When life gives you lemons, mail them

People who celebrate food may like the new Meyer lemon postage stamp, unveiled at the recent Winter 2018 Stampfest and Postcard Show. It’s a 2-cent “forever” stamp, to be used as additional postage. For collectors, the stamp comes in coil strips of 500 through Stamp Fulfillment Services. Otherwise, they come in coils of 10,000. But they last forever, right?

FYI, the Meyer lemon has its roots in China and is thought to be a cross between a lemon and a mandarin or sweet orange. No one knows when the plant first appeared.

2017’s top cookbooks

So when all was said and done, “Sweet” by Yotam Ottolenghi and Helen Goh was named Best of the Best for 2017 by cookbook website Eat Your Books. This was the fifth time that Ottolenghi had the top cookbook of the year in the nine years that ­eatyourbooks.com has compiled its list as an amalgamation of 350 lists.

Others in the top 10, in order, are “Salt Fat Acid Heat” by Samin Nosrat; “Smitten Kitchen Every Day” by Deb Perelman; “BraveTart” by Stella Parks; “Six Seasons: A New Way With Vegetables” by Joshua McFadden; “At My Table” by Nigella Lawson; “Dinner: Changing the Game” by Melissa Clark; “Dining In” by Alison Roman; “David Tanis Market Cooking” by David Tanis; and “The Cooking Gene” by Michael Twitty.

Minnesotan Amy Thielen’s “Give a Girl a Knife” was in the top 10 in the memoir category.

The power of pork

Chef Jeff LaBeau of the Depot Bar and Grill in Faribault, Minn., took top honors in the Minnesota Pork Board’s recent Taste of Elegance culinary competition, where some of the state’s best chefs showed off their pork-cooking skills.

LaBeau prepared a cast-iron apple-smoked pork rib chop with a smoked pork butt corn cake, apple-maple-bacon jam with grits flavored with hocks and bellies. Second place (and best table display) went to Chef Tim McCarty, Mayo Foundation House in Rochester, serving corned pork cheeks, and third went to Chef John Van House, Grand Casino, Hinckley, Minn., for his pork shoulder pastrami. The people’s choice nod went to Chef Matt Brown, of Estelle’s Eatery in Harmony, Minn., for his smoked suckling pig tostada.

For all the recipes, check out the Minnesota Pork Board website, www.mnpork.com.

Three cheers!

Congrats to staff writer Rick Nelson, a finalist for Best Narrative Food Writing from the International Association of Culinary Professionals for the special Taste section last spring on “The Immigrants,” from the perspective of the culinary world. The results will be announced later this month.