this is taste

combining culinary experiments with cultural experiences


Welcome to This is Taste.  On this page you will have access to all my thoughts and things worth sharing in the world of food and culture.

You can read my posts on the culmination of all things food and culture here: food for thought

This is it.  The perfect combination of my favourite foods in one glorious breakfast meal.  There is nothing complicated about this meal, potato pancakes topped with goat cheese brie, avocado, fried egg, and pulled pork.  What makes it so great is the combination of these ingredients.

Now making pulled pork is quite the process, you can read about it in a previous post of mine here. Usually when I make a meal like this, the pulled pork I’ll be using will be left over from a previous meal, making it from scratch for breakfast would be near impossible.  The only thing you will have to make from scratch is the potato pancakes.

Making potato pancakes is relatively easy, but can be a bit time consuming.  You’ll need the following ingredients:

2 large russet potatoes (basically a potato a person)

1 egg

1/2 of a small onion

1 tbsp of flour

1/2 cup of grated cheese (your choice)

salt, pepper, spices to taste (get creative)

Grate the potato using a standard cheese grater, place in a strainer and rinse thoroughly removing all the starch.  This step is the most important, by skipping it your pancakes will turn mushy and gross.  Once the water runs clear through your potatoes, let them stand for a minute to drain and then repeat the process once more.  Once done, return to your mixing bowl, grate in the onion and add the rest of the ingredients and mix together.  You will likely have excess liquid in your bowl, do your best to remove it at this point.

Heat a large frying pan to around medium.  Coat the bottom of your pan with a frying oil of your choice (I used vegetable this morning) and allow it to get hot.  Form the potato mixture into pancake shapes and add to the frying pan.  Cook both sides till golden brown  (don’t flip them until you see that they are golden or else you risk them falling apart.  Until these are cooked they are very delicate.)  Once done, pat off any extra oil with some paper towel and you are ready to serve.  Top them with the remainder of the ingredients and your breakfast is ready.  Feel free to change up your toppings, everyone has their own favourites.

Although I’ve discussed this before, I thought it was about time for me to revisit the topic of yogurt for breakfast.
I learned very quickly when eating yogurt that there is only one kind you should buy - plain, fat free, Greek yogurt.  Some people may scoff at that statement and argue for their favourite probiotic, peach, silky smooth, blah blah blah yogurt, but I’ll tell you why your wrong.  Plain, fat free, Greek yogurt is the healthiest, most versatile, and tastiest yogurt you can buy.  Plain Greek yogurt can be used not only for breakfast but also in cooking, is very high in protein and when you buy the fat free kind…well, it’s fat free.  I understand the process of having to add your own fruit can be tedious and logistically problematic (say while driving in a car), but I’m trying to keep this argument on the topic of “eating yogurt for breakfast while in the comfort of your own home”. 
Here are some tips that will make your next bowl of breakfast yogurt the best you’ve ever had:
- Kashi makes some cereals that go great with yogurt, try their “Toasted Cinnamon Crisp” or “Go Lean Crisp”
- fruit of your choice and some honey are all you will ever need to add
- finally, this trick has taken yogurt to the next level for me: lime zest and a little lime juice.  No matter what else you put in your yogurt, I promise you the addition of lime zest and juice will be most welcome.
Well, we are off to Philadelphia.  In case you are not in the loop, myself and some friends are going to Philly this weekend with our bikes (driving there, bikes in the van) to explore the city and take in what it has to offer.  Some of the things we have booked are a Phillies game, hitting up the “Rocky Steps”, and seeing the famous Liberty Bell. 
Philly is a beautiful city and I can’t wait to get back there to explore every corner of it.  I will be updating as regularly as I can about the food we eat and the culture we experience while there.  Have a great long weekend!

I wish this album was finished and properly released.  It probably would have been the best album of all time. 

my week as a vegetarian

So after an extremely fun but overly meat filled weekend at my cottage, I thought I’d give my cholesterol levels a break and at the same time give myself a fun challenge by going vegetarian for a week.  From a health point of view I’ve had a very successful week.  For the most part I had substantial and delicious meals and hadn’t really craved meat in anyway.  That being said I was extremely surprised by the challenges I faced.  On any given week the ratio of how much I cook at home versus how much I eat out at restaurants is different.  It happened that this week was heavy on the later half of the equation due to my schedule.  Now cooking vegetarian cuisine at home is not a problem at all, I enjoy cooking with vegetables so having a meal entirely composed of them is not of any concern.  However I was very surprised at the difficulty of eating vegetarian at restaurants.  Now I’ve always noticed that even some of the best veggie friendly restaurants usually only have a few options for vegetarians but I was shocked that the choices I had this week were limited at best.  I can’t tell you how many veggie burgers and cheese pizzas I was forced to eat, while I had to pass up on so many delicious options because they unnecessarily contained things like bacon, chicken strips or ground beef.  In some cases these could be removed but often that resulted in the meal missing a flavor component or now being over priced for what you got.

I don’t think any stark revelations were made during this exercise but I have learned two things about restaurant cuisine when it comes to vegetarian fare: there is an unnecessary obsession with meat, and a lack of creativity on the side of most restaurants to create meals with out it.  I think this is something that should be addressed by most chefs as it’s not a hard mentality to change.  There are plenty of meat substitutes out there and people will learn that their meals can be equally as delicious and filling with these changes.

Ultimately this post won’t reveal anything new for the vegetarians out there, just now know you have a supporter for your cause.  I haven’t decided how I will work vegetarianism into my life.  Whether it’s eating vegetarian one week a month, or part of every week, I’m unsure, but I do know I will be eating less meat from here on out.

cross genre covers are always interesting. 


“Pony” by Ginuwine

Watch the original video.

This was requested by faithsilva.

(via fleetfoxessing)

Let’s put an end to ‘dietary tribalism’ by Andy Bellatti

As someone who is dedicated to food culture, I’m inevitably interested and concerned with a healthy diet.  I have been focused lately on creating a diet for myself that combines the knowledge of all the food culture factions (vegans, vegetarians, paleos etc.) and my own personal taste in what food i like to eat.  In this approach I hope to satisfy my nutritional requirements, help with food sustainability, and as much as possible, animal rights.

I have been lucky in my attempts that I have many friends in these factions that are open minded and supportive.  It is with their help that I am likely to succeed in my goal.  But I am also very aware that surrounding my food oasis there is a war going on between these factions and that they are all missing the point.

Andy Bellatti has made the best food culture argument I have possibly ever heard.  In summary it is this:  It doesn’t really matter whether you are a paleo, vegan, vegetarian, low-carb eater, or whatever, your main goal in this choice is to live a healthy lifestyle.  And instead of arguing whose diet is better, these ‘dietary tribes’ should unite under their unified goal of a healthy lifestyle to combat the major problems in the food industry.

You can read the article here.  I highly recommend you do.

This came via my good friend Dave

Spring is a very exciting time at the cottage.  It is when the ice melts.  It’s when the grass begins to grow. It’s when the dock and the boats go in the water.  It is when the idea of summer really grabs hold and you can’t help but feel great.  I spent this past weekend up at the cottage for the annual fishing weekend, enjoying the fruits of spring while preparing for the summer to come. 

As all the men in the family gather to try and best each other in catching the biggest and the most fish, inevitably more time is spent drinking and cooking food of all sorts.  Of all the highlights of this years fishing weekend the one that will stick with me the most is having my father, who has been one of my most important teachers when it comes to cooking, look to me for advice in preparing meals throughout the weekend.  Still as proud as that makes me feel, I am still in awe of his BBQ abilities.  Enjoy the photos and if your lucky one day you may be able to enjoy the cottage as well.

Here is a small playlist that highlights some of the music I listened to while at the cottage:

Neil Young - Out On The Weekend

Bon Iver - Michicant

Fleet Foxes - Helplessness Blues

Fleetwood Mac - Gold Dust Woman

Deerhunter - Helicopter

The Wooden Sky - I’m Your Man

Death Cab For Cutie - Passenger Seat