Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Momofuku Fried Chicken and some food thoughts (food)

Last week, we went to have some Momofuku fried chicken to celebrate my buddy DGW's 30th birthday. There were four of us, and we managed to polish off everything, but I suspect that we would have still been pleasantly fed if there were six of us. I haven't had this or any other fried chicken in a while, but it's just as good as I remember it.

First come the sauces. Clockwise starting from the bottom are garlic jalapeno, hoisin, Korean hot pepper paste, and scallion sauces. My favorites are still the garlic jalapeno and the scallion oil, and I barely touched the other two sauces.

Next comes the big bowl of fresh veggies and herbs. A crunchy and refreshing addition to the chicken meat as we made our own wraps.

Voila! The big plate consisting of just a bit more than two whole chickens.

Here's the Korean fried chicken half. I think there are better versions of Korean fried chicken in the city, but this was still crunchy and delicious. I personally would have preferred it slightly sweeter.

The southern style fried chicken seasoned with Old Bay is my preferred choice, although it's far from the greasy fried chicken I usually associate with a southern style.

Here's a closeup shot after cutting into the southern fried chicken. I don't know if it comes through in the photo, but the chicken is super juicy. In fact, on the first cut, some juice squirted out from the piece of chicken!

There's been some notable food news of late, including a recent lawsuit filed against Taco Bell for false advertising. The claim is that the Taco Bell "seasoned beef" mixture contains less than 35% beef, and therefore does not meet the minimum requirements set by the U.S. Department of Agriculture to be labeled as "beef". I remember writing a while back that I was perplexed at why 100% real beef and 100% real cheese were big sell points for McDonalds, and I finally get an answer. Between the binders, extenders, and fillers, 100% beef is apparently a luxury in today's food world. However, my main takeaway from all this was not that Taco Bell was not serving "beef", but that the USDA only requires 40% beef for a mixture to be labeled as "beef". The USDA is pretty ridiculous with regards to labeling. Items can be labeled "fat-free" as long as they have less than .5 grams of fat per serving, and there are no definitive rules for what constitutes a serving. If you're curious, here's the guide to food labeling from the USDA.

Speaking of serving size, Starbucks is now rolling out a 31 oz "Trenta" size for their coffee. To put into perspective, a 7-11 Big Gulp is 32 oz. I just don't get it. I really don't.

Oh, and while Gordon Ramsay's restaurant empire is not in the best shape, he continues to make some very good television. Not the stuff that he makes for Fox, but he recently made a show called "Ramsay's Best Restaurant" which is quite good and is replaying on BBC America. I highly recommend it, although if you're used to tuning in just to watch him yell at people, this isn't the show for you.

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