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Dave's Fiery Front Page

Exploring the World of Spice and Smoke

At the New Mexico State Fair, Fiery Foods & BBQ editor Gwyneth Doland assists 1546 other chile enthusiasts create the World's Longest Ristra at the NM Department of Agriculture building.

Volunteers help by hanging the ristra, first vertically....

And then horizontally, for a total length of 157 feet, 7 inches.   The ristra was assembled in 7 hours by an enthusiastic crowd of chileheads, including many children.  "They are the future of chile in New Mexico," said NMDA spokesperson James Ditmore, who led the ristra project.  "We will break this ristra record next year," he added.  --Dave DeWitt

 

 


Dr. BBQ's Fiesta Bowl Contest

Posted by: Fiery Foods Manager

Tagged in: grilling , contest

 

The Other White Meat® and our "Ask Dr. BBQ" expert Ray Lampe (a.k.a. Dr. BBQ), author of newly-released The NFL Gameday Cookbook will be partying in the parking lot with lucky "Team Pork" fans as part of this year's "Team Pork Fiesta Bowl Sweepstakes!"

 Be sure to enter yourself in this "draft!"  One national winner will win:

  • All-expense paid trip for two to the 2009 Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Ariz.
  • Two tickets to the Fiesta Bowl game
  • VIP pass to a private tailgating party with Dr. BBQ himself, Ray Lampe

 To enter the online sweepstakes, go here and fill out the form.  --Dave DeWitt

 

 


Our friend and fellow chilehead Marco Budinis reports from northern Italy.

Ciao, Dave. I took this shot at a winter town festival for St. Anthony in Chiavari.

Peperoni Capperi Acciuga Olive

This is the way I prepare cherry peppers--an easy recipe and very nice taste. They make a very good appetizer.

Ingredients: Cherry peppers, green olives, tuna fish (the one canned with extra virgin olive oil), garlic, parsley, capers, salt, and anchovies.

Directions: Clean the cherry peppers, removing seeds and placenta. Then cook them in equal amounts of vinegar and dry white wine for 5 to 6 minutes. Remove them and drain for 1 hour on paper towels. Place all of the other ingredients in a blender and pulse them until well mixed and you get a dense cream. Stuff the peppers with the cream and put in sterile jars, adding extra-virgin olive oil.


Maple Bacon Lollipops?!

Posted by: Gwyneth Doland

Tagged in: food trends , bacon

Thanks to FFBBQ's favorite bacon fan, Trisha Sauthoff, for sending in a tip about the maple-bacon lollipops sold by a San Francisco candymaker called Lollyphile. They're made with real maple syrup and itty-bitty chunks of delicious smoked bacon. Mmm...bacon! The pops cost $10 for four, $24 for 12 or $52 for 36. Oh, and Lollyphile also makes absinthe flavored pops. What a combo!

Porchetta: Italy Does Whole Hog

Posted by: Gwyneth Doland

Tagged in: food trends

I just returned from two weeks of eating my way through Italy, and one of the highlights of the trip was was porchetta, a fantastic way of making a whole hog. The pig is gutted and deboned (deboned!), then the meat is spread with herbs and vegetables, and the whole thing rolled up and secured with twine.

It's roasted, not smoked, so the skin is crispy and delicious without any added flavor. The meat itself is salty and porky, highlighted by the fresh herbs. It's sold cold, sliced thin and stuffed into a crispy roll for a to-go sandwich.

Porchetta is mostly sold from food carts at markets, fairs and festivals. I paid about $7.50 for my sandwich but it was worth every penny. I wanted to take a whole pig home with me!

It might be too much effort to try to do this at home (I can't imagine deboning a whole hog!) but Mario Batali published a recipe for something similar last year in Esquire. His recipe (see it here) calls for a boneless pork shoulder, butterflied and layered with the same herbs and veggies. The only thing missing is that yummy skin! It would be worth hunting down a skin-on piece of meat...  --Gwyneth Doland


Contributing editor (and former webmaster) Harald Zoschke and his wife Renate recently visited a huge outdoor fun trade show in Cologne, Germany, SPOGA (sports and garden). Here is his report on the barbecue and grilling aspects of that show.

      It was a HUGE show. The enormous growth of the grilling and barbecuing
biz in Germany was evident by the fact that this sector now occupied its own two-story hall.
      One trend we noticed was that the new generation of gas grills are
becoming bigger, more comfortable and simply "looking sharp,", stuff
to wow consumers' neighbors. Even those manufacturers traditionally offering cheap charcoal grills had complete lines of stainless steel "Rolls Royce" style gas grills.
      Real barbecue smokers are taking off here as well, and there were even innovations in charcoal grills: One unit had motor drives for about a dozen individual kabob skewers to rotate, easy to insert and remove. The bed of coals was easily height adjustable; i.e., when the coals burn down, you could just raise them by turning a knob while fire is on. Various companies showed fuel alternatives to traditional charcoal, briquettes, and fire-starters. Another trend is electrical grills with more of a "real" kettle grill feel to it, rather than a simple heating plate.
     There was a booth with all of Steven Raichlen's books (in various languages), and his ever-increasing line of SR-branded accessories. We met Steven and got his latest book signed. A really nice guy with knowledge of various languages, and definitely a great sense of business.
      Cobb Grill is coming back strongly, with a whole line of grills, add-ons and even a handy little Cobb gas grill! Their booth combined the HQ, Scandinavian and German subsidiaries.
With countless of more or less useful grilling accessories on display at about a hundred or so booths, we sniffed out the newest trends over here and picked up a whole bunch of BBQ related products for our shop.
     To discourage the Far-East trend-sniffing copy-cats, the organizers had
a "No copy" campaign running, and many booths had "no photo" signs to protect their innovations (hence I didn't take many shots).
      Also, we bought ourselves a kick-ass Australian Beefeater gas grill, retiring our ten-year-old Weber.  -Harald Zoschke

 


Attention Industry People: Scam Alert

Posted by: Fiery Foods Manager

Tagged in: scams

Doug "Captain Redbeard" at Captain Foods writes: " An e-mail from a person or company called Keith Moore Investments from Spain is looking for products for one of his stores in Spain.  He says they will pay by credit card but the scam is in the shipping requirements that that they require you to meet.  His English is very bad and he doesn't know anything about our industry and you can tell he is trying to wing it.  So please broadcast this as a warning to our fellow vendors and such and hope nobody falls for this.   This same e-mail and I think person e-mailed this about 6-8 months ago and this sounds like the same one!"

Note from Dave DeWitt: Remember that credit card charges can be easily reversed.  Have your bank open a new "trust account" for you and insist that foreign customers do a wire transer of funds to it.  Do not give out the real company checking account number.


Chile grower Sebastiano Marrone sends these photos of some rather unusual pods from his pepper garden. 'Biquinho' is a Brazilian variety that very little is known about. The name means "little beak."  Rocoto Longo (long rocoto) is a stretched-out version of the Peruvian rocoto that is usually apple-shaped. It is native to the Canary Islands. 'Aribibbi Gusano' is called the "caterpillar pepper" because of its unusual shape. It is from Bolivia and its flavor has citrus overtones. --Dave DeWitt


Allen Boatman, a friend who teaches horticulture in Tampa, Florida, sent me this photo of a variety of Capsicum baccatum that he calls 'Aji Bird'. Amazingly enough, at the time this photo was shot, the plant was only about ten months old. The pods are very much like chiltepins, suggesting that this plant represents a very primitive type of baccatum that was (and still is) spread by birds. It has very large leaves in relation to the pods and Allen says he drops a pod or two into his morning coffee! --Dave DeWitt


Samsung Chile Poster

Posted by: Fiery Foods Manager

Tagged in: humor , chile peppers

Contributing editor Sharon Hudgins was in the Seoul Airport and took a photo of this Korean poster for  Samsung TVs.  Notice the fake tears.  And the fact that the model is decidely not of Korean heritage.  --DD


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