All Posts By Julia Simon

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 28th, 2010
Ina, Thrilled About Pumpkins

The Great Pumpkin Famine Declared Over: Were you among the masses that raided store shelves this time last year to build a bunker filled with canned pumpkin? Or did you shell out $6-$7 a pop on eBay for a coveted can of the orange stuff? This fall, there’s no need to ration your pumpkin goop. Nestle, who sells the cans under its popular Libby’s label, has declared the great pumpkin shortage that began in 2009 officially over. They’ve planted more of this “super food” and they’ve planted it earlier, meaning you now have every right to ask for extra pies, bars, soufflés, trifles, cheesecakes, cookies and, well, we have lots of ideas. [Boston Herald]

Arrested Development-Style Banana Stand Opens In Austin: So much for keeping Austin weird – the wily Texans behind the city’s latest pop-up dessert spot are making it bananas. Fans of the hilariously awkward comedy Arrested Development will appreciate names for Banarchy’s chocolate-dipped frozen bananas like the Afternoon Delight and the Job. Let’s just hope no one burns it down, because remember, there just might be money in that banana stand. [seriouseats.com]

Peaches Make Room for Olives in Georgia: In an attempt to enter the olive oil industry dominated by overseas countries, 95 acres of olive groves will be planted in the Peach State over the next three years. Olives grew in abundance in Georgia from the 1600s through the Civil War, when rice and cotton crops supplanted them. But now, because the United States is the third-largest consumer of olive oil in the world and demand for the staple here continues to grow, Georgia farmers seek to turn this liquid gold into real profit. [Washington Post]

Boston to Put a Cap on Soda Consumption? Government buildings in San Francisco have banned it. City facilities in New York City have restricted it. Now, Boston public officials, concerned about the health of fellow employees, may make it harder to find soda in city vending machines. Bostonians are considering limiting the availability of the sugar-laden drinks on city-owned property because, as Bill Walczak, head of a community health center and a member of the city’s panel, told the Boston Globe, “Somebody has to take a stand, and if it isn’t the government and health care institutions leading the way to a healthier lifestyle, who’s going to do it?’’ [Boston Globe via  consumerist.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 21st, 2010
Bobby Flay: Your Salad Soul Mate?

Salad Serendipity: Just Salad, a restaurant in Hong Kong and New York City, wants you to find love over lunchtime. The salad purveyor has created a free online dating site for customers, using an algorithm much like the one employed by traditional dating sites. Your soul mate is selected based on “which Just Salad location you frequent, when you frequent it, and what ingredients you love in your salad.” [The Independent via theawl.com]

Some Like It Hot, But Why? The New York Times takes a look at why people find pleasure in eating the spiciest stuff they can stand. “Chili pungency is not technically a taste; it is the sensation of burning, mediated by the same mechanism that would let you know that someone had set your tongue on fire,” the Times reports. If that sounds fantastic to you, read on: “[Psychologist Dr. Paul Rozen] tested chili eaters by gradually increasing the pain, or, as the pros call it, the pungency, of the food, right up to the point at which the subjects said they just could not go further. When asked after the test what level of heat they liked the best, they chose the highest level they could stand, ‘just below the level of unbearable pain.’” [New York Times]

Punk’s Not Dead, It’s Pasta: Marky Ramone, drummer for the seminal punk foursome the Ramones, has unveiled a line of spaghetti sauce under his Brooklyn’s Own label. “I made it with my grandpa; he was a chef at 21 Club,” Ramone tells mapanare.us. “I watched him as a little boy, and then when I got older, I lived alone at 18, and so pasta sauce and spaghetti was the cheapest thing around. I got really good at making it, and so I am excited I get to share my recipe with others.” [mapanare.us via boingboing.com]

Wine Vending Machines? Mais Oui: Vending machines filled with wine are the new fill-up stations across France. For oenophiles appreciating convenience, just bring your own bottle (or barrel), choose among red, white or rosé, and fill ‘er up. An added bonus of this fuel is that the price is a little cheaper at the pump than from a bottle and any kind of large-scale spill might just benefit surrounding communities. [Dr. Vino]

Opening Bottles Like MacGuyver: Not in France where you can choose what bottle to guzzle wine from? Better bring your bottle opener. Actually, the fine folks at urlesque.com have compiled 31 untraditional ways to open beers, and your bike tires, napkins, hockey sticks and scrambled eggs are just some of the random things doing double duty. [urlesque.com]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 14th, 2010
A chez magnifique crepe station during Food Network's The Great Food Truck Race

WWF (World’s Weirdest Foods) Roundup: Truck Edition! The folks at SF Weekly have pulled a traffic report on the most incredibly-named food trucks. From Kim Jong Grillin to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck to the Dump Truck, these rigs scoop out serious street food alongside a few chuckles. And while it’s unclear what the Rolling Stove serves, “Gimme Shellfish” and “Under My Thumbprint Cookie” just might be worthy of menu consideration. [SF Weekly] [The Great Food Truck Race]

Subway Heads Above Ground With Food Trucks: Speaking of food trucks, the zooming meals-on-wheels industry isn’t just for the new and cheeky. According to the LA Times, establishments like Sizzler and Subway are taking a course in Food Trucks 101…by hitting Highway 101. “Ten percent of the top 200 chains will have trucks on the road within the next 24 months,” predicted Aaron Noveshen, a restaurant-industry consultant, to the paper. “They’re all talking about it.” [Los Angeles Times]

That Sandwich Costs Mad Cheddar: Have you ever considered how much one cheese sandwich might cost if it cost more than any other cheese sandwich that’s ever come before it? Well, the most expensive one has been found! As of press time, and not factoring in any extra pesky conversion costs, one sammy from British chef Martin Blunos – who layers cheddar cheese combined with white truffles atop some quail eggs and black heirlooms before dusting the whole baguette in gold – will set you back $170. [BBC via cheese-recipes.tumblr.com] [Cheese Sandwich Recipes]

Break Yourself Off a Piece of That World’s Largest Chocolate Bar: A 9,702-lb brick of chocolate in Armenia has clinched the Guinness title for world’s gigantic-est candy bar. This chocoholic’s dream was produced by the Grand Candy factory to commemorate the company’s 10th anniversary, and lucky patrons will be treated to fun-sized pieces next month. [NPR] [Chocolate Recipes]

Whole Foods Goes Sea Green: Whole Foods Market has teamed up with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium to launch a sustainability-rating program for all seafood caught in the wild and sold in its stores. Among the new practices, the ocean-friendly company has said it will stop selling “red-rated” species, or any sea critters considered endangered or a victim of harmful fishing practices. [Eatocracy] [Seafood 5 Ways]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.


WWF (World’s Weirdest Foods) Roundup: Truck Edition! The folks at SF Weekly have pulled a traffic report on the most incredibly-named food trucks. From Kim Jong Grillin to the Big Gay Ice Cream Truck to the Dump Truck, these rigs scoop out serious street food alongside a few chuckles. And while it’s unclear what the Rolling Stove serves, “Gimme Shellfish” and “Under My Thumbprint Cookie” just might be worthy of menu consideration. [SF Weekly] [The Great Food Truck Race]

http://blogs.sfweekly.com/foodie/2010/09/food_trucks_kim_jong_grillin_chairman_bao.php

http://www.foodnetwork.com/the-great-food-truck-race/index.html

Subway Heads Above Ground With Food Trucks

Speaking of food trucks, the zooming meals-on-wheels industry isn’t just for the new and cheeky. According to the LA Times, establishments like Sizzler and Subway are taking a course in Food Trucks 101…by hitting Highway 101. “Ten percent of the top 200 chains will have trucks on the road within the next 24 months,” predicted Aaron Noveshen, a restaurant-industry consultant, to the LA Times. “They’re all talking about it.” [Los Angeles Times]

http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-food-trucks-20100909,0,579393.story

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=cheese+sandwich&fnSearchType=site

That Sandwich Costs Mad Cheddar

Have you ever considered how much one cheese sandwich might cost if it cost more than any other cheese sandwich that’s ever come before it? Well, the most expensive one has been found! As of press time, and not factoring in any extra pesky conversion costs, one sammy from British chef Martin Blunos – who layers cheddar cheese combined with white truffles atop some quail eggs and black heirlooms before dusting the whole baguette in gold – will set you back $170. [BBC via cheese-recipes.tumblr.com] [Cheese Sandwich Recipes]

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-somerset-11272303

http://cheese-recipes.tumblr.com/post/1115062012/the-worlds-most-expensive-cheese-sandwich

http://www.foodnetwork.com/search/delegate.do?fnSearchString=cheese+sandwich&fnSearchType=site

Break Yourself Off a Piece of That World’s Largest Chocolate

Bar A 9,702-lb brick of chocolate in Armenia has clinched the Guinness title for world’s gigantic-est candy bar. This chocoholic’s dream was produced by the Grand Candy factory to commemorate the company’s 10th anniversary, and lucky patrons will be treated to fun-sized pieces next month. [NPR] [Chocolate Recipes]

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=129792471

http://www.foodnetwork.com/topics/chocolate/index.html

Whole Foods Goes Sea Green

Whole Foods Market has teamed up with Blue Ocean Institute and Monterey Bay Aquarium to launch a sustainability-rating program for all seafood caught in the wild and sold in its stores. Alongside these new practices, the ocean-friendly company has said it will stop selling “red-rated” species, or any sea critters considered endangered or a victim of harmful fishing practices. [Eatocracy] [Seafood 5 Ways]

http://eatocracy.cnn.com/2010/09/13/whole-foods-launches-sustainability-rating-program/

http://www.foodnetwork.com/make-it-5-ways-seafood/package/index.html

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, September 7th, 2010
Alton, Thrilled About Costly Coffee
Alton, Thrilled About Costly Coffee

Coffee Prices Drip Up: Here’s a surge that won’t do much for your caffeine levels. Due to poor crops in leading coffee-producing countries, bean prices have reached a 12-year high. Some companies can’t help percolating those rising costs down to customers. [New York Daily News]

WWF (World’s Weirdest Foods) Roundup: There are thousands of recipes on FoodNetwork.com, but not a single one for fermented shark. Evidently, the stuff’s a delicacy in Iceland. And in Southeast Asia, don’t even think about carrying durian with you in taxis or on municipal transportation—that spiky fruit is so stinky it’s been banned in many public spaces. [telegraph.co.uk]

Roger Ebert and His Rice Cooker: Roger Ebert is a seminal movie critic and blogger, and with the release of The Pot and How to Use It: The Mystery and Romance of the Rice Cooker, he adds cookbook author to his resume. But Ebert, who lost his lower jaw to cancer, can’t eat, so recipe development is based on what he knows things “must” taste like. “I can remember the taste and smell of everything, even though I can no longer taste or smell,” he tells the Times. “It’s all my experience, my visuals and friendly tasters.” [New York Times] [FoodNetwork.com's Rice-Cooker Recipes]

The British Government Wants Your Waste: London’s Imperial War Museum will display vintage Ministry of Food posters in an exhibit that runs early next year. While the posters pay tribute to WWII-era food rationing, their messages—growing your own food, composting—resonate today. [telegraph.co.uk]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.

Side Dish: More Food on the Web

by in View All Posts, August 31st, 2010

0124657_Paula-Eating-Buttered-Muffin_s4x3_lead

Butter Busts: At the Minnesota State Fair this week, one lucky gal will be crowned the Midwest Dairy Association’s “Princess Kay of the Milky Way.” Along with that honor comes a new kind of solid, golden trophy: The winner will have her likeness carved in a 90 lb. block of butter and get to take it home. Someone page Paula. [Wall Street Journal via @grubstreet]

Texas-Fried Beer: Speaking of state fairs, Texas’ is catching some buzz for their from-the-fryer beer and frozen margaritas, which sound perfect for washing down the competition: Deep-Fried S’mores Pop Tarts, Fried Frito Pie, and the classed-up Fried Caviar. [Slashfood]

Get Hip to Carrot Sticks: Just in time for the back-to-school snack season, baby carrots are getting their fun-factor upped in a big way. Carrot growers have teamed to announce the industry’s first marketing campaign, one that positions them against snack-food giants. Among the plans are billboards calling the veggie sticks “the original orange doodles” and kooky seasonal tie-ins, like Halloween-time “scarrots” packaging. [USA Today via Eatocracy]

A Stab of Bacon: A Wendy’s employee in West Hartford, CT has been charged with second-degree assault after pulling a knife on a coworker. The gripe? Sub-par cured pork. “According to [the perp], his purposes were altruistic,” a police official said. “He wanted the public to get good bacon.” [Consumerist]

Diving for Dinner: Diners in Brooklyn, NY are taking to dumpsters to find fresh ingredients. The food-scavenging collective, called Grub, meet bi-monthly to prepare a communal meal made from goods waiting to be tossed. “It’s a way to feed a lot of people for free,” one dumpster diver told the Times. “And it’s a way to raise awareness of the way food is wasted.” [New York Times]

Here’s our round-up of food news, trends and happenings across the web. Check back for more, and tell us what else you’re loving in the comments.