General Topics rss

Highlights from the General Topics and Cookware boards. Food trends, food products, and burning questions.

Licorice, Anyone?

Licorice comes in black, red, salty, or sugarless varieties. Here are some of the Chowhounds’ favorite online sources.

Economy Candy in NYC’s Lower East Side is a legendary shop that that stocks a large selection of black licorice, including Kookaburra brand, which some folks view with awe! Not many people seem to know these guys sell online, at:

Licorice International, out of Lincoln, Nebraska, has many types of imported licorice. Their Dutch and German selections are particularly worth a try; each has its own distinctive flavor. They sell salty licorice, too, which is very much an acquired taste. If you like red licorice, they offer a very nice sampler. Order at:

For a good selection of sugar free, try Dutch Sweets, at:

Board Links
best black licorice? by mail-order, pls

Onion-Saving Secret

Onion cognoscenti offer a neat trick for prolonging freshness (especially with varieties that don’t usually keep so well, such as Vidalias): store them in pantyhose! Drop an onion into a pantyhose leg, and knot it off. Drop in another onion, knot, and repeat.

When you need to use an onion, just cut the hose off before the next knot. The rest stay protected! Hang your oniony pantyhose in a cool, ventilated area, and the onions will last for several months.

Bonus tip: to prevent weeping, hold a small piece of bread in your mouth as you chop (don’t chew!). Another trick is to keep a few onions at a time chilled in your crisper drawer (cold ones aren’t as gaseous).

Board Links: Onions in pantyhose, Vidalia chocolate cake & other tips

Veggie Burgers without the “Faux”

There are veggie burgers that try to mimic meat, and there are ones that taste like exactly what they are: vegetables (and grain)! Here are some recommendations for finding the latter.

The entire Gardenburger line (there are many varieties) is 1. really tasty and 2. true to its vegetable roots.

Dr. Praeger’s Burgers, sold at Trader Joe’s, have a wide following.

Trader Joe’s Indian-seasoned Nirvana patties are very nice.

Morningstar Farms Garden Veggie Patties have a nice blend of veggies and a good mouth-feel.

Sunshine Burgers have a clean, unique taste, reports Val Ann C. Their main ingredients include ground sunflower seeds and brown rice.

Vegelicious Veggie Burgers are great, raves jilli42. Look for their “Santa Fe.”

Bobfrmia likes Veggie Patch Bistro Burgers, made from wild mushrooms and rice; they’re sold at Costco.

Also recommended: Annie’s California burgers.

Board Link: Un-meaty veggie burgers?

Canned Salmon

Canned pink salmon is often mushy, and the skin and bones put some people off. You can work around it by slipping the skin off the fish and picking out the bones (or just crush them right in, as they’re soft and a great source of calcium).

Another alternative is to pay more for skinless, boneless canned salmon. Some brands almost taste fresh. Here are some hound-approved brands of high-quality canned salmon:

Bumble Bee prime filet canned salmon, which tastes close to fresh (rworange).

Rubenstein’s red sockeye canned salmon works wonderfully in salads and sandwiches (Emilief).

Dave’s Gourmet is a canned wild salmon from California recommended by Nancy Berry. It can be found at some Whole Foods stores or ordered at:

Vital Choice is another good brand, says Faith Lubitz.

Board Link: Can we talk about canned salmon?

Tickled Pink at In-N-Out

It’s well known that burgers at the In-N-Out chain are cooked to order. What’s not so well known is that you can order them cooked as you’d like, and they’ll take—and execute reasonably well—orders for rare and medium rare burgers without flinching. Since patties are small, it’s best to order a double if you want a truly juicy sandwich, though.

Board Links: Ordering Your Burger Rare at In N Out

Shipping Lobsters

It’s hard to find fresh, top-quality lobsters outside the Northeast. Mail order is a fine alternative, though, and there are several outfits recommended by Chowhounds for shipping super-fresh New England lobsters to land-locked loved ones. Cheeseboy suggests opting for “selects” in the 2-3 lb. range, as opposed to 1.5 lb. “chix” or 4 lb. “jumbos.”

These companies all have a good track record with mail order:

The Lobster Net
Sanders Lobster Pound
Trenton Bridge Lobster Pound
Fisherman’s Fleet

Board Links: Shipping Live Lobsters