December 2008

Sky Bar

The NECCO candy company is known for some unique and increasingly obscure products. They've lent their name to the NECCO Candy Wafers, the Clark Bar and their classic Candy Buttons. One of the hardest NECCO candies to find is the Sky Bar. The Sky Bar is one of the oldest name-brand candy bars in America. The brainchild of a NECCO employee named Joseph Cangemi, It was first release in 1938 and it got its name from a unique advertising campaign. The NECCO company commissioned a series of sky writing exhibitions to inform the public, mostly in New York, of the upcoming release. After the mandatory blackouts of the Second World War were lifted, only a few companies were ready with their lighted advertisements in Times Square. NECCO was one of them and the ad was for their Sky Bar. Since then, the Sky Bar has had increasingly limited distribution. The Internet has helped fans of the candy purchase whole boxes via NECCO's website.

A Christmas Tradition

Every year on Christmas when most American families were sidling up to a feast of ham or turkey, my family followed a different custom. Like so many American Jews since the middle of the 20th century, we went to our favorite local Chinese restaurant. Now, I know this tradition is stereotypical and honestly a lot of Jewish people just keep it ironically. The fact is, the funny American Jewish custom of spending Christmas eating at Chinese restaurants and seeing movies in otherwise empty theaters is one rooted in practicality. Whether or not we celebrate the holiday in our homes, Jews still get the day off work for Christmas. Given a day of vacation, it's really a shame to have to cook and there's never anything on television on the 25th of December. It only makes sense to go out. The problem is that most restaurants and entertainment venues are closed on Christmas. Most, but not all. Coming from a non-Christian culture, the Chinese have no reason to take the night off except for a lack of customers.

Convenience Store Surprises

Most food blogs concentrate on the fancy stuff. They track new trends, review posh restaurants and give meticulous instructions on how to prepare impressive dishes. Don't get me wrong, I love that stuff and I love writing about that stuff, but there's more to the world of food than the alpha recipes. Sometimes, when your wallet's light and your stomach's empty, you're willing to make some compromises with your taste buds. No place on planet Earth knows that circumstance quite like the classic American convenience store. Whether it's a corporate chain or a local family-run operation, these cramped quick-stop shops are home to some unique products you're less likely to find in bigger grocery outfits. Every once in a while, you run into an item that surprises you with its quality, especially considering its price. The following are three such surprises on to which I've stumbled in my local convenience store. Reser's Deluxe Combo Pizza Reser's is one of the king corporations for convenience store food. To be honest, I'm not a huge fan of most of their products.

Three Desserts from the Las Vegas Strip

The only thing more prevalent on the Las Vegas Strip than slot machines are restaurants. They range from all the typical fast-food joints you'll find practically everywhere else in the industrialized world to a few unique destinations replete with all that Sin City flare. In the casinos themselves the menus are diverse and pricey, but it's also easy to find reasonable bills with prix fixe selections. Surprisingly, some of the best deals for hungry gamblers can be found on dessert lists. Creme Brulee Trio- Cafe Bellagio The Cafe Bellagio at the Bellagio Hotel and Casino is one of the more casual dining experiences at the otherwise gilded resort. Tucked away in a quiet corner with a dazzling seasonal display, it's the type of restaurant in which most Americans would be comfortable. But, since it's Vegas, Cafe Bellagio is still on the fancier end of life.

Antipasto Introducto

Greetings, foodies. If you're here, chances are you have a taste for something excellent, exceptional, or out of the ordinary. We here at The Hungry Blogger are dedicated to bringing you recipes, restaurant reviews and even some culinary history. So, pull up a chair, grab a glass of wine and encourage your appetite. Let's just go ahead and dive right in. Today, the topic is Beef Carpaccio. This delectable starter is, far and away, my favorite antipasto dish. Antipasto? It's an Italian term that means, simply and literally, Before (anti) the Meal (pasto). Antipasti are generally light, flavorful dishes that prime a diner's belly for the heavier main courses that make up so much of Italian fare. Best of all, antipasti are designed to be shared. They're pretty, have a banquet-grazing feel to them and they are exceedingly easy to make. Which is not to say a proper antipasto doesn't require a careful attention to detail. This goes double for carpaccio.