David's input on Fish/Sea Food
Wild fish that is too fresh to eat: first , I have rarely encountered wild sea bass of less than 700 gr . Farmed sea-bass is 400 -500 gr . Farmed never exceeds 600 gr .
Second , regarding freshness : Any fish that was swimming 1-2 hours before being cooked needs to be treated very carefully because it is before the onset of rigor-motis. Rigor Morris is a stiffening of the muscle ( meat) due to lactic acid released from the dead cells that burst. Most fish and all meet we consume is post rigor-mortis . Every Israeli ( our age) remembers the Greeks slamming Octopus on the rock 100 times to release the rigor-mortis .
In restaurants such as Barbur in Acre and Shawartina in Haifa they have their own fisherman and serve very fresh 2 hour fish. They will offer to deep fry the fish . Do not agree !! It will be chewy. Pre rigor-motis must be steamed slowly or cooked in wet oven in sauce - the Portuguese way . Six days later , after rigor-motis is over the fish can be cooked in any way .
I doubt the Portuguese know what lactic acid and rigor-motis are . But the fish they cooked at Arquinho Do Castelo in Port was 10/10 and the three of us easily devoured it.
There are a handful of mid-priced Seafood Restaurants in the world, which David will eat night after night One of them is:
.Civera - Fish Restaurant, in Valencia Spain.
Other fish restaurants are:
"Telegrapho" in Madrid -Spain
"Marius et Jeanette" - Paris -France
"La Rosa Nautica" in Lima - Peru ,
"Assunte Madre" in Rome- Italy
"Sheekeys" in London -UK,
"Da- Dong" in Beijing -China and
Valencia is the birthplace of Paella
David's Tips on Lamb
Lamb meat contains a high amount of sulfuric amino acids ( methionine and cysteine ), which give it the typical flavor we like when it is delicate . When lamb is reheated or contains a higher amount of Sulfuric Amino Acids (AA) , the gas H2S develops into a bad off flavor ( like in rotten eggs ) .
Lamb that feeds off green grass and has fast growth like the lamb raised in New Zealand or Australian lamb, it incorporate a higher amount of Sulphuric AA and has strong off flavor. Indeed it is the lowest cost lamb . No good restaurant will serve NZ or Australian lamb So the source of Lamb is important .
The Spanish lamb, the Arabic lamb that eats yellow grass , and the Greek lamb are my favorites . Sonoma Lamb is excellent and Colorado lamb still very good .
Now that you know to ask what is the source of your lamb , the next question is what part
Lamb chops are the best part , but they differ very greatly .
Lamb usually have either 13 or 14 thoracic vertebrae and a corresponding number of pairs of ribs, and the first 6 make very good chops . The next 8 vertebrate are what is called rack of lamb - and have only the loin muscle which are heavenly ( for me ). This is for a butcher the vertebrate after the rib section . There are many other chops from the keg , the shoulder, but they are inferior .
Now that you have the non Australian lamb and got the rack from vertebrate 6-13 , you need to tell the cook how old the lamb should be .
The best lamb I have eaten is in a restaurant called Botin in Playa Major in Madrid . It’s the oldest restaurant in Spain . We have had their lamb half a dozen times over the past 20 years and it’s perfect. No fat . The bones are fully edible , as they are not yet calcified . Each portion is one quarter lamb . Reservations a must . Not expensive (30-50 Euro max for two ) . Botin served near from 3kg baby lambs . The Greeks prefer to serve 12-13 kg lambs - which are also excellent but not quite as good .
The Arabs have no consistency in lamb age , but Arabic lamb is usually from an adult and very good .
David's tips on Coffee
David’s take on coffee, after a visit in 2014 to the plantations of Boquet - Panama,
What is the best coffee ? based on his personal experience :
Boquet through our eyes has the most beautiful Coffee growing landscapes and farms. .
The Arabica and Geisha (Gesha) coffee brands plantations grow on steep volcanic cliffs in a cloud forest, of the youngest geo-morphological formation, relative to the African and the Indonesian landscapes.
After Panama, we consider Mt Meru in Tanzania as runner up.
In Meru, the Arabica coffee plantations grow at 10,000 ft “ on the equator in a lush volcanic area with the advantage of elephants that visit the borders of the coffee plantations .
The Kilimanjaro Arabica plantations are also impressive.
Pereira in Colombia has similar , stunning Arabica coffee farms, but not as striking as in Boquete.
Pereira does not have the earth and “ cloud” to raise the Geisha brand .
But tourism, hotels , prices in Columbia are superior to Panama.
The Thika in Kenya plantations are different because they are not intermingled with a rain forest. The Arabica plants growing on vast rolling hills . Mt Kenya plantations similar but less expansive.
last comes Bali , which grows Robusta and the Luwak coffee, which is digested by Civets (kind of cats ) and excreted, and thus also is a “ destination “ with the negatives attracting multitudes of tourists .
Which is the best coffee?
David - a true Coffee-Phile - feel an organoleptic difference only in filtered coffee with "weak coffee” between a good $10/lb Arabica , $30/lb Gesha, $80/lb Luwak , and a $500/lb cup of coffee he was treated to in Panama.
Under home conditions and those that use espresso machines , he is convinced that for “good coffee” ( $8-10$/lbs) the degree of roast, time from roasting to drinking and the amount of damage done during grinding - type of grinder makes a bigger difference than the small but costly differences between good, excellent and super califragilistic .
Furthermore it is very subjective ? In summary under our “ home conditions “ with espresso machines buying $30 lb coffee is like having a stereo system with a $2000 amplifier and $200 speakers.
Arache France 2017
Piedmont CA 2018
Lisbon Portugal 2018
Restaurant Rameh Azabe 053-9441458,