Monday, August 20

Vibrant Flavors and Let’s Not Forget the Wine!

“I can’t even stand how good this tastes!” I exclaimed to my husband who was staring off into space as my words bounced off his hard Polish head and floated off into the atmosphere unheard. He was busily crunching on a delicate, thinly sliced and perfectly marinated radish. He blandly vollied back, “yeah, this is great.” I think last night’s party where the Bat Boys band he played with 20 years ago reunited for Henry’s 50th left him a little listless.

Who could know that you could like a carrot so much? I mean, just a plain old carrot. Ah, but not just a plain old carrot, but a plain-old-carrot marinated. How could I really like a radish so much? I mean, a radish, with that kind of harsh-hot flavor? Ah, but a radish marinated…it changes. Then a beet. Well, we’ve all probably enjoyed beet salad, so that’s no surprise. But raw artichoke heart? Bland by itself, but marinated….a caterpillar to a butterfly. And so is born Carpaccio of Radish, Carrot, Artichoke and Golden Beet. Not bleeding heart radish as is specified, but the only other-worldly radish I could find: watermelon. Ain’t it pretty?

Husband did come to life in one way though. He did not know that raw cuisine called for fine wines and really perked up when I educated him that yes, raw cuisine does promote pairing with wine. I know I've never mentioned this before, but in fact, each recipe in the Klein/Trotter book contains a footnote with a very thorough and careful recommendation on which wine to pair with the recipe and why. Daniel thought it essential that I bring this up on the blog, and he’s right. YES! Raw foodies can and do drink wine. Wine is, afterall RAW! Wines, sherries and ports can also be found as ingredients to give many raw food dishes dimension.

This dish’s wine recommendation was a sparkling white…Blanc de Blancs from Pierre Peters or Larmandier-Bernier, to be exact. So my husband is pretty astute, and I thank him for pointing this out to me. And even though I don’t always feel heard by him, which I find infuriating, I must still be in love because my heart still melts when I see him onstage singing Little Sister.


Anonymous said...

Hi Maurine,
So much fun following your adventure. I'll be interested to see how it changes the way you eat after you're through the month and book.

A few random musings...Birdi grew up eating kohlrabi -- I think her grandma grew it in Wisconsin. She eats one almost every day when it's in season. Just peels, slices, and eats it raw. Which is probably why she can eat all sorts of food I wouldn't dare go near and her cholesterol is still lower than mine.

You can grow amaranth easily enough in the Bay Area. I've seen it around a lot. Not sure whether the one I know is the culinary version, though. It has pretty red flowers. You can see a picture here:

And finally, I have a friend who suffered from terrible allergies for the longest time until he stopped eating wheat. So I'm not surprised by your experience. Too bad it's used in so many things that are soooo good.

Happy final weeks of crudo!


Kristen's Raw said...

Something to note: Maybe the wine is Raw and even Organic, doesn’t mean it’s Vegan. If it says "vegan" on the bottle, then at least you know it is vegan.

Here is one that I tried recently and enjoyed. It's organic and vegan: Organic Vintners Mendocino Pinot Noir (

This is what they had on their site about vegan and biodynamic wines:

Biodynamic principles take the organic approach a step further by making sure that the growth of the grapes is in tune with the larger environment. Using homeopathic sprays, herbal preparations and lunar cycles, soil fertility is increased and vines are protected from pests and diseases.

Vegan wines. Winemakers, both organic and conventional, are not obliged to declare on the label when they use animal by-products as fining agents to clarify wine. These include egg white (to brighten red wines), casein (a milk protein to make wine taste softer), gelatin (removes bitterness) and isinglass (derived from fish). A vegan wine, on the other hand, uses no animal products whatsoever.

The vegan versions typically use clay to make the wines clear. It appears that many wine makers have switched to use clay for fining. However you won't know, unless you ask.