To Do This Weekend: Branch Out on the Menu

If you are planning on dining out at a restaurant this weekend, challenge yourself to try something new.  Order a food you have never tried before, and surprise your palate. Be sure you know what you are ordering to avoid an unwanted surprise.

There certainly are a lot of food trends abuzz.  There are some menu items that are popping up again and again at trendy restaurants, but we are not quite sure exactly what the heck they are.  Let’s break it down, so you can make an educated order.

CRUDO. The word translates to “raw” in Italian, and usually refers to fish or seafood on menus.  A close cousin (in theory, anyway) to carpaccio and poke, it is thinly sliced Different from Japanese raw fish, crudo is never served with rice or any of the usual suspects in sushi accoutrement, but rather is delicately plated, lightly dressed, and creatively garnished.  1115-CrudoCraze_640

 

RILLETTES.  Close cousin (in theory, anyway) of pate, rillettes is heavily salted meat (pork or duck, most frequently)  which is poached using its own fat to create a thick consistency.  Very rich, it is best spread on crusty bread.  imgres

 

KALETTES.  You now can identify rillettes, so now it’s time to learn about kalettes.  To avoid confusion, remember that KALE-ettes are a hybrid of KALE and Brussels sprouts.  They are popping up everywhere on menus in many different manifestations, offering a hearty new way to get your superfoods on.

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JAPANESE SEVEN SPICE.  A very complex mix of flavor, Japanese Seven Spice starts out with a kick of spice and finishes subtly. It is a crunchy blend of poppy seed, red chili pepper, ground black pepper, black sesame seeds, dried orange peel, and dried seaweed flakes.  Not sure what the seventh spice is…salt perhaps?   You will see this accompanying pastas, chicken, burgers, and…crudo.

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images via mspmag, tastespotting, pinterest

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