Sunday, June 28

Prada in the larder?

Better foodies dont do humble condiments. Now, I know this but it was this kind of principle that started a marvellous argument at Chez Pan a few weeks ago about just how much of a foodie the Bloke was. (In hindsight, i cant believe how seriously we debated the finer points of what being a foodie actually meant). So when i discovered the little tome at the library yesterday 'How to be a better foodie. A bulging little book for the truly epicurious' by Sudi Pigott I knew it contained the definitive answers we were searching for. Its an almost-thigh slapper, tongue-in-check look at the extremes foodies will go too..."the committed better foodie may spend many hours musing over the logistics of digging an Imu fire hole-wonderful for a juniper-spiked porchetta" when you can read a sentence like that and relate... (thinking of my rather nutty post-partum , in between breastfeeding a 6 week old, efforts to build the pizza-oven while on maternity leave)...

So i know lots of you readers out there are food people, can you claim to be Foodies? Here's the Prada larder checklist (with minor modifications) and my answers. If you need translations then BONK! -not a foodie.

1. Nam Pla - 20 year habit
2. Mirin - sure
3. Soy sauce or shoyu -yup
4. White miso paste - umm,checking.. yes
5. Bonito flakes - I've run out
6. Verjus - for sure
7. Saba - huh?
8. Rose or orange water from 'foreign' shop -check rose water
9. Ume-shu - no have
10. Pomegranate molasses - *blush* yup
11. 100% pure maple syrup - yup
10. Honey-chosen for type - loca
11. Cardomon, coriander, star anise, all whole - who doesnt?
12. Chermoula - have all ingredients to make it fresh when required
13. Baharat - nother huh?
14. Ras Al Hanout - huh huh huh???
15. Jordanian Zatar - definitely not
16. Peperoncino - nope
17. Dukkah - yup
18. Shichimi togarashi - nope but i will coz its fabulous!
19. Preserved lemons/limes -yup, too many jars!
20. Sumac -yup
21. Chilli jellies - check this; yup
22. Red harissa - yup
23. Saffron -a few strands floating around
24. Mace - just nutmegs
25. Maille Dijon - personally purchased from Les Halles-whoop!
26. Vanilla - fair trade , thick and pure from Vanuatu and a pod
27. Fruit cheeses - yup, mine and bloggy trades!
28. Biscuits; lah dee dah ones -nope, get eaten by the kids too often , bake/buy on a need only basis

Extra questions to sort the Prada larders from the mere Tom Fords

a. boutique tuscan extra virgin olive oil - pass
b. Artisanal jams - home made count?? of course they do!
c. duck confit -*blush* again- from genial artisian duck grower in Brittany
d. goose fat - have home rendered duck fat in the fridge- count?
e. twist rolled darjeeling - nah
f. L'Artisan chocolate flakes -nah
g. Food trophies from Michelin establishments etc definitely nah- not into foodie trophies!
Hmm..not sure about scoring this thing; theres no cut off! Looks about right; i think Im into food but merely the garden Tom Ford varietal foodie.

When it come to spices, im not a loca vore. How can you be a foodie without a variety of herbs and spices? How can you enjoy food without variety? Where i can i will pay more, sometimes alot more (the Vanuatu vanilla which i guard like Mother Bear..."thats tooo much" she screeches at Bean2 across the kitchen), to purchase a local or more local ingredient but I think that spices are international trade currency, its ok to be non loca- they're light, used sparingly and keep but fair trade is important as is sustainable production. Its the big guns of everyday bulk consumption where i put my loca investments.
And remember , a formative foodie learns to assemble and turn a pasta machine at the same time, if not before, they learn to ride a bike. Touche.

How did you score?


kale for sale said...

I stopped up at the pomegranite molasses. What do you use it for?

Katrine said...

I love it!

I read though this before going to the markets this morning and having the fresh reminder of all the tasty things in my pantry ended up in an extra inspired shopping trolley. thank you :)

i gave my panty 20 out of 28, except that i cheated a little with some of the spice blends, chermoula, harissa etc, which are in their deconstructed form but only a quick dry roast/blend etc away :)

An Israeli friend introduced my to schug last weekend which is the constructed condiment of choice in my tiny fridge this week. :)

i didn't know what the Shichimi togarashi or Ume-shu where either so i'm going to have to get myself a good japanese cook book!

Kel said...

kale-hiho, the molasses is a lovely sweet thick astringent and tanin like syrup perfect for middle eastern style foods. I use it to make a baste for duck breast (with other spices), add to couscous to add some zing, use with oil and juice to make a sauce, and sometimes in salad dressing. its a bit like balsamic glaze...but different!

katrine- hi, have been wondering where you were and whats going down and as you have no blog i have no way to check! Frustration! glad you enjoyed, make sure you read the book. its hilarious but proud! yes, through this exercise i realised i am very eurocentric in my choice of to Google schug.

Katrine said...

a recepie for Schug in my friends words:

it's very simple to make, just a large handful of dried chillies, bunch of coriander, 1 garlic bulb (peeled), 3-4 pods of cardemon and some salt. chuck it all in the food processor and let it run! or you can go for mortar and pastel if you're keen... it keeps for about a year in the fridge but it does go brown after a few weeks.

i'm working up to the blog thing, i'm not very good at maintaing things though! i'll get around to it...

innercitygarden said...

I have two bottles of verjus...

I actually don't have a pantry full of stuff, I depend pretty heavily on fresh herbs and veg, like you I'm pretty Euro-centric in my cooking. I love eating Middle Eastern and Asian food, but I don't have all of the ingredients all the time. I don't want a heap of little bottles and jars going bad in the cupboard. I also find that my local veg are root veg or brassicas, and I tend to cook them in Eastern Euro peasant fashion - with lots of local freerange heritage pork!

My excitement at finding a local chem-free goat fetta that tastes good was pretty noisy, do I get points for that?

I've also been known to make flaky pastry from scratch. But not recently.

Pip at Rest is not idleness said...

I'm a food person but not a foodie (I think) I'm a bit like Innercitygarden in that I don't want a lot of little bottles and jars going off in the pantry, but I have a lot of the whole spices to make some of the seasonings. I'm happy to pay more for some things (if the mister knew what some of the things I use cost he would have a heart attack, but what he doesn't know won't hurt him) I prefer to try and buy local or Australian made foodie type products and I like trying to make things from scratch as well.

Kel said...

katrine - thanks for that- just love learning new stuff!

ICG- yes, points all round for being a good sport and buying heritage free range pork gets you triple points! Flaky pastry fomr scratch if from BC may still count!

Pip-sometimes is best to let them think that the meal that looks like a regular cheese sandwich really hasnt cost $20 a sanger. Local, scratch...sounds GREAT!