Sunday, January 27, 2008
Week End Update
But yeah, the photo is of crystals of, I assume by their cubic structure, salt (NaCl) that grew out of juices that dripped from a link of soppressata that I made on Friday and left out on the counter over night to "jump start" fermentation before hanging it in the (cooler) cheese room where it will air dry over the next 2-3 weeks. I have to thank Christian the Apprentice for encouraging me to shoot this despite my protestations that it'd be a waste of time without a macro lens, because this is certainly going to be a photo that I cherish for many years to come.
Maybe I'll frame it and hang it on the wall of my office next to my Jimi Hendrix poster.
I set up a little controlled experiment this week to see if I could ferment whey and produce alcohol. I'll not bore you with all of the details of how I did this, but the skinny is that by adding sugar (sucrose) to some and honey (fructose, sucrose, glucose) to others the whey fermented and produced alcohol at concentrations ranging from approx. 10-20%. While I could have tried to let naturally occurring yeast already present in the why to do the job I used a type of yeast (Saccharomyces cervisiae) that is used to make champagne to make sure that all samples had nearly equivalent initial yeast populations.
Finally, anyone who has read this January 16 article on the Amatricana problem will understand why I decided to refer to the pot of red sauce in the slide show as "Pasta sauce with pancetta." A few weeks ago I would have called it "Sauce Amatriciana," but thanks to Marion Burros' investigation into the dispute between the people of Amatrice who make the sauce with guanciale (cured pork jowl) and Romans who make it with pancetta. I've got to be careful what I call the sauce that I have been calling "Salsa d' Amatriciana" since 1979 when I first had it in a Roman restaurant in NY named Trastevere.
Maybe I should just call it gravy. Gesu, Maria e Giuseppe, these foodies.