The Pasta Bible: A Mighty Unholy Book

Photo Credit to RalphAndJenny on Flickr

If you are like me, then you love Fail Blog and it brings you great joy to add new things on Twitter with the hashtag #awesometypos. When these things are food related I often say the phrase “uncouth gourmand” in my head. However, there are certain thing that are beyond a fail and beyond uncouth…they are just wrong.

In a new cookbook entitled, Pasta Bible, under the recipe for Spelt Tagliatelle with Sardines and Prosciutto one of the ingredients had a major typographical error. Was it a misprint on an unusual ingredient that is easily misspelled or confused? Nope, it was on the most common ingredient in cooking, the one that had been written correctly in more than 150 recipes in the book.

The mistake ingredient was “salt and freshly ground black people.”

Any idiot would know that this was clearly just a mistake but it is costing the publisher, Penguin Group Australia, $18,000 in reprints and a world of embarrassment.

For more on the story see:

Sydeny Morning Hearld

BBC

Yahoo

If you screw up, Food World, we will be there!

UG Commercial: iPhone + BlackBerry = Twitter Love

Here’s the story of a lovely Uncouthie
Who had an iPhone, which she used to Tweet.
All of her tweets came from an app known as Echofon,
The newest ones with a dash and a J.

Here’s the story, of a Gourmand named Carina
Who had a BlackBerry to tweet on her own,
All of her tweets came from UberTwitter,
Yet they were all signed with a dash and a C.

Till the one day when the Uncouth met this Gourmand,
And they knew it was much more than a hunch.
That these ladies would somehow form a Twitter account.
That’s the way we became UncouthGourmand.
UncouthGourmand, UncouthGourmand.

That’s the way we became UncouthGourmand
Follow Us, bitches!

Gastrological Astrology: For The Week Beginning April 15th

Photo Credit Rae Threat

By: Your High Priestess, Nadia Noir aka DoubleDEntendre

As a Gemini, I am decidedly indecisive. Do I want a raucous, Motley Crue-esque Monday that started all because of an innocent Umami Burger Happy Hour and a few too many Allagash Whites? Or do I want to hermit away in my “Hatch” with some froyo while watching every season of Lost back-to-back, hallucinating that my cat is the black Smoke Monster? Sometimes I just need someone else to make the damned decision for me. So I look to a song, or a story, or a shaman i.e. a couple of pre-game shots. And sometimes even, I look to the stars, both of the silicone-enhanced and the hydrogen/helium-enhanced variety. I mean, what were the complex mythos of the ancient Greeks and Romans created for if not to tell some ravenous, mercurial, and slightly delusional girl from the future what to eat, drink, and be?

Aries (March 21-April 19)

The “fire of life” exists in the belly of an Aries. As an Aries, you are perhaps the most virile, aggressive and outrageously lascivious of the Zodiac; Aries people are said to be aromatic and musky much like a mesquite wood infused barbeque pit. This might sound disgusting but I know many foodies (UGs, perhaps) who might lick your armpit for smelling like that. This week for Aries is about embracing their ‘musk’; cultivating balance in their relationships, specifically influences of “modern man.” So take a step back and re-examine your relationship with food and others. Enjoying food is an instinctual, primal practice. One that comes naturally to every Aries. Put down your Yelp App, close the tabs with your Google Reader food blogs, leave your camera at home and just EAT. Like a starving baby suckling a great big milky breast. EAT.

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Most people are horrible at baking. And I mean REALLY horrible. Sure, we eat their baked goods and say stuff like, “Oh, I normally hate sweets, but this is GOOD.” We are lying, but we don’t have the patience or heart to explain to them why their cookies suck. The irony is that their cookies probably sucked because they didn’t have patience or heart when they were baking. The point of all this is that: Taureans have heart and Taureans don’t lack patience. They are usually great bakers. Usually. Except this week when it is imperative to bake the biggest, moistest cake ever. This is the week to follow all recipe directions exactly and to remain in the present. Do not get sidelined by some other delicious, pre-prepared morsel. No. Patiently mix all your ingredients together and watch as your cake rises centimeter by centimeter. If anyone can do it, you can.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

At a fancy happy hour last night, I was telling my friend two things about myself: 1) that my current dream is to get a motorcycle and ride aimlessly while breaking hearts and learning dangerous skills and 2) that my go-to drunk food is Cheetos. Seemingly, These things don’t have anything in common-but they do. Both of these things point to the typical and perpetual adolescence of the Gemini. Unfortunately, this week we have to sit at the grown-up table. This might entail putting down the caramel Frappucinos and Del Taco burritos of our youth and eating…salads. With dressing on the side. And drinking water. And taking vitamins. All while working at our desks through our lunch hour.  Just think of it as acting. Play the role of an “adult” now and in the future you will get a whole swimming pool of Cheetos to swim through, a hot tub full of Cherry Coke, and a motorcycle made out of candy corn. A girl can dream.

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

I’ve never met a crab I didn’t like. Especially one drenched in butter. You, dear Cancer, have been sitting around in a delicious little puddle of butter for a long time with no one willing to suck out your succulent little legs. You’ve been fine with this because, as a Cancer, you are willing to work hard and wait around for the right opportunity to give you a nibble (see: opposite of Gemini). The fact that Cancer rules the stomach should come as no surprise; you’ve been feeding others with your resources for a long time, but it’s been a longer time since somebody fed you. Or licentiously licked up the juices of your hard work from a plate. Pretty soon, someone is going to lick up those juices, so don’t give up. Keep marinating. They are right around the corner with claw cracker in hand.

Leo (July 23-August 22)

Oh, hi, Leo. Nice to briefly see you considering someone has lit the proverbial fire in your gas oven, turned you up to “extra hot-in fact-let’s just burn the whole effin’ kitchen down”, and run away without calling for reinforcements. For other zodiac signs this would be overwhelming. Not for you, Leo. This is what you LIVE for. Every pot is cooking; every item in your pantry is near charred; and everyone can feel the heat and the energy you are emanating. True, you are in your element. However, it is also true that you may need to step away from the heat for a second, pull out a nice cold piece of icebox humble pie and taste it. Contemplate it, enjoy it, taste it again. Because even though you are going more places and doing more things than everyone else, the fact that you are getting into these newly-opened restaurants or getting to taste some Michelin Star winning chef’s fancy dinners before everyone else does not mean you should brag about it.

Virgo (August 23-September 22)

“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie/That’s amore/When the world seems to shine like you’ve had too much wine/That’s amore.” This week I dedicate this song to you, Virgo. Lately, you’ve felt like a big blob of blobbity blob nothing but really you are pizza dough being laid out to rest, bathing in the light of the moon, getting drunk on love and life and world experiences. As a Virgo, you’ve probably had a hard time recognizing all the magical things happening around you. You’ve been more focused on the ratio of pepperoni to cheese and the pi measurement of your pie. But lemme tell ya, sweetie pie; some big strong hands are coming your way. They are going to yank you around a little bit, spin you in the air, and for once you are going to enjoy it. You’ll realize that sitting around resting doesn’t mean you are a blob of nothing. This whole time you’ve been a magical pizza of love.

Libra (September 23-October 22)

A Libra knows what is like to be arm candy; often the fairest creatures of the zodiac, Librans give off a sincerely insincere sweetness that is also likely to cause teeth rot. Well, Libra, you are tired of being someone else’s little sticky candy cane. Not only are you tired of being tasted up and down, you are tired of the unhealthy consequences you are having on people. In reality, how you have been affecting other people lately is their fault not yours. They are just Augustus Gloop-ing your sweet nature. This week it is important that you go on a literal and metaphorical cleanse. Figure out how you want to taste to other people and who you want getting the Tootsie in your Tootsie Pop. Do this now while everyone in the illogical astrological world is still a chubby child in love in a candy store and high off of your sugar. You still have time to grab pieces of you from their grimy little hands.

Scorpio (October 23-November 21)

Some days you feel like a nut, some days you don’t. This week you are going to feel like a nut. Or the nutcracker. I don’t know. Life has been great for you, Scorpio. You’ve been foraging for nuts and nesting with a mate (or two). Your dining engagements have been the way you like it: intimate, controlled, and exclusive. You have all your good energy and luck lately to thank for this. But this week, someone is going to mess with your pile of well-placed nuts. It may feel like they are ruining your whole plan of feasting throughout the summer. But guess what; they aren’t. Sometimes you need to get your nuts touched in order to realize how lucky you are to have said nuts. So watch your nuts, but don’t watch too hard, or you just might crack.

Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)

Hello, and welcome to ‘Backwards Week’. Some other signs of the zodiac always live in ‘Backwards Week’ (in fact, I am pretty sure they don’t really know what the concept of direction really is), but you Sag, shot your arrow in one direction a long time ago, and are following the righteous and honorable path. On this path, you like to be with the same people, do the same things, and eat the same things. Well. Screw that. Do it all backwards this week. Eat something different. Totally different. Weird, even.  Right now you are stuck in a rut and while you say you are perfectly content in that rut, following that same old arrow, you aren’t really.

Capricorn (December 22-January 19)

I personally don’t know very many Capricorns so if you are a Cap introduce yourself to me in the comments below. My theory is that most Capricorns are smart enough to hide themselves from troublemakers like me. But this week, Cap, you are going to be the troublemaker. Your life this week is going to be like one giant, potato-salad-slippery-floor, tapioca-pudding-up-the-nostril food fight. It’s going to be what we in Hippie-land call an “epiphany” and what we in non-Capricornville call “fun”. So dirty and so slimy and so stinky and so delicious that for once you are going to have the opportunity to forget all about those important things that Capricorns like to think about. People are still using you as that iconic figure of dinner party etiquette; they might judge you, too. But just throw some coleslaw at them at scream, “I don’t give a ****!”

Aquarius (January 20- February 18)

Every other horoscope for you this week is telling you to avoid “dumb distractions” and “indulgences”. I’m here to tell you, SIN AWAY. Aquarians are never ones for moral/ethical lines and there is good reason for that. The reason is: it doesn’t suit you. Lately, you’ve been eating all the right things, watching your weight, exercising, not spending all your pennies on happy hour beers. Well, stop it. Now. Unless, of course you want to keep doing that. This week you are going to have to make a decision about whom you really are. If you are hungry and horny little billy goat, be a goat. If you are a smoothie slurping pilates fiend, be a fiend. But stop thinking that your previous life of hedonistic indulgence is a garbage way to be. Some creatures, like goats, like to eat garbage. And it makes them the happiest little things in the world.

Pisces (February 19-March 20)

Lean in and let me tell you a little secret…you might get laid this week. I know, right?!? As a Pisces, you are a slippery little creature full of ideas but you never know which way to go. A Pisces will take a bite of something and never know whether they really like it or not, whether to spit or swallow, whether they are meant to find pleasure in it or purge it. Well, this week is all about seafood. Ahem. No, not just in a sexual way. In a metaphorical way as well. Fish can change sex in order to procreate and ensure their lineage passes on. You are equally full of both eggs and balls lately- and this sexual androgyny makes you a catch to almost everyone. It also lends you an energy of transformation. Lately, you’ve felt like you were stuck in a net, flailing around, being abused by every one-eyed fisherman that has come along. Now you have a chance to eat all his bait, poke that fisherman in his good eye with his own hook, and serve him a taste of his own poisoned puffed up worm medicine. It’s only right. And also, it’s just funny.

Sticking to Kosher Meat: For Love and For Health

Photo Credit to DinnerCraft on Flickr

It has been almost a year since my last relationship ended. It was a sad situation and it came in the form of a break-up email I had to send to my ex-boyfriend who was stuck in Europe. Since then, I made new friends and choices and was told by my business and religious mentor to stick to kosher meat. He meant this in terms of trying to strictly date Jewish men. The theory behind it was that while I am still young, my heart and livelihood would be better off if I only dated people that I would consider marrying. A rabbi later pushed this point by saying that marrying a Jew doesn’t guarantee success but it does help your chances for a successful marriage. Up until that point, I have dated a lot of “interesting” people but none of which I would have ever considered marrying: an out of work actor/scientologist, a homeless man, an anarchist named Pogo, and other winners. They were all beautiful and fascinating people but I decided to get serious about dating for the sake of less broken hearts. The journey with Jewish men has been healthier, rational, but not quite the amount of intensity (i.e. drama, according to Josie) that I was looking for. Through my time on Jdate I have discovered that there are a ton of non-Jewish women on there trying to nail a Jewish man…clearly there is something healthy about this idea of kosher meat.

In fact, if you read today’s New York Times article entitled More People Choosing Kosher for Health there is definitely something to this notion. According to the article there is a huge kosher meat trend not because of religious reasons but because the public views it as healthier and safer. All of the meat has to be processed under strict kosher law and is monitored extremely carefully, from the way it is killed to the way it is butchered. All kosher meat is also heavily salted which helps to keep away certain bacteria, making it a safe choice.

I can make obvious (albeit uncouth) links about the Orthodox Union heavily monitoring the meat to the Jewish mother monitoring her son or about the careful butchering of meat to Jewish men with circumcisions. However, what do you think? Do you view Jewish men and kosher meat as a safer and healthier option? I do, in fact, that is what I intend to say to my future Jewish husband before we eat kosher brisket at the wedding reception.

Euro Pane: Bringing the BEST Egg Salad to the People

“I live in Pasadena, which is home to your favorite egg salad sandwich.” That was the first thing I said when I met Ruth Reichl. She is now my idol, however, then I was just beginning to learn her story. I read that fun fact on one of her tweets, before I read the heartbreaking ones and learned that Gourmet magazine went under. My fellow food bloggers and friends, Gastronomy Blog and Teenage Glutster, were in line with me to meet Ruth after the celebration and talk for Gourmet magazine. They both told me that Ruth Reichl’s book Garlic and Sapphires changed their lives. After meeting her and hearing their vetting, I knew this was a book that I must read. For the last few years, thanks to B School and coming into womanhood, I have been strictly reading business, economics, and feminist books. Since I finished school I have moved on to read nothing but Erica Jong, once you find a writer and character (Isadora Wing) that share your exact voice it is impossible to let go. On my recent trip home I finally picked up Ruth’s book and once again my life was changed. Ruth Reichl has the career, personality, palate, and writing ability that I aspire to hold. I finished the book in only a few days and now feel a new vigor to transform my life and really get great at writing about food. Color me inspired.

After returning back to LA after a great time in Nor Cal, I came home to discover that my bathroom sink overflowed. It was a nightmare. I escaped to my favorite bakery, home of the best egg salad, with the last couple of chapters of her book to savor. When I first moved to Pasadena, nearly 3 years ago, it was Lovebirds Cafe across the street that I was most excited about. I loved the name of the cafe and the interesting sandwich menu with crisp green apples and sharp cheddar on a turkey sandwich. Unfortunately, the place was awful. However, it is because of those bakery failures that I traveled across the street to Euro Pane. It was not the egg salad that first stole my heart there; it was the caramel sea salt french macaron. My boyfriend at the time was an emotional eater, who felt the exact same way about food that I did, and we got this cookies the morning after every sleepover. My next boyfriend, who was much more of a drinker than an eater, didn’t get food at all and said it was the “total chick’s cookie” for those times when us girlies crave the sweet and salty. I later described this particular cookie as “the essence of femininity.” I find the term to be much more feminist approved and accurate. On this emotional day when I came in, while my sink was being fixed and the tiles on my bathroom floor were scrubbed, I needed a cookie. At the cash register they were giving samples of the caramel sea salt macaron. This quarter of a cookie filled my salty/sweet quote but I still needed more sugar. I ordered the berry macaroon. The consistency and complexity was just as delicious but in the words of Sinead O’Connor and my Yelp review “Nothing Compares 2 U, my sweet and savory cookie.”

Of course, I ordered the egg salad that I have been raving about for the last two years. I had Ruth Reichl’s book in my hand and I really tried hard to concentrate on the way in which an expert would eat this. I felt as though I had all of her words and shared experiences at my disposal and I closed my eyes to enjoy and enhance the taste. This sandwich is open faced, which for a non-UG may mean a knife and fork. The eggs themselves are soft boiled and are right at the perfect line of very delicate and not oozy (technical term). The fresh baked bread has a sun dried tomato spread that perfectly sweetens the sandwich and some fresh baby greens for texture, color, and taste. The sandwich then has the final cracking of black pepper and sliced chives on top and it is served. It is a sandwich of renewal and despite being Jewish and always despising Easter this would be the epitome of an Easter sandwich. Let’s just say I wasn’t worried about my bathroom sink after eating this sandwich. I often say that 80% of my life is the quest for a good sandwich and this, my friends, is it.

I know Pasadena gets a bad rap for food, but we truly hold one of the greatest sandwiches and we are about to get even luckier. The rumors are on the blogosphere (from Cafe Pasadena and Brigham Yen) that we are are getting a brand new Euro Pane. Whether it is a relocation or a second location, I am thrilled! We will be sure to let you know, when we know more, but for now grab an egg salad sandwich and a cookie because your life just got so much more delicious.

Cilantro: A Clean Crisp Herb or a Soapy Flavor?

Photo Courtesy of Stadum Girl on Flickr

“Do you have the cilantro gene?” I first heard that question asked last Sunday on the Beef Roll Crawl. One of the crawlers didn’t have any of the beef rolls because cilantro was the main filling and she simply could not eat it. I thought the question was a silly one because I know cilantro to be a strong taste, so people either love it or hate it, but what the heck did that have to do with a gene? Perhaps I understand this about cilantro so much because I have been told my entire life that I have a strong personality and I am used to people either loving or hating me. It’s strong, the eater picks a team, and then game over; there’s no need for genetics in this equation.

I am someone that has been on Team Cilantro since the age of 9 on. I was born and raised in Santa Cruz (where I am typing this post now) and there has always been an abundance of organic produce around in my own kitchen and in my community. I was always on the fruity side and grew up olallieberry and yellow plum picking, my attraction to vegetables took a little longer to develop. My favorite vegetable was, something that was actually a flower, the artichoke. Why would I eat a salad when there was such a fibrous, fun to eat and dip, plant that I got to clean and get to the heart of? However, when I was 9 there was an organic cafe for college students that opened up near  UCSC on the Westside of Santa Cruz, that had a Chinese Chicken Salad that I fell in love with, it was the first salad I ever loved. It wasn’t the standard one that you may see at Americanized Chinese restaurants. This one had fresh grilled chicken, rice vinegar (my favorite), and fresh and crisp veggies. The first couple times I had this my mom asked for no cilantro for me, because the flavor was too strong. This is when I started to come to terms with obsession with food. I have never lived on the Westside of Santa Cruz and yet I would demand that my mom drive me there just for this salad. One time we called it in, picked it up, and when we opened up the bag I saw that my salad was covered in cilantro. Upon opening up the environmentally friendly salad box the aroma hit me first. I knew that my current favorite salad was not in it’s usually dressed form. I thought about picking it off but I left it on and that is when my love affair with cilantro began. It had the cleanest taste I have ever eaten and after that my life with food was greatly enhanced. My Jewish grandma was an avid cook that especially loved Asian and Indian food. I grew up thinking that Yan Can Cook was on every grandma’s bookshelf and never knew that most grandmothers stuck to meat and potatoes. My grandma was one of the most thoughtful people and never imposed her tastes on everyone else. Always on her table was her fat-free margarine and real butter; the choice was yours (at the time I always chose margarine because I thought it made her happy and because it was easier for me to spread on the fresh baked bread). My favorite dish that she made was always Indian chicken, she set up bowls and bowls with toppings so she wasn’t imposing and that the decision was my own. The spread on the table reminds me now of banchan that you will see at KBBQ places. In the beginning, I just threw on shredded coconut and golden raisins (Like Grace Adler, I still LOVE raisins in everything) and after my positive experience with cilantro that became the first topping I threw on. I can’t imagine my food life without cilantro as it enhances fish (ceviche), soup (pho), sandwiches (banh mi), tacos and curries beautifully and adds that extra element into the flavor profile. What if this herb, that I have come to love for it’s fresh and clean taste, tasted too clean (in a bad way) to many people? Apparently there is a huge portion of the population that think that cilantro tastes like soap and just can’t eat it. This is the so-called cilantro gene. After inquiring about this strange term and doing some online research, I am shocked.

Here is what I have learned:

*There are a ton of I Hate Cilantro websites, groups, and followers

*Dr. Wysocki, a behavioral neuroscientist, looked into the idea of the gene by interviewing twins at the Twins Day Festival. Here is what the WSJ reported:

More than 80% of the identical twins gave ratings similar to their siblings, while only 42% of the fraternal twins did — suggesting cilantro hatred may be a genetic trait. But Dr. Wysocki cautions that he hasn’t yet analyzed enough fraternal twins to draw a firm conclusion.”

Dr. Wysocki contends dislike of cilantro stems from its odor, not its taste. His hypothesis is that those who don’t like it are unable to detect chemicals in the leaf that are pleasing to those who like the herb.

*Julia Child refused to eat cilantro (CNN Interview)

*Cilantro haters seem to never get the “fantastically savory” smell that the cilantro lovers smell (NPR)

*This is totally my own observance, and may have to do with my group of friends, but I find that a lot of the cilantro haters are either Japanese or Filipino.

It seems as though the love or hatred of cilantro goes way beyond a simple taste preference. There is passion in this issue. Perhaps only one other herb stirs up more controversy than this, but there is no need to go there. So are you a cilantro lover or hater? If it’s a hatred that many people share, should restaurants be more mindful of this?

Neighborhood Profile: Beverly Hills

Josie and I have a bad habit of not liking to go west of La Cienga unless we are going straight to Santa Monica/Venice. We try and venture into West LA but we are Eastside Girls at heart. We were invited last night to the 25 Year Anniversary Party of Bombay Palace and that was our catalyst for a full night in Beverly Hills. Josie, always uncouth, invited our friend who happens to be Indian to the party in BH’s premier Indian restaurant and he in turn invited us to another swinging BH party. The event was the exhibit opening of Andreas Gurskey at the Gagosian Gallery. The plan was to meet at the exhibit at 6:30 and then head to the Bombay Palace for the celebration. Josie was uncharacteristically early, I was a little late from an out of character coffee date (I normally demand a full dinner), and our friend Arun who is always early was late after hours in traffic. Josie warned me that Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Moore, and Adrian Brody were already there. Arun got a spotting of Jeremy Piven eating his food outside Mr. Chow’s with the valet. It became clear that on this week, prior to the Oscar’s, Beverly Hills was more celebrity infested than ever. I love going to art galleries and these giant photographs were striking but it became clear that at this “sceney” event the only thing on display was everyone there. I found myself admiring the red soled Louboutins that graced everyone’s feet at the event. It was nice but not for me.

We headed over to the Bombay Palace and were joined by Arun and his friend Roni. Over the course of the night we learned that Roni was from Tel Aviv and is the force behind The Band From, which is “probably the best surreal indie pop band to come from Beverly Hills.” The party was only a couple of hours in and the dance floor was already being hit hard. The sitar was being strummed and those Indian women had hips that wouldn’t lie. Josie was stalking the caterers holding platters and it was one of the most welcoming events we ever attended. The owners were placing food out for us and asking us to eat more. We felt more like we were at a private Indian wedding than a restaurant on Wilshire Blvd.

One person we were surprised to run into was Bill from Street Gourmet LA. Arun is an avid blog reader and was ecstatic to meet the Street Gourmet LA himself. He was quoting him and his most recent posts. Josie and I were a little jealous as we credit Arun as our first fan. The event was fantastic and in the invitation it said the party would be going until 10p. At around 9:30 I was stuffed from all of the platters endlessly being passed but leave it to Josie at that minute to see a buffet line being formed and grab Street Gourmet to grab a full plate of food with her. They were the food ballers of the night as Arun and I both made the “Oh, Josie” face.

During a night in Beverly Hills it is more than common to have a celebrity run-in. I had a very uncouth but fortunate version of this. I was in line for the bathroom and I heard a speech from the owners and then  I saw a young boy brought up on the stage. I remembered The Minty telling me that the last time she was at Bombay Palace her waiter was a cute young boy. When I returned to the dining room, I saw the boy and tapped him on the shoulder asking if he worked at the restaurant. He laughed and his friend said that he was brought up to the stage because he is the lead actor in a movie that was nominated for an Oscar. I looked up the film when I got home and it turns out this boy is a HUGE deal. His name is Sagar Salunke and he plays Kavi in a short film called Kavi, which is nominated as the Best Short Film, Live Action. I felt foolish but this kid was 100% the coolest actor I have ever met. Yes, Beverly Hills is hoity-toity but it is also a neighborhood with restaurants and people kind enough to invite you and make you feel like family.