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Cravings Culture Food Trends Restaurants

How Frog Legs Came To Be Synonymous With French Cuisine

Here in the states, frog legs are typically associated with Cajun cuisine, but traditionally, the frog legs we know today originate from the Acadian motherland of France. Archaeological evidence suggests earlier iterations in Southeast Asia, Europe, and even South America, but further information is scarce.

Known in France as Cuisses de Grenouille, frog legs were consumed in response to a 12th Century Catholic Church ban on meat. Apparently, monks enjoyed a king’s diet. Noticing an increase in XXL robe requests, the church authorities decided to prohibit meat consumption for a period of days each year. This imposed “meat-tox” fueled the monk’s resourcefulness and in response, they cleverly had frog legs designated as fish. Consequently, religiously devout locals hopped on the bandwagon, and the rest is fishtory. 

Cuisses de Grenouille is a French national delicacy. To give an example of its popularity, around 80 million frogs are eaten each year. That’s a mind-numbing 160 million frog legs. The most surprising part of this fact is that due to a ban on frog hunting in France, each leg is imported. Let that staggering statistic hop around your mind for a bit.

Like most dishes, frog legs can be prepared in various ways. In France, they’re most commonly cooked using butter, garlic and parsley sauce accompanied by salad or steamed rice. Á la Parisienne, or Paris-style, is another approach that is more akin to chicken wings and involves breading and frying the legs. Lastly, the à la Poulette (white sauce with egg yolk) style is slightly more complicated with its use of a white wine and mushroom sauce reduction.  

Back stateside, New York City is experiencing a froggy resurgence thanks to freshly opened  restaurant Brasserie Saint Marc. Head Chef Frederick Piccarello (former Executive Chef of Le Barricou bistro in Williamsburg) along with owner and Swedish actor Karin Agstam are bringing an amphibious flare to 136 2nd Ave with Cuisse de Grenouille à la Provençal.

In French cuisine, à la Provençal refers to dishes prepared in the style of Provence, France, a southeastern region that borders Italy and the Mediterranean Sea. Provençal ingredients generally include garlic, onions, tomatoes, mushrooms, eggplant, and olive oil. Chef Piccarello’s Cuisse de Grenouille a la Provençal is sautéed in garlic and parsley butter and served with roasted tomatoes and Yukon gold potatoes. It keeps with tradition while paired with an American twist.

Owner Karin Agstam’s attraction to French cuisine comes from her time spent in Paris studying art at Sorbonne University at the receptive age of 18. Experiencing Parisian brasseries with their classic menu offerings made a lasting impression. It’s this experience that she hopes to share with Brasserie Saint Marc, a passion project four years in the making. If you have a predilection for French cuisine with an American edge, look no further than Brasserie Saint Marc — but don’t forget the longstanding connection of French cuisine and frog legs.

Categories
News

Paris Shooter Left A Trail Of Pizza Crumbs Leading Police Right To Him

The world has been thrust into a state of constant disarray lately, no thanks to the continual attacks by radical religious groups. Despite how tragic and awful the attack in Paris was, this constant barrage of brutality in the media is hardening us. It’s been happening so regularly that we view it as just another day in the life of an earthling. For Christ’s sake, there was a fucking terrorist attack today that left 31 dead and over one hundred injured in Brussels, Belgium.

Screen Shot 2016-03-22 at 3.14.02 PMAt the very least, we can celebrate when somebody who is responsible for the attack goes down for it. Even though our world is on fire, the one thing that we will never get complacent with is justice’s swift kick to the nuts. After all, the last member of the ISIS cell that bombed Paris was captured, and that’s one nut-tapping we can all get behind.

Salah Abdeslam, 26, was the last remaining piece of shit on the run until his particular stomach led to his arrest. After the initial bombing in Paris, police subsequently raided his hotel room and found several empty pizza boxes, among other things. After several months of tracking the slimy dickwaffle down, they finally narrowed his location to the vicinity of his old neighborhood in Brussels.

Police had been following leads that eventually led to the home of an unnamed female accomplice. According to their records, she was the only resident of the household. So when a particularly large order of pizza was delivered to one woman, suspicion was predictably aroused. Officers raided the home and shot Abdeslam in the leg as he charged him, apparently attempting suicide by cop. He was apprehended and arrested shortly thereafter. Looks like Abdeslam better start getting used to gruel, because that’s all he’ll be eating for the rest of his short, shitty life.

 

 

Photo Credit: Key Container Corp, Non Aligned Media

Sources: Wikipedia, Grubstreet

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

Meet The Man Who Sells The World’s Most Expensive Meat

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The most expensive meat in the world is offered by a Frenchman who goes so far as to speaking to his cattle daily so that they are calm and relaxed.

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The Polmard boucherie in Paris’ St. Germain des Pres quarter is run by Alexandre Polmard, a sixth-generation butcher whose lineage is famous for their quality meat offerings since 1846, when the family business first opened. The business gained even more fame in the 1990s after Polmard’s grandfather and father developed and introduced a treatment that allowed meat to be kept for a purportedly indefinite amount of time.

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Called “hibernation,” the treatment calls for cold air to be blown at 75 miles per hour over the meat while it is in a -43 C environment, reports CNN. According to Polmard, meat that undergoes hibernation never experiences any loss in quality and can thus be aged. Most of the beef he sells is aged between 28 and 56 days.

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“I wanted to recreate the world of wine and shake up traditional butchery, seducing people once again to eat beef by offering them something exceptional,” Polmard told CNN.

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One of Polmard’s finest meats is an aged rib steak, the 2000 vintage cote de boeuf, that can cost upwards of 3,000 euros ($3,200).

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That steak comes from a popular breed of French-originated cattle called the Blonde Aquitaine, which are raised by Polmard and his family near the town of Saint Mihiel in the Meuse region of northeastern France.

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To keep his beef world-class, Polmard keeps his animals as stress-free as possible. Stress in cows causes their bodies to produce glycogen, lactic acid and adrenaline, which produces tension and a change in acidity to their muscles. Those changes means less tender, flavorful beef.

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“My family wouldn’t dream of raising animals in sheds where they have no space or room to roam,” Polmard said. “Here they are in the open air, living in forests and on parkland. There are shelters they can choose to visit in case it rains or snows. It’s really five-star accommodation!”

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He also talks to his animals on a daily basis, even before they are slaughtered, to ensure they are comfortable and relaxed.

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“All the love and attention we give our animals comes through on the plate when you taste it,” he said. “They really are unique.”

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Polmard is so proud of his vintaged beefs that he only offers them to several chefs worldwide, all of whom he has personally talked to about what makes his beef special. One place where his vintaged beef shines is at the two-Michelin-starred Caprice in Hong Kong’s Four Seasons Hotel, which serves “Polmard’s Rare Millesime Cote de Boeuf, Vintage 2000” as the main course in its fully booked HK$5,500 ($700) per person meal.

Written by NextShark

Categories
Restaurants

Disney’s Ratatouille Restaurant Makes You Feel Magically Rodent-Sized

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We’ve all taken a moment at the end of Ratatouille and thought, “Man, what I’d give to eat at that rat’s restaurant”. While it’s pretty ludicrous to seethe over a fictional rodent’s animated restaurant, part of us hoped it would one day become a reality. After all, Ratatouille did have some pretty heavy food porn. The lucky folks over at Disneyland Paris, however, have hit the Disney jackpot as they’ll be getting the new Ratatouille Restaurant, Chez Remy.

The 370-seater restaurant creates the feel of being a rat in an oversized environment. Patrons are made to believe they are living in the world of Ratatouille, minus the anthropomorphic rats. The dining area looks to be hidden under fauna with life-sized cocktail umbrellas as tables.

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While the menu is pretty limited, it does include the movie’s signature dish: Ratatouille. Unfortunately, it doesn’t look half as drool-worthy as the movie version. Though I’m sure it tastes just fine.

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Other menu items include salad, steak, cheese and profiterole. Y’know, people dishes.

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Picthx Disneyland ParisFountain Ratatouille

Categories
Sweets

Wiki Pearls Are Like Little Ice Cream Bon Bons That Won’t Melt In Your Hands

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Maybe we’re spoiled. Maybe we forget that part of experiencing things means experiencing them in their entirety, not picking and choosing only the parts we want. Feel like heading to the county fair this summer? That’s cool, but be ready to wait in line next to hairy, sweaty folk in various states of undress. Craving ice cream? Fine, but only if you can scarf down the whole cone in less than ten minutes flat, lest you wind up with a fistful of soggy dairy soup.

Still, it seems science is dedicated to making life so much easier and so much better for us by creating these clever little ice cream bon bons that won’t melt in our hands. They’re called WikiPearls and they’re basically donut hole-sized ice cream balls wrapped in specialized edible membranes that prevent them from melting for up to eight hours. For anyone who’s been to an Asian restaurant or grocery store, that means these guys are pretty much like those green tea ice cream mochi balls, but with a much longer shelf life.

Currently being served at the WikiBar near the Louvre in Paris, the WikiPearls come in three different flavors: mango in coconut skin, chocolate in hazelnut skin and vanilla in peanut skin. Simple and sweet and hopefully enough to make you miss the mess, because that’s how ice cream should be.

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H/T + PicThx Laughing Squid

Categories
Restaurants

Hopefully Not a Trap: Rumors of a Mos Eisley Cantina and Star Wars Land at Walt Disney World

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Growing up, Chalmun’s Cantina represented everything I was meant to avoid in the world: Alcohol, seedy characters, bad lighting. So while my inner goody-two-shoes shouldn’t get excited over rumors of Disney’s possibly recreating Star Wars’ infamous divebar, my outer dark side is screaming “oh f*ck yeah.”

Oh right, this is Disney. Sorry, I meant “eff-yeah.”

Eater reports that “’inside sources’ at Disney have confirmed plans to build Star Wars Land” at the company’s Florida resort, similar to last year’s rumors of a Star Wars Land at Disneyland Paris. Of course, both locations wouldn’t see the light of day for at least a few years, but that hasn’t stopped fans from waiting and wishing, particularly for a brand-new themed restaurant, hot on the heels of the “Be Our Guest” restaurant at Walt Disney World.

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Diorama photos from blog Disneyandmore help illustrate what a physical Mos Eisley Cantina could look like if rumors are true, though according to Eater, a Disney rep recently told a local news outlet that the company has “nothing to announce.”

Regardless of if and when a real-life Mos Eisley Cantina is in the works, however, one thing’s for certain: I will be so sad if it doesn’t offer a shooter called the “Han Shot First.”

H/T Eater + PicThx Disneyandmore

Categories
Adventures

We Travel to Los Angeles in Search of Drinkable Pizza

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Drinkable. Pizza. Combined, these words garner the same reaction as pizza pancakes, s’more burgers, and Tabasco jelly beans. Intrigue and wary curiosity set in, until finally, you’re convinced this is the next best thing since finding out how to eat an apple properly (sigh, the things you learn these days). Naturally, when we got word that Le Grand Fooding Paris-LA, a gourmet food truck event, would be serving up this so-called “Drinkable Pizza,” we headed up to Los Angeles to investigate.

The party took place last Saturday evening outside The Geffen Contemporary at MOCA, where a whimsical “urban picnic” was set on the dark green lawn. Strings of lights cast a soft glow on the smoke spiraling from food trucks, and the aroma of roasting lamb, ribs and sweet empanadas filled the air. Girls in sheer summer numbers tottered in heels while carrying champagne, guys with prominent handlebars waxed poetic and a DJ blasted hip hop, ah LA, you never disappoint.

We, of course, very elegantly began stuffing our faces with everything from petite crab rolls doused in beetroot sauce to tender slices of grilled beef topped with Parmigiano. However, the most interesting dish of the bunch goes to the Drinkable Pizza, served at the Cheeses of France Food Truck and created by Jean-Francois Piege of Je Piege, Paris and Carolynn Spence of Chateau Marmont, LA. This deconstructed pizza played up to the night’s key theme, a love affair between Paris and LA cuisine, and divulged a curious cross between late night LA grub and Parisian gourmet.

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This amuse-bouche featured a delightful crouton topped with crispy bits of chorizo and comte. (Fun fact: the comte (courtesy of Affinage cheese) was aged for several months in the tunnels of Fort des Rousses, where the temperature and humidity create an ideal environment for the cheese.)

The “drinkable” play came in the form of tomato jus — think the flavors of anchovy, basil and capers floating in glass of golden tomato liquid. While this was certainly the most ambitious and original of the dishes, it was not the most delicious (that title goes to the empanada apple pie). Still, kudos to the team for challenging our perception of an American classic. The glass of tomato jus was similar to a savory broth that would taste fantastic on a cold winter day and paired well with the tasty crouton. And that cheese, mmm. I’ve spent the last week daydreaming about it.

Peep the rest of the photos from the event below.

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Grilled Beef Tagliata, Rucola & Parmigiano with Aged Balsamico – Nancy Silverton/Mozza, L.A

Dolly Madison Apple Pie

Dolly Madison Apple Pie – Lemonade, LA

Photography by Michael Ng

Categories
Celebrity Grub

Chef Gordon Ramsay Plans Las Vegas Steak House

Paris Las Vegas has just announced that world-renown celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay will be opening a new restaurant inside their iconic hotel and casino in the heart of the Las Vegas Strip and is set to open in Spring 2012. Gordon Ramsay’s Steak will replace Les Artistes Steakhouse at the Paris Hotel and Casino and will feature a multitude of different menu items, as well an ambiance that highlights elements of Ramsay’s hometown of London.

The Hell’s Kitchen and Kitchen Nightmare star says the restaurant will feature a wide array of beef cuts, along with a sizable collection of seafood options including a classic English dish, Fish and Chips. The restaurant will also feature the chef’s signature Shepard’s Pie in its menu. The beef used in each dish will be aged in a unique process under the direction of Chef Ramsay and his culinary team.

The restaurant itself will seat 274 people at a time, not including a copious bar area where guests are encouraged to relax and enjoy the London-esque atmosphere Ramsay plans to achieve for his restaurant.