" Chinese emperors of the Tang Dynasty liked their ice cream a special way: Fermented buffalo or goat milk was heated, then thickened with flour and seasoned with camphor, which made it flake like snow. For good measure fragments of reptile brain were added, along with an eyeball or two." - "It Ought To Be Called Vice Cream" - Austerity Kitchen on the social and technological history of Ice Cream.
"The room was upholstered in crimson and oatmeal and decorated with Socialist Realist frescoes of industrious maidens. A hefty multipointed star descended from the ceiling like a satellite returning from space. Above the tables a pair of identical life-size plaster statues of Soviet schoolgirls faced each other in the manner of temple guardians. They drummed on drums with a look of patriotic ecstasy; crimson blindfolds bound their eyes. Taking a swig of kvas, a fermented bread beverage that's slightly reminiscent of root beer, I wondered whether the statues were intended to be a political statement, nostalgic kitsch, or just a really ambitious exercise in color coordination." - The Surreal Thrill Of Moscow Dining by Alex Halberstadt
Michael Twitty is becoming one of the most transformative figures in the world of food. Reinterrogating and recreating African-American history in the context of American culinary history through his blog Afroculinaria, Twitty argues for "culinary justice" in food writing and the conversation on food history. His project (and forthcoming book of the same name) The Cooking Gene is in part a product of his Southern Discomfort Tour, a journey retracing the preservation and transmission of culinary knowledge before, during and beyond slavery. [more inside]
60 Second Tasting Menu. Now that Eater is part of a $850M media org, they have rebundled their site's video offerings.
A short series from the Guardian.
What we eat
How we eat it
How we grow it
How we cook it
How we share it
What we eat
How we eat it
How we grow it
How we cook it
How we share it
A few weeks ago, the restaurant critic for the East Bay Express found himself duped by reviews of a phony Chinese restaurant in the hills of El Cerrito. Was it a hoax or a glimpse of a possible future?
The Food Lab's Complete Guide to Sous-Vide Steak (J. Kenji López-Alt, Serious Eats)
"As you can see, the steak cooked for just one hour stretches and pulls when you tear it. This gives the steak a pleasant amount of chew. It's still tender, but it tastes like a steak. By the time we hit four hours, that chew has been reduced a bit. Connective tissue has broken down and individual muscle fibrils split apart easily instead of sticking together, though a four-hour steak is still pretty decent."[more inside]
What were the food and cooking techniques of the Viking Age? you could ask The Viking Answer Lady or get pollen analysis, reconstruction tips, and recipes from The Viking Food Guy, or you could just ask Chef Jesper Lynge (Daily Mail) who is attempting to revive Viking Cusine from his cafe in an Danish Iron Age graveyard. ( Recipies and descriptions )
Today is World Jollof Rice Day. Jollof rice is a traditional West African dish, but not a humble one. Subject of #JollofGate, the outraged social media response to chef Jamie Oliver's patently inauthentic recipe, aficionados debate the merits of special ingredients. Others prefer joining the loud brangling online over Ghanaian vs Nigerian Jollof. Regardless of your beliefs, join the world today in celebrating the tasty goodness of this much loved dish.
HOW many eggs? A couple of librarians make recipes they've always wanted to eat from their favorite books. Recipes may contain bibliographies. [via mefi projects] [more inside]
Rene Redzepi, of Noma restaurant, has a beautiful instagram feed. Here are photos of a "Danish", crispy cabbage, segments of citrus, gooseberries, the "ellen-selfie" for chefs, fiddlehead, porcini, a giant conch, honeycomb. How do they get all these ingredients? (Previously).
Summer's upon us, and that means it's time to wallow in delicious ice cream over at Serious Eats. Learn how to make sorbet, sherbet, gelato, fro-yo, and soft serve. While you're at it, mix in the best ways to swirl in chocolate, nuts, and booze. Top it off with myth-dispelling advice from the pros on when to use corn syrup, age an ice cream base, add eggs to a recipe, incorporate a stabilizer, and create a smoky finish. If the ice cream sounds like too much work, make a no-churn Key Lime Pie instead. For you vegans out there, we've got something for you too.
Cooking In The Archives: recreating recipes from the Early Modern Peroid (1600s-1800s) in a modern kitchen. Not old enough? Then try some authentically medieval recipes.
We talked to registered dietitians, personal trainers, health editors, book authors, nutritionists, and healthy food writers and asked them -- what do you eat for breakfast? (buzzfeed)
" “I tell my daughters that when I go, they’ll know the good recipes from the dirty pages.” [NYT]] A group of Nashville writers mounts an exhibit of the dirty pages from their own family cookbooks.
FoodGawker is basically a food-based search engine, complete with pretty pictures of really good lookin' foods and the links to their recipes. [more inside]
Dumpling Week has come to Serious Eats! Learn about dumplings around the world, which frozen potstickers are best, where chicken and dumpling soup came from, and how to make your own pierogi, xiao long bao, and gyoza. It's a dumpling party!
Got a recipe with an ingredient you can't find? Never fear, the Cook's Thesaurus is here. The Cook's Thesaurus contains information on thousands of ingredients and kitchen tools, including recommended substitutions and commentary on flavors, and is especially useful for people learning to improvise in the kitchen. Entries range from callaloo to huauzontle to Velveeta. There's even sometimes a bit of colorful commentary, as in the entry for chipped beef.
Thai Curries — Kaeng (or Gkaeng or Gaeng). Award-winning cookbook author, cooking teacher, and tour guide Kasma Loha-Unchit discusses Thai curries. More detail on making curry: making curry paste from scratch, tips on equipment and technique, tips on prepping herbs and spices, the importance of the mortar and pestle. [more inside]
31 Exciting Pizza Flavors You Have To Try. Native New Yorkers should probably not click through and may wish to revisit this thread instead.
Irish-American Dining. A history of and guide to food that is expressly Irish-American, by Mefi's own Max Sparber. Irish Egg Rolls! Early onion-based pub food! The hidden history of the Shamrock Shake! [via mefi projects]
Have you ever looked at a recipe in a mid-century cookbook and thought, “Ew. That is so nasty.” But you couldn’t stop looking at the recipe. Or thinking about it. As time went on, you kept going back to the book, thinking, “I wonder what it tastes like?” Then the Mid-Century Menu is for you. And so is: Barbecue Bean Jello Mold. Spaghetti Subs. Candied Crackers. Oh, and Happy Saint Patrick’s Day! [more inside]
The robot cookbook: can a supercomputer write recipes? Watson, IBM’s supercomputer, has (with help from the Institute of Culinary Education) written what IBM's Florian Pinel calls "the first specimen of a new generation of smarter cookbooks". Do the unusual ingredient combinations work, or is plum pancetta cider really as disgusting as it sounds? IBM sent a food truck to SXSW to (ahem) road-test the recipes. Reports are, the Bengali butternut BBQ sauce is delicious. Of course, there's a TED talk.
Climbing Mt. Ramen, vegan-style. For the past four years, J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Serious Eats has gone vegan for the month of February.
This is hands-down the best bowl of ramen I've ever made. And it can all be yours—with a little bit of heavy-duty climbing, that is. It's a bear of a recipe with many moving parts and tons of individual elements that need to come together in one bowl at the end. Set aside at least half a day for this project because you won't be making it on a weeknight. That said, it's not very difficult, technique-wise, lots of simmering and straining and just a bit of roasting. Come with me. I can lead the way and put the anchors in for you, but you're going to have to pull yourself up to the top.
AVclub.com asked Weird Al Yankovic, "If a deli named a sandwich after you, what would be on it?" His answer:
I’d say a fire-roasted eggplant, some roasted red peppers, diced heirloom tomatoes, some thin-sliced red onions—maybe double up on the onions and have some caramelized onions on top of the sliced onions. A little basil, some arugula, some chopped and marinated mushrooms, maybe a slice of fresh avocado, some alfalfa sprouts, a dose of hummus, a drizzle of pomegranate molasses and put it on a warm toasted French roll lovingly sprinkled with some truffle oil.Challenge accepted.
"To me this intersection [between food justice, fat-positive politics, and LGBTQ politics] seems clear as I live in a community where food is not easily accessible and I’m a fat dyke… We can simply look at the numbers and see that folks in poverty and are classified as food-insecure often have greater percentages of fat folks in their numbers. Often we get a lot of crossover between folks belonging to the LGBTQ communities and low-income folks. I’ve been doing food work with street-based queer youth for almost five years now. But beyond just the numbers we share this similar struggle, this fight for what’s just. We are all part of groups that are marginalized by society and many of us are doing work in many of these spaces."
The History Kitchen takes a quick look at the food of the California Gold Rush, and has a recipe for Hangtown Fry.
Isabella Rossellini's daughter Elettra has a witty, attractive food/recipe blog where she shares a customizable pasta dish her grandfather, the iconic director Roberto Rossellini, used to make.
Steve Albini is many things: a recording engineer, a guitarist and singer, a curmudgeon. He's also a surprisingly talented food blogger. [more inside]
Pizza making questions come up on Ask Mefi and the Blue semi-regularly. But I was surprised to find that (before it was a pricey book) ENCYCLOPIZZA was a web site that has apparently never been mentioned here. It went officially offline at the end of 2011, but thanks to the Wayback Machine, the online ENCYCLOPIZZA can still be yours. If you are serious about learning and hanging out with other serious pizzamakers of all stripes, you should also get thee to the pizzamaking.com forums. (Previously: A Layman's Guide to Regional Styles, and The Ridiculously Thorough Guide to Making Your Own Pizza )
Reanna Alder eats roadkill raccoon so you don't have to. (Article has no images except a highly processed one of a live raccoon.)
As hinted in the leaked digital innovation report which outlined how the venerable newspaper could leverage a substantial archive to compete with clickbait, The New York Times has been developing cooking.nytimes.com, a beautifully searchable repository of every recipe ever published in the newspaper. [more inside]
Eating healthy food and eating together is important. But if you hate to cook, what's the best way to do that? (SLNYT)
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.)
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."
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
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]
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]
"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]
The Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery is an annual weekend conference discussing food, its history, and culture. Since 1981 the papers presented at the Symposium have been collected into a conference volume called the Proceedings of the Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, most of which have been made available for free in their entirety via Google Books. Each volume consists of about 25-40 papers surrounding the theme of that year's Symposium (e.g. Eggs, Authenticity, or The Meal). [more inside]