"It was Asian enough for my immigrant parents and American enough for my sister and me." In the PBS feature documentary, Off The Menu, filmmaker Grace Lee traverses the US into the kitchens, factories, temples and farm of Asian Pacific America that explores how our relationship to food reflects our evolving communities. Food Republic spoke with Jonathan Wu and Wilson Tang, whose NYC restaurant, Fung Tu, is featured in the film.
Why Is It So Hard to Get a Great Bagel in California? [New York Times] San Francisco bakeries have tried and tried again to replicate the chewy, crusty perfection of New York’s specialty. They are still trying. [more inside]
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.
How I Became a Hipster (SLNYT)
Buffalo chicken wings were invented by Teressa Bellissimo at the Anchor Bar in Buffalo, New York in 1964. Americans will eat 25 billion of them this year - not a few of them at the 10th annual National Buffalo Wing Festival. Some people eat nothing else. Alton Brown steams his. But will any of them be more delicious than these Sriracha Garlic Wings?
Street Tucker: leftovers from the streets of New York City
A pizza price war in Manhattan is threatening to destroy two businesses, while providing consumers with the cheapest slice in ages.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg has asked federal permission to ban the use of food stamps to buy sodas and sugary drinks in New York City. In an op-ed in the New York Times, the city and state health commissioners argued in favor of Bloomberg's proposal, saying the practice amounts to "an enormous subsidy to the sweetened beverage industry." [more inside]
The Taxi Gourmet Every week, I get in a taxi, ask the driver to take me to his or her favorite restaurant. [more inside]
Ice Cream Club is a group in Brooklyn which meets twice a month to exchange homemade ice cream. Today's seen some media coverage, and their website provides tips and troubleshooting.
In Mamas Kitchen was born in the experience of living in New York where a bodega exists within blocks of a Jewish deli which is around the corner from an Italian salumeria which shares space with Chinatown which abuts Soho's gourmet stores. While this speaks of the legendary variety available in New York, it also tells of similarity, for in every bodega, every salumeria is someone shopping for the food that sustains physical life with a recipe that nourishes our hearts.
Pocketful of dough - an article on where the art of, er, tipping up front can get you. Originally printed in a year 2000 edition of Gourmet. Via Juicy Tidbits.
The Near-Fame Experience: A fascinating interview with former contestants of Bravo reality television shows Project Runway and Top Chef, presenting the fickle nature of fame and how it can come at significant professional and personal cost, if at all.
Famous Fat Dave is an NYC cabbie. Try his Famous Fat Dave's Five Borough Eating Tour on the Wheels of Steel (myspace, embedded theme song). (via)
How to make pizza. Jeff Varasano has finished his recipe, and his page now includes everything you need to know about making a real pizza.
Those crazy PETA kids, well, now they've gone and done it. They've admitted that being a vegan is punishment, by sending a letter to the NY Prison Commissioner telling him that "Feeding inmates exclusively vegan food sends a message to inmates and the public that our society isn't molly-coddling them..." Funny, funny PETA people, hoisted by their own celery stick, as it were. I'm guessing that being that anemic makes them a little short on irony.
In the long stretch of culinary history, the creation of the menu was a notable development. In the U.S., New York is the restaurant capital, and the New York Public Library has an enormous collection of menus, many of which they are currently displaying in a third-floor gallery. If you're in NYC (or will be visiting this winter) and are interested in such things, don't miss it; it's showing until March 1.