Article: February, 2014

Ask the Butcher: Favorite Ethnic Cuisine

One of the qualities we love about food is that it can take you on a trip around the world, and you don’t even have to leave your kitchen! Every type of cuisine offers unique flavors, ingredients, and cooking techniques that represent the rich culture of its origin.

We asked the Lobels to share with us what they love about their favorite ethnic cuisines.


Cajun-Creole Unmasked

Imagine it’s Mardi Gras, and you are walking down Bourbon Street—the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Merry makers—many with a Hurricane or other libation in hand—flood the streets and revel all around you, all the while collecting as many strands of cheap beads as necks and inhibition allow.

Against the crowd’s noise, blues, jazz, zydeco, ragtime, and more pour from every filigreed cast-iron balcony and open doorway at every club, music hall, dive, and juke joint up and down the boulevard. Street merchants lend their own cadence hawking trinkets, gewgaws, and souvenirs.

And what cuts through all that clutter and sputter are the aromas that waft into the proceedings from the restaurants, food stalls, and street vendors. So varied. So pungent. So enveloping. So intoxicating.

You’ve just gotta have something to eat.

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Sausage in Profile: Bangers

While the concept of sausage is simple, thousands of variations can be found throughout the world.  Sausages can be fresh, cured, smoked, or cooked. They are made of beef, pork, veal, chicken, and more. And they can include myriad ingredients, from spices and herbs to fruits, vegetables, and  cheeses—and even liquids such as beer, whiskey, or blood. Our “Sausage in Profile” series aims to introduce you to different types of sausagetheir flavor profiles, histories, and uses—from familiar favorites to unique finds.

Bangers are a favorite in pubs and homes all across the British Isles. Whether enjoyed as part of the classic comfort food bangers and mash or as part of a full breakfast, bangers have found a welcoming fanbase here in the U.S. as well.


Culinary Classic: Shepherd’s Pie

Tracing its 18th century origins to the British Isles, Shepherd’s Pie is a humble dish, born of frugality.

Early on it was called Cottage Pie, consisting of stewed ground meat (usually left over roast), potatoes, carrots, and peas combined in a rich gravy, topped with a thick layer of mashed potatoes, then put in a hot oven to warm the contents and brown the potato topping. (more…)