Talk & Eat is a round-up of memorable dining experiences, perfect meals, and new and good eats around town from our guest bloggers, Tweets and Facebook posts that take you behind-the-scenes of Check, Please!, and weekly tips about what’s on the show this week.
Hello all and welcome back! I hope you are as excited as I am about the new season of Check, Please! In the season premiere, we visit Forbidden Root in West Town, a brewpub that opened in 2016. While Chicago has seen an explosion of craft breweries in recent years, Forbidden Root defines itself not just as a brewery but as a botanical brewery. What does that mean? Read on to find out from the team at Forbidden Root as to what they are all about.
“The problem with eating Italian food is that five or six days later, you’re hungry again.”
– George Miller
“Life is a combination of magic and pasta.”
– Frederico Fellini
“Leave the gun. Take the cannoli.”
– The Godfather
Welcome to a new season of Check, Please! In honor of one of this week’s chosen eateries, Sofi in Printer’s Row, The World of Food stops off in “Il Belpaese” (The Beautiful Country) or “Lo stivale” (The Boot, because of the country’s distinctive shape). We already covered pizza in a previous entry, but there’s plenty more to talk about…
“Animals are my friends…and I don’t eat my friends.”
— George Bernard Shaw
“I did not become a vegetarian for my health; I did it for the health of the chickens.”
— Isaac Bashevis Singer
“Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie.”
— Jim Davis, creator of Garfield
October 1 is World Vegetarian Day, an annual recognition of a movement followed by those who, as Webster’s Dictionary defines it, “subsist solely upon vegetables, fruits, grains, and nuts.”
“Ich wäre lieber betrunken und lustig als nüchtern und dumm.” (I’d rather be drunk and funny than sober and stupid.)
—Bavarian proverb, often heard at Oktoberfest
The official end of summer may be sad for some, but for many, it heralds the arrival of a welcome tradition more than 200 years in the making: Oktoberfest, an annual celebration considered the world’s largest beer festival. In Munich, Germany, where it originated, Oktoberfest is already underway and runs through October 3. You will also find it going strong in many cities with large German communities, including, of course, Chicago.
The latest film from Ken Burns and Lynn Novick, The Vietnam War, premieres on WTTW11 and wttw.com on Sunday, September 17. Perhaps it’s an appropriate time for a look at Vietnamese cuisine, which is a distinctly aromatic combination of disparate flavors and textures designed to engage all five senses. It is a compendium of culinary contrasts: sweet and sour, mild and spicy, cold and hot – a true example, if you will, of yin and yang. If your idea of good eating is a little bit of everything (with a generous amount of fish sauce!), you should definitely give this cuisine a try.
“Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack…”
– “Take Me Out to the Ball Game” (Norworth/Von Tilzer, 1908)
Americans celebrate National Macadamia Nut Day in September. Not that we need an excuse to extol the virtues of this portable, vegan-friendly, lots-of-bang-for-your-nutritional-buck, versatile food.
September means many things to many people. Here at The World of Food, we’re enjoying National Potato Month, a great time to celebrate one of the world’s perfect foods: easy and inexpensive to cultivate (far more so than many other subsistence crops), and chock-full of almost every nutrient needed for survival – especially potassium and vitamin C. Also, a delicious stomach-filler, adaptable to a wide variety of purposes.
As anyone with a backyard grill can tell you, there are a wide variety of foods that can be cooked on it. Invite the neighbors, heat up your charcoal briquettes, toss your burgers, brats, vegetables, and what-have-you on the grill, serve it all up with a bottle of grocery-store sauce and deli side dishes, and voilà! You have yourself a barbecue. Easy-peasy.
But if you’re a true barbecue traditionalist, you don’t…not really. A cookout, maybe – but not a barbecue, which is all about slooooow cooking, wood-smoking, and a wide variety of regional sauces and spice rubs. And pork. Other meats, of course…but mostly pork.
Heat. High humidity. Sunburn and sand between your toes. Deep-fried everything. Yes, those dog days of summer are upon us again.
So perhaps it would be a good time for a refreshing change of pace — a journey to someplace far away, invigorating, and entirely different. Someplace like…
“When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore.”
— “That’s Amore” (Harry Warren/Jack Brooks, as sung by Dean Martin)
Did you know that Americans collectively consume approximately 100 acres of pizza per day, which translates to 350 slices every second?
“If you wish to make an apple pie from scratch, you must first invent the universe.”
— Carl Sagan
“Cut my pie into four pieces; I don’t think I could eat eight.”
— Yogi Berra
“I don’t think I’ve ever seen pie advertised. That’s how you know it’s good.”
— Adam Carolla
Just the word “pie” conjures up memories of grandmother’s house — her floury hands carefully constructing a lattice crust, the aroma of flaky, just-out-of-the-oven pastry, and result of her labors set to cool on the kitchen windowsill.
Each year on July 28 and 29, the country of Peru holds its annual two-day Independence Day celebration, (or, as it’s known locally, Fiestas Patrias peruanas). This year marks the 19th anniversary of its liberation from Spanish rule and is also an opportunity to honor its armed forces and national police, plus inaugurate a newly elected President if there is one. The importance of this holiday in Peru is second only to Christmas.