Results tagged Whole Foods from David Lebovitz

Food: Transforming the American Table 1950-2000, at the Smithsonian Museum

Smithsonian Museum

Unfortunately, book tours offer little – if any – free time. Sometimes you want to check out places that are miles away from your hotel, which are hopeless causes (although not always). But since publishers and venues are flying you around, they’re not footing the bill for a leisurely evening with friends, or with copious time to explore the city. (And I don’t blame them.) So you value every precious second you have. Your best bet is to remain within a close radius of your hotel. If you’re fortunate, you can race to a Japanese restaurant, cafe, or doughnut shop. Other times, you’re happy to lie in a nice bed and watch “The View.”

Smithsonian Museum

For the most part, the weather on my tour was spectacular. And while I can’t take credit for that, still, people thanked me for bringing sunny skies with me, wherever I went. In Seattle, I hit the city during one of the rare thirty days of sunshine (out of 365 days.) But not always. Heading to Miami, just as we were poised to take off on the runway, our plane turned around and headed back to the gate to get more fuel because a hurricane warning in Florida, which might force us to land elsewhere. (We ended up arriving okay, but we circled high above the Miami airport for a couple of hours, waiting for it to reopen.) Yet the next day in Miami, the skies were spectacular.

And for my last city and stop of the tour, I had the pleasure of sitting on a green, grassy lawn at the Washington, D.C. farmers’ market, in the nation’s capital, signing books and chatting to shoppers, who were loading up their baskets with bunches of asparagus, strawberries, and radishes as well as first-of-the-season tomatoes and excellent cheeses.

Since I miraculously ended up with a rare, free afternoon the following day, I hoofed it over to the National Museum of American History at the Smithsonian, to check out Food: Transforming the American Table, 1950-2000.

The exhibit highlights how American eating and shopping habits have changed during those five decades, and the museum compiled this retrospective to show the progression and evolution of the changes leading up to what shows up at the American table.

Smithsonian Museum

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Merce and the Muse, and Mary

brocolli salad straws

[UPDATE: Both of these places have closed.)

One of the curious things that’s happening right now in the Paris food scene is a spate of what I consider ‘anglo’-style cafés opening up in various smaller neighborhoods. There are a few that have been around for a while. But in the past year, casual restaurants that sell leafy salads, made with just-cooked fresh vegetables and greens, house made soups, hand-held desserts like individual carrot cakes and les muffins, fresh fruit juices, and coffee made with care and attention, have been giving the normal lunch of choice for harried Parisians, les sandwiches—including the good ones from the local bakeries, as well as those from the unfortunately popular Subway sandwich shops that are rapidly invading France—a run for their money.

sandwich merce muse

Places like Bob’s Juice Bar, Cococook, Bread and Roses, and Rose Bakery are all packed at lunchtime not with homesick Brits or Americans, but Parisians.

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How to Find Foods and Other Items Mentioned On the Site

tinned fruits and more

Because I live outside the United States, sometimes people inquire about where they can obtain the same ingredients or equipment wherever they live—worldwide.

Although I strive to make the recipes and stories as globalized as possible, infrequently I will use an ingredient or equipment that might not necessarily be as easily available to others as it is to me.

So I’m sharing the same search techniques that I employ when discerning where certain ingredients or products are available to readers which are relevant to many countries. Globalization has made a wide variety of things available around the world, but it’s impossible to ascertain exactly what is available where specific readers live. Because readers obviously have an internet connection, I often point people toward online sources, and because it’s impossible for me to know what is available in other countries or places. But you should also check with local merchants as well, and support the businesses in your community.


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Amazon

Amazon sells an unbelievable array of products, including French cheeses, salts, and other products. Many are sold through third-party merchants, who sell their goods under the Amazon umbrella. And some are sold directly from Amazon. They have a few departments, such as ‘Grocery & Gourmet Food’, ‘Home Appliances’ and ‘Kitchen & Dining’, so you can refine your search.

(Note: I’m an Amazon affiliate, but I don’t sell items on Amazon.)

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EBay

A giant flea market, you’d be surprised at what turns up on EBay. I was paying €45 for four cartridges for my printer until I discovered someone in France selling them for €9.99, for twenty four. Ebay features people selling new and used appliances, and you can find good deals through Ebay. It’s also a good place to find obscure items, like Thermomix machines and Moulex shredders. But you’ll often have to do a bit of digging and refining of your search.

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Nonfat Gingersnaps Recipe

non-fat gingersnaps

When I lived in San Francisco, I used to stop at Whole Foods occasionally and frequent the salad bar. Because I’m a big fan of cookies, I’d usually grab a cookie for dessert. It seemed like a sensible solution, at least to me. One day I noticed big, cushy-looking gingersnaps amongst all the other cookies, and picked one out. After finishing my salad, I took the cookie out of the slender brown bag and took a bite.

The cookie was spicy, yet soft, but with a good, satisfying chew. It was incredible. And to top it all off, it was non-fat. I’m not one of those people that dances around the “fat is good!…fat is flavor!” flagpole, but I don’t shy away from it either.

And anyone who says “fat is good” obviously isn’t aware that I’m going to the beach next month and even though our group has agreed on a “no photo” policy of shooting anyone below the neck, I’m not an entirely trusting person. And after being wrapped up all winter, who knows what’s lurking under all these layers of clothing? I shudder to think.

But the reality is, I didn’t particularly care if they were fat-free or not—I wanted a recipe.

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French Butter

Bordier Butter

Although you can get a good amount of excellent food in the US, the one thing that I haven’t found an equal to is French butter. In my life, I’m probably responsible for a couple of tons of butter being baked, melted, sautéed, rolled, crumbled, cubed, smeared and creamed.

When I arrived in NY late last evening, I made a beeline to Whole Foods to stock up on provisions for the week since they’re open late (I love America!) But after a search that involved engaging the entire cheese department in a discussion of butter, the conclusion was that they only had regular American butter and fancy European imports.

And I didn’t come all the way back to the states to eat French butter.

It wasn’t until I moved to France and tasted the sunshine-yellow butter that’s easily available at most fromagers and even in the supermarket, that I noticed a remarkable difference. And I’ve become rather picky and for eating on my morning toast or melted over vegetables—I’m at the point now where I’ll only let the butter from Jean-Yves Bordier cross my lips. I know I sounds like an insufferable snob (more than I normally do), but like chocolate, if you’re going to eat it, you may as well eat the best since the good stuff has the same amount of calories as the crappy stuff.

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