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

November 2011

Ten for $20 or Less


Ten for $20 or Less

Hostess and Host Gifts that Won't Be Re-Gifted I will begin with what are the three most common—and often worse—hostess gifts.  First and most popular is the bottle of cheap wine in a fancy gift bag. More often than not, it has already been re-gifted at least once—both bottle and bag.  I have a closet full of blush wine. Unfortunately, I can’t bring myself to give it to anyone else, knowing my reputation would be at stake. I do appreciate the supply of colorful bags that continues to grow.  The problem with wine as a gift is, unless you know your hosts’ taste,  it’s difficult to pick out something you know they’ll like that you can afford.  And, bringing a single bottle of wine to a group gathering especially...

Posted at 12:44 PM | Permalink | Comments: 1

Farro? Far Out!


Farro? Far Out!

First of all, what is it?  That was my reaction when farro first popped up on a menu I was pursuing as my panting palate looking over my shoulder.  It’s a grain in its whole form to be sure, but exactly what kind is contentious. It’s especially popular in Italy where emmer wheat is most commonly used, but the choice of grain varies regionally. In other countries, grains such as spelt and barley are sometimes called farro.  The most common substitute listed in recipes is wheat berries.   Like quinoa that suddenly became a foodie favorite a decade ago, farro really isn’t new but only new around here. It’s one of the five grains mentioned in ancient Jewish literature used during Passover to make matzo.  I learned a long time ago...

Posted at 02:21 PM | Permalink | Comments: 2

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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