by Amy Reiter in News, September 22nd, 2014
by Amy Reiter in News, September 19th, 2014
Just a few years ago, you’d frequently find yourself, after being seated at a restaurant, perusing a menu the length of War and Peace, its pages packed with offerings borrowing from a host of cultures and cuisines, yet customized (not to say watered down) to suit American palates.
Eateries tried give us everything. But what they really gave us, we have since collectively decided, was entirely too much. And as we Americans became more food savvy, we began to suspect that restaurants, in trying to do so many things, were likely not doing any of them particularly well.
According to The Washington Post’s Wonkblog, many chain restaurants, including the International House of Pancakes, Tony Roma’s, Olive Garden, McDonald’s and Burger King, have noted customers’ distaste for epic menus and begun to scale back their offerings.
by Maria Russo in Events, News, September 17th, 2014
It probably seems to most of us like prices go in only one direction: up. But guess what? Though anyone feeding a family on a budget may find it hard to believe, food prices have actually gone down in the past few years. Yup, for real.
According to the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization, the cost of food around the world has fallen to its lowest level since September 2010. In August 2014 the FAO’s food price index declined for the fifth straight month, with every category of food — except meat — heading downward.
by Amy Reiter in News, September 17th, 2014
It was 1994 when fans first met Chandler, Joey, Monica, Phoebe, Rachael and Ross, the six now-beloved friends who made up the heart of the cast on NBC’s Friends. Over the course of a decade, fans watched as this tight-knit group took their places on a cozy orange couch in the coffee shop downstairs to navigate their 20s before ultimately saying goodbye to them as 30-year-olds settled into their careers and relationships in the Big Apple. Although the show took place in New York City, James Michael Tyler, who played Gunther, the wonderfully awkward barista at the Central Perk coffee shop, revealed that the set was located in sunny Los Angeles. Now, however, 10 years since Friends’ finale, Central Perk is finally getting its chance to shine on the streets of Manhattan as Warner Bros. Television Group, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and Eight O’Clock Coffee team up to launch a Central Perk pop-up shop in the SoHo neighborhood.
Beginning today through October 18, fans of Friends in New York City can visit Central Perk and take in the sights and sounds of the cast’s cherished hangout spot for themselves. Complete with the same orange couch and gilded espresso machine that were featured on the Central Perk set, plus more original memorabilia from the show, like Monica and Chandler’s wedding invitation and Phoebe’s guitar, the pop-up Central Perk is located at 199 Lafayette Street and will be serving free cups of Eight O’Clock Coffee daily. Not located in New York? Look out for Eight O’Clock Coffee’s limited-edition Central Perk roast at grocery stores near you or online.
by Amy Reiter in News, September 13th, 2014
What do Edna Lewis, Julia Child, James Beard, Felipe Rojas-Lombardi and Joyce Chen have in common? Well, yes, they were all famous chefs. But what else do they have in common?
They’re all getting their faces on stamps! On Sept. 26, the U.S. Postal Service will launch a new, limited-edition series of Celebrity Chefs “Forever” stamps featuring portraits of five late, lamented kitchen luminaries whom USPS Director of Stamp Services Susan McGowan has called “pioneers.”
While food has been featured on stamps since way back in 1995, when letter senders could plaster peaches on their envelopes, it’s the first time food personalities have been so honored, Today.com notes.
by Amy Reiter in News, September 10th, 2014
If you’ve ever had your sandwich or leftover pasta stolen from the company fridge by some scoundrel without a scrap of morals or shred of sympathy for your growling stomach, you’ll want to check out this hilarious series of photos telling the episodic, presumably satirical story of an office sandwich stealer and his hapless, hungry victim, posted on CollegeHumor.com.
Initially, the Internet seemed unsure that the epic exchange of notes hadn’t actually happened, but one commenter did a fine job summing up the most-likely verdict: “Fake, yet based in reality, which helps make it funny.”
by Amy Reiter in News, September 9th, 2014
There’s little with quite the same down-home charm as a lineup of prize-winning pies proudly on display at the local state fair. With one slice removed for the judges to consider, these gleaming, golden-crusted goodies seem to offer a glimpse into a simpler time, when people took it slow and baked things from scratch rather than rushing through their recipes with store-bought shortcuts.
At least, that’s how it’s supposed to be.
This year’s Kentucky State Fair, which ran through last week, was hit with a pie scandal after 67-year-old retired factory worker Linda Horton, who took home the blue ribbon in this year’s buttermilk pie competition, told the Louisville Courier-Journal she used a store-bought crust to make her prize-winning pie, rather than baking her own.
by Amy Reiter in News, September 8th, 2014
Shopping for avocados at the supermarket can bring on sticker shock. But when the guacamole itch strikes, you’ve just got to scratch it, right?
Some sticky-fingered guac lovers in South Australia have apparently taken matters into their own hands, sidestepping the produce aisles and going straight to the source. Authorities say an estimated 1,500 kilograms of Hass avocados were stolen straight off about 22 trees — stripping them bare — on a property in the town of Barmera in South Australia’s Riverland region.
by Amy Reiter in News, September 5th, 2014
Brisket, that slowly cooked, soft-to-slice, sometimes stringy staple of your grandmother’s holiday table, humble and homey as it is, has been known to capture occasional media attention. President Obama serves it every Passover at the White House Seder, after all. Now barbecued brisket, of which the POTUS is also an apparent fan, is enjoying a moment in the spotlight.
New York Times food writer Julia Moskin recently observed that New York food obsessives, currently in the throes of a love affair with barbecued meats like “brisket, beef ribs and spicy beef sausage … turned out in authentic fashion,” are zeroing in “on brisket alone,” and giving it their own city twist by serving it “in untraditional sandwiches or with more up-to-date side dishes.”
by Amy Reiter in News, September 2nd, 2014
Even the most devoted chocophiles among us may not rush to splash out $23,240 on a toilet made of chocolate, but we may be gratified to know that, if the urge struck, we could.
The self-described “chocoholics” behind U.K.-based online retailer Bathrooms.com are offering a 980,000-calorie loo as part of a 100-percent-Belgian-chocolate bathroom suite that also includes a $11,620 chocolate bidet (210,000 calories), $14,940 chocolate sink (210,000 calories) and – the piece de resistance – an $82,990 chocolate bathtub (8 million calories!). They’re all available individually or as a set ($132,790) by special request via Bathroomsweets.com.
Rooting around in your sock drawer probably doesn’t make you hungry, but it might if you stocked it with socks that look like sushi.
Yup. Feast your eyes on Sushi Socks. Rolled up, they look remarkably like giant versions of the stuff your local sushi restaurant would present to you on a platter. (Deluxe, natch.) Unrolled, they’re a bit more like sashimi.
Tokyo Otaku Mode Premium Shop, which sells the Japan-manufactured polyester-cotton-blend socks for $5.39 a pair and $28.99 for a six-pair set and ships internationally, touts them as “comfortable and durable,” noting, for those as particular about their socks as they are about their raw fish, that the “sushi detail is knitted into the sock with colored thread instead of being printed.”