Profile

ManuelSteiner

I'm a bumbling student of linguistics who thought that losing weight and paying attention to what I eat might be a good idea. For once, it seems I was right.

  • Location: Augsburg, Germany
  • Favorite foods: Freshly baked bread.
    Polenta. I don't care if it's bland.
    Chili [con carne].
    Mushrooms, in the rare event they're juuust right.
    Savory cheeses.
  • Last bite on earth: Probably a mite-rotten piece of mountain cheese rind.

Culinary Ambassadors: Serious Oktoberfest Eats

You might not find Flammekuche at the Oktoberfest, but since it's wine harvest season, many restaurants (even in Bavaria) will serve it as it goes along so well with white wine, especially the partially fermented Federweisser.

Favorite Item

A big cutting board - because I can never have enough space.

Latex gloves - no more onion smell! Also recommended for handling raw meat, fish, chili peppers and anything messy, like oily marinades.

Digital kitchen scale - some things are easy to eyeball, but a scale makes life so much easier.

Black Forest Bacon

Sounds like a marketing term to me as well. If it's not a genuine appelation of origin, it would only apply to the method of preparation - which is hot smoking, so nothing particularly special about that. Of course even if it was from S-W Germany, it' s not like the pigs or the beechwood here are much different than anywhere else in the world. To me, "Black Forest" often signifies 'heavy on the smoke flavor, less heavy on the seasonings (than say, Alto Adige ham)'.

Have you ever killed wild-game or slaughtered a farm animal?

While I like to think I'm more "connected" to my meat than most people - eating mainly game hunted by one uncle or animals raised by another, and frequently aiding in cutting them up -- I have never had a part in the actual slaughtering. Here in Germany, there are rather strict laws anyway, and getting a hunting license, for example, is a lengthy and rigid process; Jews and Muslims aren't allowed to butcher their meat themselves either unless they're professionals.

Perhaps another question would be "would you _want_ to kill wild game or a farm animal, given the chance?".
I've eaten cattle I knew the name of, I eat animals others consider "too cute to eat", but would I want or dare to partake in the necessary act of slaughter? Probably yes, but hypothetically speaking I cannot say whether I still wouldn't be shaken by it.

Roasting debate: Do you salt before or after roasting your veg?

Yeah, I've always been a skeptic of the "salt draws out all the moisture"-credo as well, so I firmly belong to the salt before-camp. After all, this is short-term seasoning, not koshering we're talking about.
Besides, many vegetables are better with less water in them anyway.

Cook the Book: Dried Mushrooms

I've never found the need to dry my mushrooms in the oven. If the weather is sunny, dry 'em in the sun on a baking tray. If the weather is bad and your radiator is warm, place em on or next to the radiator. Watch for mold, though! If neither applies, freeze em. Oven-drying is a PITA and huge waste of energy.

UK May Abolish Food Standards Agency

Bear in mind that - as hinted on in the article - being part of the European Union, legislation regarding food safety in the UK (and obviouly the rest of the EU) is heavily influenced by Brussels. This lessens the power, as evidenced by them having to go through the EU to get the traffic light label system, and therefore need for a state department like the FSA.
Whether the FSA was a beneficial institution in the sense that the left and the Pollanites would like it or whether it was in the pockets of the industry I cannot judge. Given that the latter is possible and that I still trust in the informed consumer (or rather, I have little drive to exert force on the average uninformed consumer), I'm not going to miss an institution like the FSA.

Serious Exercise for Serious Eaters

Even an intense session (say, 45 minutes on fat burning pulse levels) will only burn around 1000+ calories. You can achieve about the same by substituting the next hearty pizza for a salad (with little oil); so I'd actually recommend something like that considering that you're already working out plenty.

Further recognition for Ed and Serious Eats

Way to go SE! Say what you will about PBS, but they know their food stuff.

How long will pesto keep in the fridge?

I'll confess to leaving pesto in the fridge for weeks and still eating it. With store-bought pesto and all the preservatives it may or may not have, it may not be surprising that it still kept; but I also remember that the first time my mother made pesto it tasted grassy and rather unpleasant at first. So, into the fridge it went, not to be looked at again for quite a while. Weeks later, it had developed into something that was not only evidently still edible, but it also tasted a lot better. Obviously I can't recommend potentially unhealthy habits like that... just saying *wink wink*.

Podcasts worth listening to?

I've really come to enjoy listening to podcasts whenever doing something not too heavy on the cerebral side (like, say, cooking?). What are some shows you can recommend that would fall under the category of Serious Eats or Drinks?

Personally, I enjoy some of the Heritage Radio Network shows like The Main Course (http://www.heritageradionetwork.com/); the BBC's The Food Programme (http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series/foodprog/); the Restaurant Guys (http://www.restaurantguysradio.com/sle/rg/) or the Splendid Table (http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/).

Have you neglected your cooking roots?

The other day it occured to me that ever since I've gotten into food - cooking, eating, ingredients, the whole shebang - I've mainly looked to other countries; whether it's Italy or India.
My own "heritage", if you will, has been sadly neglected - since German food is heavy on the pork and the fats, that's not without reason. Then again, I think it's time for another or rather a new chance for dishes like traditional Sauerkraut.

With the food world being so global now and recipes from all over only being a mouse click away, is there anything you have so far neglected as part of your culinary tradition? Is there a reason for that, or is it simply that the grass is always more appetizing on the other side?

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