April 17

Crawfish Boulette

<strong>phosphates,</strong> <em>n., pl.--</em>Bubbly drinks made with phosphoric acid, once widely used in soda fountains to add sharpness to the flavor of sodas. They were particularly popular in fruit-flavored drinks, such as cherry, orange, and lemon. Even before the soda fountain disappeared from the scene, phosphates went out of style. Some health authorities say that it causes problems in absorbing calcium in the body. Citric acid had largely replaced phosphates in bottled soft drinks, although they're still used by some bottlers.

Days Until. . .

Jazz Festival--12 Mother's Day--27

Today's Flavor

Today is said to be Cheese Ball Day. Cheese balls turn up frequently at gatherings in people's homes, usually brought by a well-meaning friend. I'd say I don't know who actually likes cheese balls, but in fact, we do. Philadelphia cream cheese, cheddar, herbs, garlic, nuts on the outside. . . we don't get it, but this close relative loves to make them and people do eat them. But has anyone ever really had a hunger that could only be satisfied by sticking a blunt knife into a cheese ball and spreading it across a cracker? Much more interesting are spheres made of more delicious things. So we're thankful to celebrate Crawfish Boulette Day, which arrives a little ahead of Crawfish Bisque Day (April 22). Crawfish bisque is traditionally served with stuffed crawfish heads, but both the stuffing (while making) and the unstuffing (while eating) of the heads are messy and inconvenient. On the other hand, you can put all the same ingredients into a crawfish boulette, add it at the table, and have something much better. These also make great appetizers served with hollandaise, remoulade, or tartar sauce. Here's the recipe.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

If you must have crawfish heads for you to accept my crawfish bisque as authentic, then you go in there and stuff the %#!@& things. I've got better things to do. [One of which is, apparently, having another drink.--Editor.]

Deft Dining Rule #294

If a food has a shell that must be removed before it can be eaten, it had better be really delicious.

Edible Dictionary

phosphates, n., pl.--Bubbly drinks made with phosphoric acid, once widely used in soda fountains to add sharpness to the flavor of sodas. They were particularly popular in fruit-flavored drinks, such as cherry, orange, and lemon. Even before the soda fountain disappeared from the scene, phosphates went out of style. Some health authorities say that it causes problems in absorbing calcium in the body. Citric acid had largely replaced phosphates in bottled soft drinks, although they're still used by some bottlers.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Mollusk, Virginia 22517 is near the tidal Rappahannock River, not far from Chesapeake Bay, 118 miles from Washington, D.C. Farmland is giving way to country residences in the area--enough to have about 4500 residents, a number that's growing quickly. Oysters, scallops, and mussels (but especially oysters) are found in the river, although the waters are not as fecund as they once were. You're better off looking for a bite to eat at Oaks, on State Highway 3, about four miles away.

Avid Eaters In The Movies

Arthur Lake, the guy who played Dagwood in the Blondie movies and TV show, was born today in 1905. He portrayed Dagwood as a complete nincompoop, and was very funny. As in the comic strip, Lake's Dagwood was always completely distracted from whatever he was doing by the appearance of food.

Food Namesakes

Actor Sean Bean was born on this day in 1959. He was in the Lord of the Rings series, among others. . . Victoria "Posh Spice" Addams, singer in the Spice Girls, was born today in 1974. . . Daffy Duck first appeared in Porky's Duck Hunt, a cartoon that came out on this date in 1937. . . Nancy Hogshead, who was an Olympic swimmer in 1984, then became a model, was born today in 1962. . . Hamilton Fish, one of many American politicians to bear that name, was born in 1849 on this date.

Words To Eat By

"A poet's hope: to be, like some valley cheese, local, but prized elsewhere."--W.H. Auden.

Words To Drink By

"Why does man kill? He kills for food. And not only food: frequently there must be a beverage."--Woody Allen.