Delta Hot Tamales Are Hotter Than Ever
Delta "hots" themselves perfectly exemplify the tamale's malleable properties. Made with cornmeal instead of the lime-treated masa used in Mexico, a Delta hot is simmered (rather than steamed) in a spiced broth—hence the name. Though the dish's precise origin remains elusive, it's said that at one point in the 1920s a few Mexican cotton pickers made their way up from the Rio Grande Valley, toting a recipe that was then transformed by local African-American cooks—possibly aided by southern Italians who'd settled in the area. Whatever. By 1936, tamales were so entrenched in Delta culture that Robert Johnson, who'd made his pact with the devil just up the road from Greenville, recorded a song about them called "They're Red Hot."[more inside]
Three random walks through eastern food markets: One in Bangkok, one in Taiwan and one in Delhi. [more inside]
“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
What makes a sweet street treat even better? Awesome artists. From Southern China, Sugar Painting makes elaborate, edible toffee masterpieces by carefully draping hot sugar onto cool marble. In Chongqing they make super floral sugar floss in a rainbow of colours. This artist from Xian blows hot sugar as if it were glass. From Istanbul, Tarihi Osmanlı Macunu (aka Traditional Ottoman Candy) is made with five different flavors of thick taffy spiraled deftly around a stick, creating a delicious lollipop. Dragon Beard Candy from Thailand is not only tasty but a great way to learn about geometric progression. And while a Thai banana pancake may seem pretty straightforward, there are always ways to jazz it up. [more inside]
Street Tucker: leftovers from the streets of New York City
Food blog Edible Geography reveals the history of the New York food cart. You know, the ones that look like reverse rickshaws with big boxes full of ice cream or hot dogs up front. In a related post they cover a scandalous controversy involving cart substitutions, stolen holograms, a criminal bureaucracy, and the olde 19th century rent-a-vet licensing scam.
Fast food in South India is fast | in Thailand iced tea is really cool | in Sri Lanka tea is cooled with dramatic effect | in Delhi the bread is made fast too | in Calcutta it puffs up magically | tea serenely | singly | or two at a time | in China tea is served with a long spout, acrobatically. [more inside]