Dear Readers,

Letters to the Editor welcomes your comments, questions, criticisms and suggestions. Looking for a specific recipe or trying to find a product? Please don't send those requests as a Letter to the Editor—we receive too many individual requests to reply to all of them here. Try our Message Boards or our Search page first.

If you would like to write a Letter to the Editor use our feedback form.

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- The Editors


Butter 'Em Up

Dear Culinarians,

Can you please assist? What is a stick of butter? I think it is 4 ounces.

Can you please assist as I have to write some recipes for a USA audience.

Many thanks.

Martin F. Harrap
Director, Indoor Dining
New Zealand

Dear Martin,

You are correct. A stick of butter equals 1/4 pound (4 ounces), or 8 tablespoons, and measures 1/2 cup. Check out our Cooking Calculator for more conversions.

Kate Heyhoe


Mongol Hordes

Dear Foodwine.com,

I have been searching for some authentic Mongolian recipes and came up with very little. We are having a mission conference at our church and need to serve 100 people. Can you send me some links or ideas....?

Thank you.


Dear Chatkat,

Martin Yan's book Culinary Journey Through China contains several Mongolian recipes, including one for hot pot, beef, lamb skewers and roast lamb. For 100 people, you might try roasting several lambs and carving off small bits. Hope this helps—keep me posted!


Kate Heyhoe


Kid's Play

Dear Sirs,

I found the following article on your website through a web search and was astonished as the total ignorance of its author. Considering the outright falsehoods Ian Makay has written here, I think it would be appropriate for you to remove this page.

"Every Day's a Holiday"

Most elementary school children would be aware, as Mr. Makay is not, that St. Patrick's missionary work in Ireland was done many centuries before the Protestant split occurred. He should be embarrassed. It reflects poorly on you that this work was not edited before being placed on your website.


Dear Ignatius,

As the product the 12 years of Catholic school in New York, I agree with you wholeheartedly on one matter, most Catholic elementary school children from my generation probably know that St. Patrick converted the Irish Celts to Christianity at a time long before the Protestant Reformation. I'm not sure why, upon reading the article I wrote, you would come to the conclusion that I somehow missed this point.

If I can clarify any facts about St. Patrick's life or his feast day for you, I will be more than happy to do so. Perhaps I can better address your concerns if you can please point out the specific errors you refer to in your email. Please, cut and paste whatever errors you found directly from the article itself and I will be happy to provide you with sources.

Thanks for your interest and for allowing me to respond to you.

All my best!
Ian Makay

Editor's Note: Ian Makay has written numerous articles and several books on the history of holidays. The article in question was published on our website in 1996.


Greek To Me


Thank u so much for this amazing South African food site. Is it possible to have more recipes for pickles?

And please let me know what is fenugreek? I'm South African, but have never heard of this (perhaps I know it by another South African name?).

Once again thank u this is now 1 of my favourite sites.


Dawn Nair
Los Gatos CA

Dear Dawn,

Fenugreek is an aromatic plant native to Asia and southern Europe. It has pleasantly bitter, slightly sweet seeds which are sold whole or ground, and are commonly used in curry powder and other spice blends.

Kate Heyhoe



Dear Foodwine.com,

This is just an error I noticed when reading the introduction to the Spanish section. It is written that most people are familiar with the Spanish culture of the Mediterranean coast "because of the Catalan dialect." For one, I think most people who don't know much about Spain wouldn't know much about Catalan anything. But the biggest error here is "catalan dialect." It is not a dialect it is a separate language. There are four languages in Spain: Catalan, Galician, Euskera, and Castillian (commonly known as Spanish). None of those are dialects, although within those languages there are dialects.

Mark Marron

Dear Mark,

Neither the writer nor editor that worked on that introduction to Spain work with us any longer but a brief check of reference materials corroborated your comments.

We have changed the wording to reflect this.


Kate Heyhoe


Hungarian Nuts

Dear Foodwine.com,

In the Hungarian Nut Roll recipe featured in your Spring recipes, you left out when to add the proofed yeast mixture to the dough.

I enjoy your site, and have used quite a few of the recipes featured.

Keep up the good work!


Dear JFerraro,

That recipe is from Beth Hensberger's book The Bread Bible. I phoned Beth and asked her for the correction—add the yeast mixture when you add the remaining milk. The corrected recipe now appears online.

Thanks for catching it and thanks for the very kind words!

Kate Heyhoe


Gourmet Guess

Dear Foodwine.com,

Thank you so much! I am very happy to hear that I won the Gourmet Guess contest. I go to your website all the time and I love reading your articles. It's very interesting and informative. Keep up the good work.



Dear Foodwine.com,

Thank you so much for the lovely cookware set I won at your site. It is great and will be treasured. Love your site and your variety of information.

Susan Schermerhorn
Gainesville FL


Dear Foodwine.com,

We love playing Gourmet Guess even though we won in the last 12 months. However it has been very difficult to access at times like the last several days. We find your site to be extremely informative and fun to check many times a month! Keep up the good work.

Sandra Noble
Edmond OK

Dear Sandra,

Slow access to our site is usually caused by network problems at peak usage hours. A bad connection or crashed computer anywhere in the USA can force the Internet to re-route traffic through slower venues—and this can affect all sites, not just our own. Trying at a different time or anytime later should alleviate the problem. If it happens frequently, please report it to your Internet Service Provider (ISP).

Kate Heyhoe



Dear Foodwine.com,

My son (5th grade) has a small collage to prepare on China which should include history pics, food, and so forth. Your web page helped me discover some interesting history on the feast of the hungry ghosts and more on the asian new year. Thanks so much for your web site.

(via feedback form)


Dear Foodwine.com,


I loved your Brazil page.

Um abraáo

Ernesto Silva
Friends of Brazil
Sao Roque, Brasil


Dear Foodwine.com,

This web site looks fantastic, Will go through it when I get more time.

Joan Giddings gjgiddings*citlink.net


Dear Foodwine.com,

This is a wonderful site. Thank you for it.



Bread, Wine and...

Hi there!

Thank you for this fabulous web site.

I am planning a romantic picnic, and am wondering if you might be able suggest a place where I can find an appropriate menu? Maybe something that could be served with wine?

Much thanks,

Kristina H.

Dear Kristina,

Our Valentine's area has plenty of romantic recipes, but since Valentine's Day falls in February, there aren't any picnic ideas. However, using a little imagination and the Kate's Global Kitchen Archives, I came up with some very appropriate suggestions. Check out these columns and recipes:

Cold Poached Salmon with Tangy Mustard Mayo Sauce and Cold Asparagus

Kate's Holiday Salmon Gravlax (makes great sandwiches)

Grilled Velvet Chicken (serve cold) with 15-Minute Potato Salad

Veggie Matchsticks with Hint of Mustard Vinaigrette

Wine Picks for Cheese Spreads, with recipes for Creamy Gouda-Horseradish Spread and My Blue Heaven Spread

Have a "lovely" time!

Kate Heyhoe


Gastronomy Belles

Hello there,

I was wondering if you could provide me with some information. I am trying to find out about the dessert Belle Hellene, originated by Escoffier. It is the recipe for pears dipped in chocolate. Do you know, or could you find out, when the dessert was introduced? If not, do you know where I could find that information? Any information is greatly appreciated.


Colleen Verriest

Dear Colleen,

According to the new Larousse Gastronomique, Belle-Helene refers to several different recipes introduced around 1865 by Paris chefs from restaurants on the Grands Boulevard. The title refers to an operetta by Offenbach, and the recipes include ones for grilled tournedos (filet mignons), sautéed chicken supremes, and the cold pear and chocolate dessert "Pear Belle-Helene" to which you refer.

Kate Heyhoe


Chocolate Festivals

This is more of a question than a comment. Do you have any information on when and where are all the chocolate events and festivals in California from now until the end of the year?

P.S. I do like your website.



Hello James,

My name is Stephanie Zonis, and I write the "I Love Chocolate" column; your question was forwarded to me. I do not have any lists of this type. As there are hundreds of small local and regional chocolate festivals held throughout the country each year, it would be impossible for me to keep track of them all. I looked around a bit in books and websites; most chocolate festivals seem to be in the fall or winter. There is a Chocolate Lovers' Weekend at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey sometime in November. You can call the hotel at (310) 823-1700, ext. 5121. I did not find any other chocolate events prior to the end of the year. I'd suggest a web search of your own, or you might want to contact the CA Division of Tourism as a first step. And keep your eyes open for chocolate festival announcements in local papers in your area!

Best of luck with your search.



Electronic Submissions


Just got the first copy of your newsletter and really I enjoy it. I was wondering if accept electronic cookbooks for review. Would love to submit Eva's Kitchen Confidence for your perusal.

Eva Kende

Dear Eva,

We make no guarantees that books or other material submitted will be reviewed online. However, if you still wish to submit your materials, send all electronic books and other editorial correspondence to our main email address:


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