Friday, February 4, 2011

Sweet Treats from around the World

French lemon soufflé, sticky toffee pudding from England and fortune cookies from ???

I have fond memories of eating sticky toffee pudding at Simon’s British Flavours restaurant in Saskatoon, so I’m absolutely delighted that Chef Simon Reynolds is now offering fresh, ready-to-serve meals, including single servings of sticky toffee pudding, for pick up or delivery.

I really enjoyed Simon’s creamy Portobello mushroom and goat cheese soup with just a hint of basil last week. And there are lots of other vegetarian dishes for me to look forward to. The ready-made meals can be ordered online.

Simon, a British-trained chef, with many years of experience managing award-winning hotels and restaurants, also offers cooking classes. You can follow him on Facebook.

China or Japan ???
It’s Chinese New Year’s and many of us will be eating fortune cookies. I was intrigued by an article on Cracking Open the History of Fortune Cookies on the Smithsonian’s Food & Think blog.

Fortune cookies are an integral part of Chinese food in America, but both Chinese and Japanese immigrants claim the cookie is theirs. Research seems to indicate that they are Japanese in origin.

“Fortune cookies are most likely of Japanese origin. In the course of her detective work, Nakamatchi [Yasuko Nakamatchi, a Japanese researcher] came upon a handful of family-owned bakeries near a Shinto shrine in Kyoto who continued the local tradition of making tsujiura senbei (“fortune crackers”). Flavored with sesame and miso, the cookies are larger and browner than their American cousins, and the little paper fortunes are found on the outside, held in the cookie’s little “arms.” The clincher was an 1878 Japanese block print of a man preparing senbei using the same hand-operated cookie grills still used in the Kyoto bakeries.”

Elizabeth Bard, author of Lunch in Paris (one of my favourite books of 2010), is celebrating the book’s first anniversary and its publication in paperback by sharing some recipes (she makes ample use of social media!). Here is her recipe for lemon soufflé.

Bard and her family are now living in Provence (Lunch in Paris blog), so I’m already looking forward to her next book!

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