All Posts In News

White Chocolate: Do You Love It or Hate it?

by in News, November 3rd, 2014

White ChocolateIt may be said — by those who like to make such pronouncements — that the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who like white chocolate and those who passionately argue that it has no business calling itself chocolate at all.

Is there any way to bridge the divide? Well, maybe. Here are a few white chocolate facts perhaps we can all agree on:

1. Some countries don’t classify white chocolate as chocolate – because it contains no cocoa solids.

2. In particular, it does not contain chocolate liquor, the pure product made from the ground or melted center, or nib, of the cocoa bean that gives dark and milk chocolate their chocolatey taste.

3. It does, however, contain cocoa butter, along with milk solids, sugar, lecithin and flavorings, like vanilla.

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The Charlotte Hornets Build a Buzz with a $70 Burger

by in News, November 2nd, 2014

The Charlotte Hornets Build a Buzz with a $70 BurgerAnyone going hungry (like, really, really hungry) to watch a Charlotte Hornets game at the basketball team’s home stadium, Time Warner Cable Arena, might want to take a pocketful of cash.

The arena’s executive chef, Aaron Cox, has introduced some fancy new food items he presumably hopes will be a slam dunk with fans this season, including a Buffalo bacon corn dog and an in-house-smoked brisket sandwich, SB Nation reports.

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Support Your Favorite Soup

by in News, November 1st, 2014

Tomato SoupSuddenly, it’s soup season. As the weather turns chilly and we begin to scrounge around in the backs of our closets for a pair of gloves that match (or, forget matching – one for each hand) and a warm hat, we may also begin to feel a deep urge to dip into one of our favorite soups. When it comes to soup, we all have our favorites, as well, perhaps, as our personal lists of the ones that, for whatever reason, we’re just not that into.

Recently, a writer on Jezebel posted a highly idiosyncratic personal ranking of soups, appropriately filed under “totally arbitrary rankings.” Whether or not you agree with the writer’s opinions (his top four: Lobster Bisque, French Onion, Cream of Crab, Tom Kha Gai) or admire his alternately amusing and perhaps a bit too salty turns of phrase, you have to concede that a ranking of soup is a delicious idea. (Note that others have done it before, with markedly different results.)

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New App Aims to Predict Your Next Favorite Beer

by in News, October 31st, 2014

BeerSoon, when you’re ordering a beer at a bar or restaurant, you won’t need to ask your bartender or server for a recommendation. Neither, when you’re scanning the store shelves in search of a six-pack perfectly suited to your taste, will you have to make a split-second decision based on label alone.

We’ve all had memorable instances when we’ve plunked down our hard-earned money for a beer that sounded cool but left us cold. But there’s a new free app in the works that will take the guesswork out of beer buying.

A Wilmington, N.C.-based company called Next Glass is currently putting in the legwork to scientifically map the DNA of every single kind of beer sold in the United States in order to scientifically determine — based on beer you’ve liked in the past — what beer you’re likely to enjoy next. The app’s tagline: “It used to be subjective. Now, it’s personal.”

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This Massive Pumpkin Pie Required 40 Chefs and Two Excavators to Make

by in News, October 29th, 2014

Pumpkin PieAnyone waiting for the Great Pumpkin to arrive this year can at least settle for a great big pumpkin pie.

Chefs in Changsha, China, recently baked a 1,894-pound pumpkin pie measuring more than 13 feet in diameter. According to China View, the pie — which, judging from this video, doesn’t appear to have much in the way of crust — was steamed in a gigantic pan that had “eight burners working simultaneously.”

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Best Hack Ever: Icemaker Turned Candy Dispenser

by in News, October 27th, 2014

CandyBracing for the onslaught of itty-bitty bite-size Halloween candy that’s about to descend upon your home? Dreading the kitchen-storage issue it presents and wondering precisely how to portion it out to your children (and OK, sometimes, when no one’s looking, yourself)? Then this cool refrigerator hack will not leave you cold.

A Redditor named Deric Peace has turned his refrigerator’s automatic icemaker into a frozen candy dispenser: All he did was put candy where the freshly made ice usually goes. (Important note: Be sure to turn off your freezer’s ice-making function before attempting this.)

Peace, who calls the hack the “best thing” he’s ever done for himself, told Reddit commenters the idea came to him “in a flash,” explaining, “I thought of it while grabbing my last bit of Peanut Butter M&M’s from the bag, and as I looked at the freezer door, I said, hmmm. If this thing spits out cubes of ice, why not candy?!”

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Fruit Flies: Where They Come From and How to Banish Them

by in News, October 26th, 2014

FruitUgh. Fruit flies — so annoying. All it takes is one forgotten banana or neglected tomato and suddenly the airspace in your kitchen is more crowded than O’Hare on a holiday weekend. The little flying pests seem to arrive and multiply out of nowhere, leaving you wondering where, exactly, they come from and what is the best (and fastest!) way to get rid of them.

Let’s take those questions one at a time.

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Another “New Cronut”? Why Knot?

by in News, October 25th, 2014

Garlic KnotsYou’re probably pretty sick of hearing about whatever food trend seekers are currently dubbing the “new Cronut.” I know I am. But the latest food item upon which the label has been bestowed does sound rather tasty, though it has nothing to do with Dominique Ansel, the New York City pastry chef who created the croissant hybrid — the original Cronut — that started it all.

OK, OK, “the latest croissant hybrid that actually deserves a line around the block,” as Brooklyn Magazine describes it, is at the epicenter of self-aware Brooklyn hipsterism — Bushwick — and, more specifically, Roberta’s, maker of delish (albeit ultra-hyped) artisanal pizzas, which just started a takeaway outlet for those hoping to skip the long waits for a table. But the local mag calls the takeout joint’s new garlic knots “revelatory.”

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Rice: A Side Dish Takes Center Stage

by in News, October 23rd, 2014

Easy Parmesan For most of us here in the United States, rice may not always have seemed like the most-inspiring food: Plain, white, bland, sometimes mushy, the stuff our mothers served us was something we may have eaten with little relish. (Sorry, Mom.)

Recently, however, rice’s rep has been changing. Increasingly, American consumers’ palates are expanding to encompass more sophisticated (and more expensive) varieties — like jasmine, basmati, brown and black rice, wild rice, red rice and other exotic blends. Rice sales are growing, the Wall Street Journal reports, and while white long-grain rice is still preferred by many, “specialty” rice is starting to soak up more of the market.

So what, exactly, is driving this trend toward exotic grains? Factors may include our growing interest in foods that are “authentic” and unusual, as well as our desire to make healthier choices — opting for varieties that are higher in fiber or protein, according to the Journal. Plus, the fact that rice is gluten-free probably isn’t hurting sales, given the current popularity of avoiding the protein found in wheat and many other grains.

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Portable Espresso Maker Delivers a Shot of Caffeine with a Few Quick Pumps

by in News, October 22nd, 2014

MinipressoYou’re sitting in your office, your car, a hotel room or the middle of nowhere, or you’re on a biking or camping trip — or heck, you’re just lounging around at home — and you crave an espresso, bigtime, but you’re too far from a fancy machine to make you one. What do you do?

A startup industrial design firm in Hong Kong, Wacaco, is now offering a new way to answer that question: a small, hand-powered portable espresso machine that allows people to “pull their own drink on the go,” the Minipresso.

According to the Minipresso website, the cleverly designed DIY machine extracts at 116 psi, which, the site says, “is exactly the pressure produced by traditional piston-driven espresso machines.” Temperature has also been carefully considered. “Minipresso produces at ambient condition (75 degrees F), an espresso at perfect temperature (152 degrees F in cup) with a nice compact and persistent crema on top,” the machine’s makers maintain.

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