Truck. Stop. Tacos! And Tamales On Trikes! And Something Called A Hawaiian Haystack.Wednesday, March 31, 2010
This morning's e-newsletter from Garden and Gun (what a gorgeous magazine) listed five locations for great street food...
I like these, but the corn tortillas are *so*...um...corn-y they aren't my favorite. The meat, though, is wonderful. If you're ever in that part of town, Gordo's (433 Valley Ave) is always fantastic:
Early this month, there was an article in the Times-Picayune about Holly Hawthorne - Holly's Tamales - riding her pink tricycle around the Marigny selling (what else?) tamales. From what I understand, there's a city ordinance that only Lucky Dog can vend in the Quarter proper. Of course I had to tell my friend Amy at the SFA (Tamale Trail!) - and I emailed Holly who was super-super nice too.
Because Utah is the most homogenously religious state in the nation, social life tends to revolve around LDS church functions, church potlucks being the nucleus of Mormon cuisine. Any budding culinary anthropologist can touch down at the Salt Lake City International Airport, shout "Take me to a ward potluck!", and discover the bedrock of Mormon food.
At most social functions, there will be funeral potatoes. Not just for post-burial buffets, the dish is comforting at any social gathering. Calorically astronomical and dense with melted cheese, funeral potatoes are a casserole of shredded cooked frozen potatoes, canned cream of chicken soup, and sour cream, topped with crumbled cornflakes and baked until molten. This food, along with green Jell-O, was immortalized in a set of collectible pins from the 2002 Winter Olympics.
There will also be frog's eye salad, an ambrosial addition to any potluck. This is made from small pasta balls called acini de pepe—Italian for peppercorns (fregola or orzo can be substituted)—that have been cooked, drained, and cooled, then mixed with a tub of whipped topping, canned crushed pineapple, and canned mandarin orange segments.
There might be Hawaiian haystacks, an economical and engaging dish made from a pot of white rice and refrigerator scraps. Boiled chicken, Tuesday's ham, microwaved corn niblets, and shredded lettuce are set out in little bowls. Gravy, fried wontons, and pineapple rings are essential. Guests pile their plates with a heap of rice and add toppings as they please into a loaded stack.