Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

Entries in sweet (30)


VINDICATED: Nutella is NOT Health Food

YES. Others have heard my call to arms.

You may recall that several months ago, I engaged in a post-long rant about Nutella. Mostly, I was annoyed that Nutella was being marketed as a health food, part of a balanced breakfast, etc.

I was having none of it. An excerpt: "Now, I'm not a doctor, nor am I a nutritionist. But I'm also not an idiot. And trying to sell me chocolate for breakfast, implying it's healthful, is tantamount to Nutella telling me that I am an idiot."

Here's an example of this absurdity:

Ok, it's never explicitly said that Nutella is healthy, but the company is using messaging and imagery that implies that having Nutella-slathered toast is a great decision for you and your family. And "a hint of cocoa"? Hahahahahaha. IT'S VISCOUS, NUTTY, CHOCOLATE SAUCE!

So I was annoyed.

AND THEN THIS HAPPENED (hat-tip to Deborah for sharing the article):

"Nutella Maker May Settle Deceptive Ad Lawsuit for $3 Million" (Ted Burnham, NPR)

...As we reported on the Shots blog last year, the trouble began when Athena Hohenberg realized that the Nutella she'd been feeding her 4-year-old daughter was "the next best thing to a candy bar," according to court documents. Hohenberg says she was taken in by ads and product labels that claimed Nutella was "healthy" and "part of a balanced meal." 


Also, I wasn't aware Spiderman was in Dashboard Confessional...


Hungry Sam on the Road: Cuban Sandwiches and Guava Cheese Pastries in Miami

My travels continue! Last you heard, I was raving about excellent barbeque in Alabama and a ginormous ball of cheese from Mississippi. Since those storied days, I've been on similar work trips to California, West Virginia, Florida, and Illinois. Missouri is next weekend, and then, in rapid succession and for more personal reasons, I'm off to Arizona, home to Maine, then to North Carolina for a wedding.

In the midst of my travels, however, the only place where there's yet been a confluence of awesome food and decent pictures is Florida. After the business end of the trip, I spent the weekend with family down in Miami; Jen joined, and our friend Clare took us out for Cuban coffee and a bite on Sunday morning.

We hit up Cafe Versailles, a strange, vividly real Cuban cafe in Little Havana filled with locals out for brunch after church. Apparently it's an institution, and was filled to the brim with loud chatter in Spanish, little kids bouncing off the walls, and the occasional bemused tourist (played by Hungry Sam). The walls in the restaurant were mirrored, which means they were probably two-way glass so the CIA could watch us drink ultra-sweet coffee and complain about the Castro regime (or whatever it is we were supposed to be doing). I ordered with my weak but enthusiastic Spanish, and this guava and cheese pastelito is (part of) the epic result:

I ordered this pastelito mostly because the filling combo sounded too interesting to ignore -- sort of a Cuban version of a Danish. The pastry wrapping itself was crisp and buttery and flakey; the interior oozed sweet and savory flavor with just a little tang from the guava. It went perfectly with the cuban coffee and milk I ordered on accident. Very, very good.

Then, even though I wasn't hungry, because you have to when eating at a place like Cafe Versailles, I ordered a Cuban sandwich. Folks, THIS is where it's at: 

And this is also where it's at:

Imagine: melty, buttery cheese, with tangy mustard and pickles covered in ham and chopped pork on the most perfect crispy Cuban bread you can imagine. Crazy Cafe Versailles, Hungry Sam salutes you.

So damn good. 

Until we eat again, stay Hungry!


Sweet Tea, Barbecue, and Giant Cheese; or, Things I learned in Mississippi & Alabama

Note: To any MS/AL natives, proponents, defenders, or Mississippi/Alabama state tourism bureau officials who may read Hungry Sam -- this list of food-oriented lessons learned is not exhaustive, significant, or even planned out. Don't worry about it.

1) Lesson Number One: Sweet Tea is Sweet

Sweet tea, as it turns out, is very sweet. Very, very, very sweet. Wicked sweet. Extraordinarily sweet. And is served in quantities far greater than I could reasonably stomach.

I have somehow lived my life to date without ever trying true southern sweet tea. Now, that has been rectified. Let's move on, before I offend anyone.

2) Lesson Number Two: Birmingham has Pretty Damn Good Barbeque

I have a hard time comparing barbeque because of the endless varieties and styles and meats and all that good stuff. You might say I'm a barbecue relativist -- I appreciate (most) individual barbecue experiences for what they are.

That said, I managed to find some seriously legitimate barbecue in Birmingham, at a joint called Jim 'N Nick's BAR-B-Q. Below, revel in the glory of my combo pulled pork and spare ribs platter with a side of corn muffins, bacon collard greens, and baked beans. (I wasn't hungry for another 18 hours.)


3) Lesson Number Three: At Mississippi State University, You Can Obtain a Giant Ball of Cheese

I know this because I was given a four-pound ball of Edam cheese from Mississippi State University as a thank-you gift by the members of my org's Mississippi state affiliate. I kid you not. It's the size of a medium-sized canteloupe. Or a canonball, which was apparently the origin of the mold size.


Thank you, AAUW of Mississippi, for the cheese.


Crystallized Ginger; or, a Very Hungry Sam Valentine's Day

Ok lads and ladies, readers and readettes, get ready for a Very Hungry Sam Valentine's Day 2012! Last year, we explored home-made ginger-cognac truffles, which were impressive, delicious, and pretty easy. This year, keeping with the ginger theme, I offer for your gift-giving and tasting pleasure a related treat: Simple crystalized ginger!

Yes indeed, folks -- you can make your beau (or yourself, dammit) some intense, spicy, sweet, nicely-textured ginger candy to celebrate/rage on this most-contrived holiday! The best part? You can do this tonight for under five dollars and still be super impressive tomorrow evening.

(Sidebar: If eating too much candy gives you a stomach ache -- what my friends and I call "candy belly" -- but ginger is good for settling your stomach, is this the candy you eat when you have candy belly?)

Answers and the recipe after the jump!

Click to read more ...


Vanilla Chai-Infused French Toast; or, One of the Best Ideas I've Ever Had

Friends, Readers, Countrymen/women -- I am today going to share with you one of the best ideas I ever had in the kitchen: How to make Vanilla Chai Tea-Infused French toast.

This is what happens when I cook/take pictures in a well-lit kitchen! Not bad, huh?

BUT FIRST: Did you know my friend Daphne has an awesome kosher food blog (or rather, is the food editor of a fantastic all-things-Jewish-parenting site) called Challah Crumbs? No? Well YOU DO NOW. You should a) check it out, then b) VOTE FOR Daphne/Challah Crumbs as one of the best kosher food blogs on the web!

Ok. The genesis for my vanilla chai french toast, as with so much of what I cook, may be found in my haphazard approach to dish development and my poor memory. As they say, it's better to be lucky than good -- and now and again I get to be both.

Some months back I was set on making brunch for Jen and her family, and as I was deciding what to whip up, I thought to myself, "How about that awesome thingy I ate at Open City?" which is a pretty super little restaurant/diner not far from my home in Washington. While I've only been for brunch, the place offers a large menu with a diverse array of options, including creative twists on classics -- such as their chai tea waffle.

(The adventure continues after the break!)

Click to read more ...


Emergency Pumpkin Muffins

It's happened to all of us -- you're headed to a "Tastes of Fall" brunch party, and you remember 30 minutes out that it's a potluck. You COULD be lame and simply purchase a six pack of pumpkin beer or the like, but somehow you've acquired a reputation for being a decent cook. It might have something to do with your food blog.

So, in less than 25 minutes start to finish, you whip up Emergency Pumpkin Muffins!

Recipe below!

These are not health-food pumpkin bran muffins with whole wheat flour and oats; instead, these are slap-dash, fast-and-dirty pumpkin-chocolate chip muffins -- nothing healthy about 'em.

Click to read more ...


A Brief Rant About Nutella

I'm back from the Yucatan, dear friends, and soon I will have a few posts detailing the stupendous dishes I enjoyed while away. But first, welcome to "A Brief Rant About Nutella."

Ok, people: I like Nutella as much as the next guy who loves chocolate. That's because Nutella is chocolate. With, like, some hazelnuts ("Over 50 hazelnuts per 13.5 oz. jar!" I hear).

But then you see ads on Facebook, Google and elsewhere, marketing Nutella as part of healthy, balanced breakfast. And it's not even just a marketing ploy -- the website, has a "Nutella & Breakfast tab" as well as a dynamic "breakfast builder" with which you can design a balanced breakfast (which will, inevitably, include Nutella!). So OF COURSE NUTELLA MUST BE PART OF A BALANCED BREAKFAST? How could it not be? The website says so.


Well, sort of. The section referring to Nutella and nutrition goes into great depth about how critical breakfast is, without really ever adding the caveat that WHAT one chooses to eat for breakfast might have some impact on things. By this logic, straight, unadulterated spoonfuls of butter could be part of a balanced breakfast. Sneaky (and good lawyering).

Click to read more ...