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Archive | March 19th, 2010

Fess Parker, TV’s Davy Crockett, Dies at 85

Fess Parker, TV’s Davy Crockett, Dies at 85

Fess Parker, whom millions remember as Davy Crockett, “the King of the Wild Frontier,” died Thursday at the age of 85.

The actor was known mostly for playing one of the heroes of the Alamo, but he also made a name among wine lovers for his winery in Santa Barbara County, Calif., which produces lauded Pinot Noirs, Syrahs, Chardonnays and a Viognier that recently received a 90 rating in Wine Spectator magazine.

“He was a kind, gentle man,” said Ray Ayala of Republic National Distributing Company, who met Parker when he visited San Antonio a few years ago. “He was a tall, big guy,  about 6-feet-5, a gentle giant with a deep voice, but he was really nice.”

Parker was originally from San Angelo, and he never forgot his Texas roots. He was a supporter of the Daughters of the Texas Republic, which owns the Alamo, and he appeared at benefits for the shrine.

His winery recently worked with fellow Texan and restaurateur Tom Perini on a spice blend to complement several of Parker’s wines. You can find samples of Perini Ranch rub slipped on the necks of bottles of Parker’s Santa Barbara County Syrah, Frontier Red and Parker Station Syrahs.

While he played a pioneer on TV, Parker was a real trailblazer in life. He invested in Santa Barbara land and a winery there long before it was fashionable.

“He was in Santa Barbara before it was cool to be in Santa Barbara,” Ayala said.

The famous scene in “Sideways” in which Miles (Paul Giamatti) drinks from the spit bucket, was said to have been filmed at Fess Parker Winery, though the site’s name was fictionalized in the film.

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Kick Up Your Spice Level With Szeged

Kick Up Your Spice Level With Szeged

Too often, the paprika sold in the United States is a flavorless red dust that’s used more for adding a devilish color to deviled eggs than it is to add flavor.

That version is not for making a rich stew like Hungarian goulash, which relies on a full-bodied paprika for its depth of flavor.

You can remedy all that by looking for Pride of Szeged Paprika, which comes in both a sweet and a hot version.

The company’s name comes from the fourth largest city in Hungary, which is where the spices come from.

But don’t stop there. Pride of Szeged (pronounced seh-gehd) also makes delicious blends to rub on chicken, steaks and ribs. Each of the tins sells for about $3.75.

Some, if not all, of the line can be at specialty stores like Spec’s, 14623 I-35; Central Market, 4821 Broadway; and Whole Foods in the Quarry, 255 E. Basse Road.

Your deviled eggs will thank you.

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