Profile

Brian Halweil

Editor of Edible East End. Publisher of Edible Brooklyn.

  • Website
  • Location: Sag Harbor, NY
  • Favorite foods: Clams, dumplings, coffee cake.
  • Last bite on earth: Clam pie.

What Are You Stocking the Pantry with Before Hurricane Irene?

We went to our local coffee roaster, Java Nation in Sag Harbor, and bought two pounds of beans, ground. We usually buy whole beans. But if we lose power, there will be no use for the home grinder. Tonight, as a dry run, we'll add the grounds to our Bodum French press, stir in some tap water and let the press sit over night--the first of what may be many pots of cold-brew coffee if we lose electricity (or more) when Hurricane Irene passes over this finger of land that extends out into the Atlantic Ocean.

The Hamptons: Pizzetteria Brunetti, Westhampton Beach

We are honored to have such excellent pie makers on the East End. There is also Grana in Jamesport (http://www.edibleeastend.com/online_magazine/winter_2011/new_pizza_players/) and Conca d'Oro in Sag Harbor (http://www.edibleeastend.com/online_magazine/winter_2011/artisans-7/).

Ceviche in Brooklyn?

I've had ceviche at Palo Santo on Union Street in Park Slope a handful of times, including a flight of 3 different ceviches at a wine dinner, and it has always been impeccable. In season, Palo Santo does ceviche Costeño served with boiled sweet potatoes and corn on the cob.

Farmer's Markets... Any on Long Island?

Yes, springing up like daffodils is a fair assessment.

The Hamptons have 4 now, including West Hampton, Sag Harbor, East Hampton and a new one due to launch in Montauk this season.

The North Fork has one in Riverhead and one in Greenport.

(See http://www.edibleeastend.com/content/index.php/find-a-copy/find-a-copy.htm#Efarmersmarkets.)

Here's a listing for markets in Nassau County (http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/regionmetronassau.htm) and another for Suffolk County (http://www.nyfarmersmarket.com/regionmetrosuffolk.htm).

Happy shopping.

East End Eats: Where to Reserve Your Turkey

Yes, would be a fantastic novelty, the local wheat. For the clam pie, the potatoes, clams and onions are just too easy to get nearby this time of year.

I know a couple places to get pork, but I'll email you that directly. They are both "illegal," as you know, because technically four-legged animals need to be slaughtered at a USDA abattoir. Poultry are exempt from the law.

East End Eats: Where to Reserve Your Turkey

Hey Kieran, Thanks for the update on Iacono. We did do a piece on Miloski's a few years back. (Here's a link to the story from our pre-html days: http://www.edibleeastend.com/pages/articles/winter2006/pdf/roadsideDiaries.pdf.)
They have turkeys, raised outside, that many folks on the North Fork rave about. They also have a very diverse selection of obscure game, from alligator to bison.
Let me know how the bird tastes.
Brian

An Open Letter to Alice Waters and the Good Folks at Slow Food Nation

This is all good and welcome advice as Slow Food has its sort of coming-out party in America. For all the merits of this movement--I helped launch the chapter on the East End of Long Island--Slow Food has had an ongoing challenge of reaching into new communities, and reaching more deeply into our everyday lives.

Slow Food founder Carlo Petrini once told me that the first challenge was reaching beyond Italy into the rest of Europe, then beyond Europe into America. His dream, he said, was reaching Africa, Asia and Latin America, where most of the world's food diversity and food culture still remains.

Still it's a positive sign for our collective culinary consciousness that Slow Food Nation is happening. And even those who can't be there can be reminded to get to know the folks in our food community and enjoy their wares to keep them in business.

The New Nationals Dog: Washington D.C.'s Half Smoke

Ben's also has some very tasty veggie chili (with surprisingly meat-like chunks of texturized vegetable protein) and the related addictive chili fries that seem to taste best at 2 in the morning. Both these dishes are popular among DC's non-meat-eating populations--black, white and otherwise.

The End of Apples

@MarkO.
The Halseys don't market outside of the East End. There has been some talk in the past of some bigger Long Island and NYC supermarket chains carrying their apples and cider, but it just doesn't seem to fit with their smaller-scale, market-directly-from-your-own-farmstand strategy, which seems to be pretty successful. Many other farmstands and gourmet stores and sandwich shops out here carry their cider. And they do have mail-order gift boxes though, and perhaps they can stick some cider (and ice packs) in one of those, but cider probably doesn't ship too well.

The Myth of Food Miles

One of the nice things about the local food movement is that different people can interpret it in different ways--some people can plant their own gardens; others might just favor American apples over New Zealand apples. This makes the term local more powerful because more people can get behind it. And in some ways, it makes the word less susceptible to coopting in the way that organic has been.

The Observer story (and the February 25, 2008, New Yorker story on carbon footprints, "Big Foot," by Michael Specter) make clear that what we eat, like other daily decisions, "is almost never easy." But that doesn't have to send us into a state of gastro-paralysis. And while the variety of international shipping technologies, agroecological conditions, and farming practices around the globe conspire against simple answers, there are some rules of thumb that the carbon-conscious eater can live by.

A meat-rich diet generates more carbon than a diet with moderate amounts of meat. Highly-processed foods--whether canned, frozen, or fried--use more energy than raw items. Organic production of everything from apples to milk to wheat generates less carbon than chemical-based production, largely because the organic farmer's fertilization strategy doesn't depend on petroleum based agrochemicals and can actually add to the soil's store of carbon. And, in general, buying food grown closer to where you live will save fuel used in shipping.

Yes, a diligent research can find exceptions, like the New Zealand lamb raised on year-round pasture that is less fuel intensive than local lamb that might have to be given feed in the winter. But even if an 18-wheeler shuttling California asparagus to New York City is more energy efficient than a battery of beat up farmers market trucks bringing green spears to Union Square, New Yorkers who forsake out-of-season produce entirely render the long-distance advantage moot.

help..need asparagus ideas for Easter!

How about an asparagus frittata? Eggs are a good spring thing as chickens start laying more with the longer days. It's also pretty simple and gives lots of opportunities for food art by laying the spears in the quiche pan radiating from the center.
My basic recipe involves turning up the oven to 400, pouring some olive oil, sea salt, pepper, and chopped onions into a quiche pan and putting the pan in the oven until the onions are browned. Then lay in the asparagus and pour on the eggs. The asparagus comes out nice and crunchy since it hasn't been cooked before.

help..need asparagus ideas for Easter!

All good points, bisbee, and I didn't mean to pry or be self-righteous. Eating is about the company, of course, and the context and respecting the traditions, flavors, habits of others, especially when it comes to family holidays, which can already be stressful despite the presence of good food.
And I'm also glad to know how widely spread seriouseaters are geographically. In my town's supermarket, the California asparagus is pretty mediocre looking right now, so I suppose I was being a little self-centered. Sorry.

help..need asparagus ideas for Easter!

Where are you getting your asparagus and why the pressure to use it on Easter? Asparagus season, at least in the Northeast, is still a few weeks off. A locavore alternative could use any number of greenhouse greens that are widely available at farmers markets, from arugula to lettuces to bok choys. There are also local radishes, cellared cabbage, and plenty of apples available.

'Tis the Season of Braising

Thanks for the comments all. I wonder why Escoffier made such a big deal about how difficult and expensive the technique is. Maybe a sentiment that got lost in translation. Or perhaps he considered it difficult to do really well, and he considering it expensive when using really good cuts of meat.

Weekend Book Giveaway: 'Secret Ingredients, the New Yorker Book of Food and Drink'

I love many on this list, but recently Peter Hoffman at Savoy exposed me to the Fulton Fish Market, McSorley's and other food profiles of New Yorker writer Joseph Mitchell. His prose is poetry.

Food Words for Thought: 'Locavore' as 2007's Word of the Year

Thanks for these comments, everyone.
There's no doubt that being a more deliberate food shopper, cook and eater are profound political acts. The farm bill only comes up every five years, and we get to choose a new President every four years. But we eat a few times a day.
And when more and more eaters and farmers and food businesses detach from the anonymous food chain, the "agri-industrial complex" is left with fewer customers. The smart companies are already adjusting. Sysco, the largest food distributor in the country, is slowly retooling its warehouses and delivery vehicles and staff to not just service cross-country orders, but also to get local food to local customers. If they don't make this change, then their competitors will.

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