Product Reviews

  • Product Reviews


    Several years back, I discussed my love of Ting, a sugar-sweetened Jamaican grapefruit soda. It’s been getting harder to find lately, at least here in Washington Heights.

    A couple weeks ago, I stopped in to the Kmart on 34th Street (which is really quite nice, as far as Kmarts go) and while downstairs, looking to grab a bottled water to stop my child from dying of thirst (as she assured me would happen), there it was:


    And not just Ting, either… something else:

  • Product Reviews

    Brave New Food: Bubu Lubu

    “I Eat It So You Don’t Have To” was too long, so until I think up something better, I’m calling this segment “Brave New Food” which I’m not 100% happy with either, but at least it’s shorter.

    Here’s the first item in this new series:

    bubu lubu

    Right on! Mysterious Mexican candy bar!

    Say, what’s in it?

  • Life in Maison Gezellig,  Product Reviews

    There better be a front-runner for the nominee soon…

    Because at this rate, I may forget how to cook.

    Super Tuesday! Can’t cook on Super Tuesday! Not when there’s blogs to read and the Georgia results come in at 7pm!

    Then I had a 1000-word piece to submit for class Wednesday — a piece no one seemed to especially like, so that kind of sucked. Dinner that night: sympathy cheeseburgers.

    Thursday was Museum Day — after which an Obama-supporting waitress spotted my husband’s sticker and slipped us free cake, to which I say: damn, bring the revolution if there’s gonna be free cake, yo!

    Friday was Chinatown where I bought this:

    Hell if I know what a honeymansi is, but refreshing? Check. Exciting? Well, I guess. It is fruity and delightful, I’ll give it that.

    Saturday was a morning of four hours of incredibly intense French — like someone flipped open the top of my head, dumped a basketful of French in, shoved it around to fit, threw some more in on top of that, then sat on my head until it was closed enough to latch shut.

    Then, more primary results that afternoon and again Sunday.

    Yesterday, I stared into space a lot, tried to remember when to use y or en in the passé composé, stared into space some more, tried to Google honeymansi.

    And now today is Super Chesapeake Crabcake Tuesday or something.

    Is it November yet?

  • Product Reviews

    Why I love Big Lots, part 2

    Years ago, I saw a PBS documentary called, quite simply, A Hot Dog Program. Since then, I’ve seen it several more times (it’s also available on Netflix, I think) because that’s how much I love hot dogs. It borders on unnatural.

    In this documentary, one of the segments is about a Cleveland hot dog specialty, Stadium Mustard. Now, I mean no offense to any of my readers from Ohio — presuming I even have any — but Cleveland is a part of the world I don’t intend to visit, oh, ever. Thus, I assumed Stadium Mustard’s charms would be lost to me forever.

    But then, there was that trip to Big Lots

    stadium mustard

    Here is sentence I never thought I would ever write: this mustard is, in short, a delight. It’s got a nice vinegary tang, and it’s just a little sharp without being painful or overwhelming. I’m seriously considering taking it with me the next time I go to Gray’s Papaya… which could be at any time. Seriously.

  • Product Reviews

    Broccolini, my new vegetable love

    I don’t even remember why I bought it. Maybe I was going to buy broccoli rabe, but it was more expensive, or FreshDirect just had it on sale last week. Either way, I recently bought two bunches of broccolini. Or Broccolini® as I’m sure Mann Packing, its distributor, would rather I refer to it.

    It looks like broccoli and it tastes… almost like broccoli, but better somehow. Sweeter, I guess, and also somewhat… familiar.


    As it turns out, broccolini is a hybrid of broccoli and Chinese kale, also known as kai-lan, gai-lan, or gai lohn.

    I love kai-lan, and for a while I was semi-obsessed with it. When we lived in Brooklyn, about five years ago, my husband and I (and technically the kid, although in utero at the time) would make regular trips to Big Wong’s and always order the roast pork on rice, which came with kai-lan dressed with oyster sauce — and I would scarf that down as fast as my pregnancy-swollen fingers could manage.

    Broccolini… I think I may like even more. A rinse and a chop and it’s in whatever you’re cooking. It turns this amazing, almost lurid green after just a couple minutes of cooking. It cooks really fast but it doesn’t go all mushy either.

    fried rice with ham and broccolini

    As you can see, I put it into fried rice with (even more) leftover ham.

    I’m generally a flop at fried rice or stir-fries, because I always misjudge how long things need to cook and then I end up with half overcooked, half undercooked ingredients. The broccolini worked out perfectly, though — which was great, because I think I broke my brain writing three essays for my application to The New School. I don’t think I’ve ever sweated so much over anything in my entire life.

    Anyway, it’s done now, and now I have to write this week’s Accidental Hedonist post. It’s going to be about bees. Seriously.

  • Product Reviews

    Why I Moved To NYC: Reason #437.

    What is it?

    spicy pork jerkysliced beef jerky

    One word: jerky.

    My friend Eun-Duk and I were aimlessly wandering the streets of Chinatown, after seeing Raise The Red Lantern at Film Forum. When we passed by, we could see them grilling the jerky in the window facing the street, at which point, it was all over for us.

    The one on the right is sliced beef jerky and despite eating so much of it I gave myself a stomachache, I still would still eat more if I had any. The texture’s pretty standard jerky (e.g. tough, chewy) but the flavor is phenomenal: smoky, sweet, salty.

    On the left, the flat one, is spicy pork jerky. If the sliced beef jerky is like a dried apricot, the pork jerky is more like… a Meat Roll-Up. Different, and softer, but just as good.

    I’m already thinking about when I can go back and get more.

    Malaysia Beef Jerky Inc.
    95A Elizabeth St. (betw. Grand and Hester)

  • Product Reviews,  Questions

    Candy cane update:

    Whole Foods does, in fact, carry all natural candy canes under the Ashers All Naturals label. I stopped in the Union Square Whole Foods this past Saturday night (while out on a semi-annual date with my husband), where a very nice young man named Will brought us an assortment of candy canes from the back, as they weren’t out on the shelves yet. In short, they had mini canes, regular candy canes and big peppermint sticks.

    The candy itself is very lightly striped — almost pink — and, oddly, starts out with a somewhat fruity flavor, before becoming intensely minty towards the center. In fact, a recent consumer said, “Eeesh! It’s kinda minty, Mama. You eat it.”

    So, y’know, good thing I bought two boxes. Thanks anyway, Whole Foods Will!