanting to be respected for our food culture is almost a little vain. What we should be more concerned with is how we’re physically impacting the rest of the world.

With obesity rates skyrocketing around the world, and often attributed to imported food, maybe it’s time we took a step back and asked ourselves what we want our global food influence to be.

Hot dogs and high fructose corn syrup? Changing what’s on our plates at home has a larger influence than we may think.

Originally published here.

Written by Anna Brones

March 31, 2011 at 07:07

Foodie Humor

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Stuck in the midst of a winter cold, and so when I came across the new series called Foodies, I was highly entertained. Nothing beats tongue-in-cheek humor in my book.

Mockumenting “a group of L.A. culinary enthusiasts whose passion for food spills off the table and into their personal lives,” the series is all devoted to poking fun at the smugness that so many love to point out comes along with loving good food. That assumed pretension some people think is inherent in the foodie movement may or may not be a valid argument, but in poking fun at it, Foodies is actually giving the movement more street cred.

I mean, come on… “She’s still into me, cheese puffs prove it.” Genius. Watch the trailer here.

More on EcoSalon.

Written by Anna Brones

March 1, 2011 at 15:10

Posted in Food + Recipes

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Does Being a Foodie Make You an Elitist?

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Last week the Oregonian published the “Non-foodies Food Guide,” which spurred some local outrage. An issue that’s near and dear to my heart, I weighed in over on my weekly Foodie Underground column. So does being a foodie make you an elitist? Or do we need to drop our hangups and start focusing on the real problem at hand: access to healthy, fresh and local food for everyone? Here’s an excerpt.

Despite the recent inclination to team the term “foodie” with “snob” there are a whole group of foodies out there that are simply concerned with where their food came from, how it was raised, and what’s being added to it to make the end product. In fact, if there’s one thing the underground food movement has taught us, it’s that local, sustainable, fresh fare is desirable, not just because it’s trendy but because it’s healthy and better for the environment.

Read the whole article here.

 

Written by Anna Brones

October 20, 2010 at 07:49

The Bike-Thru

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Love this idea so much I had to cross-post from my Foodie Underground column over on EcoSalon:

The drive-thru: an iconic institution fueled by the American spirit to hit the open road. But in this day and age, drive-thrus have become synonymous with unhealthy lifestyle habits, both because of the food they serve and the mode of transportation used to get there. But what if the food was good, and getting access to it promoted sustainable living habits?

In Madison, a restaurateur is looking to open an eating space that’s anything but a drive-thru; he wants to launch a bike-thru, accessible only by two wheels. The Wisconsin capital is already known for its cycling culture, in fact it’s currently ranked the nation’s #7 city for biking, and Chris Berge thinks it would be the optimal spot for what he calls a “bike-in” bar and grill. The proposed restaurant would be built on the city’s Southwest Commuter Path, making it inaccessible by car, and commit to serving local food, and producing zero garbage. He’d also make it a great place for riders to get a quick rest stop, with bathrooms, a fountain for filling water bottles and a bicycle repair service station.

Although the restaurant hasn’t been officially proposed yet, the idea has already garnered the support of the mayor of Madison, Dave Cieslewicz. “I think it’s fascinating idea,” Cieslewicz said. Be it a love for good, local food or a passion for two-wheeled transport, the idea has the potential to take off in other cities as well.

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Foodie Photo Addiction

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This week over on the Foodie Underground column I had the delight of writing about one of my favorite subjects: food porn. Sure, that may sound a little harsh, but if you’re addicted to beautiful pictures of good food, you know exactly what I’m talking about.You find yourself with a camera often closer to your plate than your fork, you know exactly what shutter speed to use in a dimly lit restaurant and shopping at farmers market takes twice as long as the average person because you’re forced to do a round to zoom in on all the fresh carrots and bell peppers.

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Written by Anna Brones

April 21, 2010 at 20:15