At 8:30 p.m. last Friday, Mark Andrew Gravel was watching nervously as 40-odd assembled diners in the exposed brick basement of the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, Brooklyn plunged their forks into a plate of food he had just served.
This plate was piled with a curious combination of sunchoke (known to some as Jerusalem artichoke), olive, cattail heart, buttermilk, and whey.
One hundred years ago this past week, Frank and Rose Snock opened their fish restaurant in Philadelphia. A century later, Snockey's Oyster and Crab House is still serving up deep-fried fish fillets, deviled clams and, of course, oysters.
They've got as many as a dozen varieties. Today, it's the Snock's grandchildren, Ken and Skip, who are running the show. But apparently, not much else has changed. Snockey's is still making the same oyster stew that Rose cooked for 79 years.
Philadelphia has its cheesesteak sandwich, Buffalo its wing. Now, Tampa has officially claimed the Cuban sandwich. The Tampa, Florida city council last month passed a resolution designating the Historic Tampa Cuban Sandwich and specifying its ingredients. From member station WUSF in Tampa, Bobby O'Brien found that claim has drawn ridicule from Miami's Cuban community.
(SOUNDBITE OF CUTTING AND PAPER UNWRAPPING)
BOBBY O'BRIEN, BYLINE: An authentic Tampa Cuban starts with the bread.
You may not have heard of Clarence Birdseye, but odds are you've eaten the results of his culinary innovation.
Birdseye is the man credited with inventing frozen food. Everything you see in supermarket freezers today, from vegetables to pizzas to frozen dinners, can be traced back to Birdseye's work. His name would come to symbolize a veritable frozen food movement in the United States.