The Frontal Cortex

Summer Food

Here are three food-related items I’ve been enjoying lately:

1) Fennel Pollen: Like all great spices, the flavor of wild fennel pollen eludes adjectives. It’s like a fennel seed, only much more so. I sprinkle it on everything from roasted wild salmon to pasta with zucchini, basil and mozzarella. (The Tuscans use it on pork.)

2) John Cope’s Dried Sweet Corn: This is the Platonic form of corn. It’s intensely sweet and yet also deeply corny. Made according to an old Amish recipe, Cope’s corn is nothing but August summer corn dried slowly, so that the sugars naturally caramelize. I use the dried corn in polenta, creamed corn and succotash.

3) Jamie at Home: It’s the relatively new Jamie Oliver show on Food Network and it is, by far, the best cooking show on television. (The bad news is that it’s on at 9:30 on Saturday morning. Tivo it.) When Jamie does a segment on favas and peas, he doesn’t just show you some delicious looking recipes. He also shows you how to plant peas in your own garden. When he cooks chicken, he emphasizes the importance of raising chickens humanely, complete with a visit to a poultry farm. Happy Days!


  1. #1 Steve Silberman
    June 26, 2008

    I love fennel pollen too. I had it at Babbo in goat cheese tortelloni with dried orange, and it was delicious.

    I’ve never tasted dried corn, other than those giant snack-food kernels. I’ll have to try this.

    Jamie’s show is really great. I’ve always liked him and feel like most of his cooking is beautifully simple and sound.

  2. #2 sdg
    June 27, 2008

    completely OT – your link for andrew sullivan’s blog has an extra “http//”

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