Monday, June 30, 2008

Remembering Food Pioneers in America

This year we have lost a number of folks who were pioneers in local and national food history. Gone to that big soda fountain, big hot dog cart, big burger joint, and big grocery store in the sky. Though not generally considered "gourmet" or "celebrity chef" status, their contributions to American cuisine are as important and iconic as the "Bon appetit!" wishes from Julia Child, or the hearty "Bam!" from Emeril. Among this dearly departed group are the Pringles can inventor, the man behind "Great food close to home" Baker's Drive-Thru located in the Inland Empire, one of the 31 Flavors Ice Cream founders, and the guy who started with a simple hot dog cart and turned it into an empire, Carl's Jr., and the partner in CKE, the founder of Hardee's.

In their honor, and since soon we will celebrate Independence Day, let us remember these American food pioneers. Over the month of July we will take a look back at these five and how they earned their place in food history. Each one will get a special post dedicated to them here at La Vida Dulce. I am currently in the midst of working on some projects, but things should settle down around the middle of the month. Ay, que cosas! Keep cool, hasta luego amigos!

Friday, June 06, 2008

National Donut Day!

Yes, amigos, today is National Donut Day. Around here we believe everyday should be donut day. And they have no calories. Ha! But don't laugh too much, because there is a real history behind this holiday that dates back to WWI and the Salvation Army. Click on the "Serious Eats" link and enjoy reading more about doughnuts.

La Vida Dulce also has a history of donut admiration, dating back to the Helms Man and the yummy glazed donuts. Those delicious Helms donuts called your name out loud! Helms has gone away to the heavenly place where all good things dwell. Since then I have been on a quest for donut perfection.

Donut Numero Uno at La Vida Dulce is the buttermilk glazed and the apple fritter is a greasy close second, with raised glazed coming in at number 3. The best buttermilk glazed are served up at the Olympic Donuts located at the corner of Brooklyn (Chavez) and Mednik. Crunchy outside, tender and light inside, covered in a sweet sugary coating---it doesn't get any better. But this is a mom & pop shop and sorry, amigos, no freebies here. Not an everyday choice, but a nice little piece of heaven once in a while or once a month.

Close behind in second place in creating buttermilk donut perfection is the Shell Gas Station at the corner of Atlantic Blvd. & Riggin/Brooklyn/Chavez (you know how street names change from one city to the next) where they actually make fresh donuts in a tiny space next to the counter where you pay for cigs, lottery tix, & gas. Winchell's used to be pretty good, but try and find a real Winchell's anymore, but that would be third place.

So go out and enjoy a warm donut with a cuppa joe! Couldn't hurt.