All Posts By Amy Reiter

Amy Reiter is a writer and editor based in New York. A regular contributor to The Los Angeles Times, she has also written for The New York Times, The Washington Post, Glamour, Marie Claire and Wine Spectator, among other print publications, as well as for websites including The Daily Beast, MSN, Babble, AOL/Huffington Post and Salon, where she was a longtime editor and senior writer.

Would You Eat Ice Cream That Doesn’t Melt?

by in News, September 16th, 2015

Would You Eat Ice Cream That Doesn't Melt?Ice cream, by definition, melts when it’s out of the freezer (well … usually, anyway). But now scientists in the U.K. have come up with an ice cream that does not melt, even when you leave it out in the sun — and they predict it will be available in stores within three to five years.

The key to this expectation-defying extenda-frozen dairy treat is a protein, called BslA, that makes the air, fat and water contained in ice cream clump together, causing it to resist melting and stay firm, even when it’s sitting out in warm weather, and preventing the formation of ice crystals, so that it mimics the smooth texture of high-end ice creams.

Read more

Is 2015 the Year of the Bagel?

by in News, September 14th, 2015

Is 2015 the Year of the Bagel?According to the Chinese zodiac, 2015 is the year of the sheep. But the trend trackers at New York magazine have declared it to be the year of the bagel — at least in the city that never sleeps, yet nevertheless loves nothing more than waking up to a nice brunch.

In its Fall Preview issue, NYC’s namesake mag heralds the “rebirth of Jewish appetizing” and a “brewing bagel war” — a “schmear campaign,” its headline writers cleverly dub it — pointing to the opening, this autumn, of several new bagel eateries and a few “microfactories” determined to bring satisfaction to anyone with a hankering for a bagel, cream cheese, lox and all the fixins.

Read more

A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and Thin

by in News, September 11th, 2015

A Tale of Two Tortillas, Thick and ThinThose of us who have only ever thought of flour tortillas as ultra-skinny discs, with little to nothing in the way of puff, have apparently been missing out on a whole other variety: thick, bready flour tortillas, a New Mexico regional specialty.

Author Tracie McMillan writes, on NPR’s The Salt, about the moment when, during a visit to a New Mexico restaurant, she first encountered and instantly flipped for these “thick, charmingly floppy tortillas, dotted with browned bubbles and closer in thickness to pancakes than the wan, flaccid discs” she — and the rest of us — are used to tossing in our carts at the local grocery.

Why, she wonders, had the “magic” thick tortillas — rendered puffy thanks to baking powder, perfect for soaking up regional stews, yet nearly impossible to find on the East Coast — never caught on, while the thin ones became ubiquitous? McMillan uncovers a few reasons:

Read more

Your Cereal Is Getting a Subtler Look

by in News, September 9th, 2015

Your Cereal Is Getting a Subtler LookGet ready for a more subdued look in your cereal bowl — or on your fast-food tray. As food companies reformulate their products to eliminate artificial dyes, in response to consumer demand, they’ve been looking for natural alternatives. But coloring derived from fruits, vegetables and spices — ingredients like beets or carrots — has its limits in terms of vividness.

General Mills, which announced in June that it would eliminate artificial colors in the 40 percent of its cereals that still contain them, has warned that when its reformulated cereals hit shelves this year, the red pieces in Trix, which will now get their hues from radishes and strawberries, will not look the same. The popular cereal’s blue and green pieces will be missing altogether.

“We haven’t been able to get that same vibrant color,” Kate Gallager, General Mills cereal developer, told the Chicago Tribune.

Other changes to expect, thanks to the movement away from synthetic colors and toward natural hues?
Read more

Open a Beer and Bring on the Cheese

by in News, September 3rd, 2015

Wine and cheese, the perfect pair? Well, yes, but there’s also beer.

The porters, stouts and ales we favor in winter — rich and sweet, with subtle notes of chocolate and caramel, fruit and spice — make solid companions for a panoply of cheeses, from earthy Stiltons to pungent Epoisses to Basque sheep-milk cheeses, Eater notes. However, the site contends that we shouldn’t overlook summer’s saisons, Pilsners and pale ales for cheese pairings, as long as we make sure these subtler brews are not overwhelmed by a too-strong fromage.

Read more

Who’s Up for a Cocktail … on Wheels?

by in News, Restaurants, August 29th, 2015

Who's Up for a Cocktail ... on Wheels?Thanks to food trucks, we’re used to being able to enjoy everything from edamame and escargot on a stick to tacos and giant cheese-filled Tater Tots rolling right up to us as we stroll down the street. But one on-the-spot food fancy the mobile-food movement hasn’t really taken upon itself to address — thanks, primarily, to a host of thorny alcohol-specific legal issues — is the craving for a cocktail.

Until now, that is.

Read more

First There Was Bulletproof Coffee, Now There’s FATwater

by in Drinks, News, August 27th, 2015

First There Was Bulletproof Coffee, Now There's FATwaterPerhaps when you first heard of the craze for Bulletproof Coffee, coffee blended with butter and oil and purported by its creators to provide health benefits, you thought to yourself, “Sheesh, what will they think of next?” If so, the answer you’ve been waiting for has now presented itself: FATwater.

The latest brainchild of entrepreneur and Bulletproof Coffee mastermind Dave Asprey, FATwater is precisely what it sounds like: H20 with tiny drops of fat (coconut oil) suspended in it. Asprey says the product, which contains 2 grams of saturated fat and 20 calories per serving, provides the drinker with a short-term energy boost, helps the body burn fat (for some reason) and aids in appetite suppression. Currently available in only a handful of places in Los Angeles, FATwater will soon be available nationally, Asprey says.

Read more

Ice Cream Styling Tips from an Expert Instagrammer

by in News, August 25th, 2015

Ice Cream Styling Tips from an Expert InstagrammerI scream, you scream, we all scream for … Instagram? Here’s the thing: Snapping a photo of your favorite ice cream treat (be it in a cone or cup, squished between two cookies or floating in root beer) so you can share it with the world can be its own brand of challenging.

How do you convey all that dairy-smooth deliciousness to your followers without ending up with a milky, melty mess on your hands (and your phone and your floor)?

Blogger Nastassia Johnson, who regularly posts droolworthy ice cream images, along with snaps of other sweets, to her Instagram account, @letmeeatcake, recently shared a few styling tips with Mashable.

Here are a few of her ideas you may want to incorporate into your own social media routine:

Get Vertical: Height adds dimension and visual interest, so layer scoop atop scoop. Stack flavors in alternating colors. Feel free to add unusual elements — like doughnuts or fruit — to make your photos even more eye-catching.

Mitigate the Melt: Johnson suggests popping a sheet tray into your freezer before you scoop. Then lay out the sheet tray with your scooper, a paper towel, a bowl of water and your pint(s). For ease and beauty, dip the scooper into the water and give it a quick tap on the paper towel between scoops. Put the scoops onto the sheet tray and pop the whole shebang back into the freezer (set to zero or lower) for about 10 minutes. This will ensure the scoops are good and frozen so you can maximize the time before they melt. Read more

A Lot of People Are Eating Alone These Days

by in News, Restaurants, August 24th, 2015

A Lot of People Are Eating Alone These DaysWe love to break bread together — relish the idea of sitting down to a hot meal with family and friends — but increasingly, Americans are dining solo.

Just shy of half of all adults’ meals and snacks — about 46 percent of them — are eaten alone, according to information compiled by market researchers at the Hartman Group, released in a recent Food Marketing Institute trend report and cited by NPR’s The Salt.

Hartman Group CEO Laurie Demeritt suggests we’re in the midst of a “true cultural change” in which it is becoming “more socially acceptable to eat alone.” Not only has the percentage of single-person households been on the rise in the United States — increasing from 17 percent in 1970 to 27 percent in 2012, according to Census Bureau data cited by NPR — but we’re also a nation of people on the go, grabbing food at our desks, in the car and on the street.

Read more

Why Trader Joe’s May Be a Whole Lot Better for Your Home’s Value Than Whole Foods

by in News, August 23rd, 2015

Why Trader Joe’s May Be a Whole Lot Better for Your Home Value Than Whole FoodsPop quiz: Living near which of these grocery meccas is better for your property value? Whole Foods, with its vast, glistening rainbow of organic produce and prettily prepared foods with price points to match, or Trader Joe’s, with its deliciously affordable array of fresh fruits and vegetables, gourmet specialties and staples, not to mention its inexpensive signature wine?

The answer? Ye Olde House of Two-Buck Chuck.

Homes near Trader Joe’s tend to appreciate considerably more, on average, than those near Whole Foods, according to an analysis conducted by real estate data site RealtyTrac. People who own homes near Trader Joe’s have seen their home values increase an average of 40 percent since they purchased them. Those with homes that share a ZIP code with Whole Foods, meanwhile, have enjoyed only a 34 percent appreciation, which is the average appreciation for homes in all U.S. ZIP codes.

Read more