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Blog Archives

BLT: Theory and Practice

July 23, 2014
By Ari
BLT: Theory and Practice

If it wasn’t for the tomatoes, the BLT sandwich could be a four-season delight. But the tomatoes that it contains must be fresh, which limits when the bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich is available. The BLT doesn’t just depend on the tomato. It serves as a stage on which to display it, a vehicle...

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Food for Free

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Food for Free

The voice on the phone gave me directions to a house in a residential neighborhood. The way she spoke made me feel vaguely like James Bond receiving an assignment from “M.” “The owners gave permission for the tree to be picked, but they don’t get home from work until two. Before then, don’t even...

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Metal Health–or lack thereof

July 23, 2014
By Ari

Heavy metal pollution makes no distinction between how crops are grown. Supposedly clean agricultural practices like organic will offer no protection, if the likes of cadmium, arsenic, lead, nickel and mercury are in the soil or water. Human practices like mining and manufacturing are by far the largest source of potential contamination. Such activities...

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The Soul Food of Wisconsin

July 23, 2014
By Ari
The Soul Food of Wisconsin

People from Wisconsin are generally a congenial, easygoing lot. Those Cheeseheads love their Green Bay Packers, their Friday Fish Fry’s, and their beer and bratwurst, and aren’t big on drama. Until Scott Walker came around, there wasn’t much to argue about, except, well, beer and bratwurst. Wisconsin’s largest ancestry group is German, and the...

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American Phomance

July 23, 2014
By Ari
American Phomance

Pho, the Vietnamese beef noodle and herb soup, has charmed the world in recent decades. A simple meal that engages many senses, pho is Vietnamese comfort food. It will warm you in winter, give you a cooling sweat in summer, cheer you in the rain, wake you up in the morning, and tuck you...

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Pea and Mutton Salad

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Pea and Mutton Salad

“We’re creamy,” said Luci Brieger, a vegetable farmer, when I asked how she and her family were doing. “We’re having a creamy summer.” She said this knowing I’d called to discuss her salad dressing, which goes by the name “Creamy.” It was also understood that we were talking about something larger. On that Victor,...

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Eggs with Dregs

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Eggs with Dregs

There was a brief, glorious period in my life during which I thought I had invented a delicious breakfast dish that, it turns out, has long existed. Migas translates from Spanish into “crumbs.” In Portuguese the word is migalhas. In both countries, “crumbs” are typically made with day-old bread, and a varying mix of...

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Just don’t call them flowers

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Just don’t call them flowers

The term “scape” describes a structure that emerges from the tops of some garlic plants. Scapes are not flowers, but are often referred to as “garlic flowers,” and are flower-like in many important ways. For one, they’re beautiful, shooting from the plant like a slow-motion rocket ship. It charts a circular path, with two...

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Mangoneada: a raging shakedown in your mouth

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Mangoneada: a raging shakedown in your mouth

On paper, a mangoneada has no business tasting this good. There are too many big personalities involved, too many loud notes of sour, salty, sweet, and heat. It’s too crazy a combination to work. But it does, because unlikely as it may seem, these contrasting flavors play remarkably well together. From place to place,...

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Cheater’s Chicken Dinner

July 23, 2014
By Ari
Cheater’s Chicken Dinner

Cheaters never win, or so we’re taught. But I cheat at chicken all the time, and I never seem to lose. To cheat at chicken, buy a roasted chicken at the store, bring it home, and use it as an ingredient in some other dish, like enchiladas or stir-fry. Regardless of the final form...

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