After a long delay and much anticipation, we literally jumped with glee to find the latest issue of Art of Eating tucked into our stack of mail.
Editor Ed Behr, normally so verbose and articulate, was uncharacteristically quiet on the matter of this gap between publications. No matter, though; it sounds like Art of Eating is here to stay.
A look at the growing market for Southern Italian wines and home preparations for rabbit after the jump...
Fortunately for us, Mr. Behr makes up for his initial reticence with one of his very characteristic article/novellas. This one goes deep into the little-known countryside of Basilicata, a region in southern Italy bordering Campania and Apulia.
Behr zeros in on their wine production, which has long been dismissed by the world wine market as simple table wine but is starting to elbow its way to respectability. Behr takes us along on his extensive interviews with local producers and leaves us with a tidy list of wine makers he recommends investigating for ourselves.
We found ourselves completely entranced by the second half of the magazine: a look into rabbit production and preparations. The lead article is by Derrick Shneider, a well-respected food writer out of San Francisco and one of our favorite contributers to AoE. His article "Tastes Like Rabbit" delves into the world of rabbit farming and introduces us to the most common breeds of rabbit found in the US (though he warns that these rabbits aren't at all common, in fact, and can be hard to find. See below for resources on finding rabbit).
The following pages give readers several suggestions for preparing rabbit, ranging from a simple rabbit in white wine with cream to the more gastronomically aggressive "Rabbit with Prunes and Pine Kernels." Sidebars go into fascinating detail on tools and ingredients used in these preparations.
The issue is wrapped up with several restaurant and book reviews. A look of What to Drink with What You Eat by Andrew Dorenburg and Karen Page was rather lukewarm, but Momofuku Ssam Bar and Chef David Chang in NYC get a thumbs up.
Any AoE readers out there? What did you think of the most recent issue?
(Art of Eating Cover Illustration by Matt Bandsuch)
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Sources for rabbit in the US (from the Slow Food Ark of Taste)
Momofuku Saam Bar in NYC