Vanessa Chang
(A Glutton with Brains)


a glutton with brains

I Got Memed: Favorite Foods

With my deepest aplogies to the very kind Ilva who tagged me for this meme long ago, here are just a few things that I cannot live without...

(1) Cheese. Halloumi-squeaky, taleggio-funky. I'll take it all. My treat over the holidays? A whole wheel of Vacherin Mont D'or scooped out by skewers of steamed baby potatoes.

(2) Cornichons. Teeny. Crunchy. And sour. I always grab two or three as soon as I come home from work when I figure out what I want for dinner. It gets my juices flowing (literally). They don't get your hands greasy when you eat them with a salami sandwich. And because it goes so well with Vacherin and potatoes.

(Photo by Sugarland Blog)
(3) Caramel et al. It's burned sugar. Sometimes with cream or butter. Sometimes it's soft and salty, like fleur de sel caramel candy. Sometimes it's hard and crunchy, like christmas almond brittle. It swathes the apples in a messy tarte tatin. And it's what you lick off the plate when you've finished the eggy creme caramel.

(4) Chile Sauces & Pastes. I don't think it's a coincidence that nearly every culture has fashioned some sort of pungent paste. Tabasco. Harissa. Gochujang. Cholula. I put Cholula on eggs, gojuchang with bimbimbap, and harissa with labneh and bread. A friend with a sensitive disposition once tried to convince me that eating such potent foods would deaden my palate with such "aggressive flavors." I told him he was boring.

(5) Really good eggs. I used think it was annoying when people claimed to only love "farm fresh eggs." But after my summer indulging in dozens of hour-old eggs from the farmer's market, I'm officially one of those annoying people. Because they taste completely different. The yolks are really orange. The whites are sturdier. And when I'm craving poached eggs with buttered toast in the winter, I still dream of brown eggs from Bramblebank Farm.

(Photo by Declan McCullough)
(6) Olives, any incarnation. With the cornichons, the cheese, and bread, it's a full meal. Extra-virgin olive oil is great. Olio nuovo is da bomb. And tapenade—I would totally slather my body with it.

(7) Garlic Juicy crushed garlic sizzilng in extra-virgin olive oil—one of the best scents in the world.

Iguana_button(8) Mole & Beer Specifically, the mole poblano-bathed enchiladas suizas or enomoladas covered in deep deep mole negro, both from the Red Iguana—quite possibly the best Mexican restaurant in the U.S. The beer? Modelo especial.

(9) Haagen-Dazs Dulce de Leche ice cream See #3

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(10) A big bowl of piping hot broth, loads of noodles, and thinly sliced cow of some sort. Because no matter the season or my state of health, my mom's sullongtang heals me. And when I can't get to her house for a steaming bowlful, Mi La Cai hooks me up with some mean pho with plenty of basil, thinly sliced beef, and Sriracha sauce. Hell, even without the cow, the concept is pretty damn good, like ebi udon. But overall, any of these tastes best when someone else makes it for you.

UncategorizedVanessa Chang