"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. )
As part of the preparation for a special exhibition on the history of Chinese food in America, the Smithsonian opens the world's oldest can of fortune cookies. More posts on the exhibit research under the Sweet & Sour tag. [previously]
Mealku is a service designed to help people obtain home-cooked meals, by connecting strangers online. It's sort of like AirBNB for leftovers as takeout meals, though right now it's only in New York City. An article from The Atlantic Cities describes Ted D’Cruz-Young's vision for the network and addresses concerns. “There’s always food left over. It’s nice to know it could be someone’s dinner", said one fan.
'The ploughman's lunch is a UK pub meal who's core components are cheese, chutney, and bread. It can also include such items as boiled eggs, ham, and pickled onions, and is accompanied with beer.' [more inside]
The Alton Browncast [iTunes link] is a weekly podcast by the creator and star of the Good Eats cooking show. The podcast is a mixture of interviews, recipes, food news, food tips, and questions from listeners, occasionally about Doctor Who (he's a fan). There have been six episodes so far and the guests have been Sandy Waddell, Bobby Flay, Keith Schroeder, Alex Guarnaschelli, Hugh Acheson and Justin Warner.
"During the most recent ice age, milk was essentially a toxin to adults because — unlike children — they could not produce the lactase enzyme required to break down lactose, the main sugar in milk. But as farming started to replace hunting and gathering in the Middle East around 11,000 years ago, cattle herders learned how to reduce lactose in dairy products to tolerable levels by fermenting milk to make cheese or yogurt. Several thousand years later, a genetic mutation spread through Europe that gave people the ability to produce lactase — and drink milk — throughout their lives. That adaptation opened up a rich new source of nutrition that could have sustained communities when harvests failed." - The Milk Revolution - how a single mutation expanded (some) of humanity's diet. (Nature.com)
'Bro-Care' instead of Bum-Fights? A homeless person is offered retail therapy, a haircut, a hotel room, a ride in a car with a white leather interior and a substantial meal (oh, and a blindfolding) in exchange for being videotaped to encourage YouTube subscriptions for a channel. Apparently it hits many users of reddit "right in the feels" (a euphemism for feeling emotional/empathetic about something that you're exposed to)
You've just purchased a meal at a restaurant that offers a salad bar, with the stipulation that you can only take items from it once. How do you get the most out of your one trip? Simple: build a salad tower. [more inside]
If you find it impossible to make restaurant reservations online it might be because you're competing against bots. A developer explains how it works and just how common it might be in San Francisco. [more inside]
The bloggers at The St. Louis Slinger Tour have completed their comprehensive 16 month review of the Slingers available at 58 different St. Louis area restaurants. Follow them chronologically or check out Tim and Tony's Top 10 for later enjoyment (consensus favorite: The Sidebar). Also available for your convenience is a list of the worst Slingers in St. Louis (e.g. Uncle Bill's), to be avoided or ordered out of morbid curiosity. [more inside]
"The diet of the average American is almost entirely dependent on the existence of a vast, distributed winter--a seamless network of artificially chilled processing plants, distribution centers, shipping containers, and retail display cases that creates the permanent global summertime of our supermarket aisles." -- The Atlantic
If anything can turn Westerners on to entomophagy for sustainable protein (or just the perfect beer snack), surely it's an attractive, well-designed kitchen appliance. Introducing LEPSIS, a modular terrarium for growing grasshoppers as a food source in an urban home. Nominated for the 2013 INDEX: Award.
My dad made me a pbj 2.0 when you close it you get 9 different flavor combos. 1 My brother uploaded the pic of the PBJ 2.0 yesterday, here's another creation my dad always made for us, the "chick-check" apple 2 [more inside]
Come over my house and we'll cook up a tiny Re-Ment dinner...do you prefer Japanese cuisine? Maybe something European or Chinese? Perhaps fresh from the farm? Save room for Decoration Cake and Gummy Crepes for desert. RRcherrypie's YouTube channel has served up mesmerizing meals to millions. [more inside]
"Hi, I am Francis, the host of this show - Cooking With Dog." We will be cooking Choux Creme (Cream Puffs) / Tako-meshi (Mixed Rice with Octopus) / Cheese in Hamburg / Chicken Curry / Okonomiyaki / Agedashi Tofu / Yaki Gyoza / Bento Lunch Box / Green Tea Ice Cream. "Good luck in the kitchen!" (Previously)
Rape in the Fields is a Frontline documentary that explores the persistent allegations that female agricultural workers in the U.S. are frequently sexually assaulted and harassed by supervisors who exploit their (often undocumented) immigrant status. Victims typically do not seek help from US law enforcement, either out of fear that they will be fired, deported or worse, or from a lack of understanding of U.S. law. Reviews: Popmatters. NY Times [more inside]
Every Thursday, the Seamless (a delivery service that serves as a takeout service for over 12,000 restaurants) posts the Best of Seamless Special Instructions of the Week.
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.