Dear Howard: Hot cross buns are an English pastry associated with Good Friday. Actually, some are like bread rolls, while others are more like muffins or even cupcakes in texture and taste. What they have in common is candied fruit inside, and a plus sign (+) of white powdered-sugar frosting on top. Additionally, many are flavored with cinnamon, making them a cousin of Cinnabon.More »
Pizza-by-the-pound purveyor Pie is offering matzo-based pizzas for Passover. This popular parlor--which won a Voice award for Best Fast Food in 2003--offers lush thin-crust pies in elongated shapes, all displayed on a long marble counter, to be cut at any length at the diner's request.More »
Joan Nathan would never cater her Passover seder. The famed cookbook writer known for her Jewish-American recipes usually cooks everything for the holiday, which starts on Monday, March 25. She even hosts a gefilte fish-making party for a few friends at her home in Washington, D.C. "If I didn't have a tradition of making my own, maybe I'd go out and get it," she tells Fork in the Road. "It's so much fun to go to a kosher store and see what's going on for Passover. Every year it gets better and better." While wandering in the West Village recently, she passed by rosemary matzo in a bakery window, a reminder that New York City is the American center of traditional and not-so-traditional Jewish cooking. "All those places now cater to the New York market," says Nathan. "In New York, you can even find a reasonable gefilte fish.
That's a relief. Home cooks may aspire to Joan Nathan's heights at the holidays, but even the most ambitious may draw the line at making their own gefilte fish. It already takes long enough to get through a seder; it makes sense to call in reinforcements to get the meal on the table. Whether you're hosting a meal for four or 40, or bringing a dish to someone else's home, some of the city's Jewish-inspired eateries are here to help you out.More »
Courtesy of Naga Bakehouse
The cardboard-like crackers on Seder plates are a Passover requirement, but typically a dry and flavorless one. Not anymore. Vermont's Naga Bakehouse is baking a new small-batch matzo -- aptly monikered Vermatzah -- by sifting locally-sourced wheat with nutty emmer, the ancient grain better known as farro. A wood-firing process renders a complex, slightly sweet piece of flatbread that retains an ample crunch, even when fried or chocolate-dipped. Unlike the squares of the Manischewitz variety that dominate the traditional matzo market, Naga's version is hand-shaped into rounds, each one slightly smaller than a dinner plate.More »
Let's say you like someone, but not enough to get him a $100 box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. Or maybe you only hooked up with her once, and not satisfactorily, either. Or perhaps you're too lazy or too late to get a box of Jacques Torres, and end up popping into a Duane Reade just as you're about to pick up your date for, say, dinner at McDonald's.
FiTR has found itself in similar situations, and figured that what all of us needed was an accurate guide to the cheap and garishly sentimental end of the chocolate continuum, you know, boxes of chocolates with big sloppy dogs pictured on the front, and assortments so small, they could be eaten by a rat (not you, hopefully) in seconds. So here's your guide to cheap Valentine's chocolates, with descriptive material and a scorecard.More »
In a gift from the heavens, today, February 5 is World Nutella Day. New York is teeming with sweet snacks that highlight Europe's chocolate hazelnut spread, and these five dishes will leave you satisfied with chocolate-y goodness until next year's World Nutella Day.More »
Really, standing and shivering in Times Square for eight hours without peeing or drinking any alcohol (!) is about the worst way to spend New Year's that FiTR can think of. Here are five alternatives that will cause your friends to admire you and fill up the evening with good clean fun.