Winter 2013-2014 Issue

Last Updated November 01, 2013
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winter 2013 cover



I recently read that home is the ultimate trave l destination, and I couldn’t agree more. I don’t have a zeal for globetrotting, a well-stamped passport or experience with the most authentic bowl of noodles in Southeast Asia. I have a different location-based obsession: Philadelphia. It’s an endlessly fascinating place for someone like me, with an all-consuming passion for food, to live (and eat).

That’s why I’m so excited to introduce the inaugural issue of Edible Philly. In these pages, you’ll find our first exploration into the countless people, places, events, projects, and products that make southeastern PA, with its creative restaurants and rich farmlands, one of the most fantastic edible landscapes anywhere.

On every page, you’ll find information and inspiration to enrich your food life this holiday season. We have a close look at the new crop of hard apple ciders on page 26.

Unlike what you may have sipped in the past, these brews are dry and complex—the perfect pour for your Thanksgiving feast. And, as you plan all your holiday meals, our guide to buying and cooking heritage breed roasts on page 42 (complete with recipes) will make you feel like a Slow-Food-savvy pro, even if you aren’t.

Flag our guide for a long weekend in Bethlehem, PA, on page 51 if you need a booster shot of holiday cheer. They don’t call themselves “Christmas City USA” for nothing. And boughs of holly aside, Bethlehem is home to some restaurants and bars that are well worth the short drive up the Northeast Extension.

If you haven’t explored the taquerias of South Philly yet, we give you another reason to go on page 14. Tamales are an off-menu surprise at many of these small, authentic restaurants, and our guide can help you track them down. Trust me, these packets of tender meat, spicy mole and creamy masa are a Philly treasure.

I hope this and future issues of Edible Philly remind you that home really is the most rewarding place possible for your culinary excursions. (You’ll never become a regular on vacation.) For those of us who live here, the Italian Market and Reading Terminal Market aren’t one-time sightseeing stops. They are part of our regular shopping routine and woven into the very fiber of our memories and traditions.

After all, tourists can’t visit Di Bruno Bros., the venerable cheese shop we profile on page 36, and bring their bag of gourmet ingredients right back to their home kitchen to start cooking—but you can.

Joy Manning, Editor

In Search of Tamales in Philly

Known for an array of fantastic tacos, the Mexican spots of South Philly offer the holiday specialty almost every weekend.

Food Co-Ops 101

Meet your new neighborhood grocery store: co-ops, which are member-owned grocery stores that put every aspect of running the business into shoppers' hands.

Clean Slate

clean slate cocktail
This clean slate cocktail recipe is especially low-maintenance with just 3 ingredients that produce delicious flavor.

The Flavors of "Christmas City USA"

hotel bethlehem
With its annual profusion of twinkling lights, tinsel, guys in red suits, festooned firs and stars, the Pennsylvania town of Bethlehem may be the richest source of holiday cheer on Earth.

Holiday Cheese Tree

holiday cheese tree
This holiday cheese tree is a wonderful appetizer for a holiday party that also doubles as decoration.

What's in Season in Philly: Winter

Find out what veggies and fruits are in season this winter in Philly.

O Christmas Cheese

christmas cheese tree
Many holiday rituals have long roots in religious, cultural or family customs. But, this Christmas tradition has roots made out of cream cheese and cheddar.

Slow-Cooked Pork Roast

slow-cooked pork roast
Every Christmas table needs a delicious main-course. This slow-cooked pork roast is the one that all guests will love.

Fresh Spirit: Storybook Spaces at Talula's

Aimee Olexy readies a table at Talula’s Garden on Washington Square.
Aimee Olexy knows how to set a table that invites diners to dream with the seasons.

Beet and Potato Latkes

Some might say that it’s impossible to improve upon the traditional all potato latke, but this beet variety will give your grandma’s recipe a run for its money. The beets add both sweetness and...

Herb-Roasted Turkey with White Wine–Giblet Gravy

What's a turkey without gravy? This white wine-giblet gravy will be the perfect accompaniment to your juicy bird.

Edible Health: Cheers Without Beers

Jin Ja
Think you can only toast with alcohol? Here are alcohol-free ways to raise a toast this season.

Foodshed: A Grass-Fed Feast

Everything you need to know about feel-good, taste-great alternatives to Butterball turkeys.

Vedge Cookbook Redefines Cooking with Vegetables

vedge cookbook
Vedge: 100 Plates Large and Small that Redefine Vegetable Cookbook is the newest cook book from Vedges Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby.

Cooking Fresh: Field of Dreams Leads to Restaurant Volver

Jose Garces
How farming helped inspire Jose Garces’ ambitious new restaurant, Volver.

Grated Beet Salad

This salad can be made with just about any kind of beet (the golden ones are particularly lovely), but I like to use the candy-cane-striped ones known as Chioggia beets. They give it gorgeous...

A Tall Glass of Autumn

Crisp, local apple ciders fit for a Thanksgiving table.

Beet and Beef Borscht

There are two secrets to borscht. The first is the liberal application of vinegar. It helps set the color of the beets and gives the soup its signature tang. The second is good knife work. You want to...

Poblano Corn Bread

poblano cornbread
This cornbread is a staple of the Garces’ family Thanksgiving table. A roasted chile lends a subtle spice to this classic, and an ample addition of smoky cheddar provides holiday-worthy richness. It...

Di Bruno Bros: The House that Cheese Built

cheese house
In spite of bigger, brighter new locations, the original shop in the Italian Market remains the beating heart of Di Bruno Bros.

Roasted Beet Dip

Though this dip appeals to eaters of all ages, I find that it’s a particular hit with kids. They get a kick out of eating something colored a vivid pink. It’s also a nice addition to a...
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