All Posts By Food Network Kitchen

It Came From the Library 7: When Pigs Fly

by in News, May 1st, 2009

Yet again, we’ve got pig on the brain. This time we’re not feeling very hungry.

While health organizations around the world scramble to contain the spread of a swine influenza virus that’s brought us with breathtaking speed to the brink of a global flu pandemic (who says pigs can’t fly!?), relatively little media coverage has been granted to the real, or at least really likely, origins of the epidemic: those oversize petri dishes known as confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs; read: factory pig farms).

Yet the source of the outbreak should come as no surprise to anyone. For years we’ve been warned of the hazards of factory farming, pig farming in particular. It’s not for nothing that the industry that doses healthy pigs with unimaginably vast quantities of antibiotics is ground zero for this outbreak.

Also obscured in domestic reporting on the crisis is the U.S.’s involvement. Before we blame Mexico for incubating the virus, we might want to look a little closer to home. You’d be forgiven for not knowing it, but Granjas Carroll, the Veracruz pig farm believed by many to be the source of the outbreak, is a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods.

Speaking of obscurantism, since the start of the outbreak, pork industry groups have waged a remarkably successful attempt to re-brand swine flu as the H1N1 virus. Ultimately, though, our guess is even the pork industry does not possess enough lipstick for this pig.

(Note: the swine flu crisis is dramatically proving the extent to which the recent and controversial study that suggested free range pigs suffer a higher incidence of salmonella and trichinosis than their CAFO-raised cousins completely missed the point.)

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Miracle off Ice

by in View All Posts, April 30th, 2009

So I guess Wayne Gretzky is making wine now. This just arrived in my inbox, for all three of you who are going to be in the vicinity of Acker Merrall & Condit on Saturday and also have dueling interests in hockey and wine:

5pm-7:30pm: Canadian Wines of Wayne Gretzky, Hockey Great, presented by former Rangers goalie Eddie Mio. Yes, Wayne made some great goals, and makes better wine! Try them and taste them with a hockey legend!

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

It Came From the Library: 6a

by in News, April 27th, 2009

On further thought: As much as Skinny Bastard would seem to hold little appeal for guys, I’m coming to think that’s kind of beside the point. My initial pessimism re: the book’s potential for success is perhaps a sign that I’d fallen for a clever bit of misdirection on the part of the authors/publisher.

Despite the book’s title and its ostensible attempt to crossover to a male market, Rory and Friedman know where their bread is buttered. They (and surely their publisher) are well aware that if the book is to reach the ‘guys,’ it’s going to do so by going through the ‘girls,’ who already have a familiarity and fondness for the brand and an openness to diet books to begin with.

In other words, the book can and probably will succeed without men. Women will buy the book for their partners; their partners will feel a momentary pang of hurt, then will attempt to cover said hurt by making noises signifying delighted surprise.

They (the boyfriends) will thank them (the girlfriends) as graciously as they are able, considering, and the book will molder on a shelf, eventually to wind up in the hands of a charitable organization, who will sell it at a fundraiser for $2.50 to a girl who will give it to a guy who will make noises…

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

It Came From The Library: 6

by in News, April 24th, 2009

On Monday, the women behind the mega-selling ‘Skinny Bitch’ diet book franchise are hitting bookstores with their latest opus ‘Skinny Bastard.’ This time around the ‘Bitches’ are taking their mixture of tough love + veganism to the guys. Subtitled ‘A Kick-in-the-Ass for Real Men Who Want to Stop Being Fat and Start Getting Buff,’ Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman have retrofitted the original Skinny Bitch model to run on testosterone.

The NYTimes nicely captures how this plays out:

“Whereas the introduction to ‘Skinny Bitch’ reads, ‘If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to get skinny,’ the men’s version does not assume low self-esteem: ‘Chances are, you haven’t done so badly, despite the few extra lbs you’re carting around. … But don’t kid yourself, pal: A hot-bodied man is a head-turner.’”

So will flattery and the promise of sex be enough to put the book on best-seller lists? One wonders. Considering the word ‘skinny’ carries very different (ie., overwhelmingly pejorative) connotations for men; and considering men are unaccustomed to getting their testosterone from women; and considering it is biologically impossible for Rory and Friedman to actually model the change they are promoting; and considering male receptivity to veganism is limited at the very best; it will be very interesting to see how Running Press’s initial print run of 100,000 copies sells.

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Drinking at Home Done Right

by in View All Posts, April 23rd, 2009

I’ve switched from baseball mode to cocktail mode (yes, for work, why are you looking at me that way), and just came across this fantastic home bar primer by the SF Chronicle’s Jon Bonné and cocktail legend Gary Regan. If you’re looking to get a handle on cocktail basics, you could do far, far worse.

Also, because why not, watch Regan (and rising star barman Phil Ward) make a Blue Blazer:

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Yankee News Roundup

by in View All Posts, April 21st, 2009

Press mentions of our concession stands are slowly starting to trickle in — check out here and here from Major League Baseball (who, incidentally, share our office in Chelsea Market), and we’re alluded to in this thing here in the New Yorker.

On a side note, my favorite moment in every game I’ve worked at thus far occurs with remarkable regularity about halfway through and a few beers in, when the guys in our downstairs picnic-y section delightedly realize that directly above them is the press box, and hence Paul O’Neill (brother, of course, of former NYT food columnist and prolific cookbook writer Molly O’Neill, but pretty sure that’s not why they’re excited).

Rupa Bhattacharya, Culinary Writer

Didn't Know They Were That Discerning

by in View All Posts, April 20th, 2009

Any lingering doubts about the theory of evolution appear to have been laid to final rest by a new study from two Scottish psychology professors and a panel of bonobo food critics.

Klaus Zuberbuhler and Zanna Clay, studying the gastronomic proclivities of the bonobos, found that these simian sybarites rate foodstuffs on a system of 5 vocalizations that will be immediately familiar to anyone who has ever visited a sports bar: from bark (awesome!) to peep-yelp (aahrrrmph!) down to grunt (self-explanatory)—a system, it seems, actually superior in nuance to a NYTimes restaurant review and only marginally less articulate than a Zagat’s guide.

Listen here. And bark if you love figs!

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

It Came From the Library 5: Special All Meatpaper, All the Time Edition

by in News, April 17th, 2009

“If the taboo on pork was a divinely inspired health ordinance, it is the oldest recorded case of medical malpractice.”

Anthropologist Marvin Harris, quoted in the latest issue of the absolutely brilliant San Francisco quarterly Meatpaper. We strenuously recommend you get your hands on a copy, better yet a subscription. The current issue offers, amongst other things, the most intelligent analysis we’ve yet encountered of one of the dominant trends of recent years: the fetishization of the pig, or ‘the burgeoning school of pig worship.’

Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian

Just Another Day at the Office

by in View All Posts, April 15th, 2009

For me and Ashley:

Dave Mechlowicz, Culinary Purchasing Manager

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