I remember our days in Paris when we’d take an evening stroll and casually walk into one of theroadside creperies, watch the pancakes being filled up with rich moist chocolate and pick up onefor each of us.
It is truly a roadside eatery: There is no indoor seating. A half-dozen big garden umbrellas shelter sets of chairs and tableswhere one can sit and order food. A French gentleman welcomedus and took our orders, and we could see the kitchen where twoyoung Chinese chefs created all the crepe magic. The idea ofoutdoor seating is nice for clear summer days.
The menu card is brief and to the point, with three main items:crepe rolls, galettes and crepes.
The rolls section has just two options, caramel pork rolls and beefrolls. The first is a dish of buckwheat rolls, stuffed with minced pork,salted butter, caramel and ginger, cut into nine pieces. The beefrolls were stuffed with minced beef, spinach and garlic served witha dollop of ketchup or mustard. The rolls are not the usual crispyones – these aren’t fried.
The galettes are the main dishes here – thin savory pancakesmade with buckwheat flour and usually stuffed with all things good.The choices were ample: “La complete gallete” came with ham, Emmental cheese and eggs. Inthe “L’ouest galette”, ham was replaced by bacon. Pork sausages, egg and Emmental cheesewere rolled up in a galette called a “La hot dog galette”, while the spinach, cream, Emmental andFrench goat cheese-stuffed galette is sure to bring a smile and perhaps childhood memories – itis called La Popeye Galette.
Obama’s French food tested by ‘taster’
“They have someone who tastes the dishes,” said waiter Gabriel de Carvalho from the “La Fontaine de Mars” restaurant where Obama and his family turned up for dinner on Saturday night.
“It wasn’t very pleasant for the cooks at first, but the person was very nice and was relaxed, so it all went well,” he said on the Itele news channel.
The restaurant confirmed the report.
The US Secret Service has always refused to confirm that US presidents travel with a food “taster”, in line with their policy of discretion on all security related issues.
But it is known the Service goes to great lengths to scrutinise the source and the preparation of food served to US presidents whenever they eat out of the White House to ensure it is not tampered with.
Japanese summer garnishes invigorate the taste buds
In Japanese cooking, garnish is not just added to a dish to make it look pretty. The word to describe the herbs and vegetables that accompany a dish isyakumi, which means “medicinal flavor,” and originally referred to the concoctions that practitioners of Chinese medicine made using various ingredients from nature.
Even in the 21st century, many people believe that the use of these fragrant, fresh herbs and vegetables is good for your health as well as your taste buds.
With a few exceptions such as green onions (available year-round in various varieties), the use of yakumi, like most other aspects of Japanese cuisine, is quite seasonal. The yakumi that are used in dishes most often in the summertime are tender green shiso leaves and two types of ginger: shin-shōga (new-harvest ginger root) and the flower buds of myōga (ginger). They are served on vegetables, meat or fish; on hiyayakko (chilled tofu); with cold noodles such as soba, sōmen and hiyamugi; and more.
Shiso, a type of perilla, has become quite well known in the West in the last decade. Micro-shoots of both the red-purple and green varieties show up as garnishes on dishes at trendy restaurants in Europe and North America, but in Japanese cooking the purple variety is rarely eaten raw — it is mostly used in the preparation of umeboshi (salt-preserved ume plums).
The young tender leaves of the green (ao) variety are often simply called ōba(big leaf) and are eaten both cooked and raw.