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How Do You Want Your Eggs?
Why I Hate Breakfast in Bed
A Guide to Your Perfect Cup of Coffee 12 Food Prep From a Meal Prep Skeptic 15 Hanging Over Abroad 18 Brunch: A History 22 Exploring Philadelphia Through Farmers Markets 24 Putting the Sandwich Back in Sandwich 28 Breaking Down Cholent 34 Chatting with Strangers on My Side of the Counter 37 Eating in New York City: A Photo Essay 40 24 Hours, 3 Meals, and the Lies You’ve Been Told About Breakfast 46
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What We’re Reading Now BY XANDER GOTTFRIED PHOTO BY JUSTINE DE JESUS
How to Drink How to Drink on YouTube is run by alcohol aficionado Greg, where he recreates classic cocktails and invents drinks to go along with popular TV shows. While there may be an excess of ‘booze-porn’ (think slo-mo pours and shattering ice), the show also excels when it is just Greg going on about the history of some drink, often while very tipsy himself. Watch if you love drinks and want to learn more about them, but if you’re just here for the fan-servicey slo-mos and drunk Greg, that’s great too.
American Sfoglino A new cookbook from the LA chef Evan Funke, of restaurant Felix, and co-written by Katie Parla (Rome-expert and author of Food of the Italian South), American Sfoglino presents recipes for handmade pasta. No need to invest in a pasta machine: Funke is a major proponent of 100% handmade pastas. The book includes four base doughs and innumerable pasta shapes with their accompanying sauces. For anyone who wants to learn the difference between tortellini, agnolotti, and cappelletti, this is the fall cookbook worth getting.
Rotten This Netflix show, with a second season that came out this fall, focuses on corruption in the food industry. Season one focused on honey, peanuts, and chicken, among others, and season two follows up with six more exposés, including ones on wine, bottled water, and chocolate. This is a serious show dealing with serious issues, and includes interviews with experts and insiders in each industry. The sobering show is well directed and visually stunning, but it is the stories that make it so worthwhile.
The Dave Chang Show This podcast is nothing new, but every week David Chang, of the Momofuku empire, releases another inspiring and informative discussion with someone in the food industry. Podcasts usually involve some brief monologue by Chang on some issue he feels passionately about before launching into an interview. Recent guests have included writer Jeff Gordinier—author of a biography of Noma chef Rene Redzepi—and Chicago chef Iliana Rega, who now runs a gastro-inn in nowhere, Michigan.
Nothing Fancy Alison Roman’s (of #thecookies fame) sequel to her first cookbook, Dining In, offers similarly exciting yet straightforward recipes. The recipes are intended to make hosting easy, like convincing you to cook a whole fish or set up a DIY martini bar. Some of these recipes have made it onto Bon Appétit ahead of time, so test them out online to see if you like her style. Perfect for anyone who loves to cook and entertain, but doesn’t want to be too caught up with either at the same time. penn appétit
How do you want your Eggs? BY LIBBY CONSTAN ILLUSTRATIONS BY SONIA SHAH
Eggs are the quintessential breakfast food. Any morning that starts out with a perfectly cooked egg is going to turn into a great day. There are many different types of eggs, which means you will never get sick of them. I know I havenâ€™t. I cook and eat eggs pretty much every morning. Ask my roomates, the smell of freshly cooked eggs in the morning is something they have grown to love. Whether I am frying an egg to place upon my fried rice or scrambling some to pair with my coffee, the egg always hits the spot. As an expert on eggs, I am here to show you the best ways to cook them.
ED I R
POAC D HE
I begin with my personal favorite type of egg. The fried egg is incredibly easy and delicious. It can go perfectly on top of so many meals to add a burst of salty goodness. 1. Add just enough olive oil (or butter) to a small nonstick pan to cover the bottom of the pan. Heat the oil on medium high until you see it shimmering. 2. Add an egg or two to the oil and allow the edges to cook until they are golden brown, which should take about 2 minutes. 3. Baste the eggs by tilting the pan towards you to pool the oil and use a spoon to pour hot oil onto any egg whites that are not yet cooked. Make sure to avoid the yolk with this step. 4. Season with salt and enjoy!
Ah, the poached egg. What an elusive beauty. Making a poached egg can be a daunting endeavor that can turn into a white web of grossness at any moment. But, if you follow the instructions carefully, you can have a beautiful poached egg with a perfectly firm white and runny yolk to perch upon your avocado toast. 1. Boil 4 cups of water and two teaspoons of vinegar in a pot. The vinegar will not change the taste of the egg, but will help keep the egg together. Then reduce the heat to a simmer. 2. Crack your egg into a ramekin or bowl in order to easily add the egg to the pot. 3. Use a spoon or spatula to stir the water into a small whirlpool and carefully drop the egg into the center, allowing the spinning motion to pull the egg white together. 4. Turn off the heat and let the egg poach for 3-4 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon. Serve immediately.
A M BL E D R SC
One of the easiest eggs to make is the scrambled egg. Even my stubborn little brother who refuses to learn how to cook knows how to make scrambled eggs. The scrambled egg is hard to mess up, but also easy to make extra delicious. 1. Add your eggs to a mixing bowl and whip them vigorously. The yolk and whites should be completely homogeneous with no streaks. Adding a dash of water or milk can help the mixture congeal more quickly. 2. Heat up a non-stick pan on medium low and add butter. 3. Once the butter is melted, add the egg mixture to the pan and allow it to sit for just a few seconds. 4. Gently push the mixture across and around the pan with your spatula to create long waves of egg. This should take around a minute and a half to completely cook the eggs. This method will result in a gooey and tender soft scramble. If you want a more firm scramble, then add more heat or cook for longer. 5. Season with salt and pepper.
This type of egg is similar to the fried egg except it is flipped during cooking and should be cooked for different lengths to create the desired runniness of the yolk. It is important to know how to cook these just in case you are cooking for an insane person who doesn’t like a runny yolk. 1. Add butter to cover the bottom of a non-stick pan. Heat the butter on medium until completely melted. 2. Add the egg to the butter and allow the whites to mainly cook through, which should take about 2 minutes.
Boiled eggs are great because they are simple, yet can look drastically different based on how long you cook them. You could make a solid hard-boiled egg to add to salads or eat on-the-go. You could also make a soft-boiled egg, which is basically an easier form of poaching. 1. The first step for any type of boiled egg is to boil water over high heat in a large saucepan. Then add the eggs and cover with a lid. 2. Boil the eggs over medium-high heat for 4-8 minutes depending on the desired yolk softness. 3. Use a slotted spoon to place the eggs under cool running water or in a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking.
3. Then carefully flip the egg… a. If you are making an over easy egg, only let the flipped egg cook on the other side for about 30 seconds. b. If you are making an over medium egg, let the flipped egg cook for slightly longer (about a minute). c. If you are cooking an over hard egg, you can break the yolk first before flipping and then allow it to cook for about a minute on the other side.
4. Peel the eggs and enjoy!
With these quick and easy recipes, you will be an egg cooking pro like me in no time! You can start having delicious and filling breakfasts. The next time you are cooking breakfast for your roommates and guest from the night before, you can confidently ask “How do you want your eggs?”
breakfast in bed
BY RACHEL WECHSLER PHOTOS BY JUSTINE DE JESUS AND ROSE PAN
efore I start this op-ed I just want to preemptively warn you that the word “crumbs” is going to come up so many times during this article. Sound annoying? Yeah, well: imagine eating toast in bed, and even after you have scrupulously wiped your sheets down, there are still bits of crumb lurking in the folds of the sheets.
Talk about annoying.
I am not a morning person. I am not writing this article as one of those cheery early-birds who wakes up with the sun immediately shining on them and says, “Oh, anything is possible in the morning!” If anything, when I wake up in the morning, after having snoozed my alarm for the fifth time, I need a coffee on IV drip before I can be productive. I don’t have a PhD on this topic, but I am pretty sure that being a lazy-morning person who loves eating gives me 100% credibility on this controversial issue: even I don’t want to eat breakfast in bed. So this is me, your certified morninghater with some breaking news:
breakfast in bed is
Let’s start with my most persuasive argument: crumbs. There is no argument that you breakfast-in-bed-eating-lovers could give that would assuage the massive trauma that comes with eating anything crumby on your bed. A luxurious avocado toast with a poached egg on top? You might be salivating, but you just lost the game. Flaky crumbs will haunt you and your comforter until the day you wash your linens, which for me, is in a few months from tomorrow. Need some creative breakfast foods that don’t have crumbs? Here, I’ve brainstormed a few: Açai Bowls without granola (okay, gross, and also where did you find that?), eggs without toast (now you have yolk all over you), and maybe even a bowl of cereal sans milk (mm, appetizing!). Some of you might be thinking: but what if I just want to relax? Totally valid, and relatable on all accounts. I am a college student who uses her brain for only six hours a day, and I always need to relax. But I think that the act of eating breakfast in bed feels a little rushed. You wake up and there is a plate of eggs being shoved in your face. Where was the time you had to adjust to the light? Have you brushed your teeth yet? Are you even hungry? I am someone who can always eat, and five seconds after I am awake I am simply not mentally ready for an entire meal. Just consider your life choices: are you really relaxing when you have to balance a wobbly platter of eggs, toast, orange juice and maybe (if you’re feeling fun) some fruit? I am actually having anxiety thinking about the concentration it takes to not slightly move my legs under the tray. One wrong move, and you’re done. Orange juice on the comforter, fruit juice on the sheets, and endless crumbs in hidden crevices. Now, instead of starting off your day in a mode of Crumbs! relaxation and self-indulgence, you have to worry about stripping your bed, washing your linens, and fitting those chores into the already jam-packed day you have ahead. Still not convinced that breakfast in bed is the worst thing since Apple’s “RadarAlarm Ringtone?” I suppose that some of you breakfast-in-bed fanatics (who are you?) still might find this whole concept somehow luxurious. But there is literally nothing soothing about eating toast in the same place that you were just drooling for eight hours.
Oh, and one last thing: have
I mentioned crumbs? penn appétit
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PERFECT CUP OF COFFEE BY SARAH FINKELSTEIN ILLUSTRATIONS BY SRIYA CHOPPARA
affeine and I are best friends. Surviving on somewhat of a symbiotic relationship, caffeine supports me in all of my daily endeavors. However, before being hired as a barista at Williams Café (shameless plug: best coffee on campus), I didn’t know the differences between coffee drinks. Walking into a cafe, a caffeinedeprived me would order cappuccinos with no foam or Americanos like they were drip coffee. Here is a complete guide to all of your coffee drinks, so next time you go into a cafe you actually know what you’re ordering.
milk, which incorporates air from the surface into the warm milk. For a café au lait, the barista will fill half of your cup with drip coffee and add just steamed milk on top, with no milk foam. This differs from a simple drip coffee since the milk is smoother and warmer, so it won’t cool down the coffee.
CORTADO One of my personal favorites and the dark horse of a cafe’s menu, cortados are made using equal parts espresso and steamed milk. This creates a drink that is slightly less bitter and acidic than an espresso. It is also double the size of an espresso, since the added milk creates more volume. Still, do not expect to have a full cup of coffee when you order a cortado.
DRIP COFFEE Let’s begin with good ole’ fashioned drip coffee. Drip coffee is made by pouring hot water over ground coffee beans and then filtering out this liquid through either a paper, metal, or plastic mesh filter. As opposed to espresso, this is less concentrated coffee and thus has a lower caffeine content per ounce. Most likely the least expensive drink on the menu, drip coffee is delicious when brewed right, and gets the job done when it comes to caffeine.
(½ drip coffee, ½ steamed milk) (½ espresso, ½ steamed milk)
ESPRESSO Espressos are the building block of all of the following drinks. A more concentrated brew, espresso is made by pushing hot water through finely ground coffee under high pressure. This creates a final product that is almost syrupy with a crema (creamy foam) on top. Don’t expect to order an espresso and get an eight ounce drink—espressos are just one ounce and contain about as much caffeine as a standard cup of coffee.
MACCHIATO When you order a macchiato at a traditional café, do not expect to receive the sugar bomb of caramel and whipped cream that you would drink at Starbucks. More similar to cortados, macchiatos are also made using espresso and steamed milk. However, macchiatos have just a splash of milk on top, followed by a dollop of milk foam to top it off. Macchiatos are perfect for people who think that a traditional espresso is a bit too acidic, but still don’t want too much milk in their coffee.
CAFÉ AU LAIT Derived from French, this word literally translates to “Coffee with Milk.” This drink is one part drip coffee and one part steamed milk. To create the velvety texture of steamed milk, baristas will insert the steamer deep into the milk to stir and emulsify it. On the other hand, to create milk foam, the barista will place just the tip of the steamer into the
(½ espresso, just a little bit of steamed milk, ½ milk foam) penn appétit
Lattes are an incredibly popular coffee drink and come in lots of shapes, sizes, and flavors. A traditional latte is an espresso based drink but is as large as a cup of drip coffee. Therefore, a latte is mostly steamed milk with just one or two shots of espresso, depending on the size. This creates a final product that is smoother, creamier, and richer than drip coffee. When made right, lattes usually have just a little bit of milk foam on top of the drink.
If you’re looking for a foamier, frothier drink, cappuccinos should be your go-to. Made similarly to a latte, a cappuccino is an espresso based drink which consists of mostly milk. However, cappuccinos have about one third espresso, one third steamed milk, and one third milk foam, which gives an airier product with less liquid in the cup. This drink is therefore stronger than a traditional latte since there is less liquid milk in it. Be careful to note that cappuccinos, as opposed to lattes, are only served hot, so an iced cappuccino will never be on the menu.
Basically an adult hot chocolate, the café mocha fills all your chocolate and caffeine craves. A mocha is just a latte with a few pumps of chocolate syrup in it, creating a rich and decadent drink. Mochas are often served with whipped cream on top so make sure to specify while you order if this is something you want. Mochas can also be served iced, perfect for a summer treat!
(1 or two shots of espresso, depending on the size, the rest steamed milk)
AMERICANO By far the most caffeinated beverage on the menu, an Americano is an espresso based drink topped off with hot water instead of steamed milk. At most coffee shops, a small Americano has two shots of espresso in it, so be careful to note that this is about equivalent to two full cups of coffee. A large Americano has four shots of espresso, so if you’re as addicted to caffeine as I am, the Americano is your knight in shining armor.
(2, 3, or 4 shots of espresso, depending on the size, the rest hot water) 14
(1 or 2 shots of espresso, depending on the size, chocolate sauce, steamed milk)
(1 or 2 shots of espresso, depending on the size, ½ steamed milk, ½ milk foam)
COLD BREW The best way to make iced coffee, cold brew is smooth and super refreshing. Made by brewing coarsely ground coffee beans in water overnight, cold brew is a highly caffeinated coffee concentrate. Therefore, most cold brew coffees are diluted with water.
CHAI LATTE Chai lattes are a deliciously spicy and sweet drink for a cold day. However, contrary to what you might think, most chai lattes are not actually made with brewed chai tea. When you order a chai latte at a coffee shop, what you are really getting is steamed milk infused with chai concentrate: a blend spices, sugar, honey, ginger juice, and some concentrated black tea for caffeine. If you love the chai latte, try it dirty (with a shot of espresso) or filthy (with two shots of espresso).
FOOD PREP From a Meal Prep Skeptic
BY KELSEY WARREN PHOTO BY CHRISTY WU
When I envision “meal prep,” a particular image comes to mind: salmon, brown rice, and broccoli filling five reusable containers just fitting in the frame of a food blogger’s Instagram post. Frankly, my narrow definition of meal prep has kept me away from the practice as I detest brown rice and broccoli. More generally, however, I don’t understand why one would want to cook so far ahead of time. To me, freshly cooked food is always paramount. A Google search for “meal prep” yields results that define it as: planning entire meals or dishes ahead of time, typically longer than two days. What does “planning” really mean? Entire meals? That seems like a lot of work.
Two days? I can’t even decide what I want for lunch in seven minutes. After many years of confusion and fear over what meal prepping entails, I’ve decided that a new definition is in order. After all, we’re all academics here, so let’s challenge the definitions we’re given. (Too much? Stay with me...) I stand to replace “meal prepping” with “food prepping.” Meal prepping feels daunting and overinvolved. But food prepping, food prepping is where cooking begins. Food prepping allows you to cook faster during the week because you have prepped ingredients beforehand in a way that shaves off time when you cook each meal. But—and this is why it is different from meal prep—
you aren’t committed to entire prepared meals if your schedule changes. In other words, you cook as you go! I know this is a commitment. Cooking (and cleaning) multiple times a day takes time. But, I’ve realized that the pleasure of eating my freshly cooked ingredients is worth the ten to twenty minutes I spend cooking it. Bring your book to the kitchen and read as you wait for your water to boil! The twenty minutes you spend stalking your exboyfriend on Instagram could be better spent cooking fresh food to fuel your brain to study into the wee hours of the night. What is food prepping? Read on to find out... penn appétit
You can food prep without cooking
Like when professional kitchens have their vegetables chopped and onions diced before service begins. If you bought zucchini for the week, chop it up and put it in a reusable container for the week. This way, you can just throw each serving in the pan when you are ready to sauté it.
Food prepping doesn’t require overly illustrious forethought. Buy more food than you will eat for one meal and use the leftovers for a subsequent meal or two. It’s as easy as that. Who doesn’t dream about eating pasta for breakfast?
It’s not just about the heat
Frozen was a box office hit, and it’s about to be the top hit of your cooking life. Load up on frozen vegetables. Frozen veggies are sustainable because they don’t go bad as quickly as refrigerated ones. In fact, frozen vegetables are often at the apex of their ripeness, unlike refrigerated vegetables which can depreciate drastically in ripeness as they make the trek from the farm to your plate. If you know you are eating a fair amount of meals at home for the week, buying refrigerated ingredients that have a short shelf life (like leafy greens) works. However, if you aren’t sure when you’ll be eating at home but want to be prepared if you do, you can buy frozen ingredients that won’t go bad or items that can be frozen if time passes without consuming. This especially rings true for vegetables and meat.
I’ve found myself enjoying a simple lemon-olive oil salad dressing on everything from my arugula salads to salmon. I think it is important to prepare dressings and add-ons that spice up your bundle of ingredients. This could also include nuts, dried fruit, and spices that don’t go bad. It is important to have these things in your pantry. Just the act of having these ready to be used in your weekly line up is a great food prepping strategy. Consider your lifestyle Cooking your meals as you need them helps avoid wasted food when you unexpectedly run into a friend and grab a meal out. You can stretch ingredients if you haven’t cooked them before you know you need them.
Frozen, like the movie
Find a bundle of ingredients that you love... And find a way to make different recipes with that bundle. The same protein, vegetable, and rice combination is boring if you have it for lunch every day. This is why I advocate for daily doses of cooking, so that one day you can add spice to the rice or mushrooms to the main dish. If you have a cohort of ingredients that you like, you won’t get bored of the different combinations you try. Part of this means that you don’t need to buy pounds upon pounds of one ingredient. Mix it up so that you can have one ingredient one night, another the next, and then a combination of the two the third night. I find myself wondering if the time barrier associated with meal prepping is still a challenge with food prepping. I recognize everyone doesn’t have the same excitement over food as I do. However, once you get into a rhythm of buying the right combination of ingredients, you will see how helpful and healthy it can be to shop wisely and prepare food items ahead of time to avoid hassle when it comes to meal time.
After all, I know we’re all looking for procrastination activities to convince ourselves we’re being productive during the day when we don’t want to do schoolwork. Cooking is a great example of one. You’re welcome.
3 minutes until browned. Add garlic, capers, and raisins and lightly season with salt and pepper and let soften.
RECIPES BY PINN CHIRATHIVAT
Combine zucchini with couscous and stir till combined, season to taste with salt and pepper.
1 cup couscous 1 zucchini, halved and cut crosswise into ¼-inch thick pieces 1 tablespoon capers 1½ tablespoons golden raisins 2 cloves garlic 2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil
½ head of cauliflower; cut into bitesized florets 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 teaspoon salt ½ teaspoon black pepper 1 teaspoon ras el hanout
Combine the couscous and 1 cup water, season it with salt, and bring to a boil. Once it boils, remove from heat, cover pot, and let steam for 8 minutes until all water is absorbed. While the couscous is cooking, drizzle two teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high heat. Cook zucchini over medium-high heat in olive oil, letting sit undisturbed for
Preheat oven to 400°F. In a bowl, thoroughly mix cauliflower with ras el hanout and olive oil, seasoning with salt and pepper. Bake 25-30 minutes until lightly golden. Dish: Ras el hanout chicken
1 chicken thigh 1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1½ tablespoons ras el hanout Salt and black pepper to taste
Greek yogurt Preheat oven to 450°F Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season with oil, salt, pepper, and ras el hanout. Transfer chicken to sheet pan, skin side up, and roast for 28 minutes until well browned. Serve with couscous, cauliflower, and yogurt. Dish: Rosemary chicken
1 chicken thigh ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, grated ½ tablespoon rosemary, chopped Salt and black pepper to taste Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season with oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary. Transfer chicken to sheet pan, skin side up, and roast for 28 minutes until well browned. Serve with couscous and cauliflower. Dish: Chimichurri chicken
Chicken 1 chicken thigh ½ tablespoon extra virgin olive oil 1 clove garlic, grated Salt and black pepper to taste Chimichurri ½ cup packed fresh parsley 3 garlic cloves 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar ¼ teaspoon each salt and black pepper ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes For the chimichurri, combine all ingredients and blend in a food processor. Preheat oven to 450°F. Pat chicken dry with paper towels, then season with oil, salt, and pepper. Transfer chicken to sheet pan, skin side up, and roast for 28 minutes until well browned. penn appétit
hanging over abroad BY ESTHER LEE ILLUSTRATIONS BY SHARON KUO You might be thinking: what does an eighteen year-old know about hangovers? Moreover, about drinking in general?! Well, from my summer experiences abroad, I would say that I have some knowledge on regional drinking cultures. The drinking age of 21 in the United States is frankly unheard of in many countries, for it is sometimes culturally acceptable and legal to drink starting from the age of sixteen. Who’s to say that you can’t book a flight to flee from the drinking age for a weekend? Right, your budget says so, but that’s besides the point, okay? Regardless, here are some local hangover cures to try!
IRELAND / ENGLAND
Ireland and England are known for their full-portioned breakfasts. Hearty dishes with bacon, sausage, blood sausage or black pudding, fried eggs, and baked beans paired with any type of bread are comforting, carb-heavy, and greasy foods that help absorb alcohol. Anything from Greggs (a large bakery chain in the UK), a bottle of Lucozade (an energy drink), prawn chips, or sandwiches will bring you to a functioning state again.
The drinking age in Germany is sixteen. Known for rollmops, which are pickled herring with gherkin and onions, Germany sure knows how to cure a great population of alcoholloving people (especially during Oktoberfest). Slightly sour, rollmops are an electrolyte-packed breakfast. Those who have not tried it before should probably start with just a taste, in case the fish swims back up.
France is the motherland of fine wine. For the French to forget how much wine they had downed the night before, a good French onion soup filled with melt-in-your-mouth caramelized onions in a heavy beefy broth, topped with cheese and paired with nearly half a loaf of bread is the way to go. It is a dish that has just the right amount of carbs, grease, and comfort for a worn-out body.
For the most part, Italians ignore hangovers until they go away. A simple double espresso is definitely not as comforting as one might crave. While a strong cup of coffee can help dilate blood vessels and get rid of headaches quicker, those who do not have as strong of a stomach should definitely try to pair the drink with some carbs. A comforting dish of spaghetti, oil, garlic, and chili pepper will be perfect for the non-Italian to pair with the strong cup of coffee.
Poland is known for treating hangovers with pickle juice. A common ingredient that has been shared with many other countries, even America, pickle juice is made up of water, vinegar, and sodium. It is actually a great remedy for hangovers, as it contains an abundance of electrolytes to help with rehydration.
NETHERLANDS / DENMARK The Netherlands and Denmark are just two countries who believe that the best way to battle a hangover is to have a little extra booze in the morning. Known as “the hair of a dog,” reparationbajer, “repair beer,” is believed to help ease headaches. Just one drink can help the painful transition into sobriety.
Japan is known for their sour and salty pickled plums to cure a battered body. It is believed that this food helps with digestion, nausea, and liver function. Just be careful, this is definitely a sour punch that you might not be used to!
A warm bowl of congee in a dimly lit room is such a comforting and peaceful way to refresh after a long night. In China, congee is generally given to anyone who is not feeling too well. Filled with electrolytes and grease to soak up all the alcohol, this type of porridge is a cure that rehydrates the body without eliciting any feeling of nausea.
Mongolia has a tomato juice concoction. If this doesn’t sound bizarre enough, the soup contains a whole sheep’s eye. The acidic tomato juice is good for the liver but the purpose of the sheep’s eye is currently unclear. Perhaps it is just for pride’s sake, to weed out all the weaklings who can’t drink as much or aren’t brave enough to consume a sheep’s pupil.
South Korea has many forms of haejangguk, or a “soup to chase a hangover.” The ailment is usually cured with a soup that includes Napa cabbage, a beefy broth, various vegetables, and the secret ingredient: congealed oxblood. This cure goes back to the 14th century, so you can bet that this treatment definitely works!
Using a soup-based treatment, Thailand perfectly combines noodles and broth to soak up all the alcohol in your system. Known as drunken noodles, the spicy bowl of bean sprouts, meat, garlic, seafood, fish sauce, and rice noodles is definitely an uncommon and sometimes difficult-to-stomach dish to have in the morning. The heat from the dish clears the sinuses and flushes away the alcohol, transforming you back to your original self.
Have you ever eaten an ostrich egg? Or even seen one? To picture the amount of protein this egg gives, one ostrich egg omelet equals to about two dozen chicken eggs. South Africans best enjoy this treatment with a group of people and usually wash it down with the fermented milk drink called amasi.
Commonly known in the United States as a performance drink, Berocca is the holy grail for Australians. Simply dropping an orange disk into a cup of water, you are in for a concoction full of Vitamin B, Vitamin C, zinc, and sometimes caffeine. This is becoming more popular as a remedy around the world, with the company Bayer bringing the product to CVS, Walgreens, Target, and Walmart, now making it easily accessible to Americans.
Vuelva a la vida, meaning “return to life,” is a healthy Mexican salad topped with lime, onions, tomatoes, and shrimp. This healthy dish is not just for after a long night, but also a common dish to be enjoyed as is.
Ever heard of having french fries as your hangover cure? Well, in Canada, the way to wake up is to have poutine: french fries slathered in thick gravy with melting cheese curds. This is the perfect dish after a long night, not to mention satisfying for a french fry craving.
Colombia is known for their hearty soup, called sancocho, filled with various meats, potatoes, corn, plantains, and yuca. Heavy on protein and starch, this is a great comfort food to have after a rough night.
ARTICLE BY HELEN WU PHOTO BY AMY LU AND JANICE UTOMO RECIPES BY SARAH BERNSTEIN AND YUJUNG LEE
mong the plethora of cultural shocks that bombarded me when I first set foot in the United States, I did not expect brunch to be one of them. In China, my breakfast rotation consisted of light congee (rice porridge) with pickles, wontons in clear soup, or occasionally eggs. I could not fathom how one could have so much pure decadence during the first meal of the day. I cowered in the comfort of my past of Chinese breakfasts as others ordered golden-brown french toast topped with scoops of ice cream or whipped cream, huge helpings of steamy, soft, scrambled eggs nestled under slabs of fatty bacon and sausage, or even a piece of perfectly fried chicken doused with sickly-sweet maple syrup balanced over crispy waffles. These indulgences occur when people opt to skip breakfast in exchange for brunch, a ritualized midday meal to gather with friends and family. Moving past my initial shock, I have now fully embraced the big, eggy, sugary culture that is brunch. While I am still up for a bowl of heartwarming congee on those somber weekdays, I also love splurging on artisanal avocado 22
toast with a group of friends when I eat out. Unlike many other passing food fads, brunch has been a staple in the US since the early 20th century. Beyond its immediate appeal, there is a history to how brunch became one of the most beloved meals in America. The word “brunch”—a playful amalgamation of breakfast and lunch— first appeared in an 1895 Hunter’s Weekly article titled “Brunch: A Plea” by English writer Guy Beringer. In the article, Beringer characterizes brunch as “cheerful, sociable, and inciting,” contrasting it to breakfast, which is “adapted to solitude; [it is] consoling, but not exhilarating.” Although its etymology is obvious, the origins of brunch are quite ambiguous. According to the Smithsonian Magazine, some historians believe this meal originated in England’s “Hunt Breakfasts,” which were elaborate multi-course meals served during hunting parties that lasted for days and weeks on end. Others theorized that brunch was rooted in religion, in which Catholics gathered for a large meal on Sundays after mass. Some say that the brunch we now know and love began in New
York City, home to the classic Bagel and Lox, Eggs Benedict, and other common brunch foods. No matter the origins of brunch, its popularity has inspired brunch-only diners and fine dining restaurants who now make scrambled eggs on Sundays. Yet, brunch’s popularity depends on the bruncher. While many men undeniably love the meal, there seems to be a more prevalent culture of female friends gathering together on weekends to catch up over mimosas and an avocado toast. This phenomenon may be ingrained in the history of the meal, since women played a much larger role in popularizing brunch in the United States. According to Brunch: a History by author and food sociology professor Farha Ternikar, women began serving brunch on Sundays in the ‘50s since it was not as high maintenance as dinner. Ingredients that were harder to work with, such as vegetables and heavy meats, could be avoided since people did not have an appetite for those foods in the morning. After World War II, when women joined the workforce and started working Mondays through Fridays, weekend brunch became a
time when they could unwind over a meal with other female friends. Imagine being teleported back to a Sunday in the 1940s. It’s 12:30 pm, you and your family just finished church service, and you’re absolutely famished. Well, it’s a good thing you have a reservation at the Plaza Hotel in NYC (one of the fanciest hotel restaurants at the time)! You arrive at the hotel restaurant with dozens of other New York elite and open the menu to find a selection of calf’s liver with hashbrowns, clam cocktails, deviled eggs, and other delectables. In 2019, brunch is a totally different story. While fancy hotels were the sole purveyors of brunch in the early days, brunch has become a meal that exists in cafes, restaurants, and coffee-shops– options which are more accessible to those outside of the social elite. Starting in the ‘50s, brunch migrated from five star hotels to popular NYC restaurants. Despite being embraced by the public, brunch was shunned by chefs within the restaurant industry. Successful chefs who worked a bustling Saturday night shift usually slept in on Sundays, leaving brunch service to novice cooks. Nowadays, brunch is moving into the upper echelons
of fine dining, with more chefs motivated to innovate brunch menus with more appealing, creative, and environmentally-friendly dishes. The New York Times documents this paradigm within the restaurant industry, citing that chefs are adapting to a new economic reality. Not needing to serve wine during brunch service, restaurants are able to make more revenue by turning tables quickly. Brunch makes the cuisine of the restaurant more accessible to a wider demographic of people, such as those who cannot afford an expensive dinner or secure a reservation. Additionally, many restaurants have become more environmentallyfriendly through incorporating ingredients and parts of the animal that do not work well with the dinner menu into brunch items. Due to this innovation in brunch culture, you are more likely to find a man’oushe (Lebanese flatbread) with gravlax (at Suraya in Philadelphia) than a lackluster waffle topped with fried eggs. While I am late to the brunch game, I am overjoyed that I have expanded my palate from an almost too healthy rice porridge to the joys of sugary crepes and luscious poached eggs on the weekends.
Root Vegetable Hash Serves 6 4 pounds root vegetables, diced into medium cubes (mix of carrot, parsnip, turnip, and sweet potato) 1 medium white onion, medium dice Extra virgin olive oil 7 sprigs fresh thyme 1 dozen eggs Salt and black pepper to taste Preheat oven to 400°F. Combine root vegetables and onion and season with olive oil, salt, pepper, and thyme. Add to baking dish and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes, until tender. Once finished, crack eggs onto baking dish and return to oven, baking until whites are just set, about 5 minutes. Savory Crêpes Crepes (makes about 20 crepes) 2 cups all-purpose flour 4 large eggs 1 ¼ cups milk 1 cup water Salt to taste 1 tablespoon thyme, chopped 1 tablespoons rosemary, chopped Butter for cooking Fillings Sliced ham and shredded cheddar cheese Sautéed mushrooms of choice, spinach, minced garlic, and shredded Gruyere Sliced tomato, fresh basil, grated mozzarella To make crêpes, combine water and milk, then whisk in eggs, salt, herbs, flour last, whisking until no lumps remain. To cook crêpes, melt a small amount of butter in a nonstick or cast iron skillet over medium heat, then add ¼ cup batter and swirl to coat pan. Cook for about 2 minutes a side until just set, then flip and cook about 30 seconds more. Fill with desired fillings, and return to pan over low heat to warm through and melt cheese. penn appétit
o ri n g P l p hila Ex de l h phia Throug
BY SOPHIE QUAGLIA PHOTOS BY AMY LU AND JANICE UTOMO The traditional buzz of city sidewalks, bustling with suits and briefcases and the hurry to be somewhere, comes to a standstill as I walk up to Rittenhouse Square on cool, sunny, Saturday morning. A guitarist plays somewhere in the grass and vendors line the entirety of the sidewalk, bringing with them the smell of fresh picked apples, baked bread, and homemade lentil soup. Farmers markets, a staple of weekend life in the city for many Philadelphia residents, offer a fresh, local, and personal alternative to traditional supermarket options. For students, whose lives are generally ruled by whatever option is easiest and closest due to their
busy schedules, it can be easy to fall into the habit of frequenting popular supermarkets close to campus, such as The Fresh Grocer or the recently opened Heirloom Market. Farmers markets offer the perfect escape from campus in general, as well as the sometimes dismal or depressing options offered by these larger corporations while adding vitality back into the food-buying process that often feels like nothing more than an annoyance. The allure of the personal connection that farmers markets offer is immediately clear as I hear vendors talking to customers with obvious familiarity, asking them about their children or their high schoolâ€™s
sports team. It is apparent from these conversations that one appeal of farmers markets is that itâ€™s simply morally pleasing to purchase from a small family farm, especially as many vendors stand behind their tables with multiple generations of their family working together. While it can sometimes be hard to escape campus given the number of obligations students are under on any given day, farmers markets and purchasing fresh food can be the perfect excuse to explore further into the city. Each farmers market is also located within a block of a coffee shop, perfect for getting work done and breaking up the monotony of your study routine.
Here are the top four farmers markets to make sure you visit in Philadelphia: Rittenhouse Farmers Market
Headhouse Farmers Market
10am - 2pm Tuesdays and 9am - 3pm Saturdays Located at: 18th and Walnut Best Market For: Most Variety Located Near: The heart of Center City, perfect for shopping or grabbing lunch Study At: Joe’s, 1845 Walnut St.
Opens at 10am on Sundays Located at: 2nd and Pine Best Market For: An Excuse to Venture into Old City Located Near: The historic district of Old City Study At: Bodhi Coffee, 410 S 2nd St.
My personal favorite, the Rittenhouse farmers market, located on the sidewalk surrounding Rittenhouse Square, offers a sprawling selection of diverse options that are both fresh and local. Regardless of whether you’re searching for specific ingredients or just generally looking to try something new and colorful, Rittenhouse Farmers Market is guaranteed to have it. From Philly Lemonade Co. offering an extensive list of variations on your traditional, hand squeezed lemonade (including the likes of ‘pickle’ and ‘charcoal’), to Amaranth Gluten Free Bakery selling countless 100% gluten free baked goods, to Good Spoon Soup offering both ready-to-eat and frozen soups, Rittenhouse is ideal for one-stop shopping. This market differentiates itself from the others through the pure number and diversity of its options, and also by its location in the middle of the center city shopping district. I visit this farmers market every Saturday to buy apples from Hand on the Earth Orchard, which offers apples guaranteed to be “picked yesterday” by the handwritten signposts, and are sold by a man who will tell you which apples are the best to buy depending on the time in the season.
Located in one of the oldest standing market buildings in America, this farmers market is perfect if you’re looking to venture even further into Philadelphia and explore Old City, full of cobblestone streets and historical sites, including the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall. I may be biased because I grew up half a block away, but I believe that this market is worth traveling for, and it’s my favorite place to run to on Sunday mornings. It offers the traditional produce selection, and also choices such as Talula’s Table, offering house-made sausages (my brother’s favorite) and gourmet dips, and High Street Bakery, which emits the wafting scent of peach donuts and chocolate chunk cookies. If you do decide to visit, make sure to check out Fifth of a Farm Creations, which sells almost every version of jams and jellies imaginable, and strike up a conversation with the man selling them, who will successfully convince you that there isn’t a single thing in existence that wouldn’t be improved by adding jelly to it.
Clark Park Farmers Market
Fitler Square Farmers Market
3pm - 7pm Thursdays and 10am - 2pm Saturdays Located at: 43rd and Baltimore Ave Best Market For: Proximity to Campus Located Near: Campus Study At: Green Line Cafe, Baltimore Ave location
9am - 2pm on Saturdays Located at: 23rd and Pine Best Market For: Accessibility Located Near: The Schuylkill Running Path Study at: Good Karma, 22nd and Pine location
The Clark Park Farmers Market offers a smaller selection, though still varied, right here in West Philly. It’s set against the backdrop of stands selling T-Shirts supporting Clark Park, and a table rallying people towards a certain 2020 presidential candidate who seems to fit the vibe of the market. From fresh produce to artisanal cheese made by Valley Milkhouse, it offers traditional fare expected from a farmers market. It also, however, has novelty stands such as The Chai Bar, selling what they argue to be authentic chai, and The Pasta Lab, offering pasta freshly made in Philadelphia. During your visit to the market, make sure to check out the homemade apple cider sold by Bermudian Springs Cider.
The farmers market at Fitler Square is noticeably smaller than the others listed here and is more manageable for if you’re simply looking to find something new and fresh, perhaps on your way back from a run along the beautiful Schuylkill trail. Brogue Hydroponics dominates the produce-scene, each colorful offering with a handmade sign giving you information on the produce and how to cook it. This market also offers Dock Street alcohol and fresh-made pies, breads, and jams from Highland Orchards. This market is distinct for its more limited variety of options, making it perfect for when you want to explore in-season produce to add to your diet. Due to its smaller size, the vendors are happy to speak to you about what they sell and how to best enjoy it.
Whether you stay close to campus or explore further into the city, farmers markets are the perfect opportunity to add novelty to your refrigerator while supporting local farms and businesses.
Sandwich Back In Sandwich 28
BY XANDER GOTTFRIED PHOTOS BY ALAINA CHOU
Teriyaki Glazed Spam BLT RECIPE BY ALAN DAI Serves 3
6 slices sourdough bread, toasted 1 head butter lettuce 2 beefsteak tomatoes, sliced 1 can spam, cut into 9 rectangular pieces 2 4-ounce bags chicharrones ¼ cup soy sauce ¼ cup mirin ¼ cup water ¼ cup white sugar 2 tablespoons whole grain mustard 2 tablespoons mayo 1 garlic clove, microplaned Juice of ½ a lemon
For the glaze, combine the soy sauce, mirin, water, and sugar in a pot, then bring to a boil and reduce by half. Mix mayo with whole mustard, mayo, and lemon juice. Sear both sides of spam in a dry skillet on high till crispy and browned, then dip in glaze as they finish. Spread the mayo on one side of each slice of bread. Layer ingredients starting with bread, 2 leaves butter lettuce, a handful of chicharrones, 3 glazed spam rectangles, 2 tomato slices, and the top slice of bread. penn appétit
It’s the quintessential daytime food. The thing you always had for lunch when your mom didn’t have any leftovers to pack in your thermos. The, “Oh well, I guess I’ll have ham and cheese again.” It is the fallback that’s so comforting in its simplicity but has the potential to be so much more: the sandwich. Growing up, I remember eating my fair share of supermarket ham and sharp, neon-orange cheddar sandwiched between two mediocre slices of white bread. But often, my sandwiches were so much more. Coincidentally, my first obsession with cooking was over sandwiches. Using unexpected ingredients—whole hard-boiled eggs—and exhaustive preparations—hand-rolled sweet
potato buns and homemade roast beef come to mind—I made the sandwiches of my dreams. These concoctions, while delish (as my grandmother would say), labeled me as the kid with the crazy lunch. Often times my creations were so jam-packed that they rarely made it between my tupperware and my mouth still sandwiched. I’ve long since outgrown my sandwich-making obsession (although let’s be real, it’s still the best lunch), but my sandwich palate has been tested across the world. A mexican torta, so spicy only I could eat it, literally drowning in spicy tomato broth, the bread mushy but well worth it. French sandwiches that took an hour to wait for but which gratified with caramelized onions, funky cured
To make french toast
RECIPE BY JEAN CHAPIRO Serves 4
Toast 2 large eggs ½ cup milk ¼ teaspoon cinnamon ¼ teaspoon nutmeg ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 2 tablespoons brown sugar 8 slices of brioche bread 4 tablespoons butter Nut Butter 1.5 cups pumpkin seeds ½ cup almonds 2 tablespoons neutral oil ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice 2 teaspoons honey Jam 16 ounces strawberries, quartered ¾ cup white sugar 2 tablespoons lemon juice Boozy Bananas 4 medium bananas, cut in half lengthwise and widthwise 1 tbs. white sugar 1 tbs. butter 2 tbs. bourbon
In a small bowl, combine first six ingredients, whisking well, then add to a shallow dish. Heat a skillet over medium heat with butter. Dip bread in egg mixture, then dry until golden brown on each side. Seed and nut butter. Preheat oven to 350°F. Toast pumpkin seeds and almonds for 15 minutes, then let cool. Blitz in a food processor for about 15 minutes until creamy, frequently scrap ing down the sides. If the butter is not coming together after 12 minutes, slowly add the neutral oil one teaspoon at a time.
Boozy Bananas Melt the butter and a few pinches of white sugar in a skillet on medium/ high. When butter is melted and bubbling, add the bananas sliced side down. Simmer for a few minutes until the bottom is browned.
Finally, add the pumpkin pie spice, honey, and a pinch of salt and pulse until fully incorporated.
Add the bourbon off heat and simmer at medium until the banana is crispy and alcohol has cooked off.
Combine the strawberries and white sugar in a pot, and cook over medium-high heat, simmering, for 10 minutes.
Add the nut butter and jam to different slices of french toast.
Finish by adding the lemon juice. 30
meat, summer tomatoes, and long shaves of aged cheese that has been the subject of many a dream. Day-afterThanksgiving sandwiches with gravy mayo (umamiest condiment ever) and loads of sweet cranberry sauce for a rich, sweet and sour combination. It’s time to put the sandwich back in the sandwich. Each of the following categories is a tip for building better sandwiches. Don’t consider them all encompassing or mutually exclusive, but they’re what we came up with.
Lay four slices of boozy bananas between the slices, then close the sandwich.
“Know your preferences, and build your sandwich accordingly.”
S is for salty.
A is for acidic.
Every sandwich needs salt, just like every food needs salt. It’ll bring out the flavors of whatever is in your sandwich and make sure it doesn’t taste too bland. Salt doesn’t need to come just in the form of table salt, however. Think an aged parm to add to a prosciutto sandwich, or salty peanut butter for your PBJ. Salt is what takes your sandwich from homemade to delicatessen-level. Remember all those bland ham and cheeses you ate in elementary school and at playdates? Underseasoned. Treat your sandwich like any other complete dish.
Think of a sandwich like a well-dressed salad, but squashed between bread. Every salad needs acid, whether that comes from citrus juice or vinegar, and a sandwich has those same desires. Maybe this comes in the form of a sour vinaigrette that’s drizzled on top of roast pork for a meaty, saucy situation. Acid can be solid food too, which might help your sandwich’s structure. Think pickles, sourcream or yogurt, or even whole pieces of citrus tucked in amongst the lettuce. Acid will make your sandwich perk up.
N is for ____
D is for dessert-like This may sound weird, but every sandwich is improved with a touch of sweetness, like cranberry sauce in a day-after turkey sandwich. Consider fruit in sandwiches for natural sweetness and a touch of tartness at the same time. Grapes in chicken salad or apples with tuna are both great combinations. Other suggestions: chopped dates, a perfectly ripe tomato (ever had a BL? Didn’t think so), and fig jam.
W is for wet.
I is for intentionality.
C is for crunchy.
H is for hefty.
Wetness (yes it sounds gross, but like “moist” often is, it’s the best description) is crucial for any sandwich. Given that so much of a sandwich is devoted to bread, a rather dry food, it is essential that the insides are well hydrated. This could take the form of a sauce or a vinaigrette, or perhaps some naturally juicy or creamy food itself. Think about a super saucy coleslaw, creamy ricotta, or gravy.
Know your sandwich. Know each component, so that you can design it well. What goes on the bottom versus the top really does make a difference. Know your preferences, and build your sandwich accordingly.
No one likes a unitextural sandwich. You bite down, and “smoosh,” no resistance. What an unpleasant experience. Crunchy or crispy components add textural interest—consider texture as a playground for your mouth. Some people love potato chips in sandwiches, which is a perfect crunch. Other ways to add contrast are by toasting your bread till crispy, adding raw vegetables like shaved cabbage or thinly sliced beets, or frying up little snacks like fried shallots.
Heftiness does two things for a sandwich: it gives it a main component, so the sandwich knows who it is, and it makes it full enough to have as a meal. Every sandwich needs its main component, otherwise it’ll be a jumbled mass of ingredients each trying to outshine the other. The sandwich needs to know who’s in charge, and it doesn’t have to be meat. Sure, fried chicken, brisket, or bacon all make for great sandos, but so does hummus, roasted eggplant, or tomato. Just pick who’s in charge and play everything else off of that. Along with the tag “hefty” comes the need for fat. Fat will add richness and completeness to the sandwich. This is what your mayo, butter, melty mozzarella, or glug of olive oil is for. Remember that this fat is balancing the huge mass of bread that makes up most sandwiches. Carbs and fat are perfect matches, and if one is too overpowering, the sandwich will feel it.
Sweet Potato Breakfast Sandwich RECIPE BY JEAN CHAPIRO Serves 4
2 large sweet potatoes, cut in ¼ inch thick slices to make long planks 4 large eggs 3 ounces spreadable goat cheese 1 ounce sun dried tomatoes, drained and chopped into quarters 1 cup torn kale 1 cup chopped parsley ½ cup olive oil, plus more for drizzling ¼ teaspoon salt 1 clove garlic juice of one lemon ½ cup raw cashews
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place sliced sweet potatoes in a baking pan, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Bake until fork tender, then let cool For the kale pesto, pulse kale and parsley, ½ cup olive oil, ¼ tsp. salt, garlic, and lemon in a food processor, then add the cashews and pulse until you reach a smooth consistency. For the tomato-cheese spread, pulse the tomatoes and goat cheese in a food processor until smooth. To assemble, fry the eggs until crispy in a skillet with olive oil. Layer the sandwiches by starting with the sweet potato, then the tomatocheese, then the egg, and finally the pesto.
We’ve purposely left one of these slots blank. As it now stands, what you’re left with is a sadwich. Please don’t eat a sad-wich. Come up with your own rule, and your sandwich will be all the more your own. Happy building!
Cholent BY ALAN JINICH PHOTOS BY ALAN JINICH
“Cholent isn’t about its individual parts; it’s about the whole that comes together,” says Daniel Shenwick.
With shabbat just a few hours away, Daniel rushes to find the final ingredients of his hearty stew: consomme powder, crushed red pepper flakes, and an Eastern European style sausage called kishka. Everything is measured by sight. He’s been piling ingredients atop one another in a crock pot to then slow cook for 20 hours over the course of the night. It’s a tradition that’s been passed on for generations throughout the Jewish world I first took special notice of cholent while living in Jerusalem two years ago. My friends and I stumbled upon a bustling restaurant in the ultraorthodox Mea Shearim neighborhood
that only served massive pots of the stew. It seemed as though the whole neighborhood was trying to get their bowls through the door to get a taste of the dish whose ingredients are a mystery to most. Because Jews have been dispersed all over the world for thousands of years, each community has developed their version of cholent with its own name and ingredients found in their respective regions. The name cholent comes from the Eastern European version, which tends to be based on barley, onions, and potatoes. This is the most well known and popular version in the States. Other versions include
the Iraqi tbit which features a whole chicken stewed with rice, and the Dutch shachna which is made with beans cooked in goose fat and honey. Despite the significant variations around the world, there is a unifying factor among all cholents—that being the shared intent and process of preparing for the Jewish Sabbath, a weekly holiday that lasts from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday. Because traditional religious law prohibits the use of fire and electricity on this day, a dish’s ingredients have to be cooked and maintained on low heat before shabbat starts in order to be served the next day.
In Daniel’s home, cooking cholent is a glorified experience that he and his housemate rotate on carrying out depending on the week. Each one adds their own twist to the dish. Daniel’s special ingredient is onion powder, which some say adds a chocolatey flavor. Gabe likes to add garlic hoisin sauce, sesame paste known as tahini, and flavorful meat like corned beef or pastrami. Aaron uses quinoa and sweet potato as bases. Micah likes to splash in bourbon to add a smokey flavor. “A running joke in Yeshiva (religious school) is that you could throw anything into the pot and you wouldn’t be able to taste the difference,” says Daniel. “Some people add coke, which helps caramelize the meat. I sometimes add beer or barbeque sauce. The flavors all break down since it’s cooking for such a long time. You just need to make sure you add the right amount of salt. If you forget the salt the whole thing is ruined.” On top of his mountainous pile of onions, potatoes, and pearl barley, he adds the next major ingredient: flanken meat on the bone, also known as short ribs. Its fat is key to forming the consistency and buttery flavor Daniel is going for. Vegetarian cholents need a substitute for meat fat, which can be hard to match. Once all the ingredients are in, he fills the pot with water up to the top layer of meat so that it’s cooked before shabbat starts. The next day I stop by his house to try a bowl of the finished product along with twenty other hungry students who had just come from morning services. The ingredients have melted into a dense golden brown stew. You can’t make up any of its individual parts except for the barley and meat which has become so tender that it falls off the bone. It’s filling and heavy with flavor, savory and sweet, but balanced like a good Mexican mole. The pot is emptied in minutes as we all commend Daniel for his job well done. There doesn’t seem to be any one secret to making a good cholent. Because its ingredients are measured by sight and varied depending on what’s available at home, the stew turns out differently every week. One could even say that cholent is not a dish, but a process—one that is shared by Jews around the world to keep the spirit of the holiday while fusing cultures.
Chopped potatoes Chopped onion Pearl Barley Flanken Meat Kishka Ketchup Consomme Powder Red Pepper Flakes Beer Salt Layer all ingredients in a crock pot Fill pot with water to cover the meat Cook over very low heat for 20 hours
Chatting with Strangers on My Side of the Counter ARTICLE BY HELEN WU PHOTOS BY CHRISTY WU AND EMILY YAO
Pulling open the doors of the market, I was suctioned into an airconditioned smorgasbord of gritty meat sausages, refined French crêpes, and roasted pork sandwiches. A classic Philadelphia institution, Reading Terminal Market has welcomed droves of hungry consumers since February 22nd, 1893. Having survived the Great Depression, World War II, and many other turbulences in US history, it is now an iconic symbol of the city that attracts both tourists and locals. While the favorite stalls within the market
remain relatively constant, the market feels ever changing due to its clientele. People don’t come here just to enjoy an excellent pork roll—they come here to dine in the chaotic synergy created by overwhelmed tourists, sizzling charred meat on grills, dripping cones of Bassetts ice cream, and seasoned grocery shoppers. Reading Terminal Market is defined by the people as much as it is by it’s food—so I came to chat with the customers dining on my side of the counter. It was a minor shame that I
approached the Stone family towards the end of their meal, since all that was left on their table was the foil and leftover plates that insulated hearty breakfast sandwiches and wholesome omelets. The mundane spread of food wrappers seemed fitting given the Stone family’s attitude and familiarity with the market—this meal wasn’t a special occasion, but one of around forty comforting visits to a staple family spot. For the Stone Family, Reading Terminal market is a hub of nostalgia and a reminder of the gritty,
authentic spirit of Philadelphia. Mr. Stone reminisced about his daughter Emma’s attempt to host a food tour when she was around five years old. Now in her late twenties, Emma cut him off out of embarrassment before he could get into the specific execution of her food tour. The family exchanged a few mischievous glances between themselves, as if reliving the dialogue of Emma’s childhood. Judging by the private chemistry between the family, we retreated to the rows of other diner tables to give the Stone family some space to enjoy their Sunday brunch. In addition to accommodating families, Reading Terminal is also a safe and welcome spot for solo diners and shoppers. Strolling aimlessly among the colorful rows of peppers, seasonal squash, eggplants, and tomatoes, we found college student Cat Denunzio carefully examining the mushrooms. Reusable shopping bag in hand and reading glasses perched on her nose, she seemed comfortable and laid back, like anyone would on a standard run to their local grocery store—except we weren’t at Fresh Grocer, but rather the most iconic Philadelphia food market situated in the heart of the city. Cat loves buying groceries here because all the produce is fresh, well-labeled, and sourced locally—all traits of a Whole Foods, but at college student-friendly
prices. While tourists flood to the market for the famous Dinic’s roasted pork sandwiches and decadently filled specialty donuts from Beiler’s, it was comforting to see that Reading Terminal Market was also a stop for students on a tight budget. If anyone momentarily refocuses their attention from freshly-baked cookies and sizzling grills piled with delectable omelets, they will be shocked by the diversity of the clientele. Sifting through crowds of proud Eagles
fans, couples, and large American families, we found a Japanese family of three consisting of mother Chihiro, father Nao, and adorable toddler son Soya. Having immigrated from Japan roughly two years ago, the family now lives in the suburbs of New Jersey. On this particular Sunday, they had trekked to Philly to reunite with some Japanese friends. While Soya munched intently on his pretzels, Nao and Chihiro commented
on their love for the Italian sausages and diversity within the market. Even they noticed the exciting diversity within the market, which is lacking in both their homeland Japan and their new home in rural Jersey. The conversation quickly evolved into a contemplation about how to pick the freshest vegetables (the key is to pick the light ones over the heavy ones), the overly-greasy taste profile of American cuisine, and nostalgia about the flavors of home. Towards the end of the conversation, Chihiro even offered to cook authentic Japanese food for us at her home in New Jersey if we ever found ourselves there. Despite only chatting for fifteen minutes, they were ready to open their home to three college students and show us the flavors of their homeland. Perhaps the laid-back, communal setting of the market and generous servings of warm comfort foods was conducive to an interaction like this. This conversation reminded me that any food establishment is the sum of its cuisine and customers, and that the diners are truly the essence of the restaurant. Meeting Chihiro, Nao, and Soya certainly transformed my understanding of Reading Terminal market from a bustling tourist trap to a welcoming venue full of friendly faces.
n New York City: PHOTOS BY JUSTINE DE JESUS