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A recipe for sweetbreads in Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook.

Tripe Alla Parmigiana ($10)
Osteria Mozza

6602 Melrose Avenue, 90038

Tripe has enjoyed quite the rags to riches story over the last fifty years, especially for a cut I’ve heard likened to a wet rag. When my grandmother took my mom to a taping of Julia Child in the late 1960s wherein she prepared tripe, my grandmother reportedly declined to try the dish because it was considered such a throwaway. Today, it can be found on the menus of some of the best restaurants in the country. Case in point: Osteria Mozza. Read the rest of this entry »

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(Iceland posts to resume soon. I just need another Christmas vacation at home to finish them, or a similar situation where I have no responsibilities for two weeks. So, basically, next Christmas.)

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I’m not a perfect foodie. For as much as I cook and dine out, and research restaurants and recipes, and read chefs’ memoirs and food magazines, and bore and offend people with my meat small talk, and fall asleep in the middle of food history books and glasses of wine, there’s a lot out there I don’t know, don’t like, and don’t want to do. And a few things that I don’t care about, too. Here is a modest list. Read the rest of this entry »

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How I learned to love avocado. Read on for my favorite summer soup in New York.

Growing up in my family, respect could be earned by making straight-As and liking weird food. My parents weren’t strict, as parents in the south go (because they weren’t from the south, probably), but we had to do our homework before watching television, and we had to try a taste of everything we were served. My parents lived in Hawaii early in their marriage, so my mom cooked a lot of Asian cuisine growing up. While I celebrated Shake ‘n Bake, I rejoiced over Thai curry.

I was actually the pickiest eater for most of our childhood years and arguably still am. (Today, it has to do with maximizing the chances that I’ll love my meal when I’m paying a lot for it, or when anyone else is paying a lot for it, and also with being sensitive to food politics.)

Being picky as a kid is to be expected, but as a teen, I was determined to develop a sophisticated palate. I weaned myself onto greens, bell peppers, eggs, grilled cheese sandwiches, tuna and chicken salad, hummus, tea, Mexican food, and finally beer, and now I love them all. Maybe a little too much. I refuse to get my Cholesterol checked on account of what I affectionately refer to as the Incredible Edible.

Avocado didn’t happen until I was 22, and I have gazpacho to thank for that. I can’t remember the first time I ate gazpacho –my mom probably made it, she made everything at some point– but I can tell you the two best gazpachos I’ve ever had.

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