Claire's back!
November 17, 2018 4:33 PM   Subscribe

Former Bon Appetit editor Claire Saffitz is back in the BA test kitchen (at least temporarily), this time making gourmet Sno Balls. posted by Lexica (34 comments total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
 
best news of the week

(admittedly it's not a high bar)
posted by mosst at 4:45 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I frankly resent that they feel the need to explain what a Sno Ball is, like it's a Victrola or newsreels or Phlogiston or something. If people could not talk like I'm a resident of some earlier historical period, that'd be great.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:51 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I think you may be projecting your insecurties there a bit. The explanation could just as easily be for folks in other countries?
posted by juv3nal at 5:01 PM on November 17, 2018 [25 favorites]


I have never heard nor seen a Sno Ball so I appreciated the explanation. They kind of remind me of the Tunnock Snow Ball (a favorite of my mum) crossed with a Peep.
posted by Ashwagandha at 5:08 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


My husband and I also noticed the explanation and he thought it was weird (grew up in New Jersey) but I (Texas) do not have any recollection of them until we got to California in the past 8 years and didn't have any idea what they were actually made of, aside from "extruded chemicals" of various kinds.

In any case, I have never had one and he (a coconut hater) says they're bullshit, but we were still happy to see Claire again.
posted by Lyn Never at 5:11 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Sorry, my comment needed a smiley face or something--I wasn't terribly serious about resenting it. I mean, I AM old and bitter, but not about Sno Balls. I've also never had one, but I want one of hers now.
posted by Sing Or Swim at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2018 [4 favorites]


Is it the taste or the consistency he doesn't like?
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:13 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


I should really have linked the scene. It's the only encounter I've had with Sno Balls (though I'm very familiar with the Tunnocks version mentioned above).
posted by GeckoDundee at 5:19 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


this is super fun. but why is brad the decider/opinionator?
posted by bluesky43 at 5:41 PM on November 17, 2018


Where did Claire go before? "we took a break, but now I'm back"
posted by batter_my_heart at 5:42 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Didn't she also reproduce Lucky Charms too, a while back?....

Can't wait for her cousin Stradivarius to reproduce a toy ukulele from violin pieces lying around in his workshop...
posted by zaixfeep at 6:01 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Extremely mild tea/rumor about Claire leaving and coming back.

Gourmet Makes... playlist from the bon appetit youtube channel.
posted by Lyn Never at 6:43 PM on November 17, 2018 [2 favorites]


Claire!!!!!!

That's it, that's all I have to contribute.
posted by E. Whitehall at 6:52 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I had to look up the question myself, turns out coconuts are drupes, so yes a fruit and a seed.
posted by traveler_ at 6:56 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


Actually, coconut is a dry drupe and is a fruit, a nut and a seed.
posted by bz at 8:44 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


I was surprised to see this and I figured it was recorded before Claire's departure but ... apparently she's back, or something? I feel really strangely invested in this whole thing (I will always take more Claire and Brad and I don't even mean that in a creepy way).

Anyway, this was fun but also, strangely drama-free (unlike her return!). I will forever watch Claire make gourmet versions of junk food. It's really one of my favorite things.

(Whatever she's doing or tried to do, I wish her all the best. She's great.)
posted by darksong at 8:46 PM on November 17, 2018 [3 favorites]


FYI, Todd Wilbur has a website and several books on reverse-engineering commercial snack and fast food recipes.
posted by zaixfeep at 9:04 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


I love these videos! The snowball video was greeted with much rejoicing in our house. While we're cool with Brad, Claire is a delight.
posted by 1adam12 at 9:48 PM on November 17, 2018


I am a person in another country who appreciated the explainer on a Sno Ball 😂 I’m obsessed with the BA YouTube channel at the moment.
posted by ellieBOA at 11:49 PM on November 17, 2018 [1 favorite]


(I will always take more Claire and Brad and I don't even mean that in a creepy way).

I can never decide if I trust Brad. He always gives me the impression that he's about 15 seconds away from telling me his 9/11 Truth theory. I'm not saying this is a fair impression, but it persists.
posted by howfar at 12:55 AM on November 18, 2018 [12 favorites]


I may have made a series of joyful squeaky noises when this popped up in my YouTube subs. The BA YouTube channel has been my moving house balm.
posted by halcyonday at 2:50 AM on November 18, 2018 [2 favorites]


I've been following The channel (and ignoring everything except Claire Makes) for a while now but I have to admit I didn't even notice that there was an unusually long gap before this episode. I'm trying to remember how I found out about this series in the first place - has it been on metafilter before?

Brad is the Kramer of the test kitchen.
posted by moonmilk at 6:29 AM on November 18, 2018


Ugh, that sequence where Brad (who had never used the airbrush) immediately takes it out of the hands of Claire (who has) and starts showing her how to use it.
posted by Ian A.T. at 6:59 AM on November 18, 2018 [3 favorites]


I love the BA channel. I don't watch TV so I'm always excited when they have new content. Claire and Carla are my favorites. I hope she stays around. Also, Carla's video with Ina Garden is really great.
posted by Conrad-Casserole at 8:04 AM on November 18, 2018


I’ve never watched this before so Claire is new to me, but I love her. She’s awesome. I’m also very excited for sno balls except made with good cake because as discussed in the video, that cake is absolute verifiable garbage.
posted by obfuscation at 8:51 AM on November 18, 2018


I really appreciate Claire's ability to break down the problem and solve it iteratively. (If you want more Brad, you may also like It's Alive with Brad.)
posted by Wild_Eep at 10:35 AM on November 18, 2018


If you want more Brad

Nah, I’m good.
posted by obfuscation at 10:56 AM on November 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


There really isn't a bad BA host in the bunch, I started just watching Claire and Brad videos but now I'm hooked on all of them. Andy and Molly are especially good.
posted by jason_steakums at 11:04 AM on November 18, 2018


this is super fun. but why is brad the decider/opinionator?

I don't know, but after he spent the last episode of "It's Alive" literally shooting animals to death with guns, and in an earlier episode, slowly steamed several crabs to death, I am fucking done with that clown.

Claire is a treasure of course!
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:46 PM on November 18, 2018


(The best thing to come out of that vid is "It's Aliven't" in the comments.)
posted by turbid dahlia at 1:50 PM on November 18, 2018


I hope she returned because BA threw a bunch of money at her.

There's a lot to like about Claire, but my very favorite thing may be the oddly flat and somehow contemplative "mmm" sound she makes when she eats something that really pleases her.
posted by merriment at 2:22 PM on November 18, 2018 [4 favorites]


I quite like Brad's videos, but I think largely because I can carefully control the amount of time I spend with him, so to speak. I think if I worked with him I would murder him by day three. (Yes, even if what's on the videos is him in-character, and he's usually a little more toned-down.)

My love for Claire and Carla, however, is golden and uncomplicated.
posted by kalimac at 5:21 PM on November 18, 2018 [5 favorites]


Claire. Is. Back. AGAIN.
posted by noneuclidean at 2:50 PM on November 29, 2018


I'm sorry to be a hater, and maybe they're just aiming for a cute and breezy presentation, but it's kinda hard for me to enjoy watching someone stumble through a process like she does.

The noodle episode for example: Claire works in a test kitchen but she doesn't make the connection between "autolyzed yeast extract" being the way food manufacturers put glutamates into food without having MSG on the label or that disodium guanylate, disodium inosinate, and disodium succinate - those funny words that she stumbles through - are flavor enhancers that work in conjunction with glutamates to boost the umami sensation, again, without putting the dreaded MSG on the label. Then she puts MSG into her "gourmet" ramen without thinking about consumer preferences; chefs love it but consumers associate it with cheap, low quality, and unhealthy food. She doesn't seem to know how her pasta maker works. She sees her food requires kansui and she lives in NYC where you can buy kansui water in asian markets, but skips it, then realizes it's necessary and makes a substitute. She uses wikipedia to learn about instant noodles, but working for a publisher she should have access to much better resources like Harold McGee's On Food and Cooking which describes how to make ramen noodles but even he says just use David Chang's Momofuku cookbook recipe. If you're going to try to reinvent the wheel, maybe take some advice from a chef who named his not very obscure restaurant empire after the inventor of instant noodles. She could have saved a day of work with 10 minutes of reading, but I guess that doesn't make for a cute video.

It's great to watch creative people collaborate on fun things like this and Claire's on-camera persona is wonderful, but there's a little too much face-palm worthy cooking for a cooking show. It veers towards incompetency porn like My Drunk Kitchen, which is fine if that's what you're looking for but I guess I'm not in Bon Appétit's target audience here.
posted by peeedro at 5:24 PM on November 30, 2018


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