Friday, June 3, 2011

Day 292

Gazpacho: Despite having to travel a fair amount when playing music, I rarely get the chance to travel for pleasure, so I was excited when me and the GF finally made plans to visit Asheville, NC this weekend. She actually won the trip a few weeks ago at the Foodtopia event in Atlanta, which was put on by the Asheville Chamber of Commerce ( Based on the creative, interesting food I tasted at the event, I knew I'd find something new this weekend to blog about, but I didn't expect my first night here to lead me to a classic dish I'd never tried.

Our dinner tonight was at the Corner Kitchen near the Biltmore House, which featured plenty of Southern classics as well as some spins on others. I wasn't seeing much on the menu that I'd never tried, but one thing in the starter section caught my eye: gazpacho. I know it may seem crazy that I've never had it, but cold soup never seemed too interesting to me. I decided to change that tonight.

Once our server brought it, my first thought was that it looked like salsa. From what I could tell, it included tomato, green pepper, onion, cilantro, and cucumber. I wasn't exactly sure about the preparation, but the GF told me that it was traditionally made with raw ingredients, which led to the salsa-like appearance. The Corner Kitchen's version was finished with a dollop of cilantro sour cream.
After taking my first bite, my first impression was that it tasted really clean and fresh. It had much more flavor that salsa (not that I ever eat a bowl of salsa by itself), and the texture was more pureed than chunky. Aside from the fresh tomato base, I definitely tasted the cucumbers and cilantro, and there was a peppery bite towards the end that I wasn't expecting. The GF said it tasted "like a garden, but in a good way," which is a pretty accurate description. I'm glad I finally tried it, but it was something that I wouldn't want a large portion of. For a light starter, it wasn't bad at all.

More to come from Asheville tomorrow...

1 comment:

  1. My mom used to make that in the summer when I was a kid......we had a garden and grew most of the ingredients. I admit, as a kid I wouldn't eat it. I didn't like the idea of a cold soup either as I am one of those people who enjoys HOT food...piping hot at that! As an adult, I vow to give it another chance. I've got a garden with most of the ingredients soon to harvest. I'll let you know how it turns out. Thanks for reminding me I needed to give gazpacho another chance. Ya'll have fun in NC!