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.

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What’s the Difference?

by in News, June 30th, 2015

Gelato vs. Ice Cream: What's the Difference?Gelato, that Italian dessert staple, is gaining U.S. fans, with sales hitting an estimated $214 million in 2014, an $11 million increase from 2009, and driving growth in the frozen dairy dessert market. But did you ever wonder what the difference is between ice cream and gelato — or if it’s just a matter of semantics and a higher price point?

In fact, gelato is really quite distinct from ice cream, NPR’s The Salt blog notes. Citing gelato expert and author Morgan Morano, writer Linda Poon sketches out a few key differences:

Creaminess: Gelato is creamier, smoother and silkier, as well as denser and more elastic and fluid, than American ice cream.

Ingredients: While both gelato and ice cream contain cream, milk and sugar, authentic gelato uses more milk and less cream than ice cream and generally doesn’t use egg yolks, which are a common ingredient in ice cream. Read more

10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should Follow

by in Community, News, June 29th, 2015

10 Instagram Accounts Food Lovers Should FollowAs a social-media-savvy Food Network fan, you probably follow the Instagram feeds of Ina Garten, Bobby Flay and Giada De Laurentiis — not to mention Guy Fieri, Alton Brown, Ree Drummond, Trisha Yearwood and Food Network — living vicariously through engagingly captioned pictures of their delicious meals, beautiful families and peripatetic travels. But who else should food lovers be following on Instagram?

April Bloomfield
British-born Bloomfield, chef and co-owner of two Michelin-star-awarded New York restaurants, The Spotted Pig and The Breslin, shares images of proud animals (pigs, cows, roosters) and fresh produce straight from the farm, along with delicious-looking dishes both in progress and beautifully plated.

Ashley Rodriguez
The name behind the popular blog Not Without Salt, Ashley takes her bright, crisp food photos to Instagram @ashrod. Look for fresh, simple fare like roasted artichokes and green salads, as well as indulgent treats and scenes from her day-to-day finds.

Read more

Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?

by in News, Restaurants, June 28th, 2015

Does It Bother You When Restaurants Quickly Clear Your Plates?Back in 2009, The New York Times ran a two-part list, written by restaurateur Bruce Buschel, of “100 Things Restaurant Staffers Should Never Do.” Included on it were these three instructive items:

17. Do not take an empty plate from one guest while others are still eating the same course. Wait, wait, wait.

75. Do not ask if someone is finished when others are still eating that course.

76. Do not ask if a guest is finished the very second the guest is finished. Let guests digest, savor, reflect.

Read more

U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes Up

by in News, June 27th, 2015

U.S. Coffee Consumption Goes Down, While Spending Goes UpCall it the Keurig effect. Thanks in large measure to the rise in single-cup brew pods, Americans are consuming less coffee — although they are also spending more on it than ever.

U.S. coffee consumption is projected to decline from 24 million to 23.7 million 60-kilogram bags in 2015-2016, down for the first time since 2009-2010, according to a newly released U.S. Department of Agriculture report.

Read more

Japan Can Now Dine at a Super Mario Bros. Cafe

by in News, June 25th, 2015

Japan Can Now Dine at a Super Mario Bros. CafeBelieve it or not, it has been 30 years since Nintendo released the seminal video game Super Mario Bros. in Japan, in 1985. The game came to North America the next year, but Japan is getting a jump on celebrating Mario’s big three-O — and Tower Records Japan (a throwback concept in itself) is taking full advantage of its head start.

To mark the occasion, the retail music chain’s three Tokyo locations — in the city’s Shibuya, Omotesando and Ebisu districts — are launching a limited-time-only Super Mario Bros. pop-up cafe, featuring a panoply of character-themed dishes. You got your Blooper’s Squid Ink Pasta, Banana Block Tira Misu, Mario Latte and Underwater Stage Drink. Or you can dig into a Super Star Rice Omelet, Ground Stage Waffle, Mario Latte and Piranha Plant Soda.

Read more

Let the Taco Texting Begin: The Taco Emoji Is Now a Reality

by in News, June 24th, 2015

Let the Taco Texting Begin: The Taco Emoji Is Now a RealityLadies and gentlemen, now, when you text your friends, you can spice things up with a little taco flavah.

Yes, after months of serious petitioning (not to mention abject begging and pleading and full-on demanding) from nimble-fingered Mexican-food fans, Unicode Consortium, which oversees the release of “picture characters” known as “emoji” and plans to add only about 60 new images per year, has elected to include a taco emoji in its new lineup, approved as part of Unicode 8.

Read more

6 Cool Facts About Iced Tea You May Not Have Known

by in News, June 23rd, 2015

6 Cool Facts About Iced Tea You May Not Have KnownIt’s iced tea season. Whether you like it straight up or sugar sweet, with a twist of lemon or a dollop of honey, you may enjoy drinking in a few facts about what might be summer’s coolest beverage from this article about its history, written by Tove Danovich for NPR’s Tea Tuesdays series. (Yes, NPR’s The Salt blog has a series of articles that explore tea’s science, history, culture and economics. Take that, coffee!)

1. While tea has been sipped hot here in America since Colonial days, nonalcoholic tea wasn’t widely consumed on ice until the turn of the 19th century, when entrepreneurs in the northern United States started shipping ice down South and to the Caribbean. As Americans began to take a leading role in the 19th-century global ice trade, the greater availability of ice made iced tea more common.

2. Tea was, however, used as an ingredient in alcoholic punches as far back as the early 1700s, and appears in historic punch recipes like Regent’s Punch, which dates to 1815 and includes green tea and the South Asian liquor arrack as well as citrus juice, sugar, champagne, brandy and rum.

Read more

Would You Take Driving Directions from Colonel Sanders?

by in News, June 22nd, 2015

Would You Take Driving Directions from Colonel Sanders?Does your GPS sound like chicken? Now it can sound like KFC mascot Colonel Sanders.

In yet another move aimed at resurrecting its corporate mascot and late founder, Col. Harland Sanders, who kicked the bucket (sorry) in 1980 at age 90, KFC has teamed up with social navigation and traffic app Waze to lend Sanders’ voice to users’ navigation systems.

Read more

New Barbecue Wisdom: Rest Is Best

by in News, June 21st, 2015

New Barbecue Wisdom: Rest Is BestShh … don’t wake the barbecue. It’s resting.

While the conventional wisdom used to be that the ideal time to enjoy the smoky goodness of barbecued meat was right when it came off the pit — avoiding the mushiness or drying that could result from various methods of “holding” it — there’s a new theory gaining traction among pitmasters. NPR reports that allowing barbecued meat to “rest,” if done correctly, actually improves its flavor.

Read more

Google Is Coming to Count the Calories in Your Instagram Food Pics

by in News, June 20th, 2015

Google Is Coming to Count the Calories in Your Instagram Food PicsYour days of sharing and gaping at food photos on social media while remaining blissfully unaware of how many calories are lurking in those beautiful meals may be numbered. Google is working on an artificial intelligence tool that will analyze your food pictures and estimate how many calories are being served up on your plate.

The tool, Im2Calories, which was unveiled at a “deep learning” summit in Boston last month, will cast an eyeball (or whatever the high-tech AI equivalent of an eyeball is) over that grainy Instagram photo (high-res not required) of your burger, breakfast or baked good — along with accompanying sides — and use algorithms to calculate the number of calories you’re about to enthusiastically consume, Popular Science reports.

Terrifying, perhaps, but that may be part of the point. Im2Calories’ creator, Google research scientist Kevin Murphy, says his aim is not to shame people, but rather to inform them so they can make decisions about the foods they eat (and feel compelled to share on social media) with complete caloric information.

Read more