Wednesday, November 16, 2005


Cucumber, Mango & Jicama with Chile & Lime

The food hawking street vendors of India are (in)famous. So are the numerous falafel/hot-dog/everything-else carts that dot the landscape of New York City. Thousands of other cities around the world are also home to portable kitchens of all sorts.

But lest you think us Angelenos are too much of a car culture (well, we are, but whatever) to have our own version of street food, I have to point out that Downtown, along Miracle Mile, even out by the beaches, there are indeed some (sparsely dispersed) interesting street food to be found. For instance, when downtown shopping for fabric and notions (a girly past-time if there ever was one) for H'ween, Mrs. B, Dr. Feisty and I came across several industrious sorts selling this incredible treat in large plastic cups. While of course, the people selling this were just doing something that is common in their native cultures, for us, it was an inspired treat.

It is so simple and so refreshing, it will stop you in your tracks. Be careful with the cayenne, because it can overpower you pretty easily, but if you are sparing, I promise, this combination of spicy, juicy mango, clean cucumber and the sweet and crisp jicama mixed with a burst of lime and the crazy smoky heat of the cayenne is new and exciting and different and fab. It's also a fat free snack, for those of you who care...try it and you will indeed, enjoy.

1 large hot house cucumber
1 medium jicama
1 semi firm mango
1 lime
pinch of cayenne pepper
pinch of kosher salt

Peel and de-seed the cucumber, mango and jicama (well, the jicama has no seeds), and cut into thick spears.

Arrange in a low glass or on a plate and squeeze lime (to taste) over all but the tips (so you can pick it up without getting all messy), dust lightly with cayenne pepper and again with salt.

Serve immediately

Makes enough for three to six people depending on the size of your fruits and veg.

Goes great with tequila


The animated character Wallace (of Wallace and Gromit fame) has a deep love of Wensleydale cheese, which is made in northern England. UK supermarkets have seen a 23 percent sales increase since "The Curse of the Were-Rabbit" featuring the character hit cinemas. Alain Gulpin, who is head cheese buyer for the Tesco supermarket chain, says, "Since the film came out last month, the 'Wallace Effect' has been extraordinary. -AP

Jicama, a brown root, is a member of the morning glory family that hails from Mexico and South America. At the Whole Foods in Beverly Hills this past week, they cost $0.79/pound.

Wednesday is Food Section day at the Los Angeles Times! Did they mention Los Angeles' own, fantastic Food Bloggers? Nope. Not this week either.

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