The thing about labels

“Like with the spicy thing, I don’t know how to do that – it’s not in my culture, we don’t do the mild, medium, hot, suicide, extreme because at the end of that scale is real ethnic spicy that people eat every day. We didn’t have to invent that system. We’ve already toned it down […]

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“With a bit of luck, his life was ruined forever. Always thinking that just behind some narrow door in all of his favorite bars, men in red woolen shirts are getting incredible kicks from things he’ll never know.” – Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas Early in the service, Hilde brings back […]

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Larb, lahb, laab, lahp, lap, laap – all you do is talk.

“You should try the larb,” Charlie tells a first time guest. “It’s the national dish of Laos.” He’s referring to chicken larb, or larb gai, the restaurant’s take on the popular marinated meat salad. The larb is finely minced chicken fragrant with herbs, a small dousing of fish sauce, lime juice, chilies, and scallions, complimented with […]

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RESTAURANT

1. What possesses people to willingly open a restaurant is beyond normal comprehension. The amount of money spent to give one of these unaerodynamic giants lift for even a minute far outweighs what they pay out in years. Famously, the odds are against the restaurateur. People trade a perfectly functional life punching in and out […]

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On Making Padaek

1. Early in our friendship Svenja and I gifted Chris and Charlie with some home brew fish sauce that just hit a year. The first time we tasted it we were excited by the rich, nutty, herbacious complexity of the brown liquid; it was salty, umami, incredibly round in the mouth, like a large copper […]

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Fermentation pt. 2

It’s been established in the last two posts that water bath canning preserved food by creating an isolated environment, protected from oxygen, hostile to bacterial growth. On the other hand, fermentation using lacto acid bacterias are open to exchanges with their environment – they change and develop character according to their conditions. Like us as […]

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