Making Japanese Food Samples. A look at some of the techniques used in the creation of sampuru, the multi-million yen industry of handcrafted custom plastic fake food.
Imagine you're hungry for dinner, stuck at home and don't really want to cook. But you're also deeply ambivalent about what to order--Chinese? Pizza? Sushi? Well, Mike Lacher has you covered. Give his new web app Seamless Roulette your Seamless.com account details and a maximum cost, and it places an order for you at a random nearby restaurant, for something it randomly selects from the menu. If you like surprises and giving up the power to choose your own meal, this might just be for you.
American Chop Suey (aka Goulash) gets the Food Lab treatment from MeFi favorite J. Kenji López-Alt. (American Chop Suey was the subject of two recent questions on The Green.)
Why not eat octopus? [New Yorker]
"I like to think of an octopus as a blobby, eight-fingered hand with a mind of its own. And then I’m suddenly not so keen on the idea of eating it."
Three North Carolina researchers spend 18 months learning about the food and cooking choices of almost 200 households. They learned, perhaps unsurprisingly, that simply encouraging households to cook healthier meals at home was unlikely to address the challenges to healthy eating most families face. [more inside]
The Food Lab: Make Your Own Just-Add-Hot-Water Instant Noodles. "Wouldn't it be great if you could get all of the convenience and pleasure of instant noodles—the portability, the just-add-water cooking, the lunch-sized portions—but pack it full of fresh vegetables and real, honest-to-goodness flavor? Here's a secret: you can, and it's easier than you think."
Lieut.-Col. Newnham-Davis was engaged in 1897 as the restaurant reviewer of the Pall Mall Gazette, and his reviews of London restaurants are collected in Dinners and Diners: Where and How to Dine in London, available online from The Dictionary of Victorian London. Newnham-Davis was a bon vivant, amateur of the theatrical world, and man of parts, and his reviews were equal parts reminiscence of the conversation with his pseudonymous companions and recollections and reviews of his opulent and lengthy Victorian dinners. [more inside]
Zero Percent Water. Alan Heathcock visits the Central Valley in California to talk to farmers about the drought, hear their perspective, and see first-hand what the land looks like.
"This is like the gateway drug of the Jewish foods" - Non-Jews try traditional Jewish food for the first time
The art world's food fetish is nothing new, triggering equal parts salivation and repulsion we gorge on so-called 'food porn' every day, saturating our screens with sugar. But beneath that candy-cane filter there's a darker side to our fetishisation of all-things sweet. With their Twix noses, salami decolletage and strawberry laces spewing from donut-shaped carverns, James Ostrer's saccharine-warped creations are delectably disturbing. Born out of a textbook childhood junk addiction, his new series Wotsit All About takes sugar worship to the extreme, sculpting mutated, larger-than-life candy characters from truck-loads of pick 'n' mix favourites. Pushing his sitters to the extreme he smothers them in cream cheese, frazzles and ice-cream cones, the food masks leaving a claustrophic, bitter-sweet taste on the tongue. Interview with the photographer. [NSFW]
The Disney Food Blog offers in-depth news, reviews, and information about food and restaurants in Disney’s parks, resorts, and cruise ships, along with reviews and photographs of and about anything food-related in Disney parks, resorts, movies, and events. Disney food FAQs. Disney food news.
Investment firm Starboard Value is unhappy with Olive Garden— unhappy enough to issue a scathing 294-page PDF enumerating all of the restaurant's sins. [more inside]
"The server comes over to your table after you've finished your cheesecake, carrying a deck of cards. He or she asks you to cut it and pick any card. Each of the cards has a different chocolate flavor on it, such as lime or raspberry. The waiter then asks you to flip over your cheesecake plate – and there, right in front of you, is a chocolate that corresponds to your card.
They do this mind-blowing trick to every single customer who eats there." The 6 Most Pretentious Dishes Rich People Pay Money For from Cracked.
They do this mind-blowing trick to every single customer who eats there." The 6 Most Pretentious Dishes Rich People Pay Money For from Cracked.
Freezer Burns is a youtube show where Gregory Ng reviews frozen food items you can buy in US Supermarkets. Amazingly, the Freezer Burns YouTube channel was nearly at 700 shows when he tried out a Kid Cuisine How To Train Your Dragon meal and you'll have to watch it all the way to the end to see his Come To Jesus moment (previously).
Grub Street Diet asks various notable people to keep a food dairy for a week and then share it with the world. However, when they ask the "poet laureate of Twitter" (previously) author Patricia Lockwood to contribute, things so a little differently.
How to eat: burritos
"It may be categorised as 'street food', but eating a burrito while walking is hazardous. We've all been there: you take a bite from one side of the burrito, which leaves a quivering 'lip' of rice-loaded tortilla on the other, and, like a slow-motion shot in the world's most boring action film, it falls to the ground or down your shirt, before you can whip your head down and around to snaffle it to safety. Then there is the issue of leakage from the bottom of a too-loosely-twisted foil wrap, and also the delicate procedure of prising that, by now sopping wet, last mouthful from the final cup of foil – itself now overflowing with juices – and transferring it to your mouth without any spillage. It's a task that requires focus and concentration. You walk with a burrito once, twice maybe, before you either a) get knocked-down on a busy road or b) realise – standing outside the pub trying to wipe meat juices off your trainers with an old tissue – that eating and walking is a false economy, time-wise.[more inside]
One pound of Almons beat them small, in the beating put in the Row of a Pike 4 dates cut and the yolkes of 4 Eggs temper it with cold water Straine it through a Strainer & make a quart of it Season it with Suger Rosewater Salt pxxxxe beaten Mace When it is Baked scrape suger on
"You may think you know what a snowball is. That conical treat of chunky ice where all of the flavor drips out of the bottom of a paper triangle? Nope, that's a snowcone. That fruity, pureed ice that you have to scrape with a wooden spoon? Nope, that's Italian ice. Or maybe the fluffy bowl of ice with condensed milk on top? Wrong again—that's Hawaiian shave ice ... A classic Baltimore snowball arrives in a Styrofoam cup: shaved ice sloshed with sweet syrup—mostly artificial flavoring and not any of that "real fruit" stuff—and typically topped with marshmallow cream. While the ice is shaved, it's not fine enough to dissolve, leaving the snowball chunky and intact enough to survive humid Baltimore summers." SeriousEats covers Baltimore's delicious regional treat, the snowball. Summertime snowballs have been a staple of the city for many, many years. A little bit of ambient snowball stand audio.
A Four-Year Old Reviews The French Laundry (with very cute photos.): "For our fifth installment, extreme fanciness edition, we took Lyla Hogan (favorite food: 'good ice cream in a hard cone') to what Anthony Bourdain has called 'the best restaurant in the world, period.' (It won that title officially in 2003 and 2004 and is still the #1 restaurant in California and #3 in the country). Lyla is the youngest person to eat a full tasting menu at the French Laundry."
GQ: The Strange and Curious Tale of the Last True Hermit. "For nearly thirty years, a phantom haunted the woods of Central Maine. Unseen and unknown, he lived in secret, creeping into homes in the dead of night and surviving on what he could steal. To the spooked locals, he became a legend - or maybe a myth. They wondered how he could possibly be real. Until one day last year, the hermit came out of the forest." [more inside]
In the wake of the great miracle fruit craze of the late 00's, Francis Lam tested two more obscure taste distorters: adenosine 5′-monophosphate, which blocks the sensation of bitter flavors, and Gymnema sylvestre, a South Asian herb that does the same for sweetness.
Nigella Lawson's Coffee Ice Cream: 4 ingredients. 1 step. No cooking. No churning. One of Food52's Genius Recipes.
New analysis on Richard III's bones reveal the richer diet available to a king, as well as his drinking habits.
Ever wonder what giant people eat? Ever have the feeling that you're a "weird eater"? Ever feel like you need some inspiration to eat more? EliteFTS, a website geared mostly towards selling powerlifting gear and educating competitive strength athletes, has put together a list of what their staff and sponsored athletes typically eat for lunch. [more inside]
"So I decided on a radical experiment. I would spend eight weeks each on six different plans representing the various options for would-be dieters, from popular fads to clinical studies: the Abs Diet, the Paleo Diet for Athletes, the Mediterranean Prescription, the Okinawa Program, the advice of a personal nutritionist, and the USDA's nutritional pyramid. [more inside]
Delta Hot Tamales Are Hotter Than Ever
Delta "hots" themselves perfectly exemplify the tamale's malleable properties. Made with cornmeal instead of the lime-treated masa used in Mexico, a Delta hot is simmered (rather than steamed) in a spiced broth—hence the name. Though the dish's precise origin remains elusive, it's said that at one point in the 1920s a few Mexican cotton pickers made their way up from the Rio Grande Valley, toting a recipe that was then transformed by local African-American cooks—possibly aided by southern Italians who'd settled in the area. Whatever. By 1936, tamales were so entrenched in Delta culture that Robert Johnson, who'd made his pact with the devil just up the road from Greenville, recorded a song about them called "They're Red Hot."[more inside]
Zack "Danger" Brown has never made potato salad before. So he decided to ask for ten dollars on Kickstarter to get him started. . [more inside]
The simple chilled soup is perfect for steamy August days.
Gazpacho is so easy that children old enough to manage a food processor or a blender can make it themselves. But whether or not you have pint-size sous chefs at your disposal, a recipe that requires minimal effort and in most instances no heat is always a good thing this time of year. So, here is that ubiquitous summer standby done a few ways that you’re probably familiar with and a bunch more that you’re probably not. (If Thai melon gazpacho is already in your rotation, good for you, and I surrender.) The “recipes” here amount to little more than lists of ingredients and quantities, because the method doesn’t bear repeating 12 times: Combine everything in a blender or food processor, process to your desired texture, chill in the refrigerator if you like, garnish and eat.[more inside]
The Imperial Kitchen
Among the kiosks, halls, reception chambers, and harem baths, I suspect that visitors today spend the least time of all in the palace kitchens—unless they have an interest in Chinese porcelain, which is displayed in there. Otherwise there’s nothing much to see, just a series of domed rooms. Outside you can count the ten pairs of massive chimneys, but there’s no smoke. It’s a pity that the building is so quiet, because it was in here, over four centuries, that one aspect of Istanbul’s imperial purpose was most vividly expressed.
Find a pick-your-own farm near you! Then learn to can and freeze! On this charmingly Web 1.0 site, you can learn via rainbow-colored Comic Sans how to find a pick-your-own food farm near you (or add and correct listings), and how to pick and preserve just about anything you can imagine.
MIND MELD: Food in Science Fiction versus Fantasy
This week we asked about Food and Drink in SF. Food and Drink in science fiction sometimes seems limited to replicator requests for Earl Grey tea and Soylent green discs. Why doesn’t do as much food as Fantasy? Does Fantasy lend itself more to food than Science fiction? Why? This is what they had to say…[more inside]
J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, managing culinary director at food blog Serious Eats, recently took an extended trip to China and southeast Asia with his wife, Adri, after driving across the country during a move from New York to San Francisco. He documented his Asia trip on a personal blog set up to elude Chinese censors. [more inside]
Multiple websites are out there to help you dine like an anime character. Typically, they consist of anime screencaps plus either adapted or invented recipes that attempt to replicate the dishes. Okonomiyaki, dainty strawberry cakes, gyoza, Ponyo's ramen, coffee jelly, you name it! There's the earnest Real Anime Food. Then there's the sillier Recipes for Weebs, which has functional indices. Anime Recipes hasn't updated in a year, but it has a long list of recipes, including the fish pie from Kiki's Delivery Service. [more inside]
“This is not your grandmother’s hunger,” says Janet Poppendieck, a sociologist at the City University of New York. “Today more working people and their families are hungry because wages have declined.”
"Since first opening in 1934 in a converted sheepfold off 67th Street, on the western edge of Central Park, the storied franchise (which is still licensed by the Parks Department) has been a reliable hit. Joe Baum put the restaurant on the national culinary map during the 1960s, and when Warner LeRoy doubled the capacity several years later and added the famous Crystal Room, it became one of the great circus-dining destinations in the world. LeRoy’s heirs ran the profitable old production for years (in 2006, it was still the second-highest-grossing restaurant in the USA, behind Tao Las Vegas), until the great crash of 2008 brought their company to its knees. Now, after years of drama and delay, Tavern on the Green has opened its doors once again, this time under the direction of a hospitality operation originally from Philadelphia called the Emerald Green Group. " So begins Adam Platt's zero star review of the re-opened Tavern On The Green. Others have not been glowing. Even the Post got a few kicks in. Peter Wells' scathing takedown in the New York Times might be better experienced with some happy sheep.
“The Price of Cold”— the story of my recent adventures exploring China’s artificial cryosphere — is now online in The New York Times Magazine. In it, I visit the world’s first and only frozen dumpling billionaire, hang out with the chef leading a one-man refrigeration resistance movement, and visit refrigerated warehouses and R&D labs across the country. Meanwhile, for those of you for whom that is not enough refrigeration for one weekend, I compiled this list: ten stand-out destinations for the armchair Chinese cryotourist, based on my own travels while reporting the story.
"In peace or war, the ultimate refuge—the sanctuary of all that is humane—lies distilled within the warmth of the kitchen." Journalist Paul Salopek pauses in the middle of his 21,000-mile Out of Eden Walk from Africa to South America -- Ethiopia to Tierra del Fuego -- to reflect on the food shared with him during his time in Israel and Palestine. "Watching the women of Nablus move briskly, efficiently, purposefully about their tasks, chatting, often joking (about men, politics, life), I am reminded of all the meals that admitted me briefly into the conflicted lives of Israelis and Palestinians." [more inside]
Where Restaurant Reservations Come From: Why did the practice develop? In the startup terms of our day, what problem did the institution of restaurant reservations solve? Well, the answer boils down to... sex and propriety.
NPR's Planet Money explains the history of the sales tax in the United States by tracing what kinds of sandwiches get taxed and why: How the Burrito Became a Sandwich. Bonus: In-N-Out Burger history in the podcast.
Tip The Pizza Guy is the most exhustive, detailed, old-school website about Tipping and Pizza Delivery I have ever seen. (last seen in 2001 and still being updated.)
An Oxford University study of over 50,000 participants, published this month in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal Climatic Change: Dietary greenhouse gas emissions in meat-eaters are twice as high as those in vegans.