The World’s Most Exotic Spices

Due to a mashup of culture, history, geography, religion and politics, what we might have called North African food – or even Arab food or, by most associations, Middle Eastern food – has come to be known as “Mediterranean food.” In the same politicized way that, in modern America, “Persian food” sounds less dangerous than…

CELEBRATING 50 FLAVORFUL YEARS

Setting up a roadside stand that sold peaches in season and a handful of homemade jams and jellies, then building that business over half a century into a company with 150-plus products sold in all 50 states and several foreign countries seems cause for celebration. On July 6, Case D. Fischer and Mark Wieser of…

NEW PRODUCTS DEBUT AT FANCY FOOD SHOW

Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods chose the Fancy Food Show in New York City to launch its most ambitious collection of new products in years – a dozen exciting new flavors spread over three different company brands. For the company, the annual show is a bit like a lucky penny, since its signature product –…

Figs Before They Were Newtons

It may well be the first fruit ever domesticated. It is mentioned – quite favorably, no less – in both Hebrew and Christian scriptures. And since it seems to reach back far enough in history, it may have even been eaten by dinosaurs. At least by those who weren’t busy eating each other. It is…

Culinary Adventure Wine Collection

After several years of development, Fischer & Wieser Specialty Foods is launching its first-ever Culinary Adventure Wine Collection, beginning with four increasingly respected Texas wines but with plans to incorporate vintages from Germany, Austria, Italy, Spain and France. Working with accomplished Texas vineyards and wineries until it can establish its own in Fredericksburg, the Fischer…

Fish on the Grill

For many, perhaps most, Americans, summertime is a parade of meat. That’s what happens the moment the cover comes off the backyard grill, letting those late-daylight evenings and especially weekends become festivals of smoke and flame.  There is absolutely no reason fish and other types of seafood should be left out of the party.  After…

PHARAOH’S PLEASURE BECOMES ALL-AMERICAN WATERMELON

Mark Twain, the ever-clever and ever-quotable, may have considered pompano a fish “as delicious as the lesser forms of sin.” But his gaze shifted upward to describe the watermelon, which he claimed must be “what angels eat.” Summer is prime time for watermelon, every bit as much as it is for peaches and nectarines. Not…

The Amazing ‘Small Plates’ of Spain

Along with flamenco music, the little bites of food called tapas may well be the most “Spanish” thing about Spain. But if some long-ago bartender hadn’t been trying to keep insects away from his customers’ sweet wine from Jerez, the idea might have gone undiscovered. Jerez (which the Spaniards, unlike their Latin American progeny, manage…

The Tangled Tastes of Trinidad

With a name like Trinidad (Spanish for Trinity, as in Holy) and a capital called Port of Spain, you’d expect this Caribbean island to be the most pure-bloodedly Spanish place this side of Madrid. Yet history speaks loudly in Trinidad, filled with African slavery, south Asian immigration and pots that tend to melt. You can…

The Perfect Springtime Frittata for Mother’s Day

Sometimes taking Mom out to a restaurant for brunch on Mother’s Day is just what the doctor ordered. Or the lawyer, as the case may be. But if everybody but Mom pitches in, and especially if she enjoys the comforts of home minus the chores, making a brunch that’s worthy of a restaurant is easier…

How Pad Became Pad Thai

In last week’s column, we looked at the long history of fried rice, born of a Chinese culture that had limited proteins and vegetables but a seemingly endless supply of rice. The recipe – little more than a flexible idea, really – spread throughout Asia by way of conquest, trade or any combination thereof. This…

The Great Smudging of 2019

Written by Mark Wieser Dietz Fischer and I were returning from Somerville, Texas, where we had finished attending the spring Peach Growers Conference. News of the ten-day forecast was already out, and everyone was talking about it I had largely dismissed it, believing with much confidence that no weather forecast could possibly be that accurate…