Critiques, Cravings and Conundrums From the Madison Food and Dining Scene
Small Dishes

December 2010

Good Luck!


Good Luck!

 I’ve always been amazed by all the different foods one’s suppose to consume just to get the New Year off to a good start. (So much for dieting.)  When I grew up, it was all about black-eyed peas—I’m talking about the funky vegetable, not the hip hop group.  I hated them (the funky vegetable)—at best they tasted bland, but always had a hint of dirt.  I’ve heard two different stories as to why eating them is supposed to be lucky. One says they resemble coins. (Really?)  The other is that during the Civil War when Vicksburg was under siege the dried legumes saved its inhabitants from starvation. (Not much of a culinary recommendation though.)  Seemingly ‘bout the only thing one shouldn’t consume this time of...

Posted at 03:37 PM | Permalink | Comments

The Best and Worst of 2010


The Best and Worst of 2010

It’s that time of year.  Christmas not yet past and lists are springing up left and right.  But it’s difficult to face the year’s end without being nostalgic—it would be hard to move forward otherwise. Here are some of my food and drinking experiences that stood out during the past twelve months. Best New Restaurant: 43 North.  It was a difficult choice to make.  Oddly, despite the bad economy a slew of restaurants premiered this year—many of them downtown ... like Nostrano; Underground Food Collective; Merchant; and the reincarnation of L’Etoile and its new sister restaurant, Graze.  To be perfectly honest, I haven’t had time to try a couple that just opened. Regardless, I picked 43 North because it’s really...

Posted at 11:52 AM | Permalink | Comments

The Cosmopolitan Fruit


The Cosmopolitan Fruit

Cranberries, one way or another, got their name from cranes. Some think the flower of the plant looks a lot like the bird’s head; others suggest it’s simply because cranes are attracted to bogs where cranberries grow. Though the fruit grew in England and Scotland, they were a diminutive species of what the Pilgrims would encounter on Cape Cod. The climate and terrain of Cape Cod was ideal for cranberries that grew wild in the bogs there, especially in the Province Lands near Provincetown. It’s no coincidence that they were first cultivated there—in Dennis, Massachusetts in 1816.  Soon cranberries became a major export, first to the West Indies and then Europe. They were prized by sailors since they kept well on a long voyage and helped...

Posted at 02:25 PM | Permalink | Comments

About This Blog

Dan CurdI found my interest in writing by accident. My training and first job was as a graphic designer. Unemployed, the only employment I could find in advertising at that time was as a copywriter. Somehow, I convinced Richard Newman & Associates to hire me. Later I learned they were desperate. Madison has been my home off and on since 1957 (nonstop for the past 31 years). I write about food, which I love. – Dan Curd

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