Alibi V.16 No.17 • April 26-May 2, 2007 

Ask Chef Boy Ari

Forbidden Fruit

Q: Dear Chef Boy Ari,

I have a dilemma. I want pineapple, and I’m already sweating the fact the fruit I want needs to be shipped from far away, releasing greenhouse gases into the environment and contributing to global warming.

Still, I want my pineapple bad enough to buy it anyway. So here’s my question: should I buy my sinful pineapple from a can, or fresh?

—Pining for Pineapple

A: Dear Pining,

That’s a really good question, and bravo for pondering it despite resolutely caving in to your abusive desires.

Fresh is nice because it’s the least processed, and potentially the best tasting and most vitamin rich. But with fresh, you are shipping the whole fruit, including skin and top, which would eventually be discarded. Thus, you’re burning oil to ship refrigerated compost. And you’re encouraging the exporting nation to export a raw material, rather than the value-added product of canned pineapple (which was more likely to have been harvested when ripe, rather than a week before it was ripe).

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Fei Cafés "Combo House Special" with vegetable nuggets and cold sesame noodles ($5.25).
Tina Larkin

Restaurant Review

Fei’s Café

Think inside the box

Bento boxes are those lovely partitioned lacquered wood meal containers from Japan. I picked one up at a yard sale years ago but had no idea it was meant to carry a light lunch—I thought the beautiful container’s inner shelves were meant for girly doodles like earrings and pots of lip gloss. I had only seen bento boxes without lids. So the little black-lidded box serenely sat on my nightstand until I visited a Japanese website to buy imported snacks and realized my earring caddy should have been filled with cooked rice and bits of meat, fish, vegetables and fruit.

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Chowtown Restaurant Guide

A Taste of Thailand

At some point down the line Thai food became synonymous with comfort food for me. It was my family’s favorite dining out cuisine when I was young, and now I have a lot of good nostalgia wrapped up in the smell of lemongrass and curry. Tom kha gai, papaya salad and pad see ew are my go-to orders when I’m sick or just craving something warming and familiar, so I’ve visited most of the Thai spots in town to find some of my favorites of each. That GrubHub bill is getting a little out of control at this point, honestly.

Here’s a few of my favorite spots to order Thai in the Duke City. May they bring you many spicy tears and great evenings.

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