Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Grease Trap: Ready, Set, Boil

By John Birdsall
Wed, Nov 15, 2006 at 3:24 PM

Local Dungeness season flexes its claws today, November 15, the day set by tradition for local crab boats to pull into port with their skittery, crawling holds. The Chron observes the day with page-one coverage and postcard photos. Last year's season stalled before it started, thanks to squabbles over price, but this year it's all good. Enjoy the local, small-fisherman catch for the next couple of weeks, while you still can: Big-ass boats from farther north will start trawling for crustaceans on December 1, scooping up huge loads and shortening the local season for everyone. Blame the Governator and his buddies in the seafood processing industry when you're forced to munch on Alaskan Dungeness come January. Last year, Arnold vetoed a bill that would have established trap limits, leveling the waters, so to speak, for small-time operators to compete with megaboats. In the meantime, haul out the Le Creuset, boil up a batch of cioppino, and dig that short-lived sense of place.

The Times Does Local

New York Times' Bay Area import Kim Severson takes a look at the local foods movement, which has a deep taproot in places like Berkeley and Brentwood. Kind of amusing to read that food shoppers in other parts of the country have figured out that "organic doesn't imply safer," as Severson writes, and that "organic" has been diluted. Local is the key to sustainability - but you knew that already. Despite harvesting a few quotes from Northern Cali, Severson ignores homegrown movements like the Locavores. Come back, Kim: The East Bay's got a lot to say.

Oh Right, Like Beer and Vomit Don't Go Together

The beer drool and guacamole stains have all been washed out of T-shirts, probably, but you can still read about winners at the Barrel-Aged Beer Festival at the Bistro in Hayward from earlier this month, a celebration of suds aged in casks that once held stuff like Syrah. The big winner? Old Viscosity from San Marcos, aged six months in bourbon barrels. Apparently it's not for everyone. "Think the oak and vanilla one gets from a wooden barrel is upchucking?" asks beer blogger William Brand. "Some do." Good to know.

Every Wednesday, Express restaurant critic John Birdsall samples the best and worst of the Bay Area's food pages.

Back to 92510, the East Bay Express news blog.

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