Unfortunately, I don’t pass through Germany’s Pfalz region too often (it’s a lusty wine-growing area that I love, just to the east of France’s Alsace). But, when I do get there, the top of my gastronomic list is the uber-hearty local specialty of saumagen (pronounced ZOW-mahg-en). Yup. “Sau” means pig (as in sow), and “magen” means stomach. So what we have here, mein freund, is a stuffed pig’s stomach!
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I remember eagerly clutching my red Michelin guide in France, way back in the early 1970s, expecting to find at the starred levels nothing but the best of French food. Later, Michelin began publishing a red guide to Italy–but often took criticism that their judgments in Italy had a French sensibility. The same thing happened in Spain. Today, Michelin covers 23 countries in its books–but still has difficulty losing the image of “French-oriented.”
We’re sitting pretty in the food world at the start of 2013: gak, is there ever new-found sophistication among millions of American food-lovers! Of course this means that some dishes are going viral on us…and of course this means that many chefs are getting them wrong.
I must confess: even I, the mule of the table, get a little burnt out after the holiday season. The caviar. The foie gras. The goose. The prime rib. The munch-encouraging social environment.
I don’t really want to stop…but boy is my body giving me signals that I should.
Now, I’m not about to go cold turkey (except, perhaps, for a leftover sandwich!)…but on or about Jan. 2 I do start seeking lighter foods that also give me a gastronomic charge.
Had you been a caviar lover in 2000, and, fully sated, had you gone down for a Rip Van Winkle slumber…and had you awakened today, preferably to the pop of a Champagne cork…you simply would not recognize the world of caviar around you. In 2012 (and, next week, in 2013!) we are in the full throes of an historic caviar revolution. Things, for better or worse, will never, ever be the same again when it comes to those yummy little sturgeon eggs.
About David Rosengarten
Journalist, television personality, and cookbook author, David Rosengarten has covered great food products, restaurants, wines, gastronomic travel destinations, and related subjects for over 25 years...
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