Blog Archives

The Cereal Report: Kellogg’s Pumpkin Spice Special K

The Cereal Report is a column in which PCFG conducts various cereal reviews, of new or limited products, as well as providing brief backgrounds on the cereal. Cereal is delicious and fairly cheap as far as meals go. Everyone should eat cereal!

Hot on the heels of one of the first pumpkin-spice themed cereals we’ve run into, Kellogg’s has their own Fall variant as well, in the form of perennial old-person breakfast: Special K. Considering the deluge of limited edition pumpkin-flavored foods doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon, so we may as well get used to it at this point…

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Spices 101: What is Paprika?

So, a common theme you see here on PCFG is that a lot of so-called “fancy” foods, aren’t actually all that fancy when you dissect them and figure out just what the hell they are. Paprika is a big, big offender of that notion, since it seems like half the population of Earth has heard of it, but doesn’t really know what it is. It’s just some sort of mysterious, fancy-pants seasoning that they sprinkle on your dish at the end of cooking, and it probably costs a billion dollars. Fortunately, most of that is false (though it is frequently sprinkled onto plates as a garnish).

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Paprika

Origin: South America
Appearance: Fine, red powder
Scent: Peppery, fruity, earthy
Taste: Dark, sweet, pungent
Foods:
Hungarian, Italian, Spanish, Latino
Rareness: Common

 

 

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Cheat Codes: How To Make Cracked Black Pepper

A couple months back, we went over the qualities and a general overview of the tiny, hard berries of the peppercorn bush, also known as just “pepper”. As a quick refresher, you can typically use it ground, cracked, or whole. Grinding it is easy enough since pretty much everyone owns a pepper mill of some sort, or you can buy it pre-ground. Using it whole may be pretty intense if you don’t like the flavor, but it’s a welcome addition to many dishes. What about cracking it though? Do you need some sort of fancy, complicated device, or have to spend big bucks to get something as fancy-sounding as “cracked black pepper”?!

Nah, you just need a glass or a bowl.

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Cheat Code: Seasoning Ramen Yourself

There’s an interesting dynamic when it comes to ramen in the United States.  On the one hand there’s the packaged ramen you can buy at any grocery store for like, 25 cents and that’s been stereotyped as a poor college kid food staple.  On the other hand you have ramen houses/restaurants where you can get more authentic ramen dishes, but they tend to range from a bit pricey to way too expensive.  I’m not entirely sure what it means, I’m just interested by the fact that there isn’t much of an in between.

That is, of course, unless you make your own in between.  This post will look at some ways you can upgrade your cheap grocery store ramen to something a bit more personalized.  Ramen comes with its own flavor packets, which are tasty, but a lot of times people don’t want to use them because of the massive amounts of sodium in them.  Here at PCFG if we’re using the flavor packet we usually only use about half of it, and it’s fine.  But here’s some ways to give flavor to your ramen without using the flavor packet at all.

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Spices 101: What is Sansho Pepper?

Recently we went over the interesting quirks behind black pepper, and how it’s not really a pepper but really more of a berry, and how they start off as these weird little green things, and so on and so forth. You may remember that red peppercorns weren’t really technically peppercorns, but were instead a similar berry from a different plant. Today we’re going to learn about yet another look-alike (taste-alike?) of black pepper, sansho pepper.

 

 

Sansho

Origin: Japan
Appearance: Light green powder OR small green berries
Scent: Fruity, zesty
Taste: Citric, spicy, warm
Foods:
Japanese, other Asian
Rareness: Rare

 

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