Wednesday, October 19, 2011

How to Peel a Head of Garlic in Less Than 10 Seconds

This is absolutely brilliant. Though I wouldn't suggest doing it if your roommate is asleep.

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Thanks to Mike for the tip!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dr. Pepper Fail

This, my friends, is what we might call a marketing fail.

Dr. Pepper Ten

Really, this is so ridiculous that it's just comical. Watch the Dr. Pepper Ten TV ad for even more macho pretension. Roar! I am man! I throw footballs and shoot guns and get into fights! I drink only drinks with 10 manly calories (what the heck is that even supposed to mean? Who on earth came up with that as a tagline?). And ladies, sorry - we're out of luck. Dr. Pepper doesn't want us anywhere near their manly drink. It's back to girly cocktails and chick flicks for us, because we never drink non-diet pop or watch action movies. Ahem. But you know what, that's OK - I don't want to be near any of Dr. Pepper's drinks anyway.

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Maple Taffy + Ice Cream

La Petite cabane a sucre de Quebec

Free samples, they'll get you every time.

Maple taffy

Walking through the streets of Old Quebec, my friend Steve and I were stopped by a woman offering free samples of maple taffy. It was my first introduction to the stuff - growing up in Michigan, maple sugar candy was a common treat at cider mills in the autumn, but I'd never seen taffy before. It was delicious, chewy and sweet. And from what I gathered from Steve, who grew up in Saskatchewan, it's quite simple to make: you heat up pure maple syrup, pour it on snow (or its closest relative), and wind the result around a stick. Voila!

Maple ice cream with Belgian chocolate

The taffy was so good that I decided to try maple soft serve ice cream, dipped in Belgian chocolate. Think of it as the Canadian version of the Dairy Queen dip. And as one might expect, it was far better.

La petite cabane à sucre de Québec
94 rue du Petit Champlain
Quebec, QC G1K 4H4
418.692.5875

Monday, October 3, 2011

Montreal-Style Smoked Meat

Schwartz's, Montreal

According to the locals I talked to, Montreal has a trifecta of regional foods: bagels, poutine, and smoked meat. (Interestingly, two of the three are Jewish in origin - there's a large Jewish community here.) So after my morning bagel adventure, I had to try smoked meat for lunch. Schwartz's has been a Montreal staple for 80 years, and it's reputed to be the best example of the local foodstuff.

Schwartz's, Montreal

Even though the signage is in French, Schwartz's could be transplanted to New York with few changes. Smoked meat (viande fumée) is actually quite similar to pastrami: it's beef brisket seasoned with spices and peppercorns found in kosher delicatessens. The Schwartz version, which was brought to Montreal by a Jewish Romanian immigrant named Reuben, is marinated for 10 days and smoked on a daily basis. It's more flavorful, though less peppery, than its American cousin - and while it's not the best looking of sandwiches, it is delicious. When ordering smoked meat, ask for a sandwich viande fumée, which will come with mustard and no other toppings (distractions from an extremely substantial portion of the main attraction).

Schwartz's, Montreal

Schwartz's
3895 Saint-Laurent
Montreal, QC H2W 1X9
514.842.4813