Monday, March 14, 2011

Natural Food Expo 2011

Shari and I attended the Natural Foods Expo on Friday. Every year there's some prevailing "hot' food issue - this year it's "gluten free". Everything seems to be carrying a gluten free label: salt, vinegar, hot sauce -  relevant or not. It seems some people are so sensitive that even trace amounts of gluten in sources like dextrin or used as an incidental additive in a thickener, can be enough to trigger a reaction.

In view of the disaster in Japan, everything seemed trivial and silly.

Best thing I tried was a piece of black licorice made in Finland called "Tire Tread". Thick, shiny, blacker than black, it looked like it's namesake and was loaded with flavor and aroma. I could have eaten a pound of it and I think some people did. Below is the description:

"Fresh and flavorful, Tire Tread Licorice is a great on-the-go snack. Made in Finland with all-natural ingredients, each piece boasts a tempting blend of aniseed oil and licorice extract. Packaged in three fun peelable pieces, Tire Tread treats are convenient to carry and fun to eat. Each handy pack of Tire Tread Licorice contains two ounces of rich and velvety licorice."

Highlight of the day was eating dinner at the Slide bar in Fullerton, in which our friend's rock and roll relative owns an interest. From the bar's web site: Slide Bar

A sizable portion of Orange County music history goes back over a half a century and can actually be traced right here, to our very own parking lot in Downtown Fullerton. This is where Leo Fender created possibly the most important contribution to Rock ‘n’ Roll ever – the Fender Telecaster and Stratocaster electric guitars. Since then, Orange County has been consistently delivering major contributions to the music world.

Dave's hamburger dressed with a giant onion ring. Lighting by flashlight. 
Everyone there looked under 25, covered with tattoos and dressed in black. I learned from Bill Bryson's "Shakespeare" that only the rich wore black clothing in the 17th century. Creating really black fabric required a lot of dye therefore it was expensive. Light colored cloth and clothing was cheaper.

We stood out like sore thumbs in our light colored clothing, at a specially reserved table. The bar food was surprisingly good - fresh, salty and greasy. Stepping out of the regular groove is always fun -  it's a completely different world out there. What would Leo Fender think of it all?

Our efficient, polite waitress with spiky purplish hair and a fully tattoo'ed torso, studs everywhere, hugged us when we left....a delightful surprise. Relieved to see us go?
Deep fried pickles - huge quarters
Mac and cheese on a doily. I wonder if anyone under 30 knows what a doily is.
From the Online Etymology Dictionary

doily Look up doily at

1714, short for doily-napkin (1711), from doily "thin, woolen fabric;" supposedly from Doiley, surname of a 17c.-early 18c. dry-goods dealer on London's Strand. Doily earlier meant "genteel, affordable woolens" (1670s), evidently from the same source. The surname is d'Ouilly, from one of several places called Ouilly in Normandy.

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