You've heard it all before, the internet has made the world a smaller place. It is equally true that it has made the world a much tastier place. Rather than waiting for the latest cookery book release, it is possible to get your food porn hit instantly at your computer by browsing the latest from the wide array of food blogs. From extreme meat to more aesthetically-driven baking, there is truly something for everyone (much like internet dating one might think). While I would love to whizz through a few Japanese food blogs or check out the latest suggestions from Madrid, the whole language barrier is a bit of an issue and it turns out that - UK bloggers aside - some of my favourite blogs are from across the pond.
The language might be the same but American food is different from the UK. The ingredients aren't quite the same, the measurements different, and the go-to dishes and international influences a bit at odds with what I'm used to. This is what I have come to embrace, focussing on the meals and ingredients that Americans undoubtedly do much better than us in the UK. Here goes...
Breakfast: We have the full english and might also have porridge via the Scots. This pales into comparison when the US breakfast (or brunch) table is groaning with buckwheat waffles, baked eggs with spinach, savoury bread pudding, carrot cake pancakes, leek bread pudding, and oatmeal popovers. All washed down with a peanut-butter-banana-coffee shake.
Dips: The Americans aren't referring to a stray tub of hummus or leftover salsa. This is a whole food group with most dips served as wide as they are deep and not just wheeled out to watch the Superbowl with. Try kale and artichoke or smokey eggplant for starters.
Korean food: 2015 is definitely the year of Korean food but its been a "thing" for much longer in the US (but obviously not quite as long as in Korea). Try Korean-style pork belly or kimchee rice balls, mandu or galbi jim.
Needless to say, the yanks are pros when it comes to anything involving pumpkin or Thanksgiving, and take a great deal of care over the humble toasted cheese sandwich. And it is pretty enjoyable whipping up a batch of something you have never even heard of before... a michelada? ranch rugelach? buckeyes? blueberry boy bait? or a porch swing?
As the links show, my two most favourite go-to blogs are: Smitten Kitchen, for breakfast and baking; and Spoon, Fork, Bacon, for appetisers and Korean food. Putting my money where my mouth is, here is my latest attempt at a Smitten Kitchen recipe, the crispy sweet potato roast. The mandolin is perfect for whipping this up in about five minutes.
Not as crispy as I would have liked (I was slightly distracted) but the potatoes take on a fabulously fondanty texture. Thumbs up.