- November 19th, 2010
Chefs’ Tips for the Thanksgiving Meal
By SAM SIFTON
IF you want to talk turkey about cooking Thanksgiving dinner, get a professional chef in New York City on the phone. In matters of experience and scale, they have much advice to offer the rest of us, whether we’re preparing an off-a-truck Butterball for the 20th time or a $150 heritage bird for the first.
Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times
Turkey breast, coated in roasted garlic-honey purée, and glazed, adapted from Torrisi Italian Specialties.
They certainly cook enough turkeys. At Bar Americain, the chef Bobby Flay’s restaurant in Midtown, nearly three dozen turkeys will be served Thanksgiving Day, Mr. Flay said. Andrew Carmellini, the chef and an owner of Locanda Verde in TriBeCa, said he would be ordering 80 birds for his restaurant’s wood oven. Jimmy Bradley, the chef and an owner of the Red Cat in Chelsea and the Harrison in TriBeCa, said that the restaurants served more than 300 pounds of turkey last year and that he expected to equal that number again this year. Thanksgiving is the biggest day of the year for both restaurants, Mr. Bradley said.
He is by no means the only restaurateur here for whom this is the case. It is a curious feature of New York that it may be the one city in the United States where it is perfectly normal, though by no means mandatory, for restaurants to be open for the holiday feast. Manhattan restaurants are crowded enough on the fourth Thursday of November that it’s possible to imagine widespread panic if they were not. The turkey is so large, after all, and our ovens so small. Some of us have no choice but to eat out.
The rest may benefit from the insights of those who prepare the meals. Lesson No. 1 in preparing food for the holiday, chefs say: Cut up the bird before cooking. Abandon the Norman Rockwell ideal of serving a whole turkey in its golden-roasted splendor. If your bird looks like that, Mr. Flay said: “Something’s wrong. Something’s either overcooked or undercooked.” To achieve the correct balance, he said: “I roast the meat until the breasts are done, and then cut off the legs and thighs. The breasts can rest, and you can cook off the legs in the drippings left in the pan.”
Marc Murphy, the chef and an owner of the Landmarc restaurants in Manhattan, roasts turkey breasts in one oven while braising the legs in another. Mr. Carmellini agreed with this method. “You have to break these birds down,” he said. “It is literally the only way to get both the white meat and the dark meat done perfectly.”
Lesson No. 2, Mr. Flay said: Have an abundance of chicken stock on hand, bubbling warm on the stove all day. “You slice the turkey and put it on a platter to serve it,” he said, “and then right before you go out to the table, you ladle some stock over the top to warm it and give it a little moisture, too. You do the same for the stuffing. You make the gravy with it. You go through a lot.”
Another useful secret of the restaurant kitchen, said Gabrielle Hamilton, the chef and owner of Prune, in the East Village, is to recognize the limits of your time and interest in making particular parts of the meal.
For the luscious stewed chestnuts with ricotta that Ms. Hamilton serves for Prune’s Thanksgiving, for instance, she does not set a prep cook to peeling chestnuts for hours and hours. Neither should you. Online sources for peeled chestnuts abound, and the small amount of time it takes to search them out outweighs the grim business of peeling them yourself.
Boredom, in any event, is the enemy of all cooks, and of all successful Thanksgivings. In cooking and serving Thanksgiving meals, restaurant chefs say, they must balance tradition against stasis, their own style of cooking against the desires of the customer.
“We miss out on some of the holiday rush,” said Zakary Pelaccio, who owns and runs the Fatty Crab restaurants in Manhattan, and Fatty ’Cue in Brooklyn, “because people think of the Christmas goose or the Thanksgiving roast turkey, and that’s not what we do.”
But along with Robbie Richter, the pitmaster at Fatty ’Cue, Mr. Pelaccio said he would be cooking quite a few turkeys, along with side dishes that nod to tradition and to the Southeast Asian flavors more generally found at his restaurants. Einat Admony, who owns Balaboosta on Mulberry Street, will do similarly , roasting turkey and serving it alongside flavors of the Middle East.
“It may be New York, but it’s still America,” Mr. Pelaccio said.
Daniel Boulud, who will be serving roast turkey at his flagship restaurant Daniel, would perhaps agree. “It’s a very important holiday to American people,” he said. Balancing his cooks’ ambitions for the meal against the expectations of guests is important, he added. “So whatever they do, we must use traditional ingredients,” he said.
Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times
Roasted butternut squash with a garlic, pecan and currant vinaigrette, adapted from Balaboosta.
Francesco Tonelli for The New York Times
Brussels sprouts with bacon, chilies and shallots, adapted from Fatty ‘Cue.
Or nontraditional means of cooking, as Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbone have shown to great success at the counter of their Torrisi Italian Specialties, in Little Italy. The roast turkey breast served there at lunch is the moistest, most luxuriously flavorful turkey available in New York City right now: rich and buttery, deep with rich turkey taste.
Mr. Torrisi and Mr. Carbone wrap brined breasts in plastic wrap and aluminum foil and place them in an intensely humid low-temperature oven that leaves the meat dense with moisture, heavy with flavor. Then they paint a glaze of honey and roasted garlic on the meat and place it in a hot, dry oven to create a crust. The result is turkey that tastes emphatically of turkey. Which is a novel Thanksgiving idea, no?
To use restaurant techniques in the home — to cut up the bird or chance a new recipe or, in particular, to cook a turkey breast using the Torrisi technique, with a metal cable for an oven-safe thermometer snaking out of the oven toward a digital readout on the counter — may be to court trouble in some families. (Aunt Regina, “What is this, a science experiment?” Uncle Fester, “That’s a bomb!”) But any prefeast grumbles can be made up for by the quality of the meal, the resulting leftovers and the depth and detail of the stories your friends and family will tell about you for daring to upset tradition in the name of quality.
That thermometer, for instance, will enhance the Thanksgiving experience — a $25 or $30 investment in moist breast meat that will pay dividends through the Christmas roast beef, spring lamb and all the way around back to Thanksgiving again. Simply run the probe into the very center of the breast meat to ensure an accurate read.
In the case of the Torrisi turkey, you remove the breast at 135 degrees. But those loyal to the freedom from want symbolized by cooking a whole turkey may remove the bird at 140 degrees and let it rest, tented with foil, the thermometer attached, and watch as it inches toward the federally acceptable minimum temperature for turkey, 165 degrees.
“There is no reason to cook without one,” Mr. Torrisi said. “They make a huge difference.”
Not that he or Mr. Carbone will be using theirs this Thanksgiving.
“We’re closed for the holiday,” Mr. Torrisi said. “I’m going to my grandmother’s.
Giving Thanks for Open Doors
IT is a question that plagues New Yorkers and those who visit New York during the holiday season: Stay in and eat dry turkey, or go out and enjoy a chef’s interpretation of same?
Some of the city’s best restaurants will be serving on Thanksgiving (Eleven Madison Park, Balthazar and Momofuku Ssam Bar, for instance). Others will be closed (Gramercy Tavern, as well as Peasant and Le Bernardin). Some, including Balaboosta, will serve special Thanksgiving menus. Others, like Aquavit, will not — only the regular menu is available that day.
Craft, Tom Colicchio’s flagship operation in the Flatiron district, will be open. “You want more turkey, you want more mashed potatoes, we’ll give it to you,” Mr. Colicchio said. (Colicchio & Sons, his restaurant in Chelsea, will also be open.) “That’s the point of the holiday.”
Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, who own the mini-empire of Frankies restaurants as well as Prime Meats in Brooklyn, said they would open only Prime Meats.
Mr. Castronovo said, “We’ll give people the classic dinner, but we’ll we do it our way: with a pretzel-dumpling stuffing, and a confit of the leg, like rillettes.” He paused. “But if you hate turkey, and I do,” he said, “we do other stuff as well” — the restaurant’s regular menu.
Jesse Schenker, who owns and operates Recette with his wife, Lindsay, said that their restaurant would be open on Thanksgiving. “I grew up in the restaurant business in south Florida,” he said. “The only holiday I never had to work was Super Bowl Sunday.”
Recette’s Thanksgiving menu, reflects Mr. Schenker’s desire for “some classic dishes and flavors but in a more modern way”: pumpkin espuma with roasted foie gras, brussels sprouts and bacon broth; confit turkey roulade stuffed with chestnuts, sage, brown butter and a cranberry chutney. Norman Rockwell it’s not.
“People create their own traditions,” Mr. Schenker said.
- November 15th, 2010
Mark Haub: Twinkies Diet Leads to 27 Lb Weight Loss, Is it Safe?
Found on msn.com
Mark Haub ate Twinkies for a month and lost 27 lbs. Mark Haub, who is a professor of human nutrition at Kansas State University ate Twinkies, as well as Nutty Bars, sugar cereal, Doritos and other junk foods in lieu of meals for two months and lost weight. His thought was to prove the theory that it really is only about calorie count when it comes to weight loss, not the quality of the food.
Mark Haub went on a 10 week “convenience store diet” and lost a whopping 27 lbs. The question is, is in actually any healthier? Someone his size would normally consume about 2,600 calories a day to maintain his weight. Haub cut himself down to less than 1,800 calories a day, thus consuming fewer calories than he burned. He would basically eat a Twinkie (or other convenience store food) in three hour intervals instead of meals.
Did eating fatty foods hurt his BMI? Not a chance, as it dropped from 28.8 to 24.9. In other words, he went from overweight to normal. Also improving were his “bad cholesterol” (LDL) which dropped 20% and his “good cholesterol” (HDL) which improved by 20 percent. Haub also lowered his triglyceride levels by 39%.
What does this all mean? Is any of this healthy? Is Haub tired of Twinkies yet?
“That’s where the head scratching comes,” Haub said. “What does that mean? Does that mean I’m healthier? Or does it mean how we define health from a biology standpoint, that we’re missing something?”
Haub doesn’t think that it really is that healthy and doesn’t recommend his Twinkie diet for everyone. He also admitted that only 75% of his food came from the junk. He said he also took a multivitamin, drank 1 protein shake, and had vegetables, usually a can of green beans, every day.
Since Haub’s body fat dropped from 33.4 to 24.9% it was clear that he was able to drop significant weight just by calorie reduction. Is it safe? Now that is a long term question that needs more testing than just one KSU professor eating Twinkies for a month!
- November 14th, 2010
10 Fast Food Items Turned Into Fancy Dishes
By Olivia Putnal for Women’s Day
Photos: courtesy of Erik R. Trinidad/ FancyFastFood.com
While some foodies love to cook, and others go to fine restaurants, NYC-based Erik Trinidad expresses his love of all things edible by taking fast food menu items from restaurants like McDonald’s and Taco Bell, turning them into gourmet-looking meals and posting the results on his site FancyFastFood.com. Originally just a joke with friends, his first creation was a McDonald’s Big Mac and fries combo meal that he turned into a fancy steak and potatoes dish. But his project got such rave reviews, that he kept at it. Today, his site it full of creative reinventions of fast food items and he’s even writing a book, The Fancy Fast Food Cookbook: Mock Recipes with No Bun Intended. WD rounded up our favorites, so take a look at these 10 works of culinary art.
Chicken Cordon Deux (Kentucky Fried Chicken)
To create each dish, Trinidad says he first thinks up a pun between a gourmet meal and a fast food item, he then scours cookbooks for a recipe he can replace with fast food items, after which he spends three or four hours in the kitchen. In this case, starting with KFC’s bun-less, calorie-packed Double Down, Trinidad created something fancier, but actually quite similar: Chicken Cordon Bleu, a French-inspired dish of chicken stuffed with cheese and ham. Taking the Double Down sandwich apart, he de-breaded and carved the patties, melted the bacon and cheese and sandwiched it in the middle of the chicken, adding a sprig of tarragon as garnish
Chicken Pizza Masala (Pizza Hut)
At first glance, this dish looks like creamy marinara and meatballs—but not so fast. It’s actually chicken tikka masala, a classic Indian curry dish. Scraping off the toppings of a Pizza Hut pizza with chicken, onion, tomato and extra sauce, Trinidad simmered the ingredients with six buffalo wings, blue cheese dressing and marinara sauce, and garnished it with organic coriander. He then used the scraped-out crust to make naan, a leavened, oven-baked Indian bread.
Baja Bouillabaisse (Baja Fresh)
A traditional seafood stew served in southern France, Trinidad made his own bouillabaisse with Mexican fare from Baja Fresh. Using one BFF fire-grilled burrito with langostino lobster, three grilled Mahi Mahi tacos, three original shrimp Baja tacos, one garden salad, one chicken tortilla soup, Pico de Gallo and chopped cilantro, Trinidad simmered the soup, tomatoes, onions, chicken, shrimp and lobster to create a stew. He then added the final touch to look like mussels, but beware; they’re only cut up condiment cups!
Osso BuKko (Burger King)
It’s unclear why Burger King started serving fire-grilled ribs in the first place, but leave it to Trinidad to turn them into a meal fit for a king. To recreate Osso Buco, a traditional Italian dish made with veal shanks, browned and simmered with tomatoes and vegetables, Trinidad made a reduction of Dr Pepper, barbeque sauce and ketchup, before adding in onion rings (stripped of their breading), carrots and chopped greens from a BK garden salad. He then added the ribs and simmered, after which he blended the French fries into a mashed potato consistency before plating everything and drizzling with sauce.
Jack in the Bento (Jack in the Box)
Bento is a single-portion meal in Japanese cuisine, usually consisting of one protein, rice, vegetables and a sushi roll. To create his Fancy Fast Food version, Trinidad went to Jack in the Box, where he bought one Chipotle Chicken Ciabatta with Spicy Crispy Chicken, one Steak Teriyaki Bowl, one side salad and one large Coke. Dividing the ingredients into plain white rice, a salad, a chicken cutlet (in a Coca-Cola reduction) and “sushi rolls” made from the ciabatta bread filled with sticky rice, he served it all in a genuine bento box.
Boston Krème Brûlée and Fruit Tart (Dunkin’ Donuts)
To make crème brûlée, a classic French dessert with a rich custard base and a thin layer of hard caramelized sugar on top, Trinidad scooped out the filling of eight Boston Kreme donuts into a serving dish and chilled in the refrigerator before sprinkling with sugar and searing the top with a kitchen torch. Then, for the fruit tart, he blended the empty donut halves in a food processor to make dough before molding in a mini tart pan, baking and filling with three strawberry donut fillings. He garnished the tart with the filling of one Vanilla Kreme donut and served it all with one cappuccino in a porcelain mug.
Spicy Chicken Sushi (Popeyes Chicken)
Chicken sushi? That’s a new one! Using a Popeyes Chicken meal with two pieces of Bonafide spicy fried chicken, one biscuit, coleslaw, one large Coke, one loaded chicken wrap, a side each of red beans and rice, Popeyes Louisiana hot sauce and wasabi paste to garnish, Trinidad made the sushi rolls with white rice soaked in a coke reduction and stuffed with red beans and rice, accompanied by chopped chicken atop cut-up biscuits to resemble raw sushi pieces.
Wendy’s Napoleon (Wendy’s)
Courtesy of Fancy Fast Food contributor Adrian Fiorino of Insanewiches.com, it’s hard to believe what this sweet French treat—traditionally a layered dessert of vanilla cake, cream and custard—is made from here. Fiorino bought one Wendy’s Baconator, one large fry, one small Coke, one bottle of water, two small cups of ketchup and 12 sugar packets. The burgers, buns and fries were all chopped and blended separately in a food processor then layered in a French fry container, before the hard candy garnish, made from sugar and water, was added on top and the whole thing was drizzled with a coke and ketchup reduction
Seared Pollock Cake with Southwest Ramalan Sauce (McDonald’s)
Founders of CornerstoreRestaurateur.com Devon Knight and Jason Isch submitted this creation to Fancy Fast Food. Using one McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish sandwich, one Southwest Salad with Newman’s Own Southwest Dressing, one medium soda and a few packets of salt a pepper, the sandwich ingredients were blended together and molded to create faux crab cakes. The salad dressing was then warmed and drizzled over the dish, while the leftover salad pieces were added as decoration.
Tacobellini (Taco Bell)
Creating his favorite dish to date, Trinidad says he “thought outside the tortilla” when he decided to turn Taco Bell fare into the beloved Italian pasta tortellini. Using two Burrito Supremes, one beef soft taco, one large Sierra Mist soda, packets of hot sauce and parsley, Trinidad carefully extracted the burrito and taco stuffing and mixed it in a bowl before rinsing each tortilla and steaming to soften. After cutting the tortillas into small circles, he refilled with the stuffing before folding into a tortellini shape. He then covered them in sauce and garnished with parsley, pouring the Sierra Mist into a wine glass for a classier look.
- November 13th, 2010
By Susan Hall
NOTE: Originally post from Health.com
We scoured America’s scoop shops (tough job, but somebody had to do it) for the tastiest (and healthiest) ice creams, yogurts, and sorbets that will satisfy your sweet tooth without hurting your waistline.
Our criteria: superior taste, stellar nutrition, and countrywide availability. Here, the five winners. (A standard scoop, by the way, is about 1/2 cup, or 3 to 3.5 ounces.)
Häagen-Dazs Mango Fat Free Sorbet
A blend of juicy, tropical mangoes
120 calories, 0 grams fat, 20% RDA vitamin A, 10% RDA vitamin C
“If you love mangoes, you’ll enjoy this sorbet. It’s very satisfying—you only need a little to feel content, and it’s very refreshing on a hot summer day,” judge Christine Palumbo, RD, says. And judge Kara Nielsen, a former pastry chef who now follows food trends, says, “It’s shocking that there is no fat. This sorbet is so creamy and totally indulgent.”
Ben & Jerry’s Black Raspberry Swirl Low Fat Frozen Yogurt
Black raspberry yogurt with thick black raspberry swirls made with real black and red raspberries
140 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 15% RDA calcium
“This has a serious raspberry flavor and a beautiful creaminess. It feels like you’re eating a full-fat ice cream, not a healthy frozen yogurt,” Palumbo says. She and the other judges also like the ingredients, including hormone-free milk and fair-trade flavors. Nutrition pamphlets are available at Ben & Jerry’s counters, and there are lots of healthy choices—sorbets, frozen yogurts, and even full-fat ice creams like the next winner. (The vanilla, chocolate, and coffee flavors have 200 or fewer calories, too.)
Health.com: 5 healthy ice cream sandwiches
Ben & Jerry’s Strawberry Ice Cream
Strawberry ice cream with real strawberry pieces
170 calories, 9 grams fat, 15% RDA vitamin C, 10% RDA calcium
“It is delicious in taste and in feel—very honest and fresh,” says judge Gale Gand, a pastry chef and co-owner of Tru in Chicago. Palumbo loves that it has only eight ingredients—all natural. Ask for a kid-size cup to cut calories.
Baskin-Robbins Light Aloha Brownie Ice Cream
Light chocolate ice cream with ribbons of fudge and chunks of macadamia nut toffee
160 calories, 5 grams fat, 10% RDA calcium
“Rich, fudgy, chocolaty, and delicious,” Palumbo says. “If you need a chocolate fix, this will do the trick!” Baskin-Robbins’s BRight Choices flavors—like Cappuccino Chip, Premium Churned Light Raspberry Chip, and various sorbets—are healthy takes on their classics. We did have one beef: Baskin-Robbins’ products had more artificial ingredients than the other contenders.
Häagen-Dazs Cranberry Blueberry Fat Free Sorbet
A blend of tart cranberries and sweet blueberries
100 calories, 0 grams fat, 8% RDA vitamin C
“This has a nice flavor, is very refreshing and tart—but not too tart,” Gand says. Häagen Dazs shops aren’t overflowing with low-fat ice creams, but they do have other amazing fat-free sorbets besides our two winners. Our judges like that HD offers small cup sizes for portion control and that you can request nutrition information, which is kept behind the counter.
If you add a cone…
• Cake cone: 17 calories, 0 grams fat
• Sugar cone: 40 calories, 0.5 grams fat
• Waffle cone: 121 calories, 2 grams fat
- November 12th, 2010
The Best New Fall Cookbooks
From Daily Candy Now We’re Cookin’
We’re going to put some meat (and vegetables) on your bones.
For some of the best food NYC has to offer, foodies know to head east. That is, to Brooklyn. In The New Brooklyn Cookbook, the borough’s shining stars (Buttermilk Channel, Prime Meats, and Vinegar Hill House) share their stories and secrets.
Tammy Algood’s The Complete Southern Cookbook is an old-timey, no-nonsense primer for taking your kitchen below the Mason-Dixon. It’s got everything you could hope for, including Carolina baby back ribs, Coca-Cola cake, and an amazing grits souffle.
In a world of meatless Mondays, how does a sanctimonious foodie keep a leg up? Tokyo-based chef Elizabeth Andoh’s Kansha is a good place to start. Her recipes for creamy leek soup, sour soy-pickled ramps, and brown sugar ice are authentically Japanese and tasty enough for carnivores.
Dushan Zaric and Jason Kosmas, the handsome mixologists behind NYC’s famed Employees Only bar/resto, keep it classy in their new book of cocktails, Speakeasy. Their recipes for a perfect dry martini, mai tai, and/or Pimm’s Cup make it a party must-have.
New and Improved
Genius chef James Beard poured his heart, soul, and vast knowledge into one big book before he died in 1985. In this comprehensive reissue, you get the same great recipes (all 1,500) and pictures, plus a forward by Top Chef’s Tom Colicchio.
La Dulce Vida
Never go hungry for churros again. Fany Gerson’s My Sweet Mexico has easy recipes for all your fave south-of-the-border treats (tres leches, flan), as well as more creative dishes (spicy mango popsicles, coconut caramel candy).
In Salted, Mark Bitterman (sommelier at The Meadow in Portland, Oregon) profiles 80 artisan varieties of the magical ingredient. When you’re done geeking out, the recipes — popcorn salted six ways, mango salsa with Hawaiian black lava salt — satisfy cravings.
What Harold McGee doesn’t share about culinary alchemy in his Keys to Good Cooking isn’t worth knowing. Though there aren’t any recipes, he dishes on everything from how to know if meat is done to what to do if you burn yourself.
- November 12th, 2010
Cocktails and Underground Dancing on the LES
~from Urban Daddy
92 Ludlow St
(below Delancey St)
New York, NY 10002
The pillow mint is a close second.
But at this point the hotel bar is well established as the best part of the hotel.
Which is why we’d like to point you in the direction of the Hotel Chantelle today, a charming new hotel bar that comes without the burden of the actual hotel, now open on the LES.
You’ll find Chantelle—based on a bar in Paris—on a (relatively) quiet corner of Ludlow, in a (deceptively) drab and squat building. On the other side of those unmarked doors is a vintage wonderland of plush pin-tucked leather banquettes under colored globe lights, meant to whisk you and your date away from the LES and deposit you somewhere in Paris circa 1940.
Ordering a couple of blackberry brambles and making the rounds among a friendly neighborhood crowd, you may notice some closed doors toward the rear.
If you prefer to be surprised by what you will find on the other side, please stop reading now and go back to your blackberry bramble…
But if you prefer to know what the future holds: in a few weeks, a classic French restaurant will be opening on the roof under an all-weather retractable ceiling.
Then there’s the basement dance club, a subterranean gem of drinking and debauchery, accessible only to those who receive an actual skeleton key from the owner. This last level is not slated to open for another few months, giving you sufficient time to secure your key.
Now, back to the blackberry bramble.
Note:Hotel Chantelle, open now, 212-254-9100
- November 10th, 2010
By Karen Ansel, R.D., Women’s Health
Chickpeas + Red Peppers
One out of five women doesn’t get enough energy-boosting iron. But eating more iron-rich food won’t do much if your body can’t process it. “The kind of iron that comes from plant foods is difficult for our bodies to absorb,” says Heather Mangieri, R.D., owner of Nutrition CheckUp in Pittsburgh.
So all that iron from beans like chickpeas goes to waste? Not if you add some delish red peppers. The vitamin C in the scarlet veggie acts as a key and unlocks plant-based iron so your blood cells can get to it. Simply toss in roasted red pepper when making homemade hummus (or use red pepper as your primary dipping vehicle), and top salads with red peppers and chickpeas.
Spinach + Avocados
Spinach is packed with lutein and vitamin A, which are both amazing eye protectors. Avocado not only supplies even more lutein and A but also delivers the healthy fats your body needs to soak up these nutrients, says Hope Barkoukis, Ph.D., R.D., an associate professor of nutrition at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland.
So top quesadillas and tacos with spinach instead of shredded iceberg, and then add the guac. Or mix up a spinach salad with avocado dressing (puree chunks of avocado with lemon juice, olive oil, and your favorite seasonings—even a simple combo like garlic, salt, and pepper).
Broccoli + Eggs
If you suffer from a major case of the crankies every month, relief could be as easy as a trip to certain supermarket aisles. An Archives of Internal Medicine study found that women who downed the most calcium and vitamin D were 30 to 40 percent less likely to suffer from PMS crabbiness.
Two foods to reach for? Broccoli and eggs. Broccoli boasts one of the most easily absorbed forms of calcium found in food, while eggs are one of nature’s best sources of vitamin D. Pair up these two foods in a broccoli frittata or an omelet.
Tomatoes + Olive Oil
Lycopene, a powerful antioxidant found mostly in tomatoes, can help prevent sun damage. But for supple skin, don’t eat them plain. First coat them in olive oil, says Mangieri. The healthy fats in this Mediterranean staple allow lycopene to be better absorbed by your body. And olive oil has its own skin-saving secrets. A study published in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that people who take in more olive oil are less likely to have wrinkles, possibly because it protects against the oxidative stress that causes skin to age.
These two foods were destined to be eaten together in Italian dishes such as bruschetta or Caprese salad. Get even more of a beauty bang by slow-roasting plum tomatoes in olive oil at 225°F for three hours. (Heating helps release more lycopene.)
Yogurt + Ground Flaxseed
Your gut is home to more than 400 kinds of bacteria, some friendly, others not so much. When the bad bugs outnumber the good ones, things slow down digestively and your bowels become, er, sluggish. Yogurts that are specially designed for digestive health can help by providing probiotics, good-for-you bacteria that get things moving again.
But you can’t just eat those buggers and forget about them. Probiotics need to feed on prebiotics—specialized fibers found in foods like flaxseed—to survive and thrive. When you eat them together, you restore and then maintain the healthy balance in your belly. It doesn’t get any easier than this: Sprinkle a tablespoon of ground flaxseed onto your probiotic yogurt. To dress it up, make a fruit and yogurt parfait with flaxseed granola to add some crunch.
Oatmeal + Apples
A HEALTHIER HEART
Oatmeal houses two superstar ingredients that help protect your ticker: beta-glucan, a cholesterol-lowering fiber, and avenanthramides, compounds that shield LDL cholesterol from harmful free radicals.
Pump up your breakfast bowl’s heart-health quotient even more by tossing in a chopped apple. (Keep the skin on—that’s where all the nutrients live.) Apples are filled with flavonoids, major-league antioxidants that also zap free radicals and take on inflammation to boot. Saute slices in a touch of butter and ground cinnamon, then chop and mix into your hot cereal.
Chicken + Sweet Potatoes
A STRONGER IMMUNE SYSTEM
It’s hard to find a food that packs more infection-fighting vitamin A than sweet potatoes. But getting A without enough zinc—found in meats like chicken, beef, and pork—is like trying to start a fire without a match. “You need zinc to metabolize and carry vitamin A throughout your body,” explains Barkoukis. “You won’t be able to use that A if you don’t have enough zinc to get it where it needs to go.” So microwave a sweet tater and top it with some precooked chicken and cheese, serve up sweet potato fries (baked, of course) as a side with roast chicken, or seek out chicken and sweet potato soup recipes.
Pasta + Balsamic Vinegar
A TRIMMER TUMMY
When you down some pasta, are you hungry a few hours later? Try tossing it with some vinegar. “Vinegar’s acetic acid slows down how quickly you digest and absorb glucose from starchy foods, so your blood sugar rises and falls more gradually,” says Carol Johnston, Ph.D., R.D., director of the nutrition program at the College of Nursing and Health Innovation at Arizona State University in Phoenix. “That helps control hunger, so you’re less likely to overeat later.” Adding two tablespoons of vinegar to a starchy dish can slash postmeal blood-sugar surges by 20 percent, according to a study at Arizona State. Toss whole-wheat pasta with olive oil and balsamic, or shake up your pasta salad by experimenting with flavored vinegars.
Green Tea + Lemon Juice
Green tea is a primo source of cancer-fighting catechins. But while these nutrients may be tough on cancer cells, they’re total wimps in your stomach— only 20 percent survive the digestive process and make it out to your body to do it any good. A Purdue University study found that squeezing lemon juice into your green brew toughens up catechins, boosting the number you digest up to 13 times.
For even more cancer protection, stir in sugar (a teaspoon contains only 16 calories). The sweet stuff morphs catechins into a form that’s three times easier to absorb.
- November 9th, 2010
A New Chelsea Bakery Worth a Detour
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Published: November 9, 2010
“A neighborhood bakery” is how Jay Muse describes his latest LuLu Cake Boutique. Even if your neighborhood is not Chelsea, you might strongly consider a detour.
This French-trained baker’s shop, his third LuLu and the first in Manhattan, is butter-cream central. It offers superbly upscale versions of Oreos, Yodels and Twinkies, as well as classic blackout, German chocolate, red velvet and coconut cakes. Rounding out the vast inventory are buttery cookies, slabs of “Fig Newton” bars, coconut snowballs, scones, muffins and croissants. Thanksgiving pies include apple and pecan-bourbon, and there is also a pumpkin mousse dacquoise for the holiday.
LuLu Cake Boutique, 112 Eighth Avenue (16th Street), (212) 242-5858. Bars, cupcakes, big cookies and small items like snowballs are $2.50 to $4. Cakes are $35, $4.50 a slice. Thanksgiving pies and pastries, available starting Nov. 22, will be $32 to $45.
- Noveber 9th, 2010
The Holiday Turkey Steps Out for a Smoke
Michael Sanders rolled a rack of smoked turkeys to the packaging station at Greenberg Smoked Turkey in Tyler, Tex.
By JOHN T. EDGE for NYTimes
Published: November 9, 2010
Allison V. Smith for The New York Times
Tony Wallace handles the hickory for Greenberg turkeys.
LAST week, Teresa Braziel bought her “first Greenberg of the season,” a nine-pound turkey, nestled in a white cardboard box, printed with the slogan “The Holiday Aristocrat.”
Like many residents of this 100,000-person city in the piney woods of Texas near the Louisiana line, she claimed her spice-rubbed and hickory-burnished bird from the front counter at the Greenberg Smoked Turkey headquarters, a squat complex of interconnected cinder block and sheet metal buildings, shrouded in a seemingly perpetual shawl of gray-green smoke.
“This is my nibbling turkey,” Ms. Braziel said. “We’ll eat on this one — turkey and mustard with crackers, turkey salad, turkey chili — while we get ready for the parties.” In the coming weeks, she will buy three more, for a holiday open house, for Thanksgiving and for Christmas. And she will ship 20 more to friends in Dallas, Houston and beyond.
Greenberg Smoked Turkey, founded in 1938 by Samuel Isaac Greenberg and now run by his grandson Sam Greenberg, will sell about 20,000 turkeys to walk-in customers this season, priced at a little more than $4 a pound. Beginning on Monday of Thanksgiving week, a line will snake down the street and into the working-class neighborhood that surrounds the plant. To alleviate parking squabbles, Greenberg employees will shuttle customers about in golf carts.
For an independent producer that has built a reputation on pit-cooked poultry and personalized service, that may seem like a lot of turkeys to smoke and a lot of logistics to manage. But local sales are just the tip of the wing.
By the time Sam Greenberg closes for the holiday season on Dec. 24 and hands each of his 200 employees a free bird, more than 200,000 turkeys will have emerged from the company’s 20 brick-lined, hardwood-fired pit houses. Packed frozen, they thaw in transit and land two to three days later on doorsteps across the nation.
From New York to California, customers — some of whom claim three and four generations of patronage — will build family meals around Greenberg turkeys that, thanks to a daylong swirl in smoke, deliver the succulence that eludes most holiday cooks.
Samuel Isaac Greenberg was 17 in 1903 when he came to the United States as a Jewish immigrant from Poland. Disembarking in Galveston, Tex., he made his way north to Tyler at the invitation of the congregation Ahavath Achim. According to Hollace Ava Weiner, an author of the book “Lone Stars of David: The Jews of Texas,” he was recruited to serve as a religious leader.
As the hazan, he led prayers and chanted from the Torah, Ms. Weiner said. As the mohel, he circumcised male babies. And as the shochet, he butchered animals, including geese and turkeys, following Jewish rituals.
By the 1930s, when Tyler boasted more than one shochet, Samuel Greenberg was selling smoked kosher turkeys to Jews and non-Jews alike.
He rubbed those birds with a spice mix attributed to his mother, Jennie Greenberg. Working in a metal shebang with a sand-covered floor, tucked in a back corner of his milking barn, Greenberg and Elva Cole, a black colleague who probably stoked the pits, hung the turkeys from a nested pair of ceiling-mounted wagon wheels and smoked them over hickory logs.
Few records of the early days of the business remain. But every Greenberg tells the story of the six turkeys ordered in 1938 by a Dallas customer. Purchases were traditionally picked up on the farm, so they had to figure out how to get the turkeys to Dallas, about 100 miles west. Zelick Greenberg, a son of Samuel, packed the turkeys in a candy store box, added straw for cushioning, and shipped them by rail from Tyler.
Word of Samuel and Zelick Greenberg’s work spread by mouth. And by rail. And soon by mail. The birds that arrived on the other end were not typical smoked turkeys. “What my father did was not a casual smoke,” said Sam Greenberg, a ruddy-faced 52-year-old, who may never have met a stranger.
“Those turkeys weren’t honey-colored, they were really, truly smoked,” Mr. Greenberg said, his voice rising to a shout, as if an increase in volume could convey the intensity of the charred hickory fog that permeates his family’s turkeys, rendering the birds a color best described as burnt umber with a black licorice wash.
“There is no magic here, just hard work,” Mr. Greenberg said, as he stepped down into the rectangular shed where Tony Wallace, a 27-year veteran of the company, loaded hickory logs in one of the three rolling fire boxes that fuel each of the 20 pit houses. (A typical East Texas barbecue man must stoop to fire a pit with a long-handled shovel. Here, pit masters like Mr. Wallace push webbed iron conveyances, loaded with smoldering coals, back and forth on an ingenious track-mounted system devised in the 1950s by Zelick Greenberg.)
This series of articles explores American cuisine and its ongoing evolution.
Allison V. Smith for The New York Times
The company uses conventional turkeys. More Photos »
Like many East Texas pit masters, Mr. Wallace is black. And like many who work at Greenberg, he is a seasonal employee. During the nine months when the pits are not in regular use, he does carpentry work. Ray Wallace, his brother, an eight-year veteran, drives a dump truck in the off-season.
In Tyler, jobs with Greenberg are hard won. Despite the fractured nature of employment, the company boasts two staff members who began working at the plant before Sam Greenberg was born. The Greenberg approach runs contrary to the heritage poultry movement of the last decade. “I buy the same birds you would buy in a grocery store,” Mr. Greenberg said. As a smile creased his face, he claimed never to have heard of heritage turkeys, the much-fetishized breeds rescued from the agricultural past, that live cage free and promise, when roasted, a more robust flavor than a typical grocery store bird.
“You don’t want a scrawny, long-legged bird on your Thanksgiving table,” said Mr. Greenberg, seated in his office behind a one-way mirror that faces a call center bullpen where, at the peak of the season, 40 or more operators swivel beneath bright fluorescent lights and peck turkey orders into terminals. “You want conformity in your bird. And that means a turkey with a big breast and short legs.”
To achieve that conformity, Greenberg sources broad-breasted white turkeys, the commodity market standard, from Norbest, a Utah cooperative. “They come out good on the other end,” Mr. Greenberg said, implying, as barbecue pit masters do hereabouts, that excellence in smoked-meat cookery is determined by human resources, not natural resources.
Sam Greenberg has made a number of adjustments through the years. Unlike his father and grandfather before him, he no longer smokes kosher turkeys. In 1981, he stopped handwriting gift cards. Last year, Greenberg started accepting credit cards via its Web site, gobblegobble.com. (Previously turkeys were shipped, and invoices were paid on the honor system.)
He prefers, however, to focus consumer attention on his company’s hidebound ways. With the cadence of a salesman, he trumpets an aversion to change that would give pause to the most conservative Texas legislator.
On plant tours, visitors learn that Greenberg employees still hand-trim every bird, cutting the wing tips and neck flap from the carcass. And they knife-jab each turkey at least six times, so that the spice mix, which is robust with ground black pepper, can permeate the flesh. They hand-truss each pair of turkey legs, too, before hanging the dressed bird in its pit house berth.
“I want to be known as the guy who didn’t mess up Greenberg Smoked Turkey,” Mr. Greenberg said, leaning from the window of a swooping black Mercedes with license plates that read “GIBLET.”
“If I mess things up, I’ll be messing with people’s holiday tradition, and I’m not inclined to do that.”
- November 9th, 2010
A Cheese for Scooping
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
Mike Gingrich, an owner of Uplands Cheese in Dodgeville, Wis., has made just one cheese for the last 10 years: Pleasant Ridge Reserve, in a firm, deeply nutty-tasting Alpine-style. Then, three years ago, Uplands hired Andy Hatch, a young cheesemaker who was keen on making his own mark. The result? Rush Creek Reserve.
If Pleasant Ridge is the Uplands American version of Beaufort, the new cheese takes after Vacherin Mont d’Or. Within a chalky beige rind, Rush Creek Reserve is fluent and satiny, with a rich, slightly grassy aroma and a mild flavor that hints of smoke and pork. A washed-rind cheese, it is wrapped with a strip of the same spruce bark used for Vacherin. It is made from evening milk that was not pasteurized, and so by law it has to be aged for at least 60 days. Aging this style of cheese for so long was the trickiest part, Mr. Hatch said.
He will make it until the end of the year, and it will be sold until late February. It’s best enjoyed by removing the top crust and scooping the cheese with a spoon. “It’s a holiday season cheese intended for people to share,” Mr. Hatch said.
Rush Creek Reserve, about 13 ounces, is $19.99 at Murray’s, $25.99 at Saxelby Cheesemongers, and about $24 for a whole cheese and $12 for a half at Bedford Cheese.
- November 7th, 2010
11 Best Fast Food Post-Workout Snacks Under 200 Calories
- by Reader’s Digest Magazine, on Fri Oct 22, 2010 8:17am PDT
Some protein bars can be more like candy bars, providing sugar and fillers rather than actual healthy nutrition. While a fast food restaurant may not be the best choice for a quick bite after your workout, these options are good. They provide protein, carbohydrates and, most of all, satisfaction for fewer calories than a Snickers bar.
Best in-hand option
No time to use utensils? A Starbucks latte gives you a dose of protein and carbohydrates to refuel.
Skim Latte (Grande)
19 grams carbohydrates
13 grams of protein
See other options at Starbucks.
Best breakfast option
If you work out in the morning, this wrap will get much-needed protein to your muscles.
Egg White and Cheese Wake-Up Wrap
13 grams carbohydrates
8 grams protein
See other options at Dunkin’ Donuts.
Best open ’till 2 a.m. option
For the night owl, Taco Bell has a Fresco menu that offers a few low-cal options that pack a good amount of protein.
Fresco Crunchy Taco
7 grams of protein
See other options at Taco Bell.
Best drive-thru hand held
Wipe the sweat from your brow and cool off with this chocolately boost of protein and moderate amount of carbs. Men’s Health swears by the muscle building power of chocolate milk.
1% Chocolate Low-Fat Milk
31 grams carbohydrates
9 grams protein
See other options at Burger King.
PLUS: 20 Secrets Your Waiter Won’t Tell You
Best high protein option
Even though this isn’t under 200 calories it’s very close. And it has a commendable amount of protein and slow-acting good carbs in the form of beans.
22 grams carbohydrates
18 grams of protein
See other options at Wendy’s.
Best filling sandwich option for early risers
This sandwich will keep you filled up through to lunch. You can even add some veggie toppings for some more vitamins.
Black Forest Ham, Egg and Cheese English Muffin
18 grams of carbohydrates
15 grams of protein
See other options at Subway.
Best sides as a snack option, plus a high-protein treat
These side dishes are perfect post-workout snacks, combining good carbs and an excellent amount of protein with low-calories.
Red Beans With Sausage and Rice
26 grams of carbohydrates
24 grams of protein
Macaroni and cheese
20 grams carbohydrates
6 grams protein
2 grilled chicken drumsticks
20 grams of protein
See other options at KFC
Best protein splurge option
Remember your childhood with these crispy little bites. While this a higher fat option, this little treat has a good amount of protein for satiety.
4 piece Chicken McNuggets
11 grams carbohydrates
10 grams protein
See other options at McDonald’s
Best sweet treat option
For when you need a sweet fix. Plus, who doesn’t get great joy out of eating one of these!
Low-Fat Vanilla Flying Saucer
35 grams of carbohydrates
4 grams of protein
- November 7th, 2010
YAHOO.com: 9 Spices for Health, Energy, and Longevity!
9 Spices for Health, Energy and Longevity! By Dr. Maoshing Ni
Dr. Mao’s Secrets of Longevity
- November 3rd, 2010
URBAN DADDY: Cool Whip Whipped Cream Meets Booze
Specifically, whipped cream. Infused with pumpkin pie. Infused with booze. Infused with… That’s it, actually. But trust us, it’s enough.
Introducing Whipped Lightning, a pumpkin-pie-flavored whipped cream that’s infused with the good stuff, available online now.
So the next time you have a hot chocolate that’s lacking the imagination and firepower of a 36-proof, grain-alcohol-fueled topping, you’ll reach for this. It’s basically a slightly runny alcoholic foam—good for your hot cider, less so for a makeshift bathing suit.
If this seems like the type of thing that your wet bar or in-development speakeasy malt shoppe requires, you should know there are other flavors, too. Think Spiced Vanilla, Amaretto, Coconut and Strawberry Colada. Use their website to track down an establishment in your area that might sell it. And if it’s not yet available in your state, well, then you may just have to get a little crafty.
If anyone asks, we know nothing about a whipped-cream smuggling operation in Utah.
Whipped Lightening http://www.whippedlightning.com/index.jsp
- November 2nd, 2010
Off the Menu
By FLORENCE FABRICANT
BERLYN The prime restaurant location for visitors to the Brooklyn Academy of Music has changed hands but remains in a Germanic mode like its predecessor, Thomas Beisl. Ursula and Jonas Hegewisch, the new owners, have found room to display their vintage pewter bric-a-brac, including a few gnomes. The chef, Steven Linares (left), offers dishes like corned beef with root vegetables; choucroute; and maultaschen, a ravioli in mushroom broth. Rote grutze, with red berries, is one of the desserts. Germany and Austria dominate the wines: 25 Lafayette Avenue (Ashland Place), Fort Greene, Brooklyn; (718) 222-5800.
BUCA BRICK OVEN PIZZA A dozen classic pizzas and calzone come from a wood oven, plus antipasti and a baked pasta: 201 West 103rd Street, (212) 531-8730.
CALIU Franco Barrio, who was the chef de cuisine for the Boqueria restaurants, now has his own gig in this intimate little place. His tapas menu is traditional. There is a brief list of more substantial items, like braised pork cheeks and paella, and txakoli to drink: 557 Hudson Street (11th Street), (212) 206-6444.
CIANO The warmly countrified setting is outfitted with a wood-burning fireplace where the chef and partner, Shea Gallante, will put the finishing touches on house-baked breads. His Italian menu emphasizes vegetables. With many of the wines, guests can choose to drink, and pay for, only half the bottle. (Opens Nov. 5); 45 East 22nd Street, (212) 982-8422.
FAIRWAY The chain’s seventh and, at 85,000 square feet, largest store has a cafe. An adjacent wine and spirits shop is to open in December: 699 Canal Street, Stamford, Conn., (203) 388-9815.
NATIONAL BAR & DINING ROOMS A grand cafe is interpreted conservatively by the designer David Rockwell (cream walls, dark furniture) and the chef Geoffrey Zakarian (oysters, caesar salad, steak frites): The Benjamin, 557 Lexington Avenue (50th Street), (212) 715-2400.
PALO CORTADO Those serious about sherries, Spanish wines and tapas should be happy at this new spot: 520 Court Street (Huntington Street), Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn, (718) 407-0047.
THE RADICCHIO PASTA & RISOTTO COMPANY A tiny branch of a Ridgewood, N.J., restaurant serving classic Italian: 235 East 53rd Street, (212) 956-3976.
ROUGE ET BLANC They’re reprinting business cards at this Franco-Vietnamese bistro, until recently named Cinq à Sept. The chef, Matt Rojas, who worked at Eleven Madison Park and with Susur Lee, has a skillful fusion menu of dishes like bone marrow with baby octopus and pickled plum, alongside French classics like coq au vin: 48 MacDougal Street (Houston Street), (212) 260-5757.
- October 29th, 2010
Japanese Wineries Betting on a Reviled Grape
A wine importer described the wine as light and crisp with subtle citrus flavors
By CORIE BROWN
Published: October 26, 2010
But Ernest Singer thinks koshu deserves a place among the world’s fine white-wine grapes.
Mr. Singer, a wine importer based in Tokyo, said koshu captured his imagination nearly a decade ago when he tasted an experimental dry white wine made from the grape. Light and crisp with subtle citrus flavors, it was a match for Japan’s cuisine, he said, and could become the first Asian wine to draw international recognition.
With grapes from local growers and expertise from France, he began making his own wine, seeking to help koshu reach its potential. Now he and a clutch of family-owned Japanese wineries working under the banner Koshu of Japan are racing one another to be the first to produce koshu good enough to succeed in the world market.
“We have shown you can make real wine in Japan,” Mr. Singer said. The question remains, he said, whether established vintners will change their winemaking practices or “continue to sell their schlock.
“The good news is that I’ve encouraged a small number of young winemakers,” he said. Even his chief rival, Shigekazu Misawa, the owner of Grace Wine and a leader of Koshu of Japan, said that without Mr. Singer, it was unlikely that anyone would even think of exporting koshu.
“It was Ernie’s idea to raise quality to improve the position of koshu in the world market,” Mr. Misawa said. “He knew that koshu could become a wine that represents Japan to the world.”
Ever since Japan discovered European and California wines during the 1970s economic boom, the country’s homegrown wines have been losing ground to imports. In the mid-1990s, a few Japanese winemakers began trying to make better wine with koshu.
Japanese fine-wine drinkers, however, are haunted by what koshu has been for the past 150 years. Found almost exclusively in Yamanashi Prefecture at the base of Mount Fuji, koshu is a tart, gray grape. Growers would dispose of damaged and rotten fruit by making wine with heavy doses of sugar.
Yet, while Japan’s climate, with rainstorms common throughout the summer and fall, conspires against most wine grapes, koshu is well suited to a wet world. It resists the rot that plagues vinifera grapes in Japan. Late ripening, it retains its natural acidity.
Mr. Misawa was one of the first Japanese vintners to reject the idea of sugary koshu.
“I am the fourth-generation owner of Grace Wine,” Mr. Misawa says. “Koshu is two-thirds of all of the wine we make. And we needed to make it better.”
Yet, while he and other vintners traveled to Europe and Australia to learn modern winemaking methods, progress was slow. Viticulture methods from dry regions did not translate. And no one outside Japan had ever heard of koshu (a hybrid of vitis vinifera — the species responsible for the world’s most popular wines — and an unidentifiable wild variety, according to DNA research at the University of California, Davis).
“I learned to make wine here,” said Mr. Koki Oyamada, the winemaker at Chateau Lumiere, affiliated with Koshu of Japan. A new generation is pioneering new methods, he said. “We support each other, discuss problems, find solutions. We are improving quality.” After his first taste of dry koshu, Mr. Singer gambled big on it, flying in Denis Dubourdieu, professor of enology at the University of Bordeaux, to work on his first four vintages (2004 to 2007), which were made at Mr. Misawa’s winery with grapes he helped provide. To secure a steady supply of high-quality fruit, Mr. Singer leased land in three central Japan prefectures and now has nine koshu vineyards, a huge landholding for a nonfarmer in Japan.
Mr. Singer’s confidence in koshu is due in no small part to the wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. The two men have worked together since 1998 when Mr. Parker hired Mr. Singer to be his representative in Asia. Mr. Parker tasted Mr. Singer’s 2004 koshu at the Grace winery in December 2004 and gave it a score of 87/88 on a scale of 100 in what Mr. Parker refers to as “an educational tasting.”
That first vintage was produced with grapes grown on old-fashioned pergola trellises. The canopies of these vines can stretch 50 feet in all directions from a mother vine the size of a tree. Mr. Singer says that his new vineyards, which are planted with vines planted closely together in neat rows with new shoots trained up, a system common in Europe and America, are producing smaller grapes with more-concentrated flavors that will make even better wine.
In setting up the winemaking protocol for Mr. Singer’s koshu, Mr. Dubourdieu eliminated what was once the only thing that made koshu drinkable: sugar. The wine is bone dry with a very low alcohol content. He accomplished this by getting rid of the grape’s bitter skin early in the process.
The wine is bottled in the spring to be sold fresh and young.
With such a simple wine, Mr. Dubourdieu said he was surprised that it pleased Mr. Parker, who is usually seen as a fan of full-bodied wines.
“I was afraid,” he said. “I was not sure he could like a wine with 10.5 percent alcohol. That’s not exactly the wine he ranks well. But he was enthusiastic.”
Still, Mr. Dubourdieu is skeptical that koshu will prove to be a valuable wine.
“It is simple, clean, fresh, nice,” he said. “That, and no more. It is a big mistake to think you can produce Montrachet in Japan. Koshu is more of a vinho verde.”
The Bordeaux producer Bernard Magrez is distributing a small amount of the Katsunuma Jyozo winery’s koshu in Europe and the United States. But the executive director of the winery, Youki Hirayama, said that beyond that, his company is focusing on Asian markets.
“This is Asian wine for Asian food,” he said, noting that the subtle flavors do not overwhelm delicate dishes.
Mr. Parker remains upbeat about koshu. “Up until this year, it was the best one I’ve tasted,” he wrote in an e-mail response to questions about Mr. Singer’s wine. “Now Bernard Magrez has one that is dry, crisp and very tasty, and much in the style of the Dubourdieu koshu. I think the wine, if made in these styles, has a quasi-Muscadet character — light-bodied and very refreshing.”
But there are wide variations in the new koshus, with some vintners experimenting with oak-barrel aging and each winery relying on a different level of chaptalization — adding sugar before fermentation — to increase alcohol levels along with adding weight and body to the wine. It is impossible, however, to be certain what Japanese wineries add to their wines. The country’s wine labeling regulations require that only 5 percent of the wine in a bottle be from Japanese grapes. The rest can be from anywhere.
Mr. Singer, Katsunuma Jyozo and the wineries of Koshu of Japan insist that their wines are 100 percent koshu.
But jaded Japanese wine drinkers have been slow to believe that they are worth their price tags of $20 and up.
After their first shipment to Europe this summer, the Japanese vintners involved in Koshu of Japan are hoping to gain internatio