I’m Not A Donut Person, But…

I will preface this piece by letting you know this: I’m not a donut person, per se. That said, I will also tell you this: I love donuts in concept. I love the way donuts are round and single-serving. I love the way they curve in the palm of the hand. I love the hole in the center. I love that you can sometimes peek through that hole in the center and peer at the someone with whom you’re sharing donuts.

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Five Favorite NYC Soups: A Cure for What Ails You

Just about everyone I know has a cold right now. They snuffle, they sniffle, they choke and cough. And I know what they need. They need soup. For those of us without the foresight, fortitude or free time to make and freeze quick stock for quick soups (and yes, I often find I’ve left my freezer lacking at exactly the wrong time), New York City provides many delicious options. (Thanks, New York!

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A Field Guide to Dancing Lions and Dragons

After moving to NYC, I began seeing lions in the streets. Dancing lions. Lettuce-eating lions. Colorful, big-headed, nimble-footed creatures with long eyelashes and beguiling expressions. In J’s neighborhood, lions materialize year-round with roving drum corps. They dance and gyrate to help provide auspicious openings for shops and bakeries. That said, prime time for both lion and dragon sightings is really during the Lunar New Year (year 4706 on the Chinese calendar) which starts on February 7 this year.

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A Tale of Three Ramen

Like a lot of American kids my age, I grew up with an imposter. Fool that I was, I loved it with an unreserved passion. To my great shame, I still distinctly remember turning down countless opportunities for actual food in favor of plastic pouches of pasty-white ramen noodles. Oh, how strange it now seems. I was held in a spell, rapt in blind adoration of a bunch of airy white bricks that magically transformed in hot water.

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Food Quote Friday: Richard Shea

“One never knows where the most ambitious eaters among us live, but I am confident we will identify incredible eating talent during the 2007 circuit.” — Richard Shea, president of Major League Eating

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Eating local. Like, really local.

Chez Ginsu is currently located in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, and contrary to what that moniker might lead you to envision, large swaths of this place are dirty and decidedly industrial. Though certain sectors of the ‘Point are hip these days, my end of the hood remains cheap and old-school (in good part because we sit squarely in the middle of the largest land-based oil spill in U.S. history. But hey… cheap rent).

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Favorite Things: Il Laboratorio del Gelato

Frequently, the enjoyment of food is about more than just the food. Flavor is a factor, of course, but a given food experience is also influenced by the ambiance, the price, the service, the level of love involved in the operation and the convenience factor (not to mention the quality level when compared to other available options). That’s why my perennial favorite New York gelato fix (on all counts) is Il Laboratorio del Gelato.

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Favorite Things: The Donut Plant

Hola, todos y feliz Cinco de Mayo! Should you happen to be in New York City today, I highly recommend you stop by The Donut Plant. And I’m not even a “donut person,” per se. That said, I am a Donut Plant person. Always in touch with the tiny details of seasonal change, the sandwich board outside The Donut Plant is my reliable source for what’s timely. In the autumn, the specials mature from apple donuts to pumpkin donuts to cranberry donuts to chestnut donuts.

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Podunk: a nook for tea and decorum

Cream Tea (scones, fresh whipped cream, berries, strawberry jam, apple butter, cream and sugar) at Podunk When we walked into Podunk, a tiny tea shop on a strangely quiet block of 5th Street, J and I were desperate for cardamom cake. The proprietress seemed tickled that such a craving might force people to canvass the city. She asked if we’d found her shop via Google. Indeed, we had, but more precisely, we found her shop through Halldór Laxness, an Icelandic writer (and Nobel Laureate) with a talent for food description that drove us drooling mad with cardamom-infused daydreams.

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If I only had a brine…
Recipes If I only had a brine…

Why is it that we nationally celebrate Christopher Columbus (a man generally acknowledged as a less-than-stellar individual), and not the pickle? I’m wondering, of course, because yesterday was International Pickle Day on the Lower East Side. People enjoyed informational displays, samples, cucumber-green balloons for the kids. It’s an annual celebration of all things pickled. Bread & Butters. Kim Chi. Chutneys. Sauerkraut. Oshinko. The good old kosher dill. How great is that?

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About Me

Miss Ginsu is a nom-nom-nom de plume of Leitha Matz, who worked at Tabla and FreshDirect in NYC, wrote about the food scene from 2004 to 2009 in Brooklyn and presently lives in Berlin. Occasionally seen on TV cooking segments, Leitha has also written for FreshDirect, contributed to Cee Cee Berlin, The Food52 Cookbook and has been interviewed/quoted in The Food Keeper as well as The Washington Times and Salon.

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