Elyse Pasquale digs into a Filipino balut in Woodside.
I’ve gone on record before as saying that I’m not a fan of the word foodie, preferring such designations as “good eater” and even the pejorative “glutton.” All that said there is one person who for whom my hatred of the F-Word does not apply, my good friend, Elyse Pasquale, aka Foodie International. She was kind enough to take time out of her busy schedule, which includes everything from eating reindeer hearts and scorpions to harvesting her own olive oil and slaughtering pigs, to answer Seven Questions.
Where did you learn to use chopsticks? In my bedroom, in high school. I grew up on a horse farm outside of Philadelphia. There wasn’t much diversity in the area when it came to food. In high school, a take-out Chinese joint opened in the same strip mall as our grocery store. Let’s just call it the year of Lo Mein . . . I was determined to perfect my chopsticks skills, so I followed the directions printed on the wrapper and practiced in my room. I think my execution might be a little unorthodox, but I can hold my own in any Tokyo ramen shop. For the record, I also tie my shoes counterintuitively, but my bows still turn out looking like bows. (more…)
Yuji was still pretty sedate before the arrival of the hungry, hungry hipsters.
If there’s anything I hate more than foodies it’s hipsters. So the often overcrowded, overpriced hipster/foodie paradise that is Smorgasburg has never been too high on my list. When it comes to crowds and food I’ll take a Southeast Asian Lunar New Year buffet over the scrum that befalls East River Park every Saturday. This Saturday was my second time at Smorgasburg. The first was last summer to eat foie gras poutine made by Hugue Dufour. This time around I was on a mission to supply some chicken cracklin’ to a pal with a new booth at the market. With my mission accomplished and the market not yet too crowded I decided to treat myself to a bowl of noodles from Yuji Ramen.
Yuji’s uni ramen is briny and decadent.
For a moment I considered the bacon, egg, and cheese noodles ($10), but I was kind of full after sampling my pal’s wares. So I opted for the somewhat lighter sounding uni miso ($10). The ramen dude congratulated me on my choice pointing out that the Maine uni he uses would soon be going out of season. The creamy sea urchin melted atop the warm, chewy noodles coating them with a rich, briny sauce. It was far richer than I thought it would be, though the blood orange zest and shiso managed to cut the richness somewhat. It could have used just a bit of the citrusy Japanese hot paste yuzu kocho.
For dessert I had a half dozen oysters ($16) from Brooklyn Oyster Party. The super briny bivalves served as an effective palate cleanser, and reawakened my appetite. Since I was already at Smorgasburg I thought I might as well get my feed on. Check back tomorrow for a Smorgasburg Sandwich Wednesday, plus the details of my secret chicken crackling mission.
Smorgasburg, East River State Park, at Norh 7th St., Saturday, 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
I will answer to many names, including Joey Deckle, my smoke and barbecue loving alter ego. One thing I will not answer to and prefer not to be called under any circumstances is foodie. At worst it calls to mind the less than complimentary junkie. And at best it smacks of legions of Instagramming zealots eager to check a foodstuff or hotspot off their neverending list. I am well aware that the foodie backlash among food writers is nothing new, but when I spot a German card game named, Foodie, it is clearly time to stick a fork in ‘foodie.’ So here are seven things you can call me besides foodie.
About that game. The king has organized a banquet. The object is to eat the king’s favorite dishes, but not to actually consume more than his majesty. The player who accomplishes this feat of self-restraint wins and is dubbed the king’s favorite Foodie. To consume more than the corpulent king one would have to be a glutton, a badge I wear with no small amount of honor.