I’m behind on my re-posts from my work over on Berkeleyside NOSH.
Out today is my piece on a visit to the California Olive Oil Council, a trade group that certifies California oil as extra-virgin quality. There I attended an olive oil sensory panel and learned (or did my best to learn) how to taste oils and look for the good stuff:
After sniff comes slurp, the most humorous of the tasting steps. Instead of simply gulping down the oil, we take a bit of oil in the front of our mouths and suck in a couple of short bursts of air. Yes, it sounds funny, and it feels even funnier. But slurping and sucking is an important step in tasting oil. … [read more here]
Also recently posted on Berkeleyside is my review of Casserole House in Temescal. The Korean restaurant specializes in “casseroles,” which are more akin to hot-pots than an American hot dish. However, I went to check out their banchan (gratis small plates of things like kimchi, soybeans, blanched veggies, and preserved fish):
The word on the ‘nets was that Casserole House served not only one of the most abundant spreads of banchan, but also the best of its kind in the Korean strip running up and down Telegraph Avenue. In fact, most visitors claim the banchan to be the best part of the meal there, polishing off the many mini bowls even while leaving the casserole pot half full. … [read more here]