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

September 2012

Buttermilk: Misunderstood


Buttermilk: Misunderstood

I can still remember the first time I tasted it.  What a shock!  I mean with “butter” in the name it was not at all what I had expected.  It should have been a clue that where I lived then the other, more popular milk—the stuff I drank at school—was called “sweet milk.” Unpleasantly sour with a cloddy texture, I found it impossible to believe that anyone could actually like buttermilk and dismissed it for a long time.  As I learned to cook, I discovered it was a key ingredient in many southern specialties like biscuits and cornbread, because it softens the gluten and produces a tender texture. Buttermilk got its name because it was the liquid left in the churn after making butter.  However nearly all the buttermilk...

Posted at 08:55 AM | Permalink | Comments

Something Fishy


Something Fishy

When you say “Wisconsin” you probably don’t think seafood.  Obviously there is no ocean anywhere near here, but there are an awful lot of lakes and streams.  Considering the amount of salmon found locally on restaurant menus you might suppose it was our biggest catch.  Of course, it comes from Alaska and afar.  Lake whitefish, yellow perch, walleye and smelt are all found and commercially fished in the Great Lakes, though much of the fresh water fish sold here comes from Canada.  Additionally, stream trout, yellow perch and catfish are farm raised. Locally caught fish was once more popular.  It was the foundation for the Friday night fish fry, so plentiful and cheap that it was “all you can eat.”  Certainly its...

Posted at 11:14 AM | 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

Recent Posts



Atom Feed Subscribe to the Small Dishes Feed »