A Meditation on Green and Yellow Sour Patch Kids

In the dark of a movie theater, as the opening credits scroll across the screen, you’ll see me in my seat engaging in a strange ritual. It begins by removing a single Sour Patch Kid from my box of Sour Patch Kids, holding it up to the light, and evaluating its color. Depending on whether it’s a red/orange or a green/yellow, I either pop the candy immediately into my mouth or press it aggressively into the space between the plastic bag inside the box and the box itself. At the end of the movie, I have a bellyful of reds and oranges and a boxful of greens and yellows. This, I’ve come to realize, is no way to live.

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Tortilleria Nixtamal

Yesterday I made a journey I’d been putting off for a while.

Actually, it wasn’t even a journey I knew I could make. See, for my cookbook, I needed to track down fresh corn masa. I wasn’t sure where in New York I could get that until I read this excellent post on the Cooking Issues blog which details Dave Arnold’s attempt to make fresh corn tortillas in the French Culinary Institute kitchen. Dave ultimately finds fresh corn masa at a place called Tortilleria Nixtamal in Queens.

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Death by a Thousand Thai Chilies

[Hey, this is Adam The Amateur Gourmet. I’m on vacation in Barcelona, Spain and while I’m gone I’ve asked some awesome people to fill in for me. Today’s post is from one of my favorite people in the world, my friend Patty Jang. I just love Patty–she’s an incredibly talented playwright (see her website), but also just a great human being. And this post will have you whimpering in pain for poor, dear Patty. Oh Patty, poor Patty, take it away!]


Don’t these peppers look so innocent? Dare I say, mild? Dried, empty husks, a pale imitation of their past glory? Let not their frail and papery appearance fool you as they fooled me, dear readers, for these chilies resulted in the most insanely painful cooking experience of my life.

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