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MARCH 2014



Lance Berlin by Briana Rubenstein Podiatrist whose loved a traditional Italian meal for years has finally made the time to learn how to cook it himself.


ance Berlin has been a podiatrist all of his life. Everything about his profession is serious and exact. Our families have known each other for over 20 years. After having tasted my grandmother’s roasted peppers one time he fell in love. It has taken him about 15 years to finally gain the courage to learn all the secrets to my grandmother’s recipe. Even though it will never be as good, he strives to reach her pepper standards.

BR: When was the first time you tried Ricci Roasted Peppers? LB: The first time I had the peppers was about 20 years ago. I remember Donny, your grandpa, made them. BR: What is it that makes Ricci Roasted Peppers better than any other? LB: I have tried peppers from all over the country, including Italy, and these peppers are the gold standard that I have judged all peppers against.” BR: Why are they your favorite?

LB: First you spread extra virgin olive oil all over the pan and each pepper must be hand massaged with the oil. Then the peppers have to be roasted and put in the oven on broil, while frequently rotating them. The de-gloving of the peppers is the most labor intensive part. Lastly the pepper juice from the pan and the peppers must be hand mixed in a bowl with garlic, oil, basil, and salt. BR: Which portion did you enjoy the most? LB: Eating.

LB: I was never able to understand why they are my favorite. I just enjoyed the taste but after today, I saw how much preparation actually goes into making them. BR: Before today, did you think the process was simpler or more difficult than it actually is? LB: The process is actually simpler because there are not as many ingredients as I thought, but the process is extremely detailed. BR: Describe the process briefly to me…

LB: After de-gloving the peppers, there were so many skins that were going to get thrown out so I decided to use them. I made a caponata with the charred skins, garlic, salt, the juice, and oil. It can be used as a spread or mixed in meatballs or sausage. BR: What made you finally decide to learn how to make the Ricci Roasted Peppers? LB: Anna always gives me peppers when she moved them and I called her to thank her after her latest batch and we just set it up. Maybe it is because I am getting older and saw time passing.” BR: When you make peppers, are you going to give some to my grandma like she does for you?

BR: Do you think you will ever be able to make Ricci Roasted Peppers as good as Anna and Donny? LB: I will come close because I carefully watched with extreme detail from start to finish and can follow her process and recipe exactly.” BR: Can you talk about the new creation you discovered?

LB: Yes, without a doubt. She may not enjoy them as much as her own, but at least she wont have to make them as often for herself. Briana Rubenstein is a junior Mathematics major at Adelphi University. She is also a member of the Adelphi Field Hockey team. She plans to become a secondary mathematics teacher and a college or high school coach. Briana currently resides on Long Island, in a small town on the water.

Comfort Cooking  

Assignment 2

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