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]
The Ministry Of Food was a British government ministerial posts separated from that of the Minister of Agriculture. A major task of the latter office was to oversee rationing in the United Kingdom arising out of World War II. They made many newsreels and PSAs to inform the citizenry how to use the food rationing system: Rationing is introduced in 1939 The new ration books are coming! Cod Liver Oil Here's spud in your eye Don't cut that bread! DON'T WASTE FOOD! Dig For Victory! Milk is here! In addition, some short films instructed people in how to best use the new rationing system : Two Cooks And A Cabbage How To Make Tea Rabbit Pie Buying black market meat: a Partner in CRIME A US view explaining UK rationing to the States.
"Starting on Monday 29 April, 5,000 Britons will be challenging themselves to live on just £1 a day for five days, as part of a campaign by the Global Poverty Project. But is it possible not just to survive, but also to eat a balanced and healthy diet on that sort of budget?" [more inside]
Serious Eats tries all the tacos at La Chaparrita. What is this magical place? Well... [more inside]
Dan Goodbaum edits together selected excerpts from Elvis Mitchell's interview with Quentin Tarantino about the role of food as a indicator of power in his movies (full interview here). Grantland's 20 Best Tarantino Food Scenes
OK, this is a single-recipe post, but if you would like to host a steak dinner for more than like two people and get sous-vide-like results with less hassle and equipment, here's what you do: Freeze the steaks, sear them hot, then stick them in a low oven for an hour. Nathan Myhrvold (Modernist Cuisine) explains.
"Steak is the defining mouthful of our time" (A.A. Gill, for Vanity Fair)
How Animals Eat Their Food (SLYT)
Sian Jarvis, the supermarket’s head of corporate affairs, had undermined her claims to care about the health of her customers and let slip one of the secrets of a multi-billion-pound industry ... she revealed that one in three Asda checkouts “are what we call guilt-free checkouts”. Jarvis insisted “guilt-free” was merely “a term that’s commonly used in retail”. But it was too late, and her “guilt” gaffe quickly invited scorn in the industry and among public health professionals. Whatever the damage, she had already opened a door to the arcane science of supermarket psychology. To the designers of the modern store, shoppers are lab rats with trolleys, guided through a maze of aisles by the promise of rewards they never knew they sought The Secrets Of Our Supermarkets[more inside]
Snack Data is a publicly–accessible database of food. It serves as a definitive resource for snack enthusiasts throughout the world.
Malaysian artist-architect "Red" Hong Yi creates evocative scenes and playful characters with all-edible materials. She's creating art with a different meal every day until April 7th and posting them on her Instagram site. Examples of Hong's previous work include a coffee-stain portrait of Taiwanese pop star Jay Chou and one of Aung San Suu Kyi using dyed flowers.
NASA's Space Food Hall of Fame
Today's space food has come a long way since the Mercury Program of the early 1960s. When John Glenn first tried apple sauce from a squeeze tube onboard his Friendship 7 spacecraft in 1962, who could have dreamed that later astronauts would be able to choose from such a wide variety of foods?See also: Food in Space: Great Photos of Astronaut Meals, from the Early Space Voyages to Today, on io9. [more inside]
Tufts University senior Maximus Thaler is raising funds to start a Freegan, pay what you can restaurant out of a Somerville, MA apartment. Food for the restaurant comes from local dumpsters.
The true secret of Easter - but are toys replacing candy (or, more awfully, live animals) as the traditional Easter gift? And is that a bad thing?
The Great Hog-Eating Confederacy
Early Southerners ate a rather limited and unvarying diet. At table the famished guest seldom found more than bacon, corn pone, and coffee sweetened with molasses. Pioneering sociologist Harriet Martineau complained that “little else than pork, under all manner of disguises” sustained her during her visit to the American SouthFor the most part, slaves observed the same diet as poor white farmers. Though many kept gardens, and thus supplemented their rations of pork and corn with a wide variety of vegetables, they had otherwise little opportunity to augment their diet.. Another traveler griped that that he had “never fallen in with any cooking so villainous.” A steady assault of “rusty salt pork, boiled or fried … and musty corn meal dodgers” brought his stomach to surrender. Rarely did “a vegetable of any description” make it on his plate, and “no milk, butter, eggs, or the semblance of a condiment” did he once see.Christine Baumgarthuber is a writer for The New Inquiry and runs the blog The Austerity Kitchen. [more inside]
13,000+ boxes of Girl Scout cookies trashed on video. Sources at the Girl Scouts of the USA office in New York say there's no organization-wide policy for disposing of unsold cookies. Many boxes are donated, thanks in part to the 1996 Bill Emerson Good Samaritan Act that shields businesses from liability for food donations. Still, an estimated 40% of food is thrown out (pdf) in the U.S.
What's Good at Trader Joe's A blog of amateur reviews of Trader Joe's products. For example: Cookie Butter.
Alton Brown talks to Google about bow ties, trying to find recipes on Google vs. on the Food Network website, and trying to impress his daughter by blowing things up. (SLYT)
Hungry? Meet Rocky and Mayur -- two likeable blokes who happen to host an Indian food/road show called "Highway On My Plate." Since 2005 they've been traveling around the country sampling the culinary delights of the subcontinent, and lately they've been visiting school and college cafeterias. Youtubery ahead! [more inside]
Public Policy Polling (previously) dares to address the issues tearing this country apart- such as whether Olive Garden constitutes 'a quality source of authentic ethnic food'. What are the food issues polarizing America? [more inside]