[FHCx308] National Sandwich Day/National Men Make Dinner Day

IT’S NATIONAL SANDWICH DAY AND NATIONAL MEN MAKE DINNER DAY!

Sandwiches are beautiful.

Sandwiches are fine.

I love sandwiches.

I eat ’em all the time.

It’s the truth. Sandwiches are absolutely fantastic. Bread is great as it is. Add some stuff inside and it’s like having a food utensil to hold the good stuff inside. They’re fast and tasty and everything you could want in a food. Frankly, if don’t know how to break the ice with people, just ask the question, “Is a hot dog a sandwich?” Let them chew on that for a bit.

SP always takes a sandwich to school. Bread, mayo, and 4 oz of Boar’s Head Honey Maple Turkey. Protein packed, easy to make and pack, and can be eaten fast enough for a teacher’s lunch break.

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Now, SP tried to cover for this yesterday and didn’t mention that today is National Men Make Dinner Day. Mostly that’s because this is his idea of making dinner:

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But not really. He did make tuna, and it was really great. Specifically, tuna specialy. Tuna melts, basically.

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Thanks, SP, for cooking this one!

Tomorrow is National Candy Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx298] National Bologna Day/National Good and Plenty Day

Plenty of bologna.

IT’S NATIONAL BOLOGNA DAY AND NATIONAL GOOD AND PLENTY DAY!

Licorice candies don’t frequently go over well with people. Many actively discard the black Jelly Belly beans when they spot them in a pack. While there is no specific gene that we’ve found that indicates a like or dislike for black licorice, like there is for cilantro, it seems to be something we’re born with. SP is cool with it, AK is less a fan. There would be good reason not to like black licorice, as high amounts of glycyrrhizin can lead to heart arrhythmia. So don’t eat a whole box every day.

What we really should be talking about regarding Good & Plenty isn’t the flavor, it’s the color. The candy is dyed with Red 40 and K-Carmine. K-Carmine is actually a dye that is produced from crushed scale insects. In the US, there’s been a push from the FDA that requires companies to list the actual ingredient on the label instead of just “coloring,” but the food industries fought back against having to write “insect-based” on labels. The FDA backed down on that one. So now you just have to know what food ingredients specifically comes from insects… ya know, if that bothers you.

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These look like suppositories. Not that we’d know. They don’t taste like suppositories, though. Not that we’d know that, either.

Bug-eating aside, we had to get around to another food that many consider gross. That’s right.

Bologna sausage is a real thing that isn’t typically gross. It’s just an Italian sausage, like a salami or mortadella. But because it’s finely ground, without visible pieces of lard, that smooth shape makes it look mass-produced and kind of… artificial. It’s still tasty, though! But why “baloney?”

There are a few theories. The top two seem to be:

  1. Bologna in Italian is pronounced with that “nya” ending, and that got confused when people’s ears didn’t work in the rest of Europe.
  2. The sausage got mixed up with some other thing from Poland, or as the Brits called it, “Polony.”

Either way, here we are. Oscar Mayer sandwich. Try not to get the song stuck in your head.

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Anyway, it’s great to be home! Tomorrow is National Greasy Foods Day and WORLD Pasta Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx283] National Moldy Cheese Day/National Submarine-Hoagie-Hero-Grinder Day

This one is not for SPom.

TODAY IS NATIONAL MOLDY CHEESE DAY AND NATIONAL SUBMARINE-HOAGIE-HERO-GRINDER DAY!

We’ve now celebrated hoagies twice already. But today is when we put aside naming differences and realize what’s important: meat, oblong roll, insert into face. Our way of celebrating was ordering Jimmy John’s on a lazy Sunday morning.

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Left: AK‘s Beach Club. Right: SP‘s Bootlegger. Both without the tomato and with extra onions.

As the song goes: Sandwiches are beautiful / Sandwiches are fine / I like sandwiches / I eat them all the time.

Also celebrated today is moldy cheese. We both love cheese, ranging from aged sharp cheddar to the mozz you put on a pizza to the stinkiest of French cheeses. It’s really good stuff. Recently, we’ve had a few times where we pick up one of the small slivers of cheese at Lund’s & Byerly’s – they’re about $1 to $2 for a taste of a cheese and we just share them as a snack. Good stuff. This time we went a little larger just to make sure we could celebrate the day.

But wait a second. Moldy? Yes. From the same genus that brought you the miracle of penicillin comes a particular blue mold culture distinct to “blue” cheeses. Yes, it was probably discovered by accident. But it was a divine accident. Some still deny how great blue cheese is because they get stuck on the brevibacterium – it’s a bacterium that grows plentifully on human skin and causes that distinct foot odor. It’s not the kind of bacteria that causes the worst of smelly feet (that’s Kyetococcus sedentarius) so get over yourselves.

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St. Pete’s and some Societe Roquefort

Yum!

Tomorrow is National Angel Food Cake Day. Talk about a palette cleanser.

-SPAK

[FHCx282] National Pierogi Day/National Fluffernutter Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL PIEROGI DAY AND NATIONAL FLUFFERNUTTER DAY!

The PBJ, as a sandwich, is not boring. It’s not even outlived its awesomeness. But sometimes what could really go well with peanut butter on bread is some marshmallow fluff. It’s a different kind of sweet to balance out the savory, salty peanut flavor. It’s better than bad; it’s good!

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PB. Fluff.

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Some like to have a thickness ratio that the fluff/PB is equal to the thickness of the bread. We’re ok with just a bit on each side.

We also have to pay respects to the pierogi today. While many cultures have their own dumplings – Chinese have bao, Japanese have gyoza, America has… dumplings – Eastern Europe’s dumplings are high on the chart of tasty starch. Whether you call them piroshok, varenyky, pelmeni, or pierogi, we’re all talking about something very similar – dough wrapping some tasty potato-y, onion-y, possibly cheesy stuff.

We got our pierogi courtesy of the Highland Grill, whose Steak and Pierogies entree is one of SP‘s favorites.

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Fried to perfection.

Yummy!

Tomorrow is National Moldy Cheese Day and National Submarine-Hoagy-Hero-Grinder Day, because we needed a third day to celebrate hoagies.

-SPAK

[FHCx276] National Fried Scallops Day

TODAY IS NATIONAL FRIED SCALLOPS DAY!

We aren’t exactly by the ocean in Minnesota, but it doesn’t mean we can’t get great seafood. One restaurant in particular, Sea Salt Eatery, draws such huge crowds that we waited in line before the place even opened this morning! Their menu is impressive, and you can eat while taking a look at Minnehaha Falls.

Let’s get down to the seafood.

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Fried bay scallop tacos. You cannot pick them up until you eat some of the interior.

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Catfish po boy. Similar in magnitude. Can’t close the sub until you eat some first.

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Fried oyster po boy. Getting the gist here?

We’re glad we were able to find fried scallops at a local place. And such tasty ones, at that!

Tomorrow is National Caramel Custard Day.

-SPAK

[FHCx251] National Napoleon Day/National Salami Day/National Beer Lovers’ Day/National Acorn Squash Day

TOO MUCH

TODAY IS NATIONAL NAPOLEON DAY, NATIONAL SALAMI DAY, NATIONAL BEER LOVERS’ DAY, AND NATIONAL ACORN SQUASH DAY!

We’ll try to be brief.

Acorn squash, and many fall/winter squashes, are great additions to most meals. Whether you want to make them savory or a little sweet (SPom uses maple pepper), just mash ’em up and you’re good to go.

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But really want we want to focus on is how we knocked out three of these food holidays at one place. It’s very dear to us: Cosetta’s in St. Paul. Imagine walking into an large building with beautiful wooden structure, delicious looking cakes in a bakery window, the smell of marinara, and the sound of Louis Prima.

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This captures about 1/3 of the cafeteria-style area

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The Italian Hero is what we’re after!

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Salami sandwich. Boom.

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Their pasticceria is also gorgeous, with some of the most elaborate looking desserts you’ve ever seen. They also have unbeatable gelato – a cioccolatto, for example, that cannot be matched anywhere.

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Napoleon!

Okay, pause here. Napoleon, yes, is very much related to Napoleon Bonaparte. Really, this dessert is a Mille-feuille, a many-many-layered pastry with cream and all sorts of goodies. Of course, French people in the 18th-19th centuries associate such a grande dessert with the grande guy himself.

So why at an Italian place? This is hands down the best Napoleon in the Twin Cities. The cream is on point. The layers are delicate and fluffy. And the top is beautiful, as you can see. Most Italian versions of the mille-feuille are actually savory with stuff like spinach and cheese, but Cosetta’s does the classic. So there you go.

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Cosetta’s also has a great beer selection of local stuff for beer lovers!

Phew, we made it! I guess this makes up for tomorrow, which doesn’t have an OFFICIAL food holiday. But we are going to MAKE ONE UP!

That’s right! We declare tomorrow… NATIONAL HONEYCRISP APPLE DAY!

-SPAK

[FHCx225] National Julienne Fries Day

Julie who?

IT’S NATIONAL JULIENNE FRIES DAY!

French Fry lesson time. There’s a lot of different forms of our favorite deep fried potato treat. Thanks to The Nibble, we have this beautiful article. In it, we find some serious wisdom.

The general shape of the french fry is called the “batonnet.” It’s about 0.25″ by 0.25″ by 2-2.5″ while its big brother, the “baton,” is 0.5″ by 0.5″ on the end. Our buddy for today, the Julienne style, which admittedly is used in cutting all sorts of things that aren’t french fries, uses 1/8″ or 3mm – one half each edge length of the batonnet. Nobody knows how the term originates but perhaps after a person with a name like Julienne.

So to honor the french fry, we went French: Barbette in Minneapolis.

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SP‘s “Royale with Cheese” – burger with caramelized onions and brie (yes, brie) with some hollandaise for the fries.

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AK‘s Croque Madame, with that beautiful egg on top.

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J is for Julienne!

We can’t turn down french fries. These were really great. If you’re ever in the Lake Calhoun area, make sure to stop by Barbette!

Tomorrow is National Filet Mignon Day!

-SPAK