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The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

Every year I'm left in the lurch wondering when tea will get its due. Delicious, ubiquitous, nourishing, gently stimulating, and rich with history and lore, to say nothing of glossy tools to drop money on, tea has everything you could want in an obsession-worthy drink. Here's why I'm so into it, and why I think you should be too. More

How Ful Mudammas Made Me Forget All About Hummus

Let's talk about ful (pronounced "fool") for a minute, because you might find you like it even more than hummus. Where the chickpea is a wan wallflower, the fava is proudly, robustly funky. And with its mashed-up beans and rich broth, ful takes common ingredients like cumin, garlic, and tahini to bolder places than hummus ever could. More

The Fastest, Freshest, Fluffiest Ice Cream Ever: 30-Minute Philadephia-Style Ice Cream

Most of the work in ice cream revolves around those egg yolks. Take them out of the recipe and you have an ice cream that doesn't need any time on the stovetop. And if your milk and cream are fridge-cold, you won't even need to chill your base. That means fresh ice cream whenever you want it, with ingredients you probably already have at home, and the easiest ice cream recipe you'll ever make. More

The Better Fruitcake: Baking Stollen at NYC's Bien Cuit Bakery

"It's like a yeasted fruitcake with all of the good stuff and none of the bad," says baker Zachary Golper of his best-in-class stollen. It's a dense, buttery loaf perfumed with citrus zest, orange blossom, and rum. The crumb is stuffed with a delicate almond cream, and the whole thing is "baptized" after baking in a bath of clarified butter, then finished with powdered sugar as fluffy as the season's first snowfall. More

The 100% Vegan Menu to Rock an Animal-Free Thanksgiving

A Thanksgiving without dairy and eggs means you miss out on buttery mashed potatoes and custardy pumpkin pie. But skipping out on cream doesn't mean skimping on the comforting, carby dishes Thanksgiving is best for. Actually, it means you get to focus on bolder flavors brimming with spice and explore a spectrum of textures wider than the usual seven kinds of creamy. More

North Jersey Special: The Tale of Belmont Tavern's Chicken Savoy

Hey folks, we did link to a recipe, that Saveur one included in the comments here. While the real-deal chicken savoy recipe is very much a secret, that one looked like a close approximation to us.

I understand the desire to want to recreate this at home, but I disagree that all food stories of this type are required to end in recipes. Sometimes the point of spotlighting something iconic is to inspire readers and make them seek something out on their own. Not everything is about translating things for the home kitchen. And more to the point, I think a savvy cook could follow Drew's narrative and produce a pretty tasty ersatz chicken savoy with a couple chickens.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@tmrdlr That gaiwan was made by a designer named Jono Pandolfi, who makes dishes mainly for restaurants (we profiled him a while back here). I got it at one of his sample sales, where he sells seconds that don't make the cut for clients, so unfortunately it's not sold online. But his online shop does sell teacups, dishes, and the like. Most of my dinnerware is from him and I can't recommend it enough. Beautiful and super-durable.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@BrutusBuckeye You can reduce a tea's caffeine content a bit by brewing it for a minute, discarding the brew, and re-brewing, but you'll never get a truly decaffeinated tea that way. As for pre-packaged decaf tea, I've yet to have one that tastes particularly special.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@kweber I feel your pain, and pretty much never order tea in restaurants for that reason, but at least in New York the tide is beginning to turn!

Happy Hour: Gin Mare, a Gin Worth Drinking Straight

Good news! A rep just got back to me that Gin Mare will indeed be coming to the U.S. in March pending final FDA approval. I've added an update to this post.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

Hi everyone! Good and bad news. The bad news is the follow-up story to this piece won't be coming out today, but rather a couple weeks down the line. The good news is that we're doing so to allow time to try some more product samples before coming out with a list of recommended tea merchants, so stay tuned.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@Keters It'll be included in the tea survey coming out this Friday!

@cousin steve I'll have to check them out!

@Amandarama Totally a good way to brew! Great for that quantity especially.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@LKM This roundup should get you started. Also check out T Shop in Nolita, which opened after that roundup was published.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@dongale Keep an eye out for a post on Friday—several recommendations to come.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@SonVoltMMA I've seen no evidence for that, especially since many teas (white, yellow, green, and oolong) brew so much lighter than any coffee.

The Non-Judgmental Guide to Getting Seriously Into Tea

@arielleeve Yup those mug filters work well. I prefer the ones made without plastic, but they all allow for much more water circulation around the leaves than bags or tea balls.

And those multi-temp kettles are great. Considering buying one for myself, actually.

How to Make Meatball Pizza

@Boston Adam Long Island/Queens and Manhattan/Brooklyn pizza cultures are converging, but they weren't always that way. Long Island pizza parlors are full of baroque styles (see: my fervent love of buffalo chicken pizza), but these were rarities across Manhattan for a long time in my experience. Today of course that's changing, but bridge and tunnel people still take home the prize for weird shit done to pizza.

8 Great International Meatballs in NYC, Hold the Red Sauce

Ful Mudammas (Egyptian Breakfast Fava Beans With Tahini)

@KT-S It's just some paprika for color!

How Ful Mudammas Made Me Forget All About Hummus

@northbankhighbury Just cook your dried favas as like any dried bean (maybe with some smashed garlic and halved onion for good measure) until they're very soft. For each can of favas, use about 1 1/4 cup of strained fava beans with 2/3 cup of the bean cooking liquid.

How Ful Mudammas Made Me Forget All About Hummus

@Ocean When the marketing is less lopsided, ambassador dishes like hummus, spaghetti, pizza, or tacos have a way of opening American minds to more dishes from other cultures, even if they always function as an interpretive lens. But so much Middle Eastern cooking has had trouble making inroads into the US. Falafel's probably the most successful, but other than that and, say, baba ganoush and baklava (which has had a longstanding Greek connection bonus), I think you'd be hard pressed to find many popular Middle Eastern dishes across America despite decades of immigration.

I think there are a few reasons for this, far beyond the intentionally glib remark I made in the piece, but I do consider a hyper-aggressive marketing effort at hummus to be part of it. When there's one really loud voice saying this is the Middle Eastern thing you should eat!, other voices are rendered more quiet. No one's really standing up for things like shawarma or ful.

There's more to it, of course. Middle Eastern food that doesn't have an Israeli connection doesn't do as well in the States. Hummus didn't originate in Israel, and falafel probably didn't either, but the country takes pride in both of them. Ful is way more popular outside of Israel than in, and for a few reasons that are mostly sad, that's worked to its detriment in terms of American appropriation.

Aaaanyway TLDR: Ful deserves to be as popular a breakfast food as baked beans in England, hooray ful but hummus also.

Around the World in Hot Sauce: An Illustrated Tour of 18 Varieties

Quite right on the Scoville test! Apologies for the error; it's been corrected.

The Real Deal With White Chocolate, Dessert's Delicious Underdog

@lilabell Askinosie placed pretty low in our rankings. The melt's relatively coarse and, compared to a lot of what's out there, I'd say the flavor's pretty bland, which makes the goatiness all the more weird. I'd say El Rey's the superior undeodorized white chocolate. I was surprised considering how many people recommended it as a favorite when I was doing my research.

AFAIK re: tempering caramelized white chocolate, it's a more complicated than that since you're changing the structure of the other ingredients that go into it. For something whisper-smooth like in coatings I'd just buy Dulcey. For applications like ice cream or mousse, the homemade's texture does just fine.

@saj14saj FDA guidelines are useful for many things, among them regulating labeling fraud, but that doesn't mean they're the final word on the ontology of our foodstuffs. For instance I use their definitions to delineate ice cream varieties all the time, but those standards are full of holes and exceptions. For instance there's no real reason ice cream needs at least 10% butterfat or why sherbet has to contain only between 1 and 2% butterfat. But so says the FDA.

I'm not seeing an argument for why "chocolate" must equal cocoa solids + cocoa butter. As for why I think white chocolate belongs in the category: It's a product of the cacao pod, it feels and melts like chocolate, and when done right, it tastes like chocolate. Walks like a duck, quacks like a duck...

How Ambrosia Became a Southern Christmas Tradition

Should be five million, sorry about that. Fixed!

The Real Deal With White Chocolate, Dessert's Delicious Underdog

@oscarb There we go. Thank you!

@Meglet I tasted those in an early round of research but didn't love them—found the melt chalky and the flavor really sweet and dry-milk-dominated. I'd definitely recommend Cacao Barry pistoles above white chocolate chips.

But I may just be disappointed because TJ's white chocolate bar was so damn good and now it's been discontinued. It was a whopping 45% cacao!

A Cookie a Day: Punchy Pistachio Millionaire's Shortbread

@Pete's Eats I haven't tasted Kenji's shortbread but his caramel sauce is pretty traditional except with condensed milk standing in for cream. The cheaty caramels I'm referring to are more like this one, where it's just condensed milk cooked down until the sugars and proteins brown. That method tastes...fine, but it's nothing like the smoky flavor of real caramel.

This butterscotch is totally different but I use it in the service of even more flavor: butter-toasted raw sugar + coriander + a lot of whiskey. Different approach than real caramel but I think both are valid. And I think the butterscotch is an unexpected tactic in millionaire's shortbread, and really nice with the pistachios.

The Real Deal With White Chocolate, Dessert's Delicious Underdog

@Doug D'OH! You can see how much use I get out of our office sous vide machine. Forgive the Friday brain fart.

Sources I see online show that around 12 hours at 194°F does the job.

The Real Deal With White Chocolate, Dessert's Delicious Underdog

@Darcie I haven't tested it sous vide, but between 250 and 260 would be good. You can go a little hotter sous vide because you don't have to worry about stirring frequently enough to prevent scorching.

Point/Counterpoint: What's the Queen of Christmas Breads?

@santiago Cardona Well, yes.

13 Quick and Dirty Tips for Frying Latkes

@Rainbow Unicorn In all my testing I've never had the insides come out raw. A lower oil temperature and longer fry may solve any undercooked potato problems. Though the recipe is definitely for more discrete potato shreds rather than creamy mashed potato-like interiors.

Dulces: Arroz con Leche (Rice Pudding)

I couldn't help but think of the stereotypical fiery Latin temperament when I was making this recipe. Arroz con leche (riz au lait or rice pudding), is such a languid, drowsy, gentle thing, so tender it's even suitable for those with smooth gums and weak constitutions, and yet, it is among the most well-liked and frequently made desserts throughout Latin America. Maybe we're all bark and no bite. More

How to Buy, Store, Use (and Re-Use!) Spices

It continues to baffle me how little attention is given to spices today. Maybe it's because we're told to eat local (they rarely are) or organic (they're usually not). Spices seem to still have a reputation of being slapdash cover-ups for mediocre chicken—and far too often they are—but they don't have to be. Yes, spice hunting requires a little time, effort, and money (though less than you think), but once you start using fresh spices in you're cooking, you may just find yourself addicted. More