Let Them Eat Cake. Napoleon. Baker. Deviled Eggs. Soup Nazi. Giant Squid. Bayard Salad.
New Year's Eve: 58.
Today is Deviled Eggs Day. Deviled eggs used to be common as an appetizer around New Orleans. The most famous place for them was Maylie's, which served them with remoulade sauce. It sounds strange, but it's actually very good. Arnaud's revived the idea a few years ago and had them on their lunch menu as "The Count's Eggs." No lunch there at the moment, though. So if we're going to eat deviled eggs remoulade, we have to make them ourselves.
Annals Of Royal Food Proclamations
Today is the birthday, in 1755, of Marie Antoinette, the queen of France. Aside from her famous recommendation that certain people eat cake (actually, she recommended that they eat brioche), she had a New Orleans hotel named for her on the corner of Toulouse and Dauphine. That was the original location, in 1970, of Louis XVI French Restaurant, named for Marie's husband. The restaurant later moved to where it is now, on Bienville off Bourbon.
Dove, Alabama is a wide spot in the road just over the Mississippi state line, at the junction of County Roads 2 and 27, some twenty-six miles east of Meridian, Mississippi. I imagine that doves are often shot there, because the first time I ever had the bird on a plate before me was at a wild-game dinner about fifty miles south of the place.
chive, n.--Most often used in plural form, chives. The smallest cultivated member of the onion family, chives have long, hollow, round leaves that spring up from a perennial bulb. One snips off the tops of the chive shoots to use them as an aromatic herb. Their flavor is decidedly oniony, but in a very mild way. Its most common use (in its dried, snipped form) is as one of the herbs used to turn hollandaise into béarnaise sauce. In recent years, the long whole leaves have taken the place of parsley as a garnish in contemporary restaurants.
Deft Dining Rule #204:
If you order two Napoleon pastries for yourself at one time, you may expect to hear the French lady on the other side of the counter exclaim, "mon dieu!"
Today in 1978, fishermen off the coast of Newfoundland caught the largest squid ever: fifty-five feet long, almost two tons. These giant squid are known to battle sperm whales to the finish in a fair fight. One fried ring feeds a family of twelve.
Food In Show Biz
The Soup Nazi--a guy who made great soups but who put his customers through hell to get them--appeared for the first time today in 1995 on the Seinfeld television show. The character was based on that of Al Yeganeh, who ran the Soup Kitchen International in Manhattan. It has become a small chain of souperies in the last couple of years.
Food In Art
Today is the birthday, in 1837, of Emile Antoine Bayard, a French painter and illustrator. Among his best-known works are the drawings in several of Jules Verne's novels. He is remembered (barely) on the menu at Antoine's with a salad. It had a Cubist look, with an artichoke heart stuffed with a mix of minced celery, parsley, and green onions, topped with a rolled anchovy stuffed with caviar. As weird as this sounds, it is of interest because the chopped part of this is the starting point for Antoine's oysters Rockefeller recipe. Salade Bayard is no longer on the menu--it never was very popular, and my then-waiter Joe Guerra refused to let me order it. probably--but I always liked it.
Danny Cooksey, a television actor who played Sam on Diff'rent Strokes, was born today in 1975. . . Former Saints tackle Chris Port was born today in 1967. . . British cricket star Fred Bakewell stepped up to life's wicket today in 1913. . . Long-time Kentucky Congressman Romano Mazzoli, whose name sounds like a dish, was born today in 1932. . . The Spruce Goose, the largest airplane ever built, was taken on its first and last flight today in California in 1947. The pilot was Howard Hughes, who designed it.
Words To Eat By
"They say that a good cook can ignite sparks by the way he kisses. The way I see, just because a guy can turn on the stove doesn't necessarily make him a good cook."--Stephanie Powers, who played the girl from U.N.C.L.E. on the 1960s television show. She was born today in 1942.
Words To Drink By
"I have seen all, I have heard all, I have forgotten all."--Marie Antoinette, born today in 1755.