If you do not subscribe to Saveur, I highly recommend that you at least pick up the special issue on newsstands now. It’s the 10th Annual Saveur 100, their yearly listing of top notch food, restaurants, chefs and other culinary finds from around the world.
I promise you will learn something. It might even make you drool.
I pored over every delicious word and photograph in my copy. I was so enthralled by every listing, from the Cherry Bounce (a Wisconsin cocktail) to the Pastel de Cuatro Leches, that I completely ignored my husband and disregarded my bedtime until I had devoured the entire issue.
Among my favorite highlights:
No. 2: Heirloom beans! A company in California called Rancho Gordo sells an entire line of little-known American beans, including one that was near extinction before the company revived it.
No 6: The Cherry Bounce, a cocktail made by steeping sour cherries, sugar and brandy in a covered jar for three months.
No. 9: The dessert named for its four milk-based parts. Like Tres Leches cake, except topped with a layer of milk caramel. Oh yes, the recipe is in the magazine.
No. 30: The humble, yet powerful Chinese wonton soup. Includes a recipe for homemade wonton soup, with its delicious little dumplings of spiced pork.
No. 33: Edible weeds, from dandelions to stinging nettle to lamb’s-quarter.
No. 60: The rise, again, of the independent butcher (including a mention of the new Belmont Butchery in nearby Richmond, Virginia!)
No. 63: Cevapcici, a smoky, skinless Balkan sausage made with ground beef, lamb, pork and seasoned with savory, cayenne, onion and hot paprika. This includes a recipe (p. 62) for Cevapcici with Red Pepper and Eggplant Sauce. I’m making it the first chance I get.
I won’t spoil the rest of the list for those of you who want to read it yourself. I hesitate to mention that you can see the list for yourself on Saveur’s Web site because if that’s all you do, you’re going to miss out on the magazine’s beautiful layout and all the yummy photos that accompany the list.
If you check it out, let me know what fascinated you the most. And what do you think would make the list of Southwest Virginia’s best 100 food finds?