Sadly, summer’s stone fruit growing season is way too short, but oh so sweet! Did you know:
• Plum trees are grown in every continent except Antarctica.
• The peach has a poisonous pit containing hydrocyanic acid.
• On average, there are 44 cherries to the pound.
In 1984, President Ronald Reagan, who had a real soft spot for ice cream, designated July as the month to pay tribute to one of his favorite indulgences. Since the Reagan-era, ice cream has evolved into a creamy, dreamy industry that practically suits every cultural, dietary and gustatory preference.
Like most things in life, timing must be perfect — and cooking, baking and food preparation is no exception. Slice an avocado prematurely and it’s hard and bitter, past its prime and it’s mushy and brown. A door slamming at the very scintilla of time when a soufflé is critically rising can convert the airy delicacy into a pancake, while a salad dressed too long before serving will limp into a soggy mound.
Listen up, all manly outdoor chefs! It’s time to earn your grilling stripes by donning a kitschy machismo apron slugged with such slogans as, “WEINIES RULE,” along with transferring the heat, smoke, mess and heavy-duty implements to the backyard. Here are some cookout trends for your gustatory amazement on July 4th and throughout the summer.
While savoring a fine meal, all five senses play a key role in the dining experience: Presentation gives us eye candy, aromas draw us in, textures and temperatures seduce the palate, and sounds like sizzling and chewing enhance the gustatory pleasures. But ultimately, flavor trumps all. Everyone has their favorite flavors and those they shun. Here’s a primer to help you appreciate your sense of taste, and understand what your preferences say about your personality.
A British exhibitor from the India Tea Commission laid a solid claim to the creation of iced tea. In 1904 at the St. Louis World’s Fair, he wasn’t getting too many takers for hot brew on a sweltering summer day, so he poured it over ice and offered refreshing samples to attendees.
Plump, juicy grapes in rich royal jewel tones have invaded supermarket aisles and farmers market stands, piled high in luscious mounds. When you pop a cold one in your mouth, the sweet juices burst into thirst-quenching ambrosia.
Fine foodies mingled with devoted bibliophiles May 14 at NTC Promenade’s McMillin Center to celebrate the San Diego Council on Literacy’s fifth annual “Eat. Drink. Read.” event, amping up awareness of the shocking illiteracy figures in our community. It was a perfect marriage since books nourish the mind, spirit and soul, and food fuels the body and mind.
June celebrates the rich bounty of oceanic offerings with a designated National Seafood Month. The king of the mollusk family, the mighty scallop dates back to biblical times. It is a symbol of fertility and pilgrimage with its gorgeous symmetrical shell incorporated into classical art (Botticelli’s Birth of Venus), Greek mythology, ancient religious ceremonies and architecture.
Spring blusters up quirky climate conditions, pressure changes, and fills the air with pollen and other allergens, creating the perfect storm for headaches of all varieties. Mine are debilitating migraines with a typical assortment of neurological symptoms. For fellow migraine sufferers (27 million in this country alone), here are ways to combat the sneaky foe on two fronts — by avoiding triggers and amping up foods to fend them off.