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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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Friday, March 1

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Ingredient Tue Aug 11 2009

Fruit Salad with Shiso

Peach, Blueberries & Shiso Salad

The inspiration for this salad came from one I had at Shochu, a now-defunct branch of Deleece. I hoped that the Asian-inspired restaurant/pub would live a long, fruitful life, but alas, its Wriglleyville location has been replaced by a more mainstream grill pub by the same enterprise. Anyhow, the original salad featured two main ingredients: strawberries and shiso. Sounds simple enough, but pairing shiso with fruits was a true eye-opener for me, seeing that my authentically Japanese brain is often caught up in how things are done over in my home country--where shiso is never found around fruits.

The shiso-strawberry salad was so good that shiso permanently etched itself in my fruit salad repertoir since then. Nowadays I pair shiso with almost any fruits. Peaches, raspberries, pears, plums... you name it, I've probably done it. Here's what I do: mix a small drizzle of honey with shredded shiso leaves and bite-size chunks of assorted fruits. I usually make it for breakfast. Having the fruit salad sit around in the fridge for ten minutes or so (while we eat other stuff) is enough to let the flavors come together. My husband practically licks the bowl, unwilling to let go of a drop of the honey-fruit-shiso juice that's left after the fruits are gone. I sometimes add some grated ginger (or, when I'm short on time, powdered ginger from Spice House), which adds extra contrast to the sweetness of the fruits. Try it--you won't regret it.

Shiso is available in Japanese markets like Mitsuwa and Tensuke, but if you're automotively challenged, try the Vietnamese markets around Argyle. They usually have large bags of "pink mint," which has the a flavor profile almost identical to that of shiso, if a little stronger.

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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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