I love living in this part of the United States, not just because of our locations natural beauty but being close New York City there are so many opportunities to experience new foods and cultures (don't forget drinks of course). You don't have to go far either, just pack a fork...maybe a napkin and hit the road.
Let me share my fun "foodie" experience from this past weeked ... yeah, when I'm not in the kitchen...I'm still thinking about cooking. Sunday's are usually set aside for me to see what type of gastronomical adventure I can get myself into. This Sunday I had the privilege of being accompanied by my Japanese teacher, friend, and cook-book author, Sharon Nakazato to Nippon Daido. Daido is a Japanese grocery store on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains, NY.
I love Daido, every time I walk in it is like being back in a supermarket in Japan. New ingredients, things I can't read, things I have yet to taste...fun. Sharon sensei introduced me to some new flavors, one that we'll be using on the menu this week at the restaurant is sweet miso. Sweet miso really hits that sweet, savory note making a fantastic base for sauces, dressings, or even on the side with steamed vegetables or grilled tofu. I plan on using it in a clam fritter this coming weekend ... delicious.
We also came across a sea vegetable called kanten, also known as agar agar. With a jello like texture, this makes a great supplement for traditional gelatin and can be used to make desserts to even vegetable noodles for all those molecular gastronomic out there. The best part is that it's vegan and versatile! So this means I can experiment with new delicious desserts or maybe even fruit pates for the summer .... so many possibilities.
Take a ride to Daido in White Plains and pick up something new to try. I would love to hear about your experience with Japanese flavors.
Well, back to the kitchen for now!
Peter A Milano
Eat, Drink, and Explore from chef Peter's blog about his food experiences, recipes, and travel.