The World of Food

Julia Maish

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“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.

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Julia Maish

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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.

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Julia Maish

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“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.

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Julia Maish

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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.

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Julia Maish

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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.

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