Voices from Russia

Saturday, 3 March 2018

3 March 2018. From the Russian Web… A Russian Take on Ten Iconic American Foods

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Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza

The idea of baking a half-cooked pizza originated in Britain. Chicago Deep-Dish Pizza uses the same technique, but it’s completely different. You fry cornbread in olive oil until half-done; then, you spread cheese, tomato sauce, meat, or other types of toppings over it. You can try this famous pizza in many restaurants in Chicago.

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New Mexico Green Chilli                                                                    

The best way to get to know New Mexico’s culture is to try its green chilli peppers. They cook them throughout the state. In the chilli, besides the main ingredient, you add fresh pepper, tomatoes, potatoes, garlic, and beef or pork to the dish.

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Maine Lobster Roll

It’s an art form to prepare a flawless lobster roll. You can toast, steam, or bake the bread rolls before filling them. You can replace mayonnaise with melted butter. Finally, you can choose to use meat from the claws or from the tail to prepare this treat. However, no matter what you choose, this sandwich will perfectly brighten up a summer evening on the Atlantic coast.

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Vermont Maple Syrup

Canada may claim the maple leaf as its symbol, but Vermont, not Canada, produces what many say is the best maple syrup. Vermont is the largest producer of maple syrup in the USA; in fact, about 5 percent of the world’s total maple syrup supply comes from there. If you go in March, you’d get to see how they harvest the maple sap from venerable maple trees. There’s no sense in describing its taste… just try it.

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Kentucky Bourbon Whiskey

Despite the fact that the law says that you can make bourbon anywhere in the USA, about 95 percent comes from the “bluegrass state” of Kentucky. In fact, Kentucky’s Bourbon County gave its name to this type of corn whiskey (popularly called the “Spirit of America”). They’ve distilled hooch here for more than two centuries. Today, people all over the world know what bourbon is and millions come to Kentucky to get it.

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Philly Cheese Steak

Pat Olivieri, the founder of Pat’s Steaks, originated the recipe for Philly Steak sandwiches in the 1930s. This sandwich is very nutritious. It consists of a crispy oblong Italian-style loaf with chopped steak sprinkled with grated cheese or Cheese Whiz, usually with added onions.

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New Orleans Beignets

A trip to New Orleans isn’t really complete unless you visit Café du Monde, where you can sample fresh doughnuts sprinkled with powdered sugar. No doubt, Louisiana is the world standard for doughnuts. The usual fare is classic doughnuts without fillings, but you can find doughnuts with chocolate and fruit fillings.

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New England Clam Chowder

If in Boston, you need to try this creamy shellfish soup, usually prepared with seafood, potatoes, celery, onions, and cream or milk. The classic Massachusetts recipe strictly prohibits tomatoes, but they do show up in Manhattan Clam Chowder. Annual festivals occur in Boston, where restaurants compete in making the best soup.

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Texas Barbeque

Texas cooks make barbecue from beef, usually the shoulder. They rub the meat with pepper, salt, herbs, and other seasonings and let it sit before cooking it. You use a low fire in a charcoal grill (usually covered), so the process is rather slow.

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New York Pastrami on Jewish Rye Sandwich

The origins of the pastrami (a form of smoked beef) sandwich are in Romania, the recipe came to the USA at the beginning of the 1900s. The best place to enjoy this sandwich is Katz’s Deli, which deserves its motto… “Here the sandwiches are the best”.

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Editor:

The original list had twenty items, but I cut it to ten to eliminate unusual or odd foods and only include iconic “American foods”. I kept the original notes as is; even when they were a little wrong… after all, it’s a RUSSIAN take on iconic American food. My least favourite on this list? Without a doubt, it’s the Deep-Dish Pizza. It isn’t really pizza… my vote is for a classic New York-style pie. Mind you, I don’t hate anything on this list… but there are some that I could take or leave (mostly, leave). My vote for the fave on the list? Why, Pastrami on Jewish Rye (with horseradish mustard, if you please… the rye bread has to have caraway seeds in it), of course… pastrami rules the popular food roost and don’t you forget it!

After looking the list over, I realised that the list mirrored my own preferences… the best-liked last and the least-liked first. Who woulda thunk it…

BMD

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Monday, 30 May 2016

30 May 2016. For Memorial Day (A Pleasant Service Memory): If You Were in the Service, You KNOW This Stuff… From an Unrepentant SOS Fan

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Army-style Shit on a Shingle (with ground beef/sausage)

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Navy-style Shit on a Shingle (with chipped beef)

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The late great Jeff Smith does Shit on a Shingle (the first four minutes)… I remember him from the 80s and 90s… yes, I know all about him… it’s about cooking, kids…

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If you served in the American forces, you know about SOS… Shit On a Shingle… creamed chipped/ground beef or sausage on toast. GOOD EATS, KIDS, I KID YOU NOT. Look here, here, and here for how to make it. There’s a Navy/USMC way and an Army/Air Force way to make it. The Army way is with ground beef/bulk sausage (the USAF came out of the Army, so it uses “Army-style” SOS); the Navy way is with chipped beef (as the USMC is under the Department of the Navy, they use “Navy-style” SOS). Of course, if you want to serve it real chow-line style, you put two pieces of buttered toast on your plate, ladle the SOS over it, and put two over-easy fried eggs on top of that, with a cuppa red-hot Joe on the side. Hey, all you old-school vets… this is the BOMB. I don’t have it as often as I should. Did you mess-cook? If you know what I’m talkin’ about, you’re a real Navy vet (mess-cooking is what they call KP in the Navy).

This is a GOOD service memory for Memorial Day…

BMD

Monday, 15 February 2016

15 February 2016. In Praise of FRIED BOLOGNA… Don’t Knock It Until You’ve Tried It with Decent Human Beings!

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Here are some Cabinet ruminations on this pearl of American Working Class Epicuria:

We had fried bologna with an egg. With toast and jam… the best breakfast ever. Easier than bacon.

No, but Dad liked Spam. Mom sniffed at it. I still like it!

Fried Bologna! Does that bring back MEMORIES? My mom used dill pickles, Velveeta, and raw onion… those WERE the days…

Luckily, I never grew up with Velveeta, but I did grow up with fried bologna.

Oh yes! Love that! We used sweet onion.

Yes… good stuff… if you didn’t have it, well, you missed out! Are you ashamed to like Velveeta, fried bologna, or a bag of potato chips with a cold beer? Well… you have some “issues” to attend to! As for me, I like what I like, and if someone sniffs at it and thinks it “low”, they can go and post their images of their precious little yuppie lunches on their blogs all that they want. I’ll stick with the real world and what I truly like. Ponder that…

BMD

Monday, 28 September 2015

28 September 2015. Pizza n’ Pivo… the National Food n’ Beverage of the NEPA Set

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“Pivo” is “beer” in all the Slavic languages… “NEPA” is “Northeastern Pennsylvania”. Ever had “Old Forge Pizza?” Don’t knock it until you try it… then, you’ll KNOW why Pizza n’ Pivo is the Champagne and Brie of NEPA… get your mind right, bud…

BMD

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