Saturday, August 18, 2012

Astoria's Ecuadorian Pork-a-palooza

Every August a handful of Ecuadorian food carts pop up in the vicinity of Athens Square Park to celebrate some sort of pride or independence festival.  I wasn't able to get too many details, as the vendor's English was none too good. "Pork, pork, all pork", was the most I could get out of them when trying to figure out the various offerings.

A plate costs $10 and includes heaps of corn, pork and potatoes.  The pork options are: deep fried, slow-roasted or braised.  The corn is unlike anything I've ever experienced -- giant starchy white kernels the size of a quarter are the majority, with deep-fried yellow kernels studded throughout.

Aim for the vendors closest to the park, the ones across the street are extremely heavy handed w/ the salt.

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -

Monday, August 13, 2012

An Infidel's Indulgence

These curious crepes are a Moroccan treat known as "Beghrir".  They are enjoyed in a variety of ways, two of which I highly recommend -- either slathered in a butter & honey sauce or stuffed w/ a light cream custard and deep fried.  The butter & honey method is something you can accomplish at home, but you'll have to buy the deep fried version from a vendor on Steinway.

These seasonal sweets are only available during Ramadan, which ends on or around August 19th. For Muslims, Ramadan is a time of spiritual reflection & improvement demonstrated by fasting from dawn until sunset.  For the rest of us, it's a chance to taste a unique confection that lands somewhere between a zeppole and baklava.

These are the sweet cheese variety -- they also sell date & walnut.

© 2012 c. c. villani @ "mission: insatiable -