February 13

National Tortellini Day

Beware. Tortellini. Buster Lake. Osteria. Fishing Atlas. Grease. El Grande de Coca-Cola.

Days Until. . .

Mardi Gras--3Valentine's Day--1

Food Calendar

The buzz on the Web is that today is National Tortellini Day. Tortellini come from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. They're small ravioli--little pillows of pasta usually rolled up around the stuffing instead lying flat. The filling is most often cheese, but spinach, tomatoes, basil, mushrooms, or other fillings--more often vegetable than meat--can be enclosed in tortellini. A slightly large variation is called tortelloni, which no doubt has its own special day.

Gourmet Gazetteer

Buster Lake is in East Texas, 131 miles northeast of Houston. It's unlikely that buster crabs are caught here, but possible. The lake is an abandoned curve in the Angelina River, which runs through a marsh before flowing into the Neches River behind the Bay Steinhagen Lake, a reservoir. Crabs need brackish water at least, though, so maybe it's better to fish for sac-a-lait and catfish here. If even that fails, the Catfish Hut is eight miles east in Jasper.

Edible Dictionary

osteria, Italian, n.--A very informal restaurant in Italy, with minimal service and an abbreviated menu. Not much service is needed, really, because osteria tend to be patronized by the same people and families, who meet friends in the place and sometimes even serve themselves. A hallmark of the osteria is that it offers a set menu each day. You show up, and that's what you eat. In recent times, the usage has broadened to take in restaurants with a daily fixed menu but without the regular customers--unless you call tourists regulars. The osteria grew out of the inn for travelers, who expected to be fed, but with simple food.

Annals Of Food Research

G. Brown Goode was born today in 1851. His contribution to our tables was a new two-volume atlas of the fisheries of the United States, published in the 1880s. It was the first resource with its scope, and included over 500 etchings of the many species of fish and shellfish that were caught and sold at the time.

The Old Kitchen Sage Sez:

If you have to light a stove burner with a strike-anywhere match, it will never ignite properly on its own ever again. Unless that happened to be your last match.

Food In Sho-Biz

In 1972, the musical Grease opened on Broadway. A year later exactly, another musical, El Grande de Coca-Cola opened in New York City. A movie called Kitchen Stories premiered on this date in 2004. It was a comedy about making one's kitchen work by the assembly-line method. I hear it wasn't very funny. What was funny was a 1932 Our Gang episode called Free Eats. It featured the debut of George "Spanky" McFarland in the series.

Music To Chew Bubble Gum By

On the musical side of sho-biz, today in 1967 the Beatles song Strawberry Fields Forever was released. . . The Osmond Family had a Number One hit on this day in 1971, with their song One Bad Apple.

Food Namesakes

Eddie Pye, infielder for the Dodgers, was born today in 1967. . . German artist George Schrimpf was born today in 1889. . . Canadian musician Jeff Waters of Annihilator was born today in 1966.

Words To Eat By

"All the good ideas I ever had came to me while I was milking a cow."--Grant Wood, artist, who was born today in 1892."Fish should smell like the tide. Once they smell like fish, it's too late."--Oscar Gizelt, former manager of Delmonico's in New York.

Words To Drink By

"Fill up the goblet and reach to me some!Drinking makes wise, but dry fasting makes glum."--William R. Alger, "Wine Song of Kaitmas," 1865).