Saturday, October 09, 2010

Miscellaneous food notes about Houston, etc.

Best French Fries -- Palace Bowling Lanes, 4191 Bellaire Blvd., Houston, Texas 77025. No joke. I am not a bowling fan, but when I have to go there for birthday parties, etc., I love the meaty, potatoey, perfectly golden fries!

Best Canned Tomatoes -- Strianese brand whole San Marzano tomatoes (the real McCoy, from the official D.O.P. in the Sarnese - Mocerino area in Campania, near Naples). They taste so ripe and tomatoey, yet have good acidity.
Available in a big (96 oz., I think) can for $10 at Nundini Italian Market and Deli, 500 N Shepherd Dr., which is a fantastic Italian deli and food store.

Favorite Quick Snack -- Spanish-seasoned olive oil-fried almonds. Take a handful of raw almonds, and gently fry them in 1/4 cup good olive oil for 5 minutes. Drain, then toss them with 40 turns of freshly ground sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of sweet paprika, and 1/4 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper. Let cool for 15 minutes. Addictive and healthy.

Best Pasta Brand I Can No Longer Find -- Giuseppe Cocco Fara St. Martino. Central Market used to carry it, but no longer. Has a ridiculously pure pasta flavor and soaks up any kind of sauce beautifully. Note to Central Market: BRING THIS BACK per piacere!

Favorite Olive Oil for Salads and Dipping Bread -- Montebello
Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil. From an organic monastery in Marche, Italy, this olive oil is light, fragrantly herbal at first, and then with a nice, subdued peppery bite kicks in at the back of the palate. 12 oz. bottle is about $15 at Whole Foods on Bellaire. Here's a photo of their pasta (which is very good), because I can't find an image of the olive oil and the labels are similar:

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