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


Kate Heyhoe Answers Questions

Dear Foodwine.com,

I am a 6th grade teacher in Maryland, USA. For United Nations Day, we are studying Australia and I am trying to find what kind of foods are popular in Australia...can you help me? Parents are supposed to prepare food for our celebration, and we are expected to dress in clothing that is popular in Australia.

Anything you can do to help me would be great.


G'Day, Dawn -

I hope you went out to the Global Destinations section of the Global Gourmet. It's in the list on the right side of the page at globalgourmet.com, or on the main screen at AOL keyword: GG. Look under Australia—you'll find recipes, bush lingo and much more!

- Foodwine.com


Dear Kate,

How can I keep pasta from getting all stuck in one big nasty lump when I'm stuck trying to keep it hot while waiting for dinner guests to show up? Happened to me recently and sure was frustrating to try to serve up. Someone told me to put oil in the cooking water but will that help after you've drained the water off? I had kept it in a steam basket over some hot water to keep it hot with out cooking it more.


Hi, Sal,

Reindeer Here's what restaurants do:

When the pasta is 'al dente' or cooked until just tender with still a bit of bite to it, drain it by scooping it out of the pot into a colander or using a colander insert that fits inside the pot. *Don't throw out the hot water.* Just before serving, bring the water back up to a boil, then plunge the pasta in it and stir gently to loosen. It only takes a few seconds and doesn't really cook the pasta, it just warms it up. When the pasta is separated again, drain and sauce.

Even when not putting the pasta back into boiling water, Italians scoop a bit of the water used for boiling and, after the pasta has drained, they add a bit of the reserved water to it in a bowl or pan before saucing. This helps loosen the strands and also keeps the pasta moister, so you don't have to add gallons of sauce. At home, I use this method and keep the pasta warm by draining it in a colander and covering it with a pot lid.

A third method is to place the pasta in a microwave safe bowl, add a bit of pasta water, cover and microwave on high to steam it for a few seconds, stirring gently with a chopstick or fork to loosen.

Finally, never add oil to pasta! The oil coats the pasta and prevents the sauce from being absorbed.

Probably more than you wanted to know but hey, that's what I'm here for!

- Foodwine.com



I would to make the almond paste macaroons, question is, where to buy almond paste??? I live in Ohio, thank you.


Dear BDani45871,

Look in the gourmet or imported food aisle of a large supermarket, or check the aisle that has baking aids, like cake decorating tubes, chocolate sprinkles, and such (usally near the spices). If you still can't find it, as the manager or look for a baking supply store in the area. You can also ask a bakery if they'll sell you some. Almond paste comes in tubes and is really more easy to find than you might think, but it's usually a small package so you may be missing it on the shelf.

Good luck,

- Foodwine.com


Dear Kate,

I am doing some research on the history of Italian soups. Having a hard time finding any significant resources. Can you help? Thank you for your time.

Chef Lloyd T. Simpson

Hi, Lloyd -

Have you consulted The Italian Soup Cookbook, by Joe Famularo? It's a great place to start. You don't say why you are researching Italian soups, but if you need more info, contact the author via the publicity department at Workman Publishing in NY, and let them know you heard about the book on Kate Heyhoe's Global Gourmet site.

Buon appetito!

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

What's the equivalent of a No. 2-1/2 can in weight....??? Can't find it in conversions or anywhere on the net. Is there a standard for this size of can...???

George Klingberg

Dear George,

A No. 2-1/2 can equals 26 to 30 ounces in net weight or fluid measure, delivering about 3-1/2 cups per can. Few cookbooks actually use these terms for the average consumer, except for some institutional or professional recipes. Hope this helps!

- Foodwine.com


Dear Kate,

I am curious if you are familiar with a pastry, which I am most likely spelling wrong. If I search with vermicelli then I usually get pasta recipes. While in Zurich, I had a dessert which was made with a hazelnut paste, and maybe a cream? It was processed through a vermicelli machine of some sort and usually served in a baked meringue shell. It was wonderful, but I can't seem to find the recipe?

If you have any suggestions on where I should look, I would appreciate it. Or if you are familiar with the recipe, I would be most grateful!

Thank you very much,

Lorraine Arbuckle

Hi, Lorraine,

In answer to your query, I suggest you contact the Hazelnut Marketing Board. They have loads of great recipes and I suspect they can answer your question and prhaps even find a similar recipe. Good luck, and tell them the Global Gourmet sent you! Contact:

Donna Stone
Marketing Coordinator
Hazelnut Marketing Board

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

Can the orange, pistachio and date bread be frozen as you can a yeast bread? Can stevia be used in place of sugar? Thank you.

Juanita Gojeski

Dear Juanita,

Yes, it can be frozen. Wrap it well in foil and then place in a freezer-proof bag, removing as much air as possible. I don't know whether stevia can be substituted for sugar since I have not tried it. Stevia is an herbal sweetener from South America sold in this country under restrictions from the FDA, which once declared it an "unsafe food additive." It can now legally be offered only as a "dietary supplement."

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

Our family has a traditional pie contest (men only) on Thanksgiving. I've decided to bake a peach pie which I got off the internet. It won 1st place in the 1995 "Louisiana Peach Fest". Anyway, I would like to put the very best peaches in the pie. Do you have any suggestions for what peach would be good? Then again, I might not have much of a choice at this time of year.

If you are interested in the pie that I'm going to do you can find it at www.cab.latech.edu/ruston/peach/cook1995.htm and the pie's name is "Mom's Fresh Peach Pie" cooked by Barbara Mansfield Orren.

Thank you,

Ed Callahan

Dear Ed,

Good luck in your contest, Ed—you'll need it to find ripe, tasty peaches in November. Your best bet is to look for imports from South America or other lands with a longer growing season. There's nothing like the taste a ripe fruit in-season adds to a pie, so you may want to reconsider and bake a pie with a fruit at its peak in November—such as apples, pears, cranberries, even plums which are coming off the end of their season but can still be good. Keep us posted on how it goes!

- Foodwine.com


Dear Kate,

While I love to cook, I *am* somewhat lazy and often look for shortcuts in the kitchen. Case in point: one of the side dishes I am preparing for Thanksgiving contains anchovies, which I don't particularly care to work with. The recipe calls for 3 fillets and I am hoping you can tell me how much anchovy paste to substitute to get the equivalent amount, as my tube of anchovy paste offers no such information.



Dear Pamela,

Nothing wrong at all with subbing anchovy paste for anchovies, especially when you won't be using a full tin of 'chovies. The ratio is 1/2 teaspoon anchovy paste to 1 whole anchovy fillet.

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

Thanks so much for this helpful information, which I had been unsuccessful obtaining anywhere else. Now I won't have to open that tin and can go ahead with the anchovy paste substitution! I'm sure the dish will turn out wonderfully.

Pamela Schwartz


Gingerbread Man Dear Foodwine.com,

I've been searching for the pistachio cookies with a rosewater creme brulee recipe and I haven't been succesful in finding it. Can you e-mail or direct me to where I can find this recipe. Resource: The Wall Street Journal, Thursday November 12th.


Dear Mediabuye,

We saw the same article. Chef Fortunato referenced the cookies from our site, but I believe the rose water creme brulee was his own invention. I can't guarantee this is the same pistachio cookie recipe he's referring to (you'd have to ask him), but it's from our Global Destinations area on Turkey, a country that uses rose water often—so these cookies sound like a great match for the chef's dessert:


Thanks for asking and eat well!

- Foodwine.com

Dear Foodwine.com,

Thanks, I'll grab it. I worked in Turkey for three years, so choke teshekur ederim (Thank you very much).



Fruitcake Disaster!

Dear Lynn Kerrigan,

I made your old-fashioned fruitcake. It is inedible! Does anyone proof the recipes? I should have known when I put in the two tablespoons of nutmeg that something was wrong. Is it a typo? Do you mean two teaspoons? Between the nutmeg and the cloves (two more tablespoons!), I have had lighter tasting gingerbread houses. I am very dissapointed, not to mention the $15 wasted on ingedients.

Since you are a free service, I should probably have been more wary. But, if you test or not test the recipes, you should indicate that.

Dan Crudele
Orlando, FL

Dear Dan,

Your e-mail was forwarded to me editor.

Reindeer I am the person responsible for the "inedible" fruitcake recipe being posted to the Global Gourmet web site. I hope you can and will accept my apology. I found this recipe several years ago while going through my grandmother's papers. I deciphered her "Ts" to mean tablespoons and now can only assume the T stands for teaspoon. The recipe is being pulled from the site by Global Gourmet's executive editor. (Editor's Note: the Old Fashioned Fruit Cake recipe has actually been updated.)

You are right, of course. I should have tested the recipe. As a Global Gourmet columnist, that is my duty. I dropped the ball. You have taught me a valuable lesson.

I would like to compensate you for your inconvenience—the money you spent on ingredients and the time you wasted making what probably qualifies as a genuine door stop.

Kindly e-mail your mailing address. I will send you posthaste a new cookbook as well as a year's subscripton to "The Culinary Sleuth," the newsletter called "one of the best we've ever come across" by The Washington Post.


Lynn Kerrigan
The Culinary Sleuth

Dear Lynn,

Thank you for the reply. Looking back I have to laugh, I can't believe I didn't catch it as I made the cake. I love to bake, so I should have thought about it as I planned the making of the cake. I did find a good recipe at the Epicurious site, although I am really looking for one along the lines of a "Harry and David" cake. A cake that is very dense, with more nuts than anything having just a little batter holding the cake together. Any thoughts?

I would love to try some other recipes that you would like to send.

Dan Crudele
Orlando, FL


I Love Chocolate

Dear Nancy Caivano,

My boyfriend and I are choco-holics and we would like to have a recipie for chocolate chunk cookies. However, we have not been able to find chocolate chunks that are usable for baking nor a recipie. Do you know of any brands that can be baked along with information about where it can be found? Thanks.

Melissa Walker

Good morning, Melissa.

Your inquiry was forwarded to me. Chocolate chunks? Good question! I know of one brand available in some markets; the chunks are Saco brand. Most people end up making their own chunks by chopping bar chocolate. However, I would call the Baker's Catalogue, at 1-800-827-6836, run by King Arthur Flour. They have a very good selection of baking chocolates of many kinds, though I'm not sure about chocolate chunks.

As far as a recipe, I think many people substitute chunks for chips in their chocolate chip cookies. If that doesn't work for you, please let me know, and I'll do some research into the matter.

Best regards,

I Love Chocolate


Pasta, Risotto & You

Dear Foodwine.com,

Can you freeze the "wild mushroom risotto" recipe?

Donna Guida
Marietta GA

Hello Donna -

The Global Gourmet forwarded your question to me, and the answer is YES, but there are a couple of things to remember.

I have frozen only leftover risotto, which I had usually made into Risotto cakes. The frozen leftovers turn out a bit mushy when reheated for a regular dish.

The only other thing I can suggest (and please note I haven't tried this myself) is to only half cook the recipe, and then freeze it. Then, defrost and finish it. When you defrost it, taste it to see how much more cooking time and stock the rice needs. It might not need as much as the recipe suggests, as during the freezing process, since it absorbs liquid. I think this might work.

If you have any other questions, please don't hesitate to ask.

Nancy Caivano
Pasta, Risotto & You


Dear Foodwine.com,

I made the Pumpkin and Spinach Ravioli with Sage Butter today..... And tonight.WOW ! Is making homemade ravioli a labor of love or insanity? I think eggroll wrappers might work.

Susan Rarrick
Cinderella Catering
Akron OH

Hiya Susan -

I'm so glad you liked the Ravioli recipe!!! It's an old family favorite.

Yes, making the pasta dough can be time consuming, I agree. And, yes, the won ton wrappers will work. I actually prefer (if I don't have time to make pasta) to buy pasta sheets at a store that sells fresh pasta. It is usually good quality pasta. I can tell you where to go if you are in NY, otherwise, try an Italian grocery or deli, they might be able to direct you. I also make my ravioli way ahead of time and freeze them. This way when company comes, all I have to do is throw them in the water, and make the sauce, leaving me more time with my guests.

Nancy Caivano
Pasta, Risotto & You


Rocky Roll

Dear Foodwine.com,

What happened to the November eGG Roll?

I never changed anything that I am aware of to not receive it.



Dear Foodwine.com,

I am re-registering for the email newsletter. I haven't received it since you updated your website. I hope this does not produce a duplicate.

Dana Ciappini

Dear Debysdad and Dana,

The November eGG-Roll was sent out normally but our mail server was being upgraded around the same time. Apparently some people on our list did not receive the newsletter due to a technical glitch caused by the upgrade. Please do not re-subscribe as you may end up getting two newsletters in the future.

- Foodwine.com

Dear Foodwine.com,

Thanks so much for your speedy reply. I look forward to this newsletter each month!

Dana Ciappini


Diet Site

Dear Foodwine.com,

I'm just subcribing now so I may have missed this question : Do you have a section or a way to identify low calorie and/or low fat recipies? Can we have our gourmet and diet too? :) Thanks! Ivey

Ivey Leftwich

Snowflake Dear IveyJeane,

A new column debuted on our website on December 1, called Diet Site, by Traci Kaufman, RD. Traci also has a companion website that will help you evaluate recipes.

- Foodwine.com

Dear Foodwine.com,

Thanks so much for the speedy reply. I am very impressed with what I've seen so far and look forward to your future offerings. You certainly have filled a need. I will certainly be eagerly awaiting Dec. 1.

Thanks again,

Ivey Leftwich


Printing Recipes

To Whom it May Concern,

I found your site via AOL's international newsletter. I liked the receipe for the Orange Pistachio Bread. But when I tried to print I I got nothing but Jibberish on the preview screen. I have the 4.0 version of AOL on an iMAC. Is it you, or me? I am not very good with the computer, and can't open most of my files that come in the mail from friends, So I figure that ultimatly it is probably something I am doing wrong.

Thank you,

Lynn Pellman

Dear Lynn,

At the Global Gourmet we use both Macs and PCs, and AOL 3.0 and 4.0. There appears to be a glitch in AOL's browser for the Mac which won't let you print pages that are designed with tables, a common element on web pages.

There are two work-arounds.

One is to get a free-standing browser like Netscape. After you launch AOL and connect, launch Netscape and use Netscape to go to our websites. (The web is different from AOL. AOL members can access both AOL's proprietary content as well as the web, but people who do not belong to AOL can only access the web. Because AOL makes access to the web very easy, the web often looks the same as AOL to the casual user.)

The second alternative (and this only works in AOL version 4.0) is to go to the web page you want to print, use the Save As command under the AOL File menu, then press the Format pop-up menu in the Save dialog box and select the Plain Text option. You can open the saved file in a word processor and print it, or reformat it any way you want.

Hope this helps.

- Foodwine.com


Searching, Bad Links & More...

Dear Foodwine.com,

I am having difficulty accessing the cookbook section of this web site which lists recipes! I am on AOL, if that is of any information. I just love your website and would like to explore it further. Please help!


Dear Cgarr55374,

What cookbook section are you referring to and what difficulty are you encountering? We maintain two sites on America Online which are available only to America Online members and a website which is available to both America Online members and non-members. Do you know which site you are on when you have the trouble?

The easiest way to get to recent Cookbook Profiles is to copy and paste this URL into the AOL web browser:


You can also go to AOL keyword: eGG and click on Recipes. There are plenty of recipe options there.

If you still have a problem, tell us what version of the AOL software you are using. An example would be: America Online version 4.0 for Windows 95.

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

I can't seem to find the correct "search" site for various recipes. Can you help? Thanks so much.


Dear Topsgal299,

We maintain two sites on America Online which are available only to America Online members and a website which is available to both America Online members and non-members.

The easiest way to search our web-based recipes is to copy and paste this URL into the AOL web browser:


The link also appears near the bottom of the navigation column that exists on most of our web pages.

If you are an AOL member, you can also go to AOL keyword: eGG and click on the Recipes button. There is a Search button above the list box on the Recipes window.


- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

What happened with e-gourmet and your cookbook by countries?

It was fantastic! I miss it!

Can you came back with that service, please?


Dear lfigoli,

The electronic Gourmet Guide merged with foodwine.com and globalgourmet.com in September.

You can access international recipes from our main page at:


Along the right column is a listing of all the parts of the site. Please note that towards the bottom there are listings for both Global Cookbook and Global Destinations.

- Foodwine.com



I found your e-mail address on the Internet. And, I am writing with the hopes you may be able to help me. I am writing an article, for a local newspaper, on Finnish foods. I would like to include a little history/background/folklore on the recipes I plan to have in the article.

Would you be able to give me any background on Pulla, beet salad (typically served at Christmas time), potato casserole (typically served at Christmas time) or Finnish meatballs? If not, would you please direct me to someone who could help?

Thanks much,

Mountain Laurel Farm

Dear Paula,



It may not answer all your questions but it's a good place to start.

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

You may not have received my earlier e mail. Please can you help me find the recipe for Topfknoedeln (Austrian Cottage Cheese Dumplings) We have just returned from a holiday on Lake Garda, we spent a day in the Dolomites, and had the lunch to end all lunches in a wonderful Alpen Restuarant. Cheese and spinach dumplings, and herby dumplings. I have recipes for knoedeln, but we had never tasted anything like these before. Can anyone help?

Yours gratefully
Gill Hoffacker & friends

Dear Gill,

The link to Destinations appears on almost every new page on our site.


- Foodwine.com

Dear Foodwine.com,




Dear Foodwine.com,


I am having trouble opening several of your sites. One of them is above



The URL:


works fine for us. Occasionally AOL has problems connecting out to the Internet from its proprietary service and browser, either due to busy traffic on their service or other intermittent techincal problems.

If the problem persists, please write us again and tell us what type of computer you have and the version number of the AOL software you are using and we will investigate further.

- Foodwine.com


Dear Foodwine.com,

Dead link on site:


Jerry Hymen

Dear Jerry,

Thanks for reporting the bad link. That is a fairly old archived page from 1995 or 1996 and the link back to that directory no longer works. Since there are hundreds of old pages like this, we are unable to fix them all, but we have left these pages on our site for archive purposes. When you encounter a page like this, you can use your browser's Back button to return to the page you came from, or change the URL by removing the last segment, like this:


which, if copied and pasted back into your browser's URL field, will lead you to the preceding directory.

- Foodwine.com

Dear Foodwine.com,

So if you don't want to clean up the old links, why ask readers to report bad links in the first place?

Jerry Hymen

Hi Jerry,

We actually do try to fix more recent links that generate errors but since our site is provided free on the Internet, we do not generate enough income to support a staff that can fix the thousands of older links that are no longer valid for technical reasons. We do sell advertising and products, which help maintain the site, but if we charged a subscription fee, most users would simply move on to some other free site.

We apologize for the inconvenience this may have caused you.

- Foodwine.com


Holiday Cheer

To whom it may concern,

I was just browsing the net looking for ideas on how to appease the monsters of Thanksgiving...meaning my family. I did a MSN search on Thanksgiving Recipes. Your URL was one of the many listed. Immediately after I visited your web page I knew I had found a true friend. You have done a wonderful job and it was so EASY to move around. I just wanted to drop a letter to let you know I really enjoyed Global Gourmet. I'm sure my family will be thanking you, too. After all it won't be the same ol' Thanksgiving. With the many new ideas for gravy and stuffing I'm sure to recieve a blue ribbon from my family.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and God Bless.

Thank You, Lori Rainery
Parma OH


Dear Foodwine.com,

In the Thanksgiving-related sites we have found, yours is a stand-out. We celebrate our holiday as a family (with adult/married children and pets coming from all over) at a cabin in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Nothing is spared with our feast, and everyone brings something, even those who must come by plane.

The shopping list is similar to ours, but I like your categories better. With the land and air caravan necessary to carry our celebration into this off-season location, we must be very organized least we forget something essential. I'm sure your list will be useful to other people, too.

Will you have a similar site for Christmas?? Please??

Thank you.


Snowflake Dear scarlsga,

We will have a Holiday page with links to Christmas, Hannukah and New Year's -related material starting December 5. Look for it on the main page in the upper right column, where it will appear until after the New Year.

- Foodwine.com


Kudos & Kisses


My name is Susy and I am from Mexico.

I love your home page and of course I love cooking.

I hope to hear from you soon.




Dear Foodwine.com,

Awesome site !!

Jim Goldberg
N. Grafton MA


Prize Winners

Dear Foodwine.com,

I just received my prize from your monthly Gourmet Guess contest and I wanted to say a HUGE THANK YOU!! These are absolutely stunning pieces of cookware! Please give my appreciation to your sponsor, Chantal Cookware. I almost hate to use them but will when I cook Thanksgiving dinner! I wish you and everyone at Global Gourmet a very Happy Thanksgiving and the happiest of holidays!

Kathey Liamis


Dear Foodwine.com,

I just wanted to let you know that I received the Chantal Kitchen Tools set this morning and to thank you so much. They are lovely. I've never had anything near this nice, and I've been married going on 25 years.

Also, thank you for sending them so promptly. I wasn't expecting them until next month. Going to be really nice using them for my holiday cooking.

Again, thank you. Chantal has been a wonderful sponsor and I'll be sure to pass the word around.


Cheryl Clements clem*cvzoom.net


Dear Foodwine.com,

Just had to say thank you for the 12 piece set of Chantal kitchen tools. Received them last Friday and they are really nice. Looking forward to using them especially when I will be cooking for the upcoming holidays. You have a great site. I visit it often.

Snowflake Thanks again,

Sharon Gillim


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