Bold and Pungent Day is here!

By Michelle Plummer

Tomorrow is Cook Something Bold and Pungent Day, I didn’t even know of such a day or could I find the history of the day, but what I do know is that I have been I enjoying  many of the foods for a very long  time.   Bold foods are strong stand on there own foods like Kimchee, cabbages, garlic, Capers.  Pungent foods begin with garlic, of course, and onions, pomegranates and Blue Cheese.  These foods complete a meal or party, they are the foods that make people smile or ask, “what is that flavor?”, they make you salivate because of the rich flavors.

What makes these foods so alluring or hated?  I believe it is because people have a hard time getting past the smell (Limburger cheese anyone?) or the appearance of them!  Many people dislike the flavor of garlic, or want foods without onions… I can’t even imagine ordering a burger without onions.  Then there is all of the offering of the cabbage family.  Last week at Harry Carey’s in Chicago I was totally engaged in the roasted garlic, pancetta roasted Brussels sprouts.   Peppers contain bold flavors that compliment the pungent.  Peppers can be added to foods for heat and character.  One of my favorite ways to enjoy Kale is to place ½ cup water, 4 cups of kale cut up and one teaspoon of red pepper flakes, cover and cook for 20 minutes… really this one is worth making today!

Bold and pungent work well together, think of the Wedge Salad that is popular, onions, bacon and blue cheese, each can be eaten alone, but when blended- the marriage is delicious!  Another popular salad would be the traditional Cesar salad made with anchovies, capers and Parmigano- Reggiano.  Alone, I don’t care for fish or capers, however mixed with romaine and a sharp parmesan transforms a salad into an event of pleasure.

So tomorrow, think about how to make a Bold and Pungent statement with food.  Pasta with blue cheese and roasted garlic or will it be a curry soup with cilantro chutney on warm pita; either way enjoy this day to celebrate foods that may not be as welcome to a party as pizza and bread sticks.

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