by Amy Reiter in News, September 9th, 2014
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.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 28th, 2014
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.”
by Heather Ramsdell in News, August 28th, 2014
Aside from the regional pizza wars that periodically flare up like the flames of a brick oven and the occasional eating-method controversy, most of us probably don’t pause too often to carefully consider our pizza. We just enjoy it. But a research team has recently taken a good hard look at the various cheeses with which we may top our pies in an attempt to pinpoint — with scientific precision — which of them performs best during baking.
In a new study published in the Journal of Food Science, chemical and materials engineering professor Bryony James and her team at the University of Auckland in New Zealand evaluated the performance of seven different cheeses — mozzarella, cheddar, Colby, Edam, Emmental, Gruyere and provolone — in terms of composition and functionality, using a new technique to assess differences in the way they browned and blistered when baked on pizza.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 27th, 2014
Bologna is coming back. Not even ironically. I know this because when I say “bologna sandwich” within earshot of my colleagues*, a lot of feelings come out. And nothing goes better with feelings than garlicky, pink meat circles.
A recent bologna poll I conducted** yielded nearly unanimous “yays and a bunch of exclamation points.” One colleague said “aw,” as if spying an infant hamster sleeping in a sugar bowl. But just because bologna gives us a distant expression and makes us talk in past tense doesn’t mean it’s stuck back there.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 25th, 2014
Most of us probably don’t think of lobsters as coming in a variety of ultrabright colors. And, in fact, they usually stick to pretty much the same old muddy olive-brownish palette, at least until they cook up bright red. So imagine the surprise of Maine lobsterman Jay LaPlante and his 14-year-old daughter, Meghan, of the Miss Meghan Lobster Catch company, when they discovered this 2-pound bright-blue critter in one of their traps on Saturday morning.
Blue lobsters are extremely rare, occurring only about once in every two million lobsters, according to National Geographic. Their peculiar coloration results from a genetic defect that propels the excess production of a particular protein.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 21st, 2014
What will the stars and suits behind Breaking Bad, Downton Abbey, Mad Men and the other Emmy-nominated shows be dining on at the 2014 Emmy Awards Governors Ball on Monday night after the big ceremony?
Winners will celebrate, and those without statuettes will compensate with a sumptuous three-course meal featuring local seasonal vegetables and a fresh take on meat and potatoes. The food selections will highlight a variety of hues in keeping with the evening’s theme: a “Kaleidoscope of Color.”
The 3,800 assembled guests will start with a Grilled Peach and Heirloom Tomato Salad featuring little gem lettuce, candy-striped figs, Burrata cheese, Vidalia onions, a honey-lemon vinaigrette and toasted Marcona almonds, all seasoned with fleur de sel, peppermint and basil.
by Amy Reiter in News, August 20th, 2014
Do you long for a tidier life, a greater sense of control? Don’t we all. The secret, a recent post on NPR’s The Salt suggests, may lie in organizing like a chef.
Chefs approach their kitchens following a system called mise en place, a French phrase that means “to put in place.” Before chefs start cooking, they spend time painstakingly gathering and arranging their ingredients and tools — that way they know where everything is and it’s ready for them when they reach for it. It is, many chefs believe, the key to cooking well — and some suggest it is also the key to living a well-ordered life. Some even refer to it as their religion.
“I know people that have it tattooed on them,” Culinary Institute of America student Melissa Gray told NPR. “It really is a way of life … it’s a way of concentrating your mind to only focus on the aspects that you need to be working on at that moment, to kind of rid yourself of distractions.”
We may not always be proud of it, but many of us spend our lives glued to our smartphones: texting friends, keeping up with news, making sure our bosses don’t need us right this very second. We’ve become so attached to those alluring little screens, in fact, that we often forget to stop and smell the coffee — or interact with our server — when we dine in restaurants.
Think no one notices when you surreptitiously reach for your phone in those quiet moments after you first sit down, when you’re probably supposed to be looking at your menu, or while you’re waiting for your food to arrive or your friend to come back from the bathroom — or even when you’re in the middle of your meal? Guess what? Someone notices. That person is your server.