Dioramas of food and tiny people, courtesy playful food photographers Akiko Ida and Pierre Javelle. Those tiny people are so industrious! More and more of the same.
Marc Anderson, the winner of the Beautiful Now sound competition has a site called Nature Soundmap where you can listen to sounds from around the world. [more inside]
"In October 2013, Drs. Tim Perkins and Abby van Den Berg of the University of Vermont’s Proctor Maple Research Center, revealed the findings of a study at a maple syrup conference in New Brunswick, Canada that sent waves through the industry. In 2010, they were studying vacuum systems in sap collection operations. Based on the observation that one of the mature trees in the study that was missing most of its top was still yielding high volumes of sap, they hypothesized that the maples were possibly drawing moisture from the soil and not the crown. Previously, they had presumed that the sap dripping from tap holes was coming from the upper portion of the tree. But, if the tree was missing most of its crown then, they surmised, it must be drawing moisture from the roots. ... They realized that their discovery meant sugarmakers could use saplings, densely planted in open fields, to harvest sap. In other words, it is possible that maple syrup could now be produced as a row crop like every other commercial crop in North America." [more inside]
Danish Crown is the world's largest exporter of pork, killing approximately 100,000 pigs a week to cater to the growing global demand for meat. Alastair Philip Wiper visited the company's abattoir in Horsens to capture a behind-the-scenes look at the entire process, starting at the pens where the pigs arrive and moving through the spaces where the animals are slaughtered, butchered and packaged for sale.
"....many a tragic episode in family life is superinduced by the baleful influence of a tortured stomach. Mighty is the hand that holds the ballot-box, but mightier is the hand that wields to advantage the pepper-box, the salt-spoon, and the sugar-shaker." read the entirely of Maud C. Cooke's, Breakfast, Dinner and Supper; or, What To Eat and How To Prepare It (1897) online and enter a world of home remedies, large scale recipes, sound advice, leftover wizardry, squirrel stews, scientific digestion, and horrible things done to vegetables.
Wings and Beef on Weck aren't the only culinary legacies coming from Buffalo, NY. Sponge candy is an airy, cripsy, delicious confection made with the magic of chemistry (video). [more inside]
"If there is an assassination planned for the meal, then it is seemliest that the assassin should be seated next to he who is to become the subject of his craft" - Leonardo da Vinci: head of the kitchen, designer of horse-pulled nut-crushers, inventor of napkins, and assassination etiquette expert.
You may not know his name but you will certainly know his work: Morris Cassanova (aka Mr Chicken) designs and makes signs for most of the fried chicken shops in the UK. Meet Mr. Chicken
"Tell me what you eat, and I'll tell you what you are." -- Jean Anthelme Brillat-Savarin [more inside]
For the latest edition of The Food Lab J. Kenji Lopez-Alt made 1,536 cookies in search of the perfect chocolate chip cookie.
The trachea, or windpipe, of a young child is about the width of a drinking straw, and if food or a small object is inhaled instead of swallowed, it can block the airway. Even when something is swallowed and becomes lodged in a child’s throat or esophagus, it may compress the trachea enough to impair breathing. After just four minutes without oxygen, a child’s brain can be permanently damaged. - A NYTimes piece gives useful advice on preventing and responding to a young child's choking
So, you want to eat like a hobbit do you? The big old dragon of Middle-Earth recipes is the charmingly retro 'Middle-Earth Recipes' (now with a more modern and photo-friendly blog version ) from which NPR's Beth Accomando has complied an all-day feasting menu suitable for marathon watching (or reading) assorted Lord Of The Rings media while Recipewise sticks to foods served by Bilbo in The Hobbit itself and explains the Victorian convention of high vs. low tea. (Author Diane Duane's own Hobbit-inspired recipe, Took Family Seed Cake can be made with poppy rather than caraway seed if that's your thing) Need something to do while digesting? Why not read about the history and meaning of the rural comfort food in Tolkien at Strange Horizons " Well Stocked Larders: Food And Diet Of Hobbits" by Stephanie Green.
The UK has opened its first social supermarket as a means of combatting food poverty.* [more inside]
The Bob's Burgers Experiment is a blog that documents one guy's ongoing attempt to devise recipes for and cook every pun-laden Burger of the Day featured on the show.
There’s nothing better than spending a night out to dinner at one of your favorite restaurants, reveling in the food and the service, and those quality after-dinner mints in the little wrappers. Until you run into one of these people: The 44 Worst People in Every Restaurant
If you think turduckens are just too easy: Things inside things. Things on top of other things. Things that look like things. Things that do tricks, and other subtleties.
The Fed Up project has collected over 7000 student-submitted photos of school lunches from across the US. They'll be used to create a map and report to make a case for better school lunches. [more inside]
Pie-Town was held today (in Chicago) with America’s Baking Competition finalist Francine Bryson and her (no kidding) Chocolate Peanut Butter Bacon Pie! And with National Pie-Day coming up in January, again, you'll be all ready for the Great American Pie Festival next April with the National Pie Championships in Florida. Or stay at home and try out the winning recipes from last year (mostly non-bacon, non chocolate, non-peanut butter fruit pies, but still...Pie!)
Last week, Time magazine put out a feature on the Gods of Food, a series of articles on 60-some-odd empire-building chefs who the magazine thinks are influencing and leading cuisine today. Beyond the statistical problems with the article ... some folks had the temerity to point out that this culinary Mount Olympus was basically a bunch of white dudes. Actually it was all dudes, not a single woman deified. Eater's interview with Time's food editor Howard Chua-Eoan about the story. Amanda Cohen's scathing takedown of the clusterfuck. The New York Times' Room for Debate feature asking leading female chefs about underrepresented women in food media. Eater's latest piece on the question of gender bias in food journalism. [via]
The bad news? Inflammatory dietary pattern is linked to depression among women. The good news: Drinking two-four cups of caffeinated coffee a day reduces the risk of suicide for adults by about half.
Occurring once before in 1888 and possibly not again for another 77,798 years (really), the two holidays of Chanukah and Thanksgiving will overlap. The result? Chefs, food blogs, and nearly everybody else scrambling to create distinct fusion menus that draw from the delicious traditions of each holiday (NYT). Buzzfeed's massive Thanksgivukkah menu. Gothamist: Four Easy Fusion Dishes. Food 52's recipe challenge (in comments). Serious Eats' response ( Latke-Crusted Turkey Stuffing Fritters With Liquid Cranberry Core and Turkey Schmaltz Gravy) . NY Daily News asks Chef Zach Kutsher for ideas.
Despite the cries of "Save the Mimolette!", the FDA has decided to ban the sale of the French cheese Mimolette over mites used in the rind. [more inside]
Real Kitchen as Alinea -- This Halloween, Chicago take-out cafe Real Kitchen is dressing up as modernist Michelin-starred restaurant Alinea.
"From a street-parked GhostFood truck, Simun and Songster and their team of trained staff will be serving a menu of three items, each of which conjures up a future dining experience for a food whose supply is currently threatened by climate change. " // "Its menu offers a curious collection of substitutes for potentially endangered foods: artificial recreations of chocolate, cod, and peanut butter." // "Pop one of the placebos--or “edible textural substitutes”--in your mouth and enjoy."
"The semantic mission for me is to have “vegetarian” become an adjective that describes food rather than a noun labeling a person." An interview with Mollie Katzen, author of the iconic Moosewood Cookbook. (Includes a recipe for Vegetarian Tan-Tan Noodles from her newest cookbook, The Heart of the Plate: Vegetarian Recipes for a New Generation.)
Maya Angelou and Madhur Jaffrey share a lunch and conversation in 2005. "Maya Angelou and Madhur Jaffrey were born worlds apart, but for both, cooking and sharing food were key to their identities. We invited them for lunch to talk about recipes, love and memory."
Scrapple, Half-smokes, Marionberry Pie, Cowboy Cookies and Akutaq: Deadspin responds to Slate's wonderful state-by-state sports map (previously) with a map of regional foods, complete with highly opinionated rankings and commentary.
If you become a cultural icon, those who come after in your field will almost certainly be compared to you and your achievements. And if you were the late Julia Child, ground-breaking television chef and champion of French cooking in the United States, you would find your name to be the first half of a lot of comparisons. The Julia Childs, as it were. [more inside]
If you're looking to play with your food and you've mastered the hotdog octopus (aka octodog), and you're sad that so many of the modern foods-and-crafts projects lack poetry to describe the crafting process, take a peek at Aunt Jo and Uncle George's Kritters of the Kitchen Kingdom from 1922. (And as you could expect, it's dated and a bit racist.)
“Movie theaters wanted nothing to do with popcorn,” Smith says, “because they were trying to duplicate what was done in real theaters. They had beautiful carpets and rugs and didn’t want popcorn being ground into it.” Movie theaters were trying to appeal to a highbrow clientele, and didn’t want to deal with the distracting trash of concessions–or the distracting noise that snacking during a film would create. - So Why Do We Eat Popcorn At The Movies Anyway? (Smithsonian Mag)
A Culinary Giant Perhaps like no other food writer, Marcella Hazan, helped intergrate a foreign cuisine into American culture with her no-nonsense and easy to understand approach. Mrs. Hazan passed way yesterday a the ripe old age of 89. Her simple tomato sauce is legendary - she made all of us better cooks and eaters.
300Sandwiches.com talks about the genisis of her blog and the quest for her that engagement ring, one sandwich at a time.
"It's about coming together as a local community and sharing the fruits of your labour, your creation." In what has been described as a peer-to-peer community marketplace, people are connecting online with local cooks, who provide them with a meal for less than they would be likely to pay anywhere else. In Athens, the price is usually between three and four euros (£2.50 to £3.40). [more inside]
You Just Threw Out a Perfectly Good Gallon of Milk Because You Think the "Sell By" Date Means Something. Food waste is a huge problem. Globally, one-third of all food produced goes uneaten. In the US, that's up to 40% (pdf report). What can we do to prevent labeling confusion? And the most important question... should you eat it or is it expired?
sad desk lunch "Soon it will be the weekend, the salsa murmured into your ear"
Eater.com breaks down Wired's new food issue, which includes David Chang's essay called "The Joy of Cooking With Science"; Alton Brown on the science behind real-tasting fake chicken, and a piece on umami (recently on AskMeFi).
"We're encouraged, foodwise, to pay attention to contrast and balance: a little bit of salt to balance out intense sweetness, a little bit of acid to balance out a lot of rich fat, a bleach-haired goober with sunglasses on the back of his head hustling Donkey Sauce-drowned garbage-food on two different cable channels every nine minutes to balance out any confidence you had that success in life accrues to the deserving, and so on." Deadspin d/b/a Foodspin teaches us that sometimes too much is just enough.
A New Jersey school district chooses to withhold lunch from kids whose parents forgot to refill their lunch accounts. There has been a great deal of controversy regarding the school districts decision to withhold food from children who don't have money on their school account. However, it should be noted that the article mentions: "Part of the reason we're doing this is to help hold parents accountable." Dr. Ronald Taylor, the Superintendent, says that the district will warn parents when their account is down to five dollars, which is about three days before it's empty.
Since completing a successful fund-raising campaign, Rob Rhinehart has set up a company to make a food substitute, somewhat controversially called "Soylent", designed to be a complete food substitute -- drinking only Soylent shakes, people can stop eating "traditional food" completely. The he company's ambitions appear to be concerned with freeing up a few minutes from a busy, chewing-averse person's day, but extend as far as providing cheap food aid to the starving. [more inside]
'There’s more lobster out there right now than anyone knows what to do with, but Americans are still paying for it as if it were a rare delicacy.' Also, from 2004: David Foster Wallace goes to the Maine Lobster Festival. Via)
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. )