Foodie tours

Every week, Seth Kugel writes about different ways to spend a weekend in New York. Last Sunday, he wrote about the new foodie tours he’d tested.

“What seemed doomed to be the lamest of the five, the Original Greenwich Village Food Tasting and Cultural Walking Tour run by Foods of New York, turned out to be the most entertaining. Michael Karp, one of several guides for these daily excursions, has lived in the Village for 22 years, and it shows.

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Fake EVOO? What would Rachael say?

The European Union has been fighting fake olive oil for a decade. Fake olive oil? How’s that work?

Well, the fairly expensive Bertolli you pick up at the grocery may not be extra virgin olive oil … it may be heavily diluted with Turkish hazelnut oil or sunflower-seed oil from Argentina.

For a while, the EU had an olive oil investigative task force, but that ‘s been disbanded.

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My oh my, Tomato Pie


Last month I made this pie as a test recipe for Leite’s Culinaria, and now they’re released the recipe.

It is so good. It is warm and crunchy and has all the mouth feel of a wonderful pizza, but it’s also a great pie. The crust is easy to do and superb — and I do not bake, as a rule. I didn’t even own a pie plate, I had to go to Giant and buy one.

Two things:

1. Don’t do this in the order the recipe says. Make the tomato filling first … it is way easier.

2. If you violate all that is sacred about August and used canned tomatoes, drain them well, slice them thin and resist the temptation to pour any juice into the mix. From other people who have made this pie, I can tell you that with too much juice the bottom crust gets soggy.

Staying sharp

Food Writer Sue Gleiter was talking to me about knives a while ago, and I suggested Forschner — recommended to me by someone fairly knowledgable, Chef Nate Keller’s mom. (Hi, Heidi.) Then last week at The Restaurant Store near Borders on the West Shore, I saw a whole section of Forschner knives.

If you’re buying knives, look at these.  

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Veggie cookoff

Last week, I helped judge the statewide vegetable recipe cookoff with Chef Jim Switzenberg of HACC’s culinary program, dietitian Karen Buch from Weis Markets and extension agent Debra Gregory. It was several hours of good eating — winning recipes will be in the paper on Wednesday.

All the recipes are here.

I talked to Chef Jim afterwards about handling fresh veggies.

Yeah, i know i clipped him at the close, and the audio’s kinda light. Working on it.

Wacky wine guy

Gary Vaynerchuk can come off like the Dick Vitale of wine …


“Since February 2006, Vaynerchuk, who co-owns with his father a cavernous wine shop called Wine Library in Springfield, N.J., has been hosting a daily video blog devoted to wine education. It is called Wine Library TV, but it plays like Wine Geek Gone Wild: The 31-year-old Vaynerchuk, a native of Belarus sadly besotted with the New York Jets (his ambition in life is to own the club), brings a hyperkinetic style to the normally dry business of judging syrahs and merlots.” Continue reading