IT’S NATIONAL ROAST SUCKLING PIG DAY!
Cultures across the world have all independently found that young pigs make for quite the roast. Pig is one of the earliest animals domesticated for slaughter, so it was only a matter of time before we figured out the age thing. Suckling pigs’ skin ends up being very tender and the meat is almost in a state of gelatinousness. Plus, you can roast the whole thing at once, because at 2-6 weeks of age, these guys aren’t too huge yet.
Well SP has been wanting to try the Fidel’s Capitalist Pig Roast at Chino Latino for a long time. Chino used to be the place for SP and his friends to go for late night happy hour ($1 tacos!) when he was still in college. Then he started having to get up at 6 in the morning and he didn’t get to go anymore. At the bottom of the menu, there was always this tempting item:
So we gathered up a total of 10 people and made plans for this pig roast. It was quite the party.
They even printed this up on the menus for us!
Banana for scale.
SP got to have the head. Cheek meat!!
Tender and terrific and lots and lots of leftovers. We had a lot of fun!
Tomorrow is National Oatmeal Muffin Day and National Hard Candy Day.
Say that three times fast.
IT’S NATIONAL BOUILLABAISSE DAY!
It’s even tough to spell it! It’s basically a portmanteau of the words “boil” and “simmer.” Kind of vague for what this thing is: a fish stew. A really tasty fish stew. But there’s all sorts of tradition surrounding this thing that you have to adhere to:
-The ingredients have to be added one by one rather than all at once. Talk about inefficiency for the sake of taste.
-You have to make a rouille, a garlic egg-yolk mayonnaise, and serve it on toast with the soup.
-Serve the soup really hot, with the fish on a separate platter.
We went to one of the only remaining restaurants of the Twin Cities that still serves Bouillabaisse (now that Vincent is closed), Sea Change. It’s a pretty lovely restaurant connected to the historic Guthrie Theater.
Needs no explanation on this menu. Only for the enlightened.
The rouille is on the bottom of the left piece of toast because SP was clumsy and knocked it over.
A view with the toast removed.
Really hearty and delicious. If you like seafood, this is definitely a winner.
Tomorrow is National Cupcake Day!
TODAY IS NATIONAL SACHER TORTE DAY!
A sacher torte is named after the same guy/family as the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, and his name is Franz Sacher. Austrian, yet Jewish, this guy was 16 years old when he invented the dessert after a kitchen meltdown in Prince Metternich’s court. Ah, Viennese royalty…
But what is it? Chocolate cake? That’s it? NO! It’s a super dense chocolate cake with a dark chocolate finish that obscures a thin layer of delectable apricot jam. That’s a cake we can get behind. Or… a cake we can put in our faces. Thanks to Black Forest Inn, we didn’t end up having to make one today. Theirs was delicious!
Served with a little cup o’ whipped cream. See that cute layer of apricot?
Tomorrow is National Gazpacho Day.
Put on your balaclava!
IT’S NATIONAL BAKLAVA DAY AND NATIONAL HOMEMADE BREAD DAY!
Baklava is a sophisticated dessert. Much of our Mediterranean friends disagree that it’s anything special, but I mean really. We’re simple people. We would eat a block of chocolate and it would be amazing. Backpedaling, we’re not saying chocolate isn’t sophisticated… just that Baklava has layers.
Layers of filo dough and chopped nuts! It’s all held together by a very particular honey-ish syrup that is characteristic of any baklava.
Our favorite restaurant that serves Baklava is Holy Land, as in, National Gyros Day Holy Land. In addition to our lovely dinner of gyro, we got to take a gander at:
Porque no los dos? We had to try both. The chocolate drizzled one was excellent.
Another favorite thing of ours to eat is bread. Bread bread bread. All the time. It’s something about our genetics that predisposes us to a love of bread. We see bread in our dreams. We even saw a baguette in a zoo once. The sign read, “Bread in captivity.”
Today’s homemade bread was courtesy of the amazingest baker, SPad. This is the guy who used to not be able to find shirts that would fit because his arms were so huge from kneading dough all the time (back when he worked as a baker). These days he focuses on a few breads and is very modest about how amazing his bread really is. His best work is the sourdough:
We wish you could smell this!
Tomorrow is National Vichyssoise Day.
IT’S NATIONAL PIZZA WITH EVERYTHING (EXCEPT ANCHOVIES) DAY AND NATIONAL CHICKEN SOUP FOR THE SOUL DAY!
Everything?! Well, almost everything. For some reason, anchovies were left off of tonight’s menu by the powers that be. It wasn’t us. We’d eat anchovies.
We were able to swiftly pick up pizza at a local joint called Fresh Picked Pizza. They have all sorts of really tasty pizza, but we knew that we had one in mind to get fixed up for the evening.
Do note the lack of anchovies.
As a personal-size pizza, you can barely fit all those ingredients on there. Wonderful.
Today’s other holiday comes at a fortuitous time as AK is battling the Minnesotan common cold. (We’re sure SP will follow suit shortly.) Truly there is no better remedy for the insufferable symptoms quite like a homemade Chicken Soup. It warms the heart and soul and tummy. Thanks to SPom and SPad for always having the tastiest and most comforting chicken soup.
Since SP moved out of his parents’ house, seeing a huge container of chicken soup like this is not infrequent.
With carrots and matzo balls of course.
We feel comforted by our comfort foods.
Tomorrow is National Indian Pudding Day!
Around the world!
TODAY IS WORLD FOOD DAY AND NATIONAL LIQUEUR DAY!
Liqueur is what you have when you want alcohol but you want it to taste like something completely unrelated. Coffee liqueur, orange liqueur, etc. In the true American spirit, they are frequently sweetened to all hell. If we had to pick one liqueur for today, we would pick Grand Marnier. It’s boss.
World Food Day you ask? Celebrate the world’s food? The day was established in 1979 as the anniversary of the creation of the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization in 1945. Basically, it’s all about becoming aware of the world’s food and agriculture in both its pride and challenges. Every year has a theme, and 2016’s is climate change. “Climate is changing. Food and agriculture must too.”
But to celebrate, we took a trip to Minneapolis’s World Street Kitchen, to have some worldly food.
Pita with Hummus, Olive Tapenade, and Smoky Feta
These brussels sprouts are some of the best on the planet.
The Korean Yum Yum Bowl. Korean bbq beef short rib with peanuts, kimchi, onions, and secret sauce, served over rice.
We also stopped by next door to Milk Jam to get some ice cream. Look at the kinds of flavors they have here.
Whew. Thanks for the food, world!
Tomorrow is National Pasta Day.
Today is two gross.
IT’S NATIONAL DESSERT DAY AND WORLD EGG DAY!
What better way to wake up than eggs AK-style? Make a couple super-runny over-easy eggs and serve on toast. Eggs around the world may be served differently, but this is SPAKhouse.
Ok. What to do for dessert… Well we left it up to chance actually. For SP‘s birthday, AK bought us tickets to go to a first-ever event held at St. Paul College, this thing they call their “Chef’s Dinner.” They brought the chefs from Revival and Surly, both restaurants of great repute in SPAK history, to oversee the culinary program students in creating a beautiful dinner. So we left it to them to provide us with dessert. But on the journey there, we have to share the following as well.
Oh there’s dessert! This cheesecake had mini sopapillas on top, and a fudge sauce made with cayenne pepper. SO good.
We loved it. It was super fun. We were glad to be part of it!
Tomorrow is… too much. National Cheese Curds Day, National Red Wine Day, National Mushroom Day, National Chicken Cacciatore Day, National Roast Pheasant Day. Oy.
Another national holiday celebrating another nation’s food…
IT’S NATIONAL YORKSHIRE PUDDING DAY!
Picture pudding. You probably just thought of some chocolatey or vanillay goo that can be gobbled up with a spoon pretty easily.
Not that kind of pudding today.
In the UK, pudding is really just a word for what happens when you mix eggs, flour, and milk, and make a popover-y pastry kind of thing. And usually that means with MEAT. None of this namby pamby sweet stuff. Meat.
Luckily for us we have a pub in town (a few actually) that serves food of the British Isles. It’s called Merlin’s Rest, and it’s very fun.
If you’re gonna go British, grab a cider.
Meaty and potatoy. The way life should be.
Tomorrow is National Dessert Day and World Egg Day!
IT’S NATIONAL NOODLE DAY!
So many options! And man, do we love them all! You could go Eastern Europe with Beef Stroganoff… or Italian with frankly any pasta… or how about East Asian? Yeah! Let’s do that! Let’s get some Ramen. Real, tasty ramen. Not just Maruchan.
We took a trip to Masu, one of the Japanese delights of the Twin Cities. We would have loved to go to United Noodles today, but they’re only open 11-6 each day, and we wouldn’t have made it in time. Still, Masu really hits the spot.
Some nikuman to start us off. Mmmm buns.
And some very tasty duck gyoza.
SPom and AK both ordered gyudon, which is an amazing beef and rice bowl.
SP got the Beef Short Rib and Kimchi Ramen. That’s a poached egg in the bottom left and it simply turned to mush.
SPad ordered Yakisoba, a really awesome Japanese noodle dish. For those not in the know, soba is a buckwheat noodle.
However you spin your noodles, happy noodle day!
Tomorrow is National Frappe Day.
IT’S NATIONAL TACO DAY AND NATIONAL VODKA DAY!
I think earlier in the year we picked this up for one of the alcoholidays. We’ve had it sitting around. It’s easy enough. Dan Aykroyd would be happy that we drank it and thought of UFOs or something.
The real star of today is the taco. Oh, glorious taco. What deliciousness have you brought us? Whether you are a fan of the gringo-style ground beef with super-yellow cheese, the au natural tortilla filled with meat, or the gourmet style with all sorts of experimental fun, you should probably know that tacos are like little miracles for your mouth.
We opted for special tacos at one of our favorite local places, Tacocat. It’s located in the Midtown Global Market, like a lot of great Minneapolitan foods.
Their chips and salsa are to die for.
AK ordered two of The Larry: Chicken, chorizo, and cheese. Plus onions, cilantro, crema, and salsa.
SP also got a Larry (middle) but also a special (left) with corned beef, cabbage, and mustard, and the Ruckus (right) with angus beef, pickled radish, onions, mint chimichurri, and salsa.
We could probably each eat a few dozen more, but you really have to limit yourself if you want to be able to wake up in the morning. If Marco Gutierrez says that voting against Trump means a taco truck on every corner, we’re in.
Tomorrow is National Apple Betty Day!