"New Englanders learn quickly to dismiss the chowder where tomato ruins its gorgeous broth, where references to New York tarnish its name...However, few know how such distinctions came about in the first place, what processes were involved that resulted in one person's disgust of another's beloved creation, and why, to this day, do we stand by such convictions?" The New England Chowder Compendium
, from the McIntosh Cookery Collection
at the UMass Amherst library. [more inside]
posted by Miko
on Dec 4, 2012 -
Hanukkah draws nigh and that means latkes
. [The oil in which the potato pancake is cooked symbolizes the miraculously long-burning fuel that lit the Second Temple.] Bubala Please
shows you how to keep it real. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 2, 2012 -
The BBC explore the olfactory delights
, "trout sprinkled with salt and fermented in water for up to a year." But is it as smelly
, fermented Baltic Herring from neighboring Sweden, or as extreme
as the Icelandic Hákarl
, basking shark buried in a hole and fermented for several months and tasting "similar to very strong cheese slathered in ammonia"? [more inside]
posted by Wordshore
on Dec 2, 2012 -
For the past two years, in a loft apartment in downtown Los Angeles, Craig Thornton has been conducting an experiment in the conventions of high-end American dining. Several nights a week, a group of sixteen strangers gather around his dining-room table to eat delicacies he has handpicked and prepared for them, from a meticulously considered menu over which they have no say.
posted by Egg Shen
on Dec 1, 2012 -
More than three-quarters of the food consumed in the United States today is processed, packaged, shipped, stored, and sold under artificial refrigeration. The shiny, humming stainless steel box in your kitchen is just the tip of the iceberg, so to speak—a tiny fragment of the vast global network of temperature-controlled storage and distribution warehouses cumulatively capable of hosting uncounted billions of cubic feet of chilled flesh, fish, or fruit.
posted by Chrysostom
on Nov 27, 2012 -
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
posted by Blasdelb
on Nov 1, 2012 -
"To deride Mr. Fieri for opening his restaurant there as if he’d taken a dump in the Louvre is silly. He pooped on a pile of bright shiny poop, Jeff Koonsian poop, Guy Debordian poop." The New York Observer reviews
Guy Fieri's latest restaurant, Guy's American Kitchen and Bar.
posted by roomthreeseventeen
on Oct 25, 2012 -
I explained that, for a variety of reasons — including feeding my boys the most nutritious food available, supporting local farmers, and reducing the carbon miles our food inflicted on the environment — I tried to buy our food locally and organically. She looked at me as if I’d just told her I believed in Santa Claus and, with a poorly disguised smirk, said, "Honey, those days are over."
In 2009, Michelle Gienow came close to having to feed her family sustainable, organic, local, and ethically produced (SOLE
) food on a food stamp budget. She documented her budget calculations
in the pages of the City Paper, Baltimore's alternative weekly. This year Ms. Gienow's financial situation really did call for financial assistance — and she found that her calculations were too optimistic
posted by Nomyte
on Oct 20, 2012 -
Are Healthy Foods Really More Expensive?
(6.78 MB PDF) It turns out that it depends on how you measure the price. In a recent study by the USDA
, some 4,439 foods were compared using the following metrics: the price of food energy ($/calorie), the price of edible weight ($/100 edible grams), the price of an average portion ($/average portion), and the cost of meeting the federal dietary recommendations for each food group. The study found that for all metrics except the price of food energy ($/calorie) healthy foods cost less than less healthy foods (defined as foods that are high in saturated fat, added sugar, and/or sodium, or that contribute little to meeting dietary recommendations).
posted by Jasper Friendly Bear
on Oct 20, 2012 -
Sara White, Canadian blogger who recently moved to Rome, shares some thoughts
about old world food cultures versus the American approach to cooking. One of the most interesting things to me about her post is the discussion about how having no limitations (many Americans can just waltz into a large supermarket and get almost anything from almost anywhere) can negatively impact culinary creativity.
posted by hansbrough
on Oct 16, 2012 -
"Cooking isn't creative, and it isn't easy."
A NYT Magazine piece on Christopher Kimball, Cook's Illustrated
, and his franchise (America's Test Kitchen, Cook's Country, et al.). "At the core of C.I.’s M.O. are two intrepid observations Kimball has made about the innermost psychology of home cooks. Namely that they 1) are haunted by a fear of humiliation, and 2) will not follow a recipe to the letter, believing that slavishly following directions is an implicit admission that you cannot cook... What the magazine essentially offers its readers is a bargain: if they agree to follow the recipes as written, their cooking will succeed and they will be recognized by family and friends as competent or even expert in the kitchen... The bargain further holds that the peppercorn-crusted filet of beef or butterscotch-cream pie will turn out not only in C.I.’s professional kitchen, with its All-Clad pans and DCS ranges, but also on a lowly electric four-top, using a dull knife and a $20 nonstick skillet." [more inside]
posted by flex
on Oct 14, 2012 -
"Farmer Bowman began purchasing Monsanto’s patented seeds in 1999 and, because of the licensing agreement, did not save any of the seed for future planting.
But he also bought so-called “commodity” seed from a local grain elevator, which acts as a clearinghouse for farmers to buy and sell seed.
But given that more than 90 percent of the soybeans planted in the area were Roundup Ready crops, the elevator’s seed was contaminated with Monsanto’s patented seed.
Farmer Bowman planted that commodity seed, which was substantially cheaper to purchase, to produce a second, late-season crop, which is generally more risky and lower yielding. He then used seeds generated in one late-season harvest to help produce subsequent late-season crops.
Monsanto sued him for patent infringement, and he lost." [more inside]
posted by sio42
on Oct 11, 2012 -
The broth is just chicken and onions, with a confetti of vegetables added at the end where their flavor remains bright. The noodles are wide and winding... But, for me, the real triumph was giving the chicken parts and onion a saute... before adding water to make the soup. This deepened flavor base makes for magical soup, with a bronzed color, more robust flavor and significantly reduced prep time. ... With all of the blustery, cold days to go this winter, everyone... deserves to have a homemade, from-scratch chicken noodle soup that can be pulled off in just about an hour in their back pocket. [more inside]
posted by Egg Shen
on Oct 10, 2012 -
Like too many studies, the Stanford study dangerously isolates a finding from its larger context. It significantly plays down the disparity in pesticides...and neglects to mention that 10,000 to 20,000 United States agricultural workers get a pesticide-poisoning diagnosis each year. And while the study concedes that “the risk for isolating bacteria resistant to three or more antibiotics was 33 percent higher among conventional chicken and pork than organic alternatives,” it apparently didn’t seek to explore how consuming antibiotic-resistant bacteria might be considered “non-nutritious.”....
That the authors of the study chose to focus on a trivial aspect of the organic versus conventional comparison is regrettable. That they published a study that would so obviously be construed as a blanket knock against organic agriculture is willfully misleading and dangerous. That so many leading news agencies fall for this stuff is scary.
Mark Bittman - That Flawed Stanford Study
posted by beisny
on Oct 3, 2012 -
We know the Obamas planted a vegetable garden
in 2009, bringing back the tradition of a White House Vegetable Garden
(7:44 YT video
), and Barack has home-brewed beer
. The White House then released the recipes for their honey ale and honey porter
, but what of the other White House recipes? Here are some modern Thanksgiving recipes
, but what about the rest of the year? Our White House
provides a glimpse into past White House kitchens, menus, and recipes
, but that's still too thin. More than 50 White House recipes
? Still not enough! OK, how about the complete White House Cookbook from 1887
(on Archive.org, also on Project Gutenberg
and Google books
). Vintage Recipes
has kindly provided a tidied up table of contents
and recipes for quicker browsing, but be warned, the techniques are dated
, and some of the household tips are a bit questionable
. More on presidential gastronomy, previously
posted by filthy light thief
on Sep 27, 2012 -
Peru aside, South American cuisine does not get a lot of attention in the English-speaking world, but there are plenty of recipes out there which allow you to try the specialities from Colombia, Argentina & Chile in the comfort of your own home. Starting with the staple of Colombia and Venezuela and made from cornmeal / hominy, the arepa
forms the basis of breakfast, lunch, dinner and anything in between.
Basic arepa recipe
. [more inside]
posted by jontyjago
on Sep 20, 2012 -