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

February 2011

Dipping and Grilling


Dipping and Grilling

 Most of us have enjoyed fondue at one time or another. It originated in the French-speaking region of Switzerland as a cheese dish eaten from a communal pot. In various forms it had long been popular there when in the 1930s the Swiss Cheese Union promoted it as the national dish.  Traditionally, fondue is made from Gruyère, Emmental or a blend of cheeses, white wine and kirsch.  Usually a small amount of cornstarch is added to prevent separation. It’s made in a small pot set over a flame and eaten by dipping cubes of bread on long forks directly into the pot. The specialty made its way here in the 1960s, soon reaching the fad status of the hula hoop. As its popularity spread, many variations like chocolate fondue soon followed. Much less known in the...

Posted at 01:41 PM | Permalink | Comments

A Red Letter Drink


A Red Letter Drink

 Red is always a popular color … and nowhere more so than in Badgerland and at no time more so than on Valentine’s Day.  Red is the color of blood and hearts and denotes love and passion, but also anger—as in "seeing red". I’m always looking for new red food and drinks to make for the holiday.  After all there are only three things people do to celebrate and two of them are eating and drinking. Not being able to resist anything new, I purchased a bottle of Absolut Wild Tea vodka.  It’s actually a tweaking of one of their limited editions venerating American cities—Absolut Boston.   The prominent flavors are tea and elderflowers.  I previously had bought a bottle of the Absolut Boston and liked...

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Smoke and Mirrors


Smoke and Mirrors

Recently a friend who had just lunched at Bonfyre commented about how good the place smelled.  Having been there myself, I knew what she meant:  The tantalizing aroma of food grilling over a wood fire was my first impression when I walked through the door.  I knew it would be a lasting one as well. It’s like magic how just the smell of food can send me off on—like the old song says—“…a sentimental journey to renew old memories.”  For example, the smell of hot dogs—the kind that spin around on a carousel in a glass case—and chopped onion and pickle relish always remind me of dime stores—S.S. Kresge and F.W. Woolworth. I picture myself sitting at the serpentine lunch counter with my chubby legs and shiny new...

Posted at 01:31 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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