Right now I’m snacking on a báhn mì that I will never forget. Spicy pork juices are dripping down my hand and the herbaceous scent of fresh coriander fills the back of my throat. The crunch of cucumber and radish is complimented by a chewy baguette that wraps each ingredient together like a warm hug. Let me paint you a word picture of the unique flavors you’re serving up.
See more examples of food writing on my blog.
Pure Beef Book Review (Gayot Publications, 2012)
For those squeamish about what goes on behind the butcher’s counter, fear not. In her book Pure Beef, Lynne Curry addresses with great finesse and delicacy the subject of raising, slaughtering, and preparing beef. This book is the inverse to Upton Sinclair’s The Jungle: rather than decrying the meat industry for unsanitary atrocities, Curry focuses on the integrity of grass-fed beef raised by independent ranchers. She praises them for their devotion to ethical practices in the raising and killing of their beef, which extends even past the animals’ deaths.
Raising grass-fed beef is a hormone-free practice considered more humane and natural for the animals. It produces more tender and flavorful beef that is lower in saturated fat than more commonly found grain-fed varieties which make up 95% of the market.
The first part of the book is strictly informative, including a tasteful and sensitive description of slaughtering day, and a thorough section on which cuts come from which part of the animal. The second contains almost 120 recipes, from your basic hamburger to globally-inspired cuisine such as Tamarind Beef Satay and Korean Barbecue. And when she says recipes for every cut, she means it- Curry prizes not only the prime cuts of the beef, but the lesser cuts as well: even the offal and bones are put to use.
With its well-organized structure and deeply personal writing, Pure Beef will make you think twice about where you buy your meat and the ethics of raising cattle naturally and comfortably. After all, you are what you eat…
Shangri la Iced Tea Review (Gayot Publications, 2012)
We like our tea iced on a summer day. Shangri La Iced Teas make it easy to keep this cool refreshing beverage on-hand for brewing on a hot afternoon. Each package contains six large tea bags, each of which make half a gallon of iced tea. The brewing instructions are rather specific about water quantities and temperature, but the results are worth the careful preparation. Flavors like Fountain of Youth and Tropical Passion contain bright fruity overtones and are crisp and light to drink.
Some flavors are sweetened ever-so-slightly with stevia, never sugar, so it’s the perfect calorie-free, antioxidant-rich drink, containing none of the chemical sweeteners found in diet soft drinks. The company grows and processes their own teas, and Shangri La-owned farms are Rainforest Alliance Certified™, meaning they meet rigorous standards for environmental protection and social responsibility to their workers. You can drink this tea knowing its good for you and for the Earth.
The instructions suggest that you do not refrigerate this tea after brewing in order to preserve its flavor and clarity. However, tea left sitting at warm temperatures may provide a medium in which bacteria will grow. If you want this tea to taste its best and be the best for you, make sure you sanitize your pitcher first, and make it to drink that day. It probably won’t take much convincing to get a group of friends to help you finish it off in tall, icy glasses beside the pool.
Price: $9-$11 per package, brews 12 qts of tea