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

December 2011

Pecan Pie Pedigree


Pecan Pie Pedigree

Come the holidays and pecan pie is sure to come to mind. I’ve seen many oblique claims that this American favorite originated in New Orleans soon after the French founded the city.  This is plausible, since it closely resembles the classic tarte aux noix and sooner or later someone would substitute the more readily available local pecans for the walnuts.  Pecan pie is unquestionably popular there today—only second to bread pudding as the dessert of choice. Oddly, unlike the rest of the South where every manner of pie is revered, only pecan pie holds that status in the Big Easy.  However, recipes for pecan pie seemingly don’t show up in any cookbooks (I would love to know if someone has evidence to the contrary) until after the introduction of corn...

Posted at 11:51 AM | Permalink | Comments




Seducer of vegetarians, downfall of pharisees and spoiler of diets, it’s simply irresistible! What most of use recognize as bacon—long slices of pork meat and fat fried to a crisp—is a uniquely American delicacy. Elsewhere what passes for bacon often isn’t smoked—like the Italian pancetta and French lardons—and is used as a seasoning or for larding meat.  However, the name comes from the German word bakkon which means smoked pork.  We probably owe our love of the smoked stuff to the English who brought it to our shores. What the Brits prefer as bacon, though, comes from the middle of the back of the pig. The fatter American-style rashers—sometimes called streaky bacon—come from the belly. Bacon can be made using other...

Posted at 02:10 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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