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  • Michael Krakovskiy 8:42 am on February 17, 2005 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , , , Durian, , Flora of Indonesia, , Medicinal plants, , , , , ultimate gourmet food, , Wine tasting   

    Can You Smell What Deadprogrammer’s Cooking? 

    And now welcome to yet another edition of “Gastronomic Adventures with Deadprogrammer”. Since I wrote previous installments I’ve noticed that I am not the only blogger who takes the time to purchase and eat weird stuff. The Sneeze is home to outstanding section called “Steve, Don’t Eat It!”

    I’ve read an article (though I can’t remember who wrote it) about the fact that many gourmet foods are initially repulsive to most people. The first signal your brain sends you when your are having oysters, stinky cheese, scotch or caviar is “Dude! This stuff is spoiled, spit it out right now!”. But then, you consciously think, “Come on, brain, this is 25 year old Talisker we are having here. I just paid $225 for the bottle, you better relax and try to enjoy it. Yes, I know that it tastes like peat a little bit. It’s supposed to. It’s a good thing”.

    The ultimate gourmet food for which you need to fight with your brain is Durian. Available in most oriental stores in New York, this pointy skinned exotic fruit is widely known for smelling awful but tasting heavenly.

    Recently I purchased one on my trip to Avenue U, which is more and more becoming Brooklyn’s Chinatown. Here it is, sitting innocently on my Naked Chef-style cutting board.

    When you cut it with a knife, you find several sections filled with custard-like flesh and big seeds.

    I have to say that the smell was not as horrible as most places describe it. It was definitely odd, somewhat unpleasant, but not completely overpowering. I found it similar in strength and quality to the smell of expensive sulfur spring mineral water that you might find in many resorts. Nothing even close to the horrors that you might find in any article describing Durian on the web.

    The taste and texture of the fruit flesh was absolutely great. It had the texture and sweetness of a creamy custard, very smooth and buttery, tasting somewhat like pineapple, lemon and banana at the same time. It was very sweet, but not in a nauseating way. An absolutely unique taste, very, very exotic.

    I can also happy to report not having any gas or any other digestive problems widely reported as associated with the fruit in question. On the other hand I did not eat the entire thing as I am still trying to watch my carbohydrate intake.

    Apparently picking Durian is sort of a hit and miss experience. I had the most expensive kind my store had, an 89 cent/lb Mornthong variety. There are other varieties that are maybe stronger smelling and of lesser quality.

     
  • Michael Krakovskiy 11:28 am on October 21, 2002 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Black pepper, Burr mill, , Defective Detective Shops, , Detective Shops, , Medicinal plants, Pepper, Peugeot, , Salt, Spices, ,   

    Defective Detective Shops for a Pepper Mill 

    I am shopping for a really good pepper mill, and dammit, I can’t decide.

    Right now I narrowed it down to two choices:

    a) A pepper mill made by Peugeot. Supposedly Peugeot was making pepper mills even before cars. [Insert your own joke about wimpy French cars and their origins]
    and
    b) Turkish coffee grinder that was popularized as a pepper grinder by the Frugal Gourmet dude.

    Ok, so let’s see what Zen and Art of Motorcycle Maintenance taught me. Thinking romantically, it’s really cool that the grinder is made by an automobile company. It’s a great conversation starter (not that I need any of those). But thinking classically, a mechanism made for grinding Turkish coffee must be by it’s nature more robust, and have a much greater level of adjustment.

    Like obsessive-compulsive detective Monk, I can’t decide.

    Oooh, isn’t the salt pig adorable? Nah, I’m happy with the salt cellar that I have. Besides, it looks like a perfect place for roaches to camp out.

     
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