Monthly Archives: October 2009

Durian is back on the menu

Most of you out there probably weren’t aware that during the summer we were in the midst of a durian drought. Not to worry, the drought is over. For those of you who haven’t been formally introduced to durian or had an official durian experience… allow me to make the introduction:

Meet Durian: King of Fruits

Meet Durian: King of Fruits

Durian, commonly referred to as the “King of Fruits” is a tropical fruit that grows on some the oldest living and tallest fruit trees in nature. Durian has 3 properties that make it the King and make it unique: smell, texture and taste.

First off durian has a high sulfur content, which is the chemical that gives garlic, onions and eggs their distinct odor. The potent odor given off by a durian has gotten it banned from public transportation and places like theaters and hotels in Southeast Asia. Don’t be surprised if you hear comments from unschooled observers first encountering durian like, “is there a gas leak?” or “did the cat pee in the corner?” No two durians smell the same and the smell evolves as the fruit ripens as well. It’s this smell that attracts tropical wild life like tigers, orangutan and elephants who are known to savor a good durian.

So if you’ve made it past the smell, now comes the texture. Durian is one of the few fruits having a high fat content like avocado and olives. Durian also has the highest protein content of any fruit. Durian is the total package: fat, protein and sweetness (carbs). No wonder they call it the King. This combination of fat, protein and sweetness give durian the texture of custard when fresh and ice cream when frozen.

It all comes down to flavor and durian is not lacking in that department. In truth, the taste defies all description and any attempt to describe the taste is an injustice that has the potential to deter an individual from having their own durian experience. I’m not going to lie to you, many of the descriptions you will come across regarding the taste of durian is unflattering at the least extreme and hostile at the greatest extreme.

What's that smell?

What's that smell?

One critic compares Durian to “crème cheese onion sauce and sherry wine” another “its taste can only be described as indescribable, something you’ll either love or despise… Your breath will smell as if you’d been French-kissing your dead grandmother.” I know what you’re thinking, “why the hell would I want to eat that?” I’m not sure I can persuade you with words. Let me just say I equate eating durian with a religious or shamanic experience. The durian fruit is considered a warming food, stimulant and aphrodisiac. It’s funny that the foods that compliment durian are aphrodisiacs as well like nutmeg, vanilla and cacao. When consuming durian, especially for the first time,  preparing yourself and the dining environment is a must. Durian can’t be consumed casually like picking up a slushy at the Quickie Mart. A certain amount of reverence has to be shown to a fruit that weighs in at around 8 pounds and is protected by a hard spiked shell. Light some candles, turn down the lights, put on some tribal rythymns and open your heart and mind. Enjoy this brief video introduction to Durian, the King of Fruits:

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Philly Cheeze Fake

Philly Cheeze Fake Foo Shizzly!

Philly Cheeze Fake Foo Shizzly!

Take a look at this divinely inspired creation that is a synergy of marinated eggplant, breaded dehydrated onions, cashew cheese, walnut pate and tomatoes. This was the featured entree the other night at Conscious Media Tuesday at Shakti. The turn out was the lowest but the entree was the bestest! I’m debating whether to do “Philly Cheese Fake” 2 weeks in a row. Send me an email if you want specifics on the recipe.

I’ve got a video in the works of the assembly. Here are the basics in photo form:

Lay out the eggplant

Lay out the eggplant

Add walnut pate and breaded onions

Add walnut pate and breaded onions

Cheeze it

Cheeze it

Wrap it

Wrap it

Decorate it

Decorate it

Blam It!

Blam It!

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Saw Palmetto Harvest

Saw Palmetto Fruits

Saw Palmetto Fruits

Most middle aged dudes who are aware of their prostate have heard of saw palmetto extracts and supplements.  The average person is oblivious to the fact that they grow like crazy all over Florida. The range of the saw palmetto stretches from South Florida up the coast in South Carolina. One of Florida’s major yet little known exports is saw palmetto fruit:

With about 2,000 tons harvested from South Florida and exported to Europe each year, the humble berries have become what some estimate is a $50 million a year crop in the state.

No one knows the precise value because the industry has operated quietly, with immigrant workers earning cash for berries taken from parks, riverbeds and ranch lands with no questions asked and no taxes paid.  AP Press

The Seminole Indians were onto something when they noticed that during the fall months while consuming these olive sized fruits that their need for nocturnal trips to the piss bush was reduced while their mojo was increased.

Noni's long lost sibling

Noni's long lost sibling

To my pleasant surprise I was greeted by several drooping bunches of ripe and semi ripe saw palmetto fruits the other day in my parent’s side yard. Being an amateur wild forager I was aware that these guys were edible but not very palatable. Maybe they’re an acquired taste I thought as I found a black juicy ripe one to sample. There was a oily sap coating the ripe ones so I rinsed it just in case it was rabid armadillo spray or something that may spoil this foraging experience. I’d like to mention how ironic it is that these berries are supposed to support prostate health and the prostate being next door neighbors with the asshole. It seems fitting that these olive looking berries should taste like a bag of assholes. You may be saying this is a pretty harsh description, well the only thing I can compare saw palmetto to is noni, ripe, mushy, blue cheese funk noni. I’m talking the fresh stuff off the tree, not some sissy fruit juice concentrate that had a noni fruit placed next to the bottle while the label was applied. I acknowledge the magical healing properties inherent to the noni fruit. Though the taste is a potent deterrent it can’t be denied that noni is powerful medicine especially since your face goes numb after eating it. I’m still experimenting with saw palmetto berries to see if I can adopt a taste for them.  Imagine if blue cheese and vomit had a love child. Actually it’s not that bad… well, maybe. There is a brief instant where it almost tastes good. I haven’t given up on these dingle berries though. At this moment I’m pickling a jar of them. Hopefully the salt and vinegar may deactivate some of the vomitis properties inherent to the fresh berries. Time will tell.

They look like olives, don't taste like them

They look like olives, don't taste like them

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Busy October

Marinara and Cheeze Pepper Platter

Marinara and Cheeze Pepper Platter

Lots of fun stuff to think about for October. I’ve been working on a recipe book and working with a friend to produce a DVD to accompany it. Every time I visit a book store or go online I see more live food recipe books but I also see scores of … well, “dead food” books. I look at the people on the covers and it’s hard not to notice even with the make up and airbrushing that they aren’t radiating health. Am I judging a book by it’s cover? These books are big budget full color Food Network endorsed circus acts. Wow, how can a person compete with that? My feeling is that I’m not really competing with “that”, I shouldn’t even be concerned with “that”. It’s nice to know that “that” exists but I shouldn’t spend my energy on it. Besides, I’ve got my hands full working the recipe book, there’s also media nights going here in Atlantic Beach at Shakti and there’s a juice feast scheduled to happen. Still with all this going on there’s still time to play in the kitchen and test out recipes… like this one:

Almond Cashew Cheeze

1 C almonds

1 C cashews

1/2 C water or rejuvalac

1 t salt

*** If you don’t use rejuvalac add 1 t of apple cider vinegar and 1 T miso

Process all ingredients smooth in blender or food processor

Classic Marinara

2 C sundried tomato

1 whole tomato

3 T lemon juice

3 T C Italian herb

1 T olive oil

salt to taste

Process all ingredients smooth in blender or food processor

Add sun dried tomato soak water to blender if sauce it too thick.

Keep it Live!

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The 95th: The Iron Men of Metz

In the not so distant past I worked on documentary and feature films. A film I helped to produce several years ago is now available on DVD. Take a look at the details and make the purchase if it moves you…

Blessings, Adam

NOW ON DVD!

THE 95TH: THE IRON MEN OF METZ is now available for purchase through our newly launched website!  This World War II documentary chronicles the stories of the brave veterans of the 95th infantry division, as they return to the battlefields of Metz, France, 55 years after they liberated this Nazi stronghold in a key Allied victory.

THE 95TH: THE IRON MEN OF METZ first aired on PBS (WTTW: Chicago) and was lauded by critics and viewers alike.  It’s now available on DVD – loaded with Special Features – or download the film only.  Simply visit www.the95thmovie.com — there, you’ll find a link to purchase the DVD, along with a sneak peek at the trailer, selected scenes, production insights and more.  Be sure to also sign up for our newsletter to stay informed on all things 95TH!

THE 95TH: THE IRON MEN OF METZ DVD features:

a director’s interview

extended interviews with the veterans

rarely seen archival footage

a tour of modern day Metz

and more!

A portion of the proceeds from all sales of the DVD will benefit the 95th Division Association, a group that supports these heroes, as featured in the film.

Please take a moment to visit our website and purchase your copy today — and feel free to forward this email to any veterans, film lovers, or friends and family who would be interested in the documentary.

Thank you for your continued support — we couldn’t share this incredible story without you!

Best,

The 95TH Team

Davidson Cole

Neal Gold

Adam Graham

Mary Kay Cook

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