This week’s S-T food section covers new developments in topics as diverse as urban honeymaking, Chicago’s role in the beef industry, fall fruit options, candy, and alcohol/sweets pairings. In that order, and largely via quotes:
• Apparently, the Chicago Honey Co-Op apiary is located in North Lawndale by the train tracks. And why not? There are plenty of flowers around; as the head beekeeper says, “The honey possibilities in the city are 10 times better than any rural setting I have seen.” You can purchase the product at your leisure.
• Even though most American slaughterhouse operations have moved south and west (closer to the actual cattle and cheaper labor), the cattle futures market is still located in the city. Interesting claim: “Raw meat now is cleaner than cooked meat in the 1970s.” Tartare for everybody!
• Everyone knows about apples in the fall, but have you been paying enough attention to persimmons? They have a variety of tastes and textures, but listen to this: “Make sure they’re ripe before you eat them or literally, it’s like a visit to the dentist – it anesthetizes your mouth.” OMG, persimmons are the cocaine of fall fruits!
• Candy Expo! Highlight: “Dryden & Palmer’s lavender-, orange spice- and caramel-flavored rock sweetener sticks for coffee and tea.”
Lowlight: “NRG’s Energy Potato Chips containing caffeine and B-vitamins.”
Fetish: “Foot Licker fruit-flavored, foot-shaped lollipops.” Seriously?
• The hot new thing is pairing lambics with artisanal dark chocolate. Evidently, you’re supposed to do this at your parties: “Whether you’re entertaining for two or 20, all you need are several varieties of high-quality chocolate bars, several varieties of incredible beers, ales or stouts, a small bouquet of flowers and napkins.” Um, right. Our party guests are usually too cracked out to ingest solid food by the time they show up - we have to spend most of the time cleaning up vomit and blood, and calling ambulances.
[Photo: a partially eaten persimmon, CoastRanger/flickr]