The Guardian's interactive food quiz. Includes geography factoids on food production and UN FAO stats on undernourishment.
"My wife and I were chatting while she was slicing potatoes on a mandoline..." A list of kitchen accidents, both personal and professional. (Maybe NSFW, definitely gory, though entertaining as hell.) [more inside]
The history of the hamburger could be a relatively short story, or one spanning centuries and continents, depending on how far you disassemble the modern hamburger. If you look for the origins of ground meat between two pieces of bread, that's something American, but where and when exactly is the question. But how did we get the ground meat patty? You can thank the Mongols and Kublai Khan, who brought their ground meat to Russia. Oh, and don't forget the fish sauce! [more inside]
Bad Jelly. Trying retro recipes so you don't have to. (Some images involving fruit may be NSFW. )
As part of the preparation for a special exhibition on the history of Chinese food in America, the Smithsonian opens the world's oldest can of fortune cookies. More posts on the exhibit research under the Sweet & Sour tag. [previously]
Mealku is a service designed to help people obtain home-cooked meals, by connecting strangers online. It's sort of like AirBNB for leftovers as takeout meals, though right now it's only in New York City. An article from The Atlantic Cities describes Ted D’Cruz-Young's vision for the network and addresses concerns. “There’s always food left over. It’s nice to know it could be someone’s dinner", said one fan.
'The ploughman's lunch is a UK pub meal who's core components are cheese, chutney, and bread. It can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham, and pickled onions, and is accompanied with beer.' [more inside]
The Alton Browncast [iTunes link] is a weekly podcast by the creator and star of the Good Eats cooking show. The podcast is a mixture of interviews, recipes, food news, food tips, and questions from listeners, occasionally about Doctor Who (he's a fan). There have been six episodes so far and the guests have been Sandy Waddell, Bobby Flay, Keith Schroeder, Alex Guarnaschelli, Hugh Acheson and Justin Warner.
"During the most recent ice age, milk was essentially a toxin to adults because — unlike children — they could not produce the lactase enzyme required to break down lactose, the main sugar in milk. But as farming started to replace hunting and gathering in the Middle East around 11,000 years ago, cattle herders learned how to reduce lactose in dairy products to tolerable levels by fermenting milk to make cheese or yogurt. Several thousand years later, a genetic mutation spread through Europe that gave people the ability to produce lactase — and drink milk — throughout their lives. That adaptation opened up a rich new source of nutrition that could have sustained communities when harvests failed." - The Milk Revolution - how a single mutation expanded (some) of humanity's diet. (Nature.com)
'Bro-Care' instead of Bum-Fights? A homeless person is offered retail therapy, a haircut, a hotel room, a ride in a car with a white leather interior and a substantial meal (oh, and a blindfolding) in exchange for being videotaped to encourage YouTube subscriptions for a channel. Apparently it hits many users of reddit "right in the feels" (a euphemism for feeling emotional/empathetic about something that you're exposed to)
You've just purchased a meal at a restaurant that offers a salad bar, with the stipulation that you can only take items from it once. How do you get the most out of your one trip? Simple: build a salad tower. [more inside]
If you find it impossible to make restaurant reservations online it might be because you're competing against bots. A developer explains how it works and just how common it might be in San Francisco. [more inside]
The bloggers at The St. Louis Slinger Tour have completed their comprehensive 16 month review of the Slingers available at 58 different St. Louis area restaurants. Follow them chronologically or check out Tim and Tony's Top 10 for later enjoyment (consensus favorite: The Sidebar). Also available for your convenience is a list of the worst Slingers in St. Louis (e.g. Uncle Bill's), to be avoided or ordered out of morbid curiosity. [more inside]
"The diet of the average American is almost entirely dependent on the existence of a vast, distributed winter--a seamless network of artificially chilled processing plants, distribution centers, shipping containers, and retail display cases that creates the permanent global summertime of our supermarket aisles." -- The Atlantic
If anything can turn Westerners on to entomophagy for sustainable protein (or just the perfect beer snack), surely it's an attractive, well-designed kitchen appliance. Introducing LEPSIS, a modular terrarium for growing grasshoppers as a food source in an urban home. Nominated for the 2013 INDEX: Award.
My dad made me a pbj 2.0 when you close it you get 9 different flavor combos. 1 My brother uploaded the pic of the PBJ 2.0 yesterday, here's another creation my dad always made for us, the "chick-check" apple 2 [more inside]
Come over my house and we'll cook up a tiny Re-Ment dinner...do you prefer Japanese cuisine? Maybe something European or Chinese? Perhaps fresh from the farm? Save room for Decoration Cake and Gummy Crepes for desert. RRcherrypie's YouTube channel has served up mesmerizing meals to millions. [more inside]
"Hi, I am Francis, the host of this show - Cooking With Dog." We will be cooking Choux Creme (Cream Puffs) / Tako-meshi (Mixed Rice with Octopus) / Cheese in Hamburg / Chicken Curry / Okonomiyaki / Agedashi Tofu / Yaki Gyoza / Bento Lunch Box / Green Tea Ice Cream. "Good luck in the kitchen!" (Previously)
Rape in the Fields is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters. NY Times [more inside]
Every Thursday, the Seamless (a delivery service that serves as a takeout service for over 12,000 restaurants) posts the Best of Seamless Special Instructions of the Week.
Cooking For Freedom
A few days before I met Ahmed Jama in Mogadishu, three Islamist gunmen from Al Shabaab — al-Qa’eda’s Somali branch — burst into his new restaurant wearing suicide bomb jackets. They sprayed the place with bullets and then detonated themselves.NPR: At His Own Risk, Somali Chef Creates Gourmet Haven In War-Weary Mogadishu [more inside]
To kick off each week the staff of NPR's "Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me!" posts Sandwich Mondays on The Salt blog, to look at some of the more... unusual sandwich offerings from America's commercial kitchens. This week, they recreate Wendy's nine patty T-Rex burger, which recently went extinct.
Arabbers (possibly derived from "street arab") are fruit 'n vegetable selling street vendors, going door to door with a horse and cart. Once a common sight in US East Coast cities, there's now only a handful left, in Baltimore. (You may have seem them on The Wire.) In 2004 a documentary was made about these last few remaining arabbers, now available at the Folk Streams website. (Previously about arabbers on MeFi.)
The last mile of logistics in getting food from the warehouse into the consumer's house is getting exciting. Schwan's has a very large delivery area for quite awhile, but only with frozen food. Amazon Fresh has expanded to L.A. Safeway is expanding quickly too. Peapod has been in this space for awhile but hasn't expanded very far. But sometimes, you just need a Whopper delivered. Daily milk delivery doesn't seem to be on the radar.
"Don't forget to take your vitamins!" Or not. Some say it could kill you. Will there ever be any definitive answers when it comes to nutrition?
The Boston Globe's map of Starbucks versus Dunkin Donuts locations is surprisingly beautiful. Other useful mapping views into dining and drinking: grocery stores versus bars (On, Wisconsin!), BBQ styles (more information on Serious Eats), and beautiful worldwide food maps from Food: An Atlas.
Some of My Best Friends Are Germs
It is a striking idea that one of the keys to good health may turn out to involve managing our internal fermentation. Having recently learned to manage several external fermentations — of bread and kimchi and beer — I know a little about the vagaries of that process. You depend on the microbes, and you do your best to align their interests with yours, mainly by feeding them the kinds of things they like to eat — good “substrate.” But absolute control of the process is too much to hope for. It’s a lot more like gardening than governing. The successful gardener has always known you don’t need to master the science of the soil, which is yet another hotbed of microbial fermentation, in order to nourish and nurture it. You just need to know what it likes to eat — basically, organic matter — and how, in a general way, to align your interests with the interests of the microbes and the plants. The gardener also discovers that, when pathogens or pests appear, chemical interventions “work,” that is, solve the immediate problem, but at a cost to the long-term health of the soil and the whole garden. The drive for absolute control leads to unanticipated forms of disorder.[more inside]
"Ariane Kambu Mbenza grew up with her uncle in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. When she was seven years old, he asked her to be in charge of preparing food. Sure, Uncle. No problem. She had grown up watching her mother cook and played kitchen plenty of times. "In Africa, you know how to cook automatically." Now a mother herself, Ariane showed me how to make what in Congo would be called, " Riz aux legumes avec poisson grillé avec la sauce tomate à l'ail." Text Via followed by Congolese mini Waffles as seen in the photo in the linked newspaper.
The Guardian Food blog's How to Eat series finally gives into the regular demands of their fans* from below-the-line and delves deep into how to eat boiled eggs. [*YMMV]
In the hostile, arid suburbs of Phoenix AZ, Dennis McClung and his family have created a lush and ingeniously efficient food-production system from an unused swimming pool. HuffPo is also there.
Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt’s Dark Side For every three or four ounces of milk, Chobani and other companies can produce only one ounce of creamy Greek yogurt. The rest becomes acid whey. It’s a thin, runny waste product that can’t simply be dumped. Not only would that be illegal, but whey decomposition is toxic to the natural environment, robbing oxygen from streams and rivers.... And as the nation’s hunger grows for strained yogurt, which produces more byproduct than traditional varieties, the issue of its acid runoff becomes more pressing. Greek yogurt companies, food scientists, and state government officials are scrambling not just to figure out uses for whey, but how to make a profit off of it.
On June 6th, 2013, Mel Brooks will be presented with the 41st AFI Life Achievement Award, but this post is about his Tomato and Onion Omelette. Bon Appétit talks cooking, coffee, and career with Mel Brooks, Omelette King.
Put in your preferred beer style, and Beer Viz will tell you about similar beers using data collected from Beer Advocate.
For the past eighteen years, Gil Garduño has been chronicling his adventures in New Mexican cuisine on his NM Gastronome blog. With over seven hundred reviews of restaurants around New Mexico, Gil's got you covered, whether you like classic New Mexican food, green chile cheeseburgers, or even other types of food that happen to be well-represented in the state. Gil is fierce in his defense of homegrown eateries over chains, saying that "word of mouth is crucial to survival and through this bully pulpit, I’ll do my best to extol the great value and virtue of supporting local restaurants." A warning, however: if you like food, and particularly New Mexican food, Gil's excellent and evocative writing about (and photography of) great dishes is likely to make you more than a little bit hungry.
The history of baseball stadium nachos.
Lotteria will release a ramen sandwich later this month. Back in February, McDonald's announced the return of its Texas and Idaho burgers. [more inside]
Chris Richards, formerly of DC post-punk outfit Q and Not U asks: Are foodies quietly killing rock and roll?
About 200 indigenous people on the Xingu, Tapajós and Teles Pires rivers began an occupation of the largest construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, demanding the withdrawal of troops from their land and the suspension of dam construction. Powerful and searing, this statement from a people pushed to the brink by their own state, Brazil, and who have begun an indefinite protest at the main construction site of the Belo Monte Dam, which is in the Xingu and Tapajós river basins
For decades Brown Windsor Soup stood as a culinary allegory for the British empire, and was reputedly a favorite food of Queen Victoria herself. [more inside]
Which? poll says many 'borrowing money for food' - "One in five UK households borrowed money or used savings to cover food costs in April, a Which? survey says. It suggests the equivalent of five million households used credit cards, overdrafts or savings to buy food." [BBC]
Filipino food writer Clinton Palanca on the least celebrated Asian culinary tradition, the glory of gloop, and the sadness of being so neglected that there aren't any "bastardized versions of adobo and sinigang" in cookbooks. "The Philippines may have never had, or will never have, a national cuisine, but it has always been an international cuisine. We’ve always looked outwards; what we’re upset about is that the outside isn’t looking back at us."
An exceptionally informative, nicely designed and useful nutrition database, where you can easily look up the glycemic load, inflammation factor, vitamins, proteins, nutrients, calories etc. It is a practical source of information if you wish to either shed excess poundage or put some on. There is a glycemic index info page and lots more. The site was created by Self magazine.
Consumer Reports recently advised against eating too much rice. Is this a new fad diet? Not exactly. Instead, limiting intake of rice will help cut back on that nasty habit of eating arsenic.
How I Became a Hipster (SLNYT)
Kyaraben (or charaben) is a style of elaborately arranged bento which features food decorated to look like people, characters from popular media, animals, and plants. Mari Miyazowa (previously) creates stop-action animated shorts featuring her bento box creations. Waking Up is the latest from the lunchbox auteur. [more inside]