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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Pork Can Now Officially Be Pink, A Taste of Seesaw's Smorrebrod

Posted By on Wed, May 25, 2011 at 8:34 AM

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Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.

1. Pink Pork. The big news of the day is that the USDA has just lowered its recommended serving temperature for whole cuts of pork, from 160 degrees Farenheit to 145. (The serving temperature for ground pork, however, remains at 160). With trichinellosis from pork practically eradicated, it's been standard practice for high-end restaurants to serve pork tinged with pink for several decades. Chefs have fired off more many celebratory tweets than guns at a Kurdish wedding. Not joining the revelry is the LA Times' great Russ Parsons, who reminds us that undercooked pork tastes "serumy." His recommendation is to brine the pork chop and aim for 155 degrees.

click to enlarge A "set" of Seesaw's smørrebrød. - JONATHAN KAUFFMAN
  • Jonathan Kauffman
  • A "set" of Seesaw's smørrebrød.

2. Smørrebrød in SF. I finally got a chance to stop in at Seesaw (600A Octavia, at Grove), which quietly opened a few months ago. It's located far, far off Hayes Valley's main commercial strip, but once word gets out that it a) sells Four Barrel coffee and b) has a dedicated playspace for toddlers, the location shouldn't matter.

Decorated simply and colorfully, the cafe already has its share of moms and tiny children. As a lone middle-aged guy, I felt a little suspicious, so I just focused on the smørrebrød I'd ordered. Served on thin, dense rye, the Danish open-faced sandwiches are cafe fare, simple and attractively presented. My favorite of this "set" of two, which cost $6.50, was the creamy, potent pickled herring and shaved red onion. Of course, I'd forgotten my Altoids, and by the time I returned to the office, I smelled like a seal.

3. Corner Stores. Have you checked out the Bold Italic's feature on the corner stores in the Western Addition/Fillmore? Great photos from Gundi Vigfusson. And it's good to know that Woo Ri Market, one of the two best Korean groceries in the city, also does catering.

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Follow me at @JonKauffman.

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Jonathan Kauffman


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