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Reblogged:Friday Hodgepodge

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Four Things

It's food blog Friday...

1. One of the first things one learns about when moving to Florida is the Cuban sandwich, which originated in Tampa.

I like those and know where to go when I'm in the mood for one. But until yesterday, I did not know that my own neck of the woods, Florida's First Coast, has its own sandwich, developed by Levantine immigrants about fifty years ago.

An old article in no less than the New York Times elaborates:
Elsewhere, the term might be pejorative. But in Jacksonville, these sandwiches, also known as desert riders, are a totemic food. Often stacked with lunch meats, smeared with Italian dressing and tucked into pita bread, they are eaten with a side of tabbouleh and accompanied by a cherry limeade. [bold added]
I'm not sure how this evaded my radar the whole time I've been here, but I'll soon make a point of stopping by one of the various local chains that make these to try one.

2. Closer to my first home, I recently learned that comeback sauce originated with Greek immigrants in Mississippi:
[A] number of those families ended up moving west to Jackson, Mississippi. The Mayflower, Primos, Dennery's, and Crechale's were all part of those families' legacies. Out of them sprang comeback sauce. From a culinary standpoint, comeback sauce is one of the very few things that Mississippians can claim as their own, and it is remarkable. It goes great on fried pickles, fish, shrimp, and chicken or drizzled over a salad. We use it on our Croque Monsieur and as a sandwich dressing regularly. It is also great for french fries. So just make a little and keep it in the fridge. It's kinda good for everything."
I had no idea, and I grew up down the street from one of these restaurants!

I never before gave much thought to the sauce and don't use it much myself. But a favorite restaurant of ours uses it on their fried green tomatoes to great effect, so I'll probably get around to devising my own recipe for it -- to go with my own take on fried green tomatoes.

3. Moving along to the other side of the world... Fellow sushi fans might enjoy learning about funazushi, which the BBC describes as "the fermented predecessor of modern sushi:"
With the dexterity and speed you'd expect from sushi chefs, they scrape off the fish's scales with a knife, remove its gills and carefully angle a skewer down its throat to remove its innards without penetrating its flesh. But what happens next is truly unexpected. They pack the fish with salt, layer them in a wooden tub, weigh the lid down with 30kg stones and leave them to cure for two years. Each fish is then thoroughly rinsed, dried in the sun for a day and fermented for one more year in cooked rice before it is ready to be eaten.
The rest is a fascinating read.

Should I ever make it to Japan, that's something I'd like to try.

4. My own recipe for funazushi would be quite the tall order, but learning how to make Cantonese-style scrambled eggs seems doable after seeing the above video. Here are the program notes from Chinese Cooking Demystified:
Whampoa stir-fried eggs! This is a classic egg dish and [my] favorite way to scramble an egg. One of the cool things about this egg frying method is that you can add in an assortment of other ingredients -- when they're other stuff added in, it's generally referred to as '[whatever] huadan'. In the video we show you a simple sort with Char Siu barbecue pork and Chinese yellow chives, but feel free to get creative.
Below this at Youtube are ingredients and a written elaboration that I missed the first time I learned of the video.

-- CAV

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