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Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
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Saturday, February 24

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« What's Shakin', Bacon? Delicious Chicago History »

Ingredient Wed Nov 07 2007

Be the First on Your Block

The New York Times's T magazine on Design and Living on Sunday had a list of new ingredients on the foodie scene. One of the ingredients, wattleseeds, is available in ice cream here in Chicago from Vosges Haute-Chocolat. Besides wattleseed, which comes from Australia and is usually roasted then ground to be added to either sweet or savory dishes, the list also names basil seeds; grade B maple syrup; mahlab, another seed that's ground and used as a flavoring; kiwi berries and antelope meat. I'm looking forward to trying basil seeds, which were described as "a sweetly fragrant mouthful of tiny tapioca pearls, each with a crunchy center." I've been wondering all day if I can eat the seeds from a basil plant that's gone to seed. Or do I need to get them from a fancy food store? Anyone tried them?

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Jessica / November 8, 2007 3:22 PM

You can get basil seed drink at just about any Asian market in the city. It looks a little scary (like frog eggs in yellowish liquid) but tastes pretty good.

I think you could also just soak any old basil seeds in water for a little while till the mucilage (slimy coating) appears. I don't know if there's any noticeable difference in taste between different kinds of basil seeds, but I think the ones you have at home already would work just fine.

You can get mahleb at The Spice House, btw, and I've seen kiwi berries at Trader Joe's before. And I thought grade b maple syrup was pretty easy to come by these days - we buy it at Trader Joe's all the time.

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Feature Thu Dec 31 2015

The State of Food Writing

By Brandy Gonsoulin

In 2009, food blogging, social media and Yelp were gaining popularity, and America's revered gastronomic magazine Gourmet shuttered after 68 years in business. Former Cook's Illustrated editor-in-chief Chris Kimball followed with an editorial, stating that "The shuttering of Gourmet reminds...
Read this feature »

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