August 2009

In Memory of The Silver Palate's Sheila Lukins

"She introduced me and millions of others to capers and balsamic vinegar and crème fraîche." Julia Moskin has a pretty good obituary about The Sliver Palate's Sheila Lukins in today's New York Times. What is your favorite Silver Palate recipe? Mine is her puréed broccoli with creme fraiche, which my wife just loves. I can't say I knew Shelia well. I would see her at parties and restaurants and exchange small talk. But when we first met, I told her my wife and I still used the Silver Palate cookbooks on many occasions, especially when having company over for big meals like Thanksgiving. She seemed to appreciate that, though I'm sure she had heard it a million times from people.... More

Market Scene: Prudential Center Farmers' Market, Boston

Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, we hear from Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of BostonZest. [Photographs: Penny Cherubino] This May, a new farmers' market began operating on the plaza in front of Boston's Prudential Center. As a recent Boston Globe article put it, "Normally, farmers seek markets where they can sell their wares. In Massachusetts, the markets are hustling to find the farmers." Prudential Market founder Dave Gilson of Gilson Family Herb Enterprises was able to recruit the farms he needed. Last week he said he is pleased to have a great mix of vendors... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Monday (August 31) Good Eats (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Head Game." Alton takes a close look at cabbage. (repeat) 8 p.m. ET, Food Network Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Burning Questions." Tony answers viewers' top ten questions. 10 p.m. ET, Travel Channel Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives: "Only at This Joint." Guy is at eateries where they do one of a kind favorites. He'll be in Portland at a BBQ... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Cooking with Magnets: The stove isn't the focal point at Alinea. [Gizmodo] Zapping Veggies: How a microwave affects the nutrients in a veggie. [NYT] Squirrel Hunting: Squirrel season kicks off this week—grab a gun! [BFP] Jamie Oliver's Cafeteria: The celebrity chef inspires new UK school lunch standards, including fewer deep-fried foods and fizzy drinks. [Independent] Prisons > Hospitals: Apparently the food for jailbirds is better than what's served to patients. [BBC] Goat-Off: The 36th Annual World Championship Goat Cook-off is this weekend in Texas. [Go San Angelo] Doomed Dairy Farms: A sad time for cows and cow lovers. [SLO]... More

Last Week's Contest Winners

Cook the Book: Bite-Size Desserts: cochon, lscrabtr, littlemissnom, Brownie, and suthungirl. Winners have been notified by email and also appear on our Contest Winners page. Thanks to all who entered.... More

Recap: City Flavors Couple-It Feast at Blackbird in Chicago

We came, we ate, we drank tea, it was all good. Thanks to the good folks from Serious Eats partner Gold Peak Iced Tea, 175 Chicago-area serious eaters gathered last night at Blackbird, one of my favorite Chicago restaurants, for a seriously delicious repast prepared by Mike Sheerin, the restaurant's chef de cuisine. Sheerin, aided and abetted by Blackbird's chef-owner partner Paul Kahan, served up five incredible nibbles, each paired with a different Gold Peak Iced Tea flavor. Everyone had a blast. Robyn Lee and I really enjoyed meeting some of the thousands of Chicagoans that comprise the Windy City's Serious Eats community. We got lots of great Chi-town food intel, which I cannot wait to make use of during... More

In Season: Eggplant

[Flickr: srqpix] While most of us are familiar with the large, purple variety of eggplant, the award for most twee specimen goes to the Fairy Tale eggplant. They are so small, you can roast them whole, making them in a snap, bypassing the salting step. If you're in the mood for a more substantial vegetarian dish, eggplant is a star with its substantial, meaty flesh. Pureed, the vegetable also makes for a great dip or spread à la baba ghanoush. Look for firm eggplants with a smooth texture and unbroken skin. Store them in a cool, dry environment, but put them in a warmer section (the front) of the fridge if you're not going to eat them within a... More

Street Food Profiles: Chef Shack in Minneapolis, Minnesota

Note: Since this street food trend is getting a little out of control, we're going to spend every Monday getting to know different vendors from all over. This week in Street Food Profiles, we scoot to the Twin Cities. Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson. [Photographs: Chef Shack] Name: Chef Shack Vendors: Chef Lisa Carlson and pastry chef Carrie Summer Location and hours: The Mill City farmers' market on Saturdays from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. and the Kingfield farmers' market on Sundays, same times. We also do block parties, festivals, and special events in and around Minneapolis from April until November each year. Tempura-fried soft shell crab What's on the menu? Beef tongue tacos, bison burgers, veggie-walnut burgers, pulled pork... More

Cook the Book: 'Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book'

Labor Day is just around the corner, which means the last hurrah of summer barbecues. We thought this week would be the perfect opportunity to feature Big Bob Gibson's BBQ Book, a cookbook from the barbecue legend Big Bob Gibson. Here's a little background on Big Bob: Bob was a big guy from Decatur, Alabama, with a natural talent for grilling. Back in 1925 he started serving barbecue out of a pit he dug in his backyard. People flocked from miles around, and his backyard barbecue eventually become so popular, he was able to quit his railroad job and open up a brick-and-mortar restaurant. Since then Big Bob's has become a barbecue institution, with locations throughout Alabama and the Carolinas.... More

Video: Little Gordon Ramsay Is Sick of Hydrogenated School Cafeteria Sausage

We met Little Gordon, a munchkin doppelganger of the brutish British chef Gordon Ramsay, last year. Though a few feet smaller, Little Gordon tells it like it is, not afraid to pull out the bleepable words when he's handed subpar food. Poor Margaret, an otherwise jolly-looking lunch lady, feels the wrath of Little Gordon when he goes into a tizzy over the cafeteria sausage. The video, after the jump.... More

Riding the Eurostar for the Food

"The menu fit in perfectly with my ideal of old-fashioned romantic trains." [Flickr: takaki] You know how you’re supposed to book your ticket in advance when vacationing? Way in advance? To pay less? I have a terrible confession—I wait. Well, I wait, on purpose, when I am traveling from London to Paris. [Other photographs: Kerry Saretsky] I wait, just long enough, because I play a game with myself. At a certain point on the Eurostar, the lowest fare tickets will soar in price but the leisure class stays the same, quite low in fact—only a couple of pounds more than the economy. That’s when I buy. Because, truth be told, of the food. I suppose being born in the 1980s... More

Meet Your Farmers: Ron Binaghi of Stokes Farm, New Jersey

Note: Meet Your Farmers is a weekly series where we profile the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. This week we catch up with our pal Ron Binaghi. [Photographs: Erin Zimmer] Name: Ron Binaghi Farm: Stokes Farm How many acres? 17 Your crew: Four full-time and three part-time at the farm Hours: We work about 60 to 85 hours between Monday and Saturday, and rest on Sunday. What you grow: Tomatoes (nine kinds of heirloom), eggplant (eight kinds), peppers (mostly Hungarian yellow), Persian cukes, kirbies, zucchini (round zucchini, yellow long zucchini, and others), lettuce, asparagus, strawberries, onions, basil (five kinds), radish, cilantro, potato, and assorted herbs (five acres full).... More

A Soggy-Resistant Biscuit May Change Dunking Technology

[Daily Mail] If you've been losing sleep over the soggification of biscuits after dunking them into hot beverages, you're in luck. Felice Tocchini of the Fusion Brasserie restaurant in Worcester, England, claims he's created a state-of-the-art biscuit able to survive up to one minute in a hot drink before disintegrating into mushy bits. According to Daily Mail, the current record is 25.5 seconds for a chocolate digestive. Tocchini spent three weeks testing ingredients. Key factors included the layering of flour and oat-based doughs to build strength, adding sweet potato slivers to hold everything together, and coating the biscuits with an egg-based glaze before baking. According to Dr. Len Fisher, who wrote How to Dunk a Doughnut, dunking releases up... More

Snapshots from Paris: Lobster Sandwiches and Goose Fat Fries at Spring

The best lobster roll I've ever had. [Photographs: Kerry Saretsky] I’m a New Yorker, so I know that no matter where I am, if people are lining up to eat, it probably won’t be that long until I’m lining up to eat there, too. And so it was that while I was living in Paris this summer, I lined up to eat at Spring. Except, happily, all the waiting was done while I was asleep. Every Saturday, Daniel Rose turns, or I should say turned (I’ll explain later) his tiny Montmartre outpost, known for its never-the-same-twice menu, into a one-trick pony: lobster sandwiches, goose fat fries, and Champagne. Thanks to a very Paris-savvy friend and eating partner who informed... More

This Week in Eating Out

[Robyn Lee] Confuzzled in Brooklyn: Learn from our mistakes, choose wisely at Rye in Williamsburg, and you're in for a good meal. Worth the Wait:Bari Foods in Chicago has a painfully inefficient sandwich system, but the extra love and care make the sandwiches extra special. A Taste of Home: Finally, a place in Florida with bagels just as good as those in New York? Brooklyn Water Bagel Co. has fulfilled the wishes of many longing transplants. TastyKakes Find New Life: Next time you're at Squareburger in Philly, try their Cake Shake: the best use of TastyKakes yet. French-Indian Mashup: Algerian eatery Zebda offers up pastillas, a sweet and savory combo for the ages, in Chicago. It only gets better... More

Video: Talking Soda Pop with John Nese of Galco's in Los Angeles

Cherry Coke Zero will sound pretty humdrum after you get a load of all 500-ish specialty sodas available at Galco's Soda Pop Stop in Los Angeles, a carbonation haven since 1897. Owner John Nese is very proud of his collection. Red Ribbon root beer is still brewed with sassafras root bark; Bubble Up is made with actual lemon and lime oils; Manhattan Special is a coffee soda that's been roasted in Brooklyn since 1897. Nese thinks diet sodas are for the birds, but admits that Stewart's Black Cherry isn't bad. This mini-documentary is part of Chow's Obsessives series. Watch it after the jump.... More

Alice Waters' Startup Story

[Credit: Wikimedia Commons] "Part of my philosophy is to try to give employees a great quality of life. My guiding principle is to put myself in their place and ask what I would find desirable in a job. That's why the waiters' changing room is just as beautiful as the Chez Panisse kitchen and bathrooms. I also feel that it's impossible for a chef to work productively six days a week. Chez Panisse chefs work three and are paid for five. This way they have a day to go to the market and get inspired to cook. It also gives them time to have dinners at home with their families." [CNN/Money]... More

This Week in Recipes

[Joshua Bousel] A Star Fowl: Who knew that you could get a "picture-perfect, mahogany-skinned bird" after only forty five minutes? Mexican Roadside Chicken with Green Onions, get thou to my plate! There's A Market in My Pasta: Pack every nook and cranny of your bowl with perfectly prepared goodies from the farmer's market in this Fresh Tagliatelle with Green Beans, Rainbow Chard, and Aged Goat Cheese. Pizza at Home: Finally, a Pizza Bianca worth making at home using an easy "stretch and fold" technique. Your Very Own Shaved Ice: Patbingsu is a lighter dessert for the few warm weeks we have left. To mix or not to mix? That is the question. Pass the Bottle, Please.: Need an excuse... More

Ten Steps to the Perfect Cheeseburger

Before you fire up the grill for one last summer cookout, check out these ten steps to the perfect burger from the blog Al Dente. The takeaways? Weigh your patties to ensure even portions (and therefore even cooking time), don't be afraid to salt, and follow what we'll call the 3-2-1 rule: Grill for three minutes on the first side, two minutes on the flip, add cheese, and cook for one minute more. Any more tips for grilling the perfect burger?... More

This Week's Tasty 10

According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ... 1. My Pizza Oven: Mark Wilkie, Windsor Terrace, Brooklyn The story of one man's pizza-oven construction project. "When we first started building the oven people thought we were building a bunker..." 2. Taste Test: Greek Yogurt "If you're really into that trademark sour Greek yogurt funk taste, go with Fage, whereas Chobani is best for intimidated beginners." 3. What Do You Eat for All-Nighters? "This year I find myself doing some late nights to get my medical school applications finished up. Since I work full-time and have a long commute, all my work kinda gets packed into... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Wino Literature: Six new wine books published this summer. [Epi-Log] Kings of Leon: The band's frontman will guest judge on Iron Chef. [UKPA] The Fruit Hunters: A new film based on the book about hippie-ish fruitarians and the noir-ish corporate fruit world. [NYT] Citrus Pest: California's $1.6 billion citrus industry is hurting. [AP] Eat with Fat Friends: A new study shows that people tend to eat similar amounts to that of fellow dining mates. [CT] Whole Foods Protest: About 50 picketers outside a new Manhattan store. [NYT] Soft Drink Restaurant: North Korea's new fast food offering burgers, waffles, fried chicken and yes, soft drinks. [Reuters]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekend Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Saturday (August 29) Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "The Secret to Grilled Salmon." Anne makes grilled salmon with lemon butter with lentils and salad for her mom. (repeat) 10:30 a.m. ET, Food Network 5 Ingredient Fix: "Dinner's in the Fridge." Claire shares recipes that can be served from the fridge. She makes pale broccoli soup, ginger poached salmon with lime basil cream, chilled peanut... More

Look Who's Talkin': Comments, Quips, and Tips We Have Known and Loved

There's so much going on in Talk week to week that we almost can't keep up. If you're in the same boat, here's a small selection of topics and responses that have piqued our interest this week. Do You Carry Around Your Own Condiments? "Only if I'm going out on a date." —onepercent99 Compiling Recipes for a Family Cookbook—Advice? Tips for moving the recipes from a box and into a book, this way» [©iStockphoto/paigemcfadden] "Add a shopping list for each recipe. It's helpful for folks who don't cook much, because not cooking also means not spending a whole lot of time in the grocery store. If you're going to include a recipe that has been passed around lots, check with... More

Limited Edition Strawberried Peanut Butter and Coconut M&Ms

"Other candies are actually junk food, while M&Ms are a superior gourmet experience." Strawberried Peanut Butter M&Ms If there are two things I love, it's peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and coconuts. Growing up, the only candy my mom was “OK" with me eating was M&Ms. I think it’s because she got to steal all the light brown ones. Remember those? Delightful. Her rule wasn't much of a rule anyway—they were always my favorites and still are. I'm a plain or peanut girl, sometimes dabbling in dark, but when I saw the Strawberried Peanut Butter and Coconut editions at the drug store, I actually yelped in delight and ran to the register. I loved them. Why? Because they're subtle. Isn't... More

Hot Dog of the Week: Depression Dog

"The Depression Dog is a unique Chicago treat full of history and terrific for anyone who doesn't want a salad-topped hot dog." Past Weeks' Dogs Papaya Dog24-Hour DogSlaw DogPuka DogThe Philly ComboTijuana Dogs When we think of a Chicago hot dog, we normally think of the classic dragged-through-the-garden jumbo dog piled high with various vegetables and neon green relish on a poppy seed bun. But a few old-school hot dog stands still serve what may very well be the original Chicago dog, what some refer to as the "Minimalist" or "Depression Dog." A Depression Dog features a regular-sized (eight per pound) natural casing all-beef frank instead of the jumbo (six per pound) dogs that often come on a standard Chicago... More

Video: Gingerbread Ed

Two adventurous gingerbread men emulate Sir Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay's historical first climb up Mount Everest in this animation promoting New Zealand's Bakery of the Year competition. Alas, it was all a dream...sort of. Watch the video after the jump.... More

A 24-Hour Excursion to the First Annual Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival in Burlington

"I've never tasted so many American cheeses in such a concentrated amount of time." Murray's Cheese successfully packed a group of 55 die-hard cheese fanatics from New York on a bus to Shelburne Farms outside of Burlington, Vermont, to the first-ever Vermont Cheesemaker's Festival this past Sunday. As one of the lucky passengers of this 24-hour fiesta, I have nothing but praise for the organizers of the trip, my fellow bus-riders, our bus driver John, and over fifty cheesemakers and artisan food producers at the festival. Though I've never considered myself a cheesehead, I've been known to attend a cheese tasting and class or two and am usually the one at the table to pick our cheese plate selections. I've... More

It's a Little Quiet in This Corner

Aww. These Talk threads have few or zero replies as of today. Anyone have anything to say? Gluten-Free in Columbus, Ohio? "...I was wondering if anyone has some favorite gluten-free recipes for breads or pastas or anything of that sort, or if you know of any gluten-free restaurants or bakeries in the Columbus, Ohio, area." What About One Restaurant Week Every Month? "I love Restaurant Week in Dallas and Fort Worth... With the terrible economy and people cutting back on fine dining, wouldn't it make sense for them to split up and have some restaurants do August and others do the other months that are slow?..." Looking for Lao Food in New York "...I've heard talk that some Thai places... More

Not Technically Food Books, But Books with Good Food Passages

From left: The 97th Step, Farmer Boy, and Tattoo. There are only so many paragraphs about marrow bones and congealing aspics a person can read. After a few hundred pages of gastro-literature, it's nice to return to other books that don't make you want to eat your hand. If you're ready to branch out into "normal" books, but don't mind a few sporadic stomach growls, check out this Metafilter thread. "I'm not particularly interested in novels about food; rather, I'd like to read more novels that are generally interesting and happen to include florid food accounts," says one reader. Others have poured in with ideas. The 97th Step is a sci-fi novel but the protagonist is a big gourmand.... More

Foodie vs. (Vegan) Foodie: Let's Stop Dropping Anvils Already

Note: We received this thoughtful essay on the perceived dichotomy between food-lovers and vegetarian/vegans from longtime Serious Eats community member KarynMC and thought we'd highlight it here. Take it away, KMC! —AK Interestingly enough, the very first installment of Spy vs. Spy was somewhat food-related. Whenever an article touching on vegetarianism or, worse, its shorter-lettered derivative, appears on a food-centric message board or in the mainstream press, the comments always follow the same lines: "PETA: People Eating Tasty Animals" "Vegans are soulless, self-absorbed idiots whose tastebuds have withered into nothingness." "Vegans are terrorists. Bacon-hating douchebag terrorists." The assumption? Those who love food cannot be vegan, those who are vegan cannot love food. Perhaps the attitude derives from the meat=masculinity=real food... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

10 Mayan Foods that Changed the World: Chocolate, vanilla, and corn are just a few of the important foods cultivated by the ancient Mayan civilization. [SFGate] Paella Party: Here are some tips for paella success in your kitchen. [Chicago Tribune] Eat Real Event in Oakland This Weekend: Eat Real is an outdoor street food event with free admission also featuring microbreweries and local farmers and artisans. [SFGate] World's Longest Dosa: A restaurant in Ahmedabad, India, made a dosa that's 32 feet and five inches long in less than 40 minutes. [The Times of India]... More

Words Made Out of Food

[We Make Words] We Make Words is a fun blog/art project dedicated to constructing words out of objects—including those of the food-related sort. Each new work is related to the previous one, as seen in the photographs above. [via swissmiss]... More

What's Inside a Slim Jim?

In case you were wondering what you're ingesting when bite into a Slim Jim, Wired explains the meat stick's ingredients. It's a glorious combination of beef, mechanically separated chicken, corn and wheat proteins, one-sixth of your daily sodium needs, and so much more. Mmm!... More

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Each week we round up our favorite posts and recipes from our friends at The Kitchn. This week, the Kitchn admits to five beers they love to hate. From Red Stripe's stubby bottle to the unrivaled champagne of beers. Also on the Kitchn, DIY microwavable mac and cheese, watermelon juice, a wearable stove, and spiffy new lunchboxes.... More

Make Custom Table Placemats with Inkjet Transfers

[Design*Sponge] How do you get that doughnut-strewn placemat you always wanted? Just make one yourself with iron-on transfer sheets! Design*Sponge has a tutorial that shows you how to do it. Print the images at actual size for the most realistic look. Related How to Make a Portable Picnic-in-a-Briefcase How to Make Nesting Doll Salt Shakers How to Make Fake Cupcakes... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Steels Herself for Canning Season with Canning Across America

Critic Turned Cook follows former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food critic Leslie Kelly on her journey away from the keyboard and into the kitchen. Take it away, Leslie! [Flickr:] If there's a silver lining in losing my dream job as a newspaper restaurant critic, it's that taking the Grand Canyon-size leap from the keyboard to the professional kitchen has made me a better home cook and caused me reconnect with my collection of cookbooks. (Like everyone else who swooned over Julie & Julia, I cracked open my dusty copy of Mastering the Art of French Cooking as soon as I got home from the movie. Admittedly, I'm still working up the nerve to try the duck.) But even though I get... More

Ted Kennedy, Going Out Strong

"As recently as a few days ago, Mr. Kennedy was still digging into big bowls of mocha chip and butter crunch ice creams, all smushed together (as he liked it). He and his wife, Vicki, had been watching every James Bond movie and episode of 24 on DVD." [New York Times]... More

Video: Moo and Oink Dance

If a cow and a pig had rap names, they'd obviously be Moo and Oink. They'd freestyle about chitlins, nuggets, baybeh baybeh baybeh spare ribs, and cube steak, and encourage audience participation, naturally. "Gimme a wave if you like catfish! Jump up if it's your favorite dish! Tommy likes ribs and chicken wingsssss. If you like them too lemme hear you scream!" Moo & Oink is an actual Chicago-based grocery chain and meat wholesaler with these two lovable mascots. (Pay special attention at about 0:20 when it gets all technofied. Turn it up!) The video, after the jump.... More

Curry Chicken Pastry and a Ramadan Cookie for All Times at Zebda in Chicago

Chef Katie Garcia, the former chef/partner of the celebrated BYOB Pilsen Mexican restaurant Mundial Cocina Mestiza, recently reinvented herself and opened a new Algerian take-out spot Zebda in Chicago's Irving Park neighborhood. From roast lamb to watermelon salad, literally everything at this spot is great. There are, however, two very special dishes. The first is a flaky pastilla, or sugar dusted pastry-like pocket filled with cinnamon spiced curry chicken, a killer savory sweet combo that tastes like what would happen if a French patisserie smashed in to an Indian buffet. However, if you’re trying to indulge your sweet tooth only, don't miss the orange flower water, honey, and sesame-coated flaky Ramadan cookies called hebakia. The crunchy and sticky treat was... More

The Best Baked Beans Ever from the Pioneer Woman

[The Pioneer Woman Cooks] When Ree Drummond of The Pioneer Woman Cooks says something is the best, I tend to believe her. Next time I want to make baked beans, I'll try this recipe for Quick Southern-Style Baked Beans from cookbook author Pam Anderson, which Ree declares "the best baked beans ever." In typical Pioneer Woman fashion, every step—from dicing the onions to layering bacon on top of the bean-filled casserole pan—is captured in a vibrant, mouthwatering photograph. Related Serious Heat: Spicy Baked Beans with Ease Dinner Tonight: Hickory House Baked Beans Boston-Style Baked Beans... More

Gadgets: The Original Muffin-Top Tin

I'm going to make a confession: when it comes to muffins, I'm one of those really strange people who almost prefers the bottoms. Almost. That may explain my reaction when I received a pan that specializes in making just the crusty, puffy tops: "Mini quiches! Dainty gratins! Individual fruit tarts!" The possibilities offered by the large bake-able wells seemed infinitely more diverse than just muffin tops, and I eagerly started compiling recipes that would fit the mold. In an attempt to eat dinner before dessert, I started with individual quiches loaded with baby spinach, Swiss cheese, and turkey bacon. By the time I'd layered my ingredients and was ready to pour in the egg mixture, a pang of skepticism... More

Watch It with Us: 'Top Chef Las Vegas,' Ep. 2

[] Tonight at 10 p.m. EST come join us as we watch the second episode of Top Chef Las Vegas. Expect Todd English as a guest judge, and a battle of the sexes for the Elimination Challenge. Jump in the comment thread as the episode unfolds. And if you need a refresher course on the sixteen chefs, check out our Episode One recap.... More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Unsung Heroes of the Kitchen

[Flickr: niznoz] Last week we asked you to make a dish using one of the Unsung Heroes of Your Kitchen. The challenge was to take humble ingredients such as carrots, celery, and onions and turn them into something spectacular. As expected, we got some pretty inspired responses. Here are some of our favorites: eggyzhe has made many pureed vegetable soups before but decided to give carrots a try over the weekend. The soup had a very pronounced carrot flavor that eggyzhe plans to incorporate into other recipes. cybercita has a top secret recipe for a carrot mold that tastes like a savory carrot cake. She can't share all of the ingredients but it does include grated carrots, flour, butter,... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Wine on the Rocks: Six wines with ice cubes—two tasted better afterward. [CT] RIP Edward Kennedy: In the 1970s, the late senator wrote the law creating Meals on Wheels, a meal delivery program for seniors. [LAT] Saveur 100: This year's list in the Jan/Feb issue will be completely made up of reader submissions. [MB] Local Food Hub: A new nonprofit aggregates produce from small farmers. [WP] Say Cheese: The first annual Vermont Cheesemakers Festival. [NYT] Nigella Lawson on Summer Foods: She loves her salty cheese, mint, and zucchini fritters. [NPR] Homo Gastronomicus: An interview with food anthropologist and Harvard professor Richard Wrangham. [Gourmet] Iced Coffee: "The lifeblood of tired men." [WP] That's Shallota Flavor Spaghetti: The top ten wackiest-named... More

Photo of the Day: La Tomatina, the Annual Tomato Throwing Festival in Spain

[Reuters] The famous La Tomatina festival, a tradition held on the last Wednesday of every August since the mid-1940s, took place today in Bunol, Spain. The epic tomato-launching battle all starts with truckloads of rotten red tomatoes and people prepared in bathing suits and goggles. Catapulting, chucking, and all forms of splattering ensues until 100 tons of tomato guts covers the small town. Related, Where Tomato Haters Unite How do YOU Make a Tomato Sandwich? [Talk] 'Oda al Tomate' by Pablo Neruda, an Ode to Tomatoes... More

Mario Batali's Jarred Pasta Sauces

"Usually I'm skeptical of celebrity-launched lines of anything, be they measuring cups or leggings." I know, I know. It’s so easy to make your own tomato sauce. I’ve heard everyone say it, from my mother to Rachael Ray. But the truth is, when I make spaghetti and tomato sauce, it’s the one night I take off from the kitchen. I don’t feel like doing anything but opening a box and a jar. And frankly, making tomato sauce may be easy, but making excellent tomato sauce is certainly and decidedly not. I believe strongly in jarred tomato sauce, if it's good. But I haven’t found my match on the supermarket shelves yet. I do love the pomodoro sauce from San Marzano,... More

Video: Chocorotica

"What is the almost magical appeal of chocolate? There's something in chocolate that makes one want to have a lot," declares the narrator in this video. Which is sort of funny because, if you watch this video, all your current and future chocolate cravings will probably be destroyed. Extreme close ups of poorly styled chocolate really hit the message home that chocolate looks a lot like poop. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Congress May Update School Lunch Nutritional Standards

President Barack Obama has proposed a $1-billion increase for the Child Nutrition Act, which lawmakers will consider this fall, according to the Los Angeles Times. The bill would allow the Department of Agriculture to update decades-old standards for vending machines, as well as the typical pizza and French fries sold in cafeterias.... More

Serious Heat: Peppercorns 101

Note: On Wednesdays, Andrea Lynn, senior editor of Chile Pepper magazine, drops by with Serious Heat. [iStockphoto: Juanmonino] Come on now, let's be adventurous. Why fill that pepper grinder with just black peppercorns when you can spice it up with a variety of options. Penzy's offers a great selection of mixed peppercorn blends. But how do you know the difference? Here's a breakdown: Black Peppercorns Grinding black peppercorns create a strong flavor, aroma and heat. Harvested before the berry is fully ripe, they are boiled briefly and then dried by machine or by sunlight (which causes the wrinkly skin). Most generic black pepper sold in grocery stores contains Brazilian black pepper that isn't as pungent as other varieties. Tellicherry Peppercorns... More

Spoof of 'The Raven,' About a Jug of Milk

[Amazon] If you struggled through the allegories and poetic structure of Edgar Allen Poe's The Raven in class, maybe you'll do better with the milk version. It's actually an Amazon product review for Tuscan Whole Milk that's been floating around the internet for a bit, but we still find it pretty funny. It starts: Once upon a mid-day sunny, while I savored Nuts 'N Honey, With my Tuscan Whole Milk, 1 gal, 128 fl. oz., I swore As I went on with my lapping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at the icebox door. 'Bad condensor, that,' I muttered, 'vibrating the icebox door - Only this, and nothing more.' The raven gets replaced... More

Photo of the Day: Maximus/Minimus's Pig Truck

[Flickr: capndesign] I spied this photo of Seattle's Maximus Minimus pig truck on my friend Matty's Flickr account. The menu there seems pretty simple: pork or vegetable sandwich with various add-ons (Beecher's handmade cheese, slaw, chips). Sounds delicious. I'm hungry. [Note to Erin: I think these folks should be our next Street Food Profile.]... More

New Study on the Massive Collapse of Honeybees

Nearly one-third of all honeybee colonies have collapsed over the last couple of years, hence the phenomenon's name, Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD). The issue involves more than just honey. As crop pollinators, honeybees provide a $15 billion value to U.S. farmers. According to Time, a new study shows that the guts of CCD-afflicted bees contain unusual fragments of ribosomal RNA. But good news: the disorder may be on a decline.... More

Serious Green: 6 Rules of a Good Farmers' Market

[Flickr: NatalieMaynor] There was a time when I cultivated tomatoes over acres, not in small pots on windowsills. I now make my home in Brooklyn and have no backyard, front yard, or rooftop to speak of. But in college I spent my summers riding in the back of pickup trucks; weeding fields; and selling tomatoes and peppers, blueberries and yellow squash at farmers markets' throughout the D.C. area. Back at school, friends and I yearned for food that didn't originate in the dining hall so we founded a highly successful biweekly farmers' market. I don't claim to have the wisdom of full-time farmers, but as a former farm worker and market manager, and as an active market go-er and... More

Chipotle Relaunches iPhone App

A new Chipotle-ordering iPhone App allows you to customize orders and even pay for your meal without pointing to a single salsa tub in line, according to Business Insider. Technically it's not new, but there were some previous kinks that should be gone now. Download it here.... More

Video: 'Bake and Release' PSA

"Please, bake us ... and let us go." Bake and Release is an animated PSA that seeks to alert viewers to the dangers innocent cookies face each day thanks to a condition you may be familiar with—sweet tooth. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Top 10 Food Finds at the Iowa State Fair

[Flickr: kirkmwilkins] Endless Simmer picks the top 10 food finds at the Iowa State Fair, which took place earlier this month. The finds include foods on sticks, fried food on sticks, butter sculptures, and whatever the mystery cake above is that unsurprisingly won a first place ribbon in the Ugliest Cake competition. Related In Videos: Foods on a Stick at the Minnesota State Fair Deep-Fried Coke at the State Fair of Texas What's Your Favorite Food on a Stick? It's Gotta Be Served at the Minnesota State Fair... More

Video: Latte Art by Søren Stiller Markussen

Søren Stiller Markussen is a world-renowned coffee artist who specializes in latte portraiture. He has to make each stroke for each face—everyone from Michael Jackson to David Beckham—within seconds, before the milk vanishes. (There are no white-out options in latte art.) Markussen's pieces will be on display at the Pallant House Gallery in West Sussex, England, until September 29. Watch him in action after the jump.... More

The 10 Worst Lunch Boxes Ever

Photograph: Justin Goeres from LAVA Cafe Society lists their picks for the 10 worst lunch boxes ever, but to my eyes they're 10 of the best lunch boxes ever! Then again, I say that never having to tote one with me to school. I don't recall growing up with lunch boxes proclaiming "DISCO" or "CAMPUS QUEENS" during my '90s childhood. And as much as I love "The Exciting World of Metrics," I can see why wielding it might make the owner a target of a swift beating. (On that note, check out Justin Goeres' photos of the lunch box, which show how supremely awesome it is. If you're not prepubescent.) Did you own any of these lunch boxes (or... More

Taste Test: Greek Yogurt

Greek yogurt is tarter than the average Yoplait, as thick as crème-fraîche, and packed with protein. Newbies have to work up to the tang but the hard-core Greek yogurt eaters can handle it straight up. We put our lactose tolerances on the line to find the best. More

Market Scene: Divisadero Farmers' Market, San Francisco

Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. Take us to market, Jen! [Okra soldiers from Short Night Farm; Jen Maiser] I am addicted to attending farmers' markets. The most recent proof was over the weekend: I had no intention of shopping for food yet I found myself wandering through the Divisadero Farmers' Market in San Francisco after breakfast. Though I am going out of town and didn't need anything in my fridge, I found myself buying just a bit of okra, just one nectarine, and just a couple tomatoes like an addict who needs a fix. I mentioned... More

Taste Test Week on 'Gizmodo'

It's "Taste Test Week" on the gadget blog Gizmodo. The lineup: Alinea partner Nick Kokonas on how he and Grant Achatz recruited the finest minds to create their tricky cuisine; Wylie Dufresne on his most intense and dangerous gear; Alton on home hacks that save time and money; cooking with magnets; the mysteries of self-heated food; the different ways to make coffee; and more.... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Pot Roast Sundae: Not on a stick, but still for sale at state fairs. [MSPBJ] Cat Food: Analysis of the aliens' diet in the movie District 9. [Freakonomics] L.A. Food Trucks Busted: LAPD issue citations for illegal vending.[LAT] Cooking Mama: One of the five best Nintendo DS games for iPhones. [CNET] Food Scraps: Leftovers from 2,300 Bay Area restaurants become renewable energy. [LAT] Local Food Law: Illinois may make it easier to find homegrown food. [CT] Back2School Lunches: From dinner leftovers to brown bags. [SFC] Tailgating Gear: Foldable picnic tables, coolers, couches, and more. [Epi-Log]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Monday (August 24) Good Eats (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Crustacean Nation III." Alton cooks with frozen crabs and other packaged products. (repeat) 8 p.m. ET, Food Network Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Montana." Tony visits ranchers, goes flyfishing, and has a manly conversation about meats. 10 p.m. ET, Travel Channel Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Global Grub." Guy checks out Scandinavian cooking in... More

Street Food Profiles: Brunch Box in Portland, Oregon

Note: Since this street food trend is getting a little out of control, we're going to spend every Monday getting to know different vendors from all over. This week in Street Food Profiles, we scoot to Portland. [Dave Seldom] Name: Brunch Box Vendors: Ryan Incles and Ariana Berry Location and hours: Downtown Portland on SW 5th Avenue in a parking lot between Stark and Oak. Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. What's on the menu? Breakfast sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers—some of which are strange. How many years have you been street-fooding? Since March 2, 2009, so 0.475 years. Is that right?... More

Brooklyn Water Bagels in Delray Beach, Florida

"Was it true? Had Florida really brought the water down from Brooklyn to make the bagels?" When my mom and I moved down to South Florida from Manhattan, we brought everything with us but the kitchen sink—and food. That, we figured, they’d have down there. Once we arrived, we dumped all our boxes in the garage, sat down, famished, and contemplated dinner. It was about an hour before we realized we’d left the only decent bagels, pizza, and Chinese take-out on the East Coast back in New York. Clearly, we hadn’t thought this thing through. “It’s the water,” my father told me. “You can't get a New York bagel outside of New York because you can’t get New York water... More

Cook the Book: 'Bite-Size Desserts'

Here's a familiar scenario: You are sitting at a restaurant with a group of friends just finishing a satisfying meal. Your entrees have all been cleared and the waiter approaches with dessert menus. Panic strikes, eyes dart around the table, everyone is full but dessert is appealing. It's no longer a matter of hunger—it's purely dessert curiosity. Clearly everyone at the table is dying to read the dessert menu but nobody wants to ask. Then the inevitable conversation starts: "I don't know, I'm pretty full...I really shouldn't." But then, hopefully, someone chirps up, "Well, I guess we'll take a look." As waiter and a diner, I've realized that once the menu exchanges hands, dessert is always ordered. Pastry chef Carole... More

The Fresh Label Tracks Food Expiration Dates

[TO-GENKYO] Spoon and Tamago's preview of the Good Design Awards features an expiration date label concept, Fresh Label, by Japanese design studio TO-GENKYO. The hourglass-shaped label would track a food's expiration date "by changing colors based on the level of ammonia the food emits as it ages." When the food has expired, the label would no longer readable. [via swissmiss]... More

Potato Crisps from Luxirare

[Luxirare] The problem with opening up food and fashion website Luxirare (the blog that brought you Pie Lollipops) is that one could easily spend days on end entranced by its incredible photo spreads. In this post on potato chips, we see the making of these stunning snacks in dozens of images—from paper-thin potato sheets to the red pepper, cilantro, and vanilla chips seen above. It's often said that food is a form of art; looking at these photos, it's clear that making it can be, too.... More

Meet Your Farmers: John Lee of Allandale Farm, Massachusetts

Note: Meet Your Farmers is a Monday morning series where we profile the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. This week, Penny Cherubino of BostonZest introduces us to John Lee. [Penny Cherubino] Name: John Lee Farm: Allandale Farm, "Boston's last working farm" in Brookline, Massachusetts How many acres? 30 Your crew: I manage two crews, one for production and one for market. Both crews are local. However, my field crew (many of whom have worked for me for many years) are almost all of Latino descent and have done farm work most of their lives. It is what they love to do, and we try to make it as easy and as much fun as possible. Hours:... More

RoyalTea, DemocraTea, and StripTea Bags

[] How often do you get to see Prince Harry bathing in hot water? Or the Queen just stretching out her arms? RoyalTea can change that with these tea bags inspired by England's royal family. Or if you're not feeling the monarchy, the DemocraTea and StripTea sets of five tea bag sachets (attached to the upper bodies of your favorite politicians and strippers, respectively) are also pretty great. [via conky] Related Tea Cup Stool Anyone got a good Chai recipe? [Talk] Video: How To Make a Solar Cell with Donuts and Tea... More

This Week in Eating Out

[Joe DiStefano] The Real Deal: Flushing's Hunan House offers up authentic Hunan cuisine, including a dish of pig ears that "melt on the tongue." Garlicky Residue is a Win: The burgers at Dino's Chicken and Burgers in Los Angeles get a delicious depth of garlicky flavor from sharing the grill with the famous chicken. 1/3 Fat=Good Ratio: Go for "pure street food gluttony" at the La Esquina de Sabor cart in Chicago. Pork hunks that are 1/3 fat are never not delicious. The Righteous Slice: If you find yourself in Martha's Vineyard this summer, hit up Joey's Pizza for the best slice on the island. Hot Dog Lovin': Bark Hot Dogs hits all the high notes with snappy dogs... More

Video: Marshmallow Murder

Roasting marshmallows seems like such a fun, innocent activity. Unless you're a marshmallow, in which case it's a lot of screaming-enhanced horror and body-melting pain. Good thing we're human! Watch the video after the jump.... More

The Joys of Bluefish

[New York Times] When I was about two years old, my favorite food wasn’t chocolate, or Cheerios, or anything else expected from a toddler. It was smoked bluefish pâté. During the summer in Massachusetts, when my parents and their friends would sit out on the patio with wine and hors d'oeuvres, I would crawl under the table and sneak off with the pâté—to devour with a spoon, out of adult sight, just me and the tub of seafood spread. Old habits die hard, and while I'll now give that pâté the dignity of a cracker to rest on, I still have a soft spot in my heart for bluefish. Sure, it’s a bit oily, a bit less delicate than... More

Cool Kitchen Stickers From Hu2 Design

[] Hu2 Design creates stickers that can be applied to walls, windows, furniture, or any other flat surface around the house. In the kitchen department, they've got some neato images of a corkscrew, plants, a fly swatter, and fridge contents. As a wee lass, I spent way too much money on stickers. Maybe it's time to readopt this financial approach. Related 'Print' Magazine's Food Issue Swissarmius, a Swiss Army Knife-esque Cutlery Holder Spilt Milk Cereal Bowl... More

Lamp Made of Drinking Straws

[Moco Loco] The Clutch Light by Scottish designer Scott Jarvie is made of hundreds of colorful drinking straws bundled together, based on the structural composition of trees. The resulting pattern looks pretty cool, or better put by Jarvie on his website: "The reflective inner surface of the straw transmits the light in a directional manner creating a jewelesque effect." [via Gizmodo] Related Lamps Made Out of Utensils and Cups A Lampshade Made Out of Bacon... More

This Week in Recipes

[Kerry Saretsky] Lamb Lollys: Sure, Grilled Lamb Chops with Port Syrup, Garlic Confit, and Sauce Vierge 'Persillade' may sound intimidating, but with Kerry by your side, there's no reason not to make this sumptuous dish. Summer's Still Here: In the last weeks of Augusta take advantage of the produce bounty and cool off with a Cool Summer Gazpacho. Pizookie Me!: Let there be pizookie for all! Part pizza, part cookie, and totally awesome, this sweet lovechild is good for you and your soul. Pop to the Top: Get healthy and delicious with lemon popovers that make "light, airy, and exemplary vessels for jam and honey." Sweet and Sour Jam: A double hit of sweet and sour notes in Onion... More

In Season: Corn

[Robyn Lee] Summer's coming to a close and what better way to enjoy it than with some fresh corn? Whether simply grilled or gussied up in salads, soups, and pastas, there're countless ways to use up the bounty. Fresh corn is notoriously short-lived; as soon as it's picked, its sugars begin to convert to starch. Less sugar means less of that delicate sweet corn flavor that everyone loves so use it as soon as possible after purchase. When picking corn, look for bright green, moist husks with a golden brown tassel and try to get a feel for plump, full kernels. Keep ears cool and moist and place in the refrigerator until ready to use. There are a variety... More

This Week's Tasty 10

According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ... 1. The Crisper Whisperer: Zucchini and Corn Fritters Rule the World. For Reals "Zucchini is the Brangelina of seasonal produce. It reproduces like mad and is inherently and unabashedly plural." 2. Caffeine and Calories Chart "The Buzz vs The Bulge from data visualization blog Information is Beautiful plots the calorie content of beverages against their caffeine content, along with a few common non-caffeinated foods to use for comparison." 3. Impromptu Taste Test: The Cult of Yakult "After tearing back the foil of a frosty Yakult straight from the fridge, I took a sip. Yakult has a very... More

I Want This: Ensaimadas

[Stephen Shull from The Eaten Path] Imagine a croissant, but made with pork fat instead of butter and topped with something sweet like powdered sugar, custard, or apricots. Apparently that's what an ensaïmade is like, a common pastry found in the Spanish island of Majorca. Stephen Shull fondly describes the pastry on The Eaten Path, specifically the one from Can Joan de s’Aigo, the oldest operating café and pastry shop in Palma. That's going on my list of "Pastries to Eat Before I Die."... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Should I Eat That? A special on food safety, from tainted peanut butter to bagged spinach. [KQED] White House Farmers' Market: Obama wants one. [HuffPo] Festival Roundup: From Washington's Lentil Festival to Virginia's Sweet Corn Festival. [Epi-Log] Bacon, Still Here: 100 ways to use a bacon strip. [Endless Simmer] D.C. Restaurant Week: Starts on Monday, August 24. Check out all the special menus. [Washingtonian] Whole Paycheck: More on the outcry against Whole Food CEO John Mackey's healthcare position. [SFC] Urban Blackberry Pickers: Seattleites are foraging in parks. [NPR] Street Vending 101: Three steps to starting your own food truck. [WSJ] SF Street Food Festival: A delicious block party this Saturday. [SFSFF]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekend Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Saturday (August 22) Secrets of a Restaurant Chef (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Braised Spare Ribs." Braised spare ribs, herb spaetzle, and panelle and shrimp salad. (repeat) 10:30 a.m. ET, Food Network 5 Ingredient Fix (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "No Cook Dinner." Claire shares four no-cook recipes. 12:30 a.m. ET, Food Network Giada at Home (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Dig in for a... More

Look Who's Talkin': Comments, Quips, and Tips We Have Known and Loved

There's so much going on in Talk week to week that we almost can't keep up. If you're in the same boat, here's a small selection of topics and responses that have piqued our interest this week. What All Can You Flambé? "Your kitchen, if you're not careful." —Lorenzo Gourmet Marshmallows: What to Do? The ultimate marshmallow roast. Is the Stay Puft man "gourmet"? [Screen cap from] "Roast them over a fire and eat them on their own. Or make them into a s'more, but go easy on the chocolate so as not to overwhelm the flavors. Use them as toppings for brownies. Melt the chocolate ones and put them into a peanut butter sandwich for a Fluffernutter. Use... More

Americans Bought 31 Million Pounds of Bison Meat Last Year

Bison meat is lower in fat and cholesterol than beef, plus it tastes "more intense and not at all gamey," said chef John Ash in this Seattle Times piece on bison's comeback. Last year, Americans bought double the amount of bison meat they bought five years ago. For more information on eating this shaggy brown animal, visit [via Girlhacker]... More

Hot Dog Of The Week: New York City's Papaya Dog

"If you're like me, you've always wondered what tropical fruit drinks have to do with hot dogs. But the strange combination surprisingly works." Past Weeks' Dogs 24-Hour DogSlaw DogPuka DogThe Philly ComboTijuana DogsTexas WeinersFlo's Hot Dogs New York City just might be the hot dog capital of the world. Ever since Feltman's started selling frankfurters on rolls on Coney Island in 1871, the hot dog has been part of the city's culture. Recently New York has become home to all sorts of variations including Kobe Beef dogs, Colombian hot hogs, and even lard-butter basted hot dogs covered in pork braised beans. It's hard to pin down one style as the classic, quintessential New York City hot dog, but The Papaya... More

Video: 'Don't You Put It In Your Mouth' PSA

If anyone can educate children to not put random things in their mouths, it's a singing duo of fuzzy, blue, demonic-looking puppets who don't have legs. Their message? If you want to put something in your mouth and you're not sure what it is, don't eat it unless a loved one tells you it's OK. And if for some reason you don't trust the words of the Blue Demon Siblings, the skinny lion puppet at the end should send the message home. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 81: A Frank Chat with Frank Bruni on Being 'Born Round'

"I was objectively chubby by age four, fat by age six, and was on the Atkins diet for the first time at age eight." --Frank Bruni Photographs by Robyn Lee For all of the serious eaters who overdosed on the hype surrounding Julie & Julia (hey, the back of my head was in the movie, so if I'm guilty as charged there's a good reason for that), I'm giving you a heads-up that the hoopla accompanying the publication of Born Round, now former New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni's memoir, is going to make Julie & Julia seem like it was an under-the-radar phenomenon. The book is in stores today, so let the Bruni media madness begin (it actually... More

Juustoleipä, an Excuse to Dip Cheese in Coffee

Do you like food you can't pronounce? Are you tired of biscotti? Behold juustoleipä, or leipäjuusto, a slab of Finnish "bread cheese" commonly cut into strips or cubes. Phyllis of Me Hungry! bought the Carr Valley Cheese brand at her local Wegmans and had some fun experimenting with it. When dipped in coffee, the bread cheese was "surprisingly good...took on a sweet profile...and it hardly melted at all." To clarify: this cheese does not actually contain bread. The curds, usually from cow's or reindeer's milk, are grilled or baked, which yields a brown, bread-like color.... More

Who Likes Grape Soda?

Mm, soda can sweat. I'm not a big fan of soda. Sort of. By that I mean don't drink it regularly and I'm not addicted to any one kind. (This is where some of my coworkers might point out that I'm the only one in our office drinking the free bottles of Mountain Dew Throwback sitting in a giant box on the floor,'s right there! And it's free! I wouldn't actually buy Mountain Dew. I think.) But there's something about grape soda that I really like, thus causing me to buy a can during my recent visit to Di Fara. Does it taste like grape? Hell no—it tastes like artificially flavored grape candy. In turn, grape candy reminds... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Starbucks Changing Prices: Over the next few months, Starbucks will be raising and lowering prices on some of their drinks. [The Seattle Times] Foragers in Seattle: Around the city, many people pick flourishing wild blackberries from parks and roadsides. [NPR] Jell-O Is Back: The "Rodney Dangerfield of desserts" is ready to get some respect. Here's an overview of the dessert, plus recipes. [Salon] Desserts Made with Meat: One example is the Turkish dessert tavuk göğsü, made of shredded chicken encased in sweet milk pudding. [The Atlantic] A Class on Leftovers: At his new cooking school in Paris, Alain Ducasse teaches a class on using leftovers. [Telegraph] The U.S. Enters the World Culinary Contest: This is the first time the U.S.... More

How to Make Hermits from CakeSpy

Serious Eats contributor Jessie Oleson shows you how to make a popular 1880s dessert, Hermits, on her blog, CakeSpy. She says that these cookies—flavored with coffee, cinnamon, and nutmeg—are rich, cakey, moist, and satisfying.... More

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Each week we round up our favorite posts and recipes from our friends at The Kitchn. This week, the Kitchn reveals a recipe secret for ice cream involving just one ingredient. Ridiculous, right? No intimidating ice cream makers needed either! Just freeze a banana, blend it all up, and bam. Somehow the result is rich, creamy ice cream. Also on the Kitchn, Southern cheese straws, advice for eating spicy foods, what rice to use in Mexican horchata, and a dessert version of balsamic vinegar.... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Bears Witness to Chef's Winning Ways

Rachel Yang assembling her dishes. Since coming out from behind my critic's cloak of anonymity, I've met a few chefs whose restaurants I’ve reviewed. There’s often that awkward pause during which I wonder whether they're going to stick a fork in me. Not so with Rachel Yang, the chef-owner of Joule, who said she was happy for us to finally meet. Yang and her husband/business partner Seif Chirchi came to Seattle a few years ago after working in New York for some of the biggest names in the business: Alain Ducasse (at the now-shuttered Essex House), Thomas Keller (at Per Se), and Daniel Boulud (at DB-Bistro Moderne). The French-Korean restaurant she helmed in 2007, the now defunct Coupage, was... More

New iPhone Application Lets You Virtually Grill Bratwurst

Swiss meat company Bell recently released a free bratwurst-grilling application for the iPhone where you blow into the microphone to simulate fanning the embers and touch the screen to move the bratwurst around the grill. When you're done cooking, you can email your virtual bratwurst to a friend, who will probably respond with, "What the hell is this for?" Ah, glorious technology. [via swissmiss] Related Locavore 2.0: A More Social iPhone Application for Local Food Shopping FarmFreshNYC: A New iPhone App for Finding Local Food Pizza Calculator Application for the iPhone... More

Creative Wine Labels

Photograph from Nine99 Design When I think of a wine label, I imagine an illustration of a French château with cursive lettering. Nothing wrong with that sort of label, of course—but it's not that interesting. Weburbanist shows the versatility of wine labels with their feature of 61 creative wine labels, from traditional to typography-centric to pop art. I'm a fan of the stylish Shefa Wine label made by Nine99 Design. Related Mad Manatee Beer from Bold City Brewery Cartons' Chemical Properties May Actually Improve Wine Don't Want a Whole Bottle of Wine? Try a Can... More

Video: The Making of a Threadcakes Cake

How to make a Threadcakes cake: get lots of fondant, make lots of cake batter, mold it and paint it look like a Threadless design, and, god knows how many hours later, you have an edible work of art! Oh yeah—you need to have pastry skills and artistic talent. Check out the making of this awesome Threadcakes cake based off the Sketchbook Life design, after the jump.... More

Taking My Life Into My Own Hands with Organ Meats at The Bristol in Chicago

"Chris Pandel might be the best organ meat chef in the city." Photograph of Chris Pandel from I’ve not been especially easy on The Bristol. In an old review, I accused them of cooking mediocre dishes, mixing terrible drinks, and ripping off other Chicago restaurants. Despite all of that, I'd been particularly intrigued by a plate of thinly sliced rare pork liver topped with bitter greens, toasted hazelnuts, sautéed chanterelles, and fennel vinaigrette from chef Chris Pandel that I ate during my review period. It was one of the best dishes I ate last year. Any displeasure I expressed towards the Bristol was a sort of a fatherly disappointment. In that one dish I recognized they could be so... More

Gadgets: The Goodbyn Back-to-School Lunchbox

Back-to-school shopping is usually all about the clothes, but for gourmands in the making the right lunchbox is just as important. In support of the Future Foodies of America (FFA), I decided to go on a serious hunt for the coolest, most epically awesome lunchbox I could find. What I discovered was a hell of a lot more fun than I'd ever imagined—in fact, the Goodbyn almost made me want to go back to school. Aside from having a really cute name, the Goodbyn features a smart design that's both practical and environmentally proactive—a tough combination to master given the reputation of eco-friendly products as sometimes underperforming or requiring more work compared to non-green counterparts. Besides being made of... More

'Top Chef,' Season 6: The Premiere

Photographs: And we're back—to a regular season of Top Chef. Uppity sous chefs, big personalities, cuddly Tom. After a summer of Kelly Choi, I'd never been so happy to see Padma strut onto the kitchen floor. But we're here for the contestants, and this season's pool looks like a tattoo-heavy, talent-heavy, fierce group of cooks. The line-up AND SPOILERS appear below, after the jump.... More

Watch It With Us: 'Top Chef Masters,' Episode 10, the Season Finale

Wow. A lot of Top Chef tonight. Such a weird double-header—the Top Chef Masters finale tonight almost seems anti-climactic after the season premiere of original Top Chef. I'm guessing a lot of you are sticking around to watch Chiarello, Bayless, and Keller battle it out for the win, though. If you are, join us here in the comments at 10:15 p.m. ET. It'll be an open thread—jump in with your observations or play-by-play as the episode unfolds. If you haven't read the infamous spoiler, who do you think's gonna take it? All five Top Chef champs will serve as guest judges. [Warning: Spoilers ahead! Do not scroll past any comments past 11 p.m.]... More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Too Hot

Photograph by Robyn Lee Well, it was hot when we purposed the idea for this past week's Weekend Cook and Tell, and now, a week later, it's even warmer. Last week's challenge was to attempt to beat the heat by making a meal without breaking a sweat or heating up your kitchen. We've received wonderful replies and recipes, both raw and cooked. Here are some of the coolest responses: Gentlyferal is the proud owner of a solar oven which was used to slow-cook kuri squash and make an onion-infused butter. Janaatwg likes to make cold vegetable-based soups using tomatoes that a neighbor sells. This neighbor must have had a pretty great crop because janaatwg made gazpacho three times last... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

What Would Brian Boitano Wear? Sadly, it won't be the red sequined skating outfit on his new cooking show. [WSJ] Greek Yogurt Obsessed: 14 things to do with it. [Epi-Log] Pixilated Bacon: Virtual cooking is huge on Facebook. [LAT] Cheap Vino: If you won't drink it, would you still cook with it? [CST] Beyond Sniffing Lavender: It's great in tea cakes and tarts too. [NPR] Victory Quack! Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck restaurant earned a perfect ten in the new Good Food Guide 2010. [Independent]... More

Fiji Water Responds to 'Mother Jones' Story

A post on the Fiji Water Blog attempts to answer the issues brought up in a recent Mother Jone article: "The real irony here is that the reporter suggests that buying FIJI Water somehow legitimizes a military dictatorship, when in fact the jobs, revenues, and community projects supported by FIJI Water are strong contributors to growth in the well-being of the Fijian people." Oh, and there's a Mother Jones response to the response in the comments of the Fiji Water Blog post. [via attgig]... More

Scientists Say Popcorn Is Good For You

Findings presented at yesterday's American Chemical Society's annual meeting said that popcorn might be good for you because they have been found to contain large amounts of polyphenols, antioxidants that are known to reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and cancer.... More

Preview of Tonight's 'Top Chef' Season Six Premiere in Las Vegas

Tonight is a double whammy night for Top Chef. Before the three remaining chefs compete on Top Chef Masters at 10 p.m., the sixth season of Top Chef (aka the original one) will premiere at 9 p.m. with seventeen new faces running around Las Vegas. Watch these two preview clips to get in the mood. Highlights include Tom Colicchio in a vest, one cheftestant thinking that shucking clams is synonymous with shucking oysters (ha! the nerve!), and scantily-clad Vegas dancers balancing intense feather headgear. Read all about the new cheftestants here. The videos, after the jump.... More

Video: Frank Bruni Reviews the Choco Taco

One major plus about Frank Bruni stepping down from his New York Times Dining critic position is he has more time to mull over pressing issues like the merits of a Choco Taco. (And we can even see his face while he does so!) When Bruni appeared on Nightline this week, he moseyed over to an ice cream truck to review everyone's favorite rhyming dessert taco. How many stars did the Brunmeister give it? The video, after the jump.... More

Nutella vs. Gianduia vs. Generic Brand Hazelnut Spreads

Nutella and gianduia (sometimes spelled gianduja) is kind of a Kleenex and tissues situation. Nutella is the brand-name for a more general Italian chocolate-hazelnut confectionery known as gianduia. Many people say that high-end gianduia, where hazelnuts make up at least 50-percent of the ingredients, is like an evening gown next to the ripped denim of Nutella, which averages at about 13-percent. J.C. Reid of Houston Press's Eating Our Words blog recently compared the two: Ultimately, comparing gianduia to Nutella is comparing apples to oranges. They are born from the same tradition, but the resulting flavor profiles are very different. Grateful Bread's gianduia has a wonderful depth and complexity of flavor manifested in the combination of hazelnuts, cocoa, sugar, vanilla and... More

Video: 'Cart, the Film'

"Ever wonder how abandoned shopping carts end up where they do?" Written and directed by Jesse Rosten, with music by Peter Lance. It's long, but good! I can't believe I almost cried. Watch the video, after the jump.... More

Serious Green: Save Money and Time, Cut Down on Waste by Joining a Co-op or Buying Club

Photograph from jpockele on Flickr You've probably got your grocery shopping routine down to a science. You pick up pantry staples at your neighborhood Piggly Wiggly, Safeway, Hannaford, or Whole Foods. You try to get fruits and vegetables from your local CSA, farmers' market, or roadside stand. Finally, maybe you grab some specialty items every now and then from Trader Joe's or a gourmet store. Sounds pretty good, but there may still be some options for buying local, sustainable, and green groceries that you haven't explored yet. Co-ops: Grocery Stores That Break the Mold Photograph from takomabibelot on Flickr Cooperative grocery stores (more commonly called co-ops) have come a long way from their days of selling textured vegetable protein... More

Caffeine and Calories Chart

Information Is Beautiful The Buzz vs The Bulge from data visualization blog Information is Beautiful plots the calorie content of beverages against their caffeine content, along with a few common non-caffeinated foods to use for comparison. Related An Illustrated Graph on Tasty Desserts Funny Pie Chart A Pie Chart of Pies... More

Magnetic Chopsticks That Recreate the Feeling of Pulling Apart Wooden Chopsticks

Photograph from Microworks "Stickpecker," a pair of reusable chopsticks from Japanese design studio Microworks recreates the feeling of breaking apart wooden chopsticks with a magnet and features subtle woodpecker and branch designs at the base of the chopsticks. $38 from Tokyomade [via Bree Lundberg] Related Chopsticks Aid, a Fork Attached to Chopsticks Chopsticks + Cutlery = Choplery... More

Market Scene: Wicker Park & Bucktown Farmers' Market, Chicago

Photographs by Nick Kindelsperger In Chicago, things are just getting ready to flip from summer bounty to outright excess. The best-looking tomatoes are still the small Sun Golds, and while apples have started to make an appearance, they aren't the delicious crisp and sweet variety—but we are getting awfully close. What clued me in to the impending abundance were the massive piles of Midwestern sweet corn at the Wicker Park & Bucktown Farmers' Market. Ears were dumped in big bins and picked over by the zealous shoppers, ready to sink their teeth into what real corn should taste like. My first stand was Iron Creek Farms from Saint Joseph, Michigan. They had an impressive collection of little potatoes, cauliflower,... More

Dance Your Ass Off, Chairman

Mark Decascos, better known to foodos as Iron Chef America's Chairman, will be among the male celeb contestants on the upcoming season of Dancing with the Stars, premiering September 21 on ABC. [via Eat Me Daily]... More

Hot Dog of the Week Art Prints for Sale

Photographs by Hawk Krall Every week, I look forward to seeing what Philadelphia-based illustrator Hawk Krall comes up with for the Hot Dog of the Week. There have been a number of HDotW's that I've wished I could get high-quality prints of. Well it just so happens that some of my (and, I hope, your) favorite Hot Dog of the Week artwork is now available as high-quality 11-by-14-inch art prints. These are professional giclée fine art prints, printed by the fine folks at Silicon Gallery Fine Arts in Philadelphia. I can't imagine who wouldn't want one of these (all of which are suitable for framing) in their kitchen. Choose from four designs and stay tuned for more to be... More

How to Maximize the Value of Your Refrigerator and Freezer

Photograph from chippenziedeutch on Flickr Finance blog The Simple Dollar has seven tips on how to get the most out of your refrigerator and freezer for less money. For example, cleaning the dust off the coils at the back of your refrigerator will make it more energy efficient. Also, if your freezer is fairly empty (unlike the one above), fill it with empty jugs of water to keep the other items cold and make your freezer work less hard. If you're really hardcore, you can build a chest refrigerator, which cuts energy use by about 90 percent over a typical standup refrigerator. Related: Serious Green: 10 Cheap & Green Kitchen Tips... More

Fiji Water Exposé

From an interesting article on Mother Jones by journalist Anna Lenzer, who visited Fiji in an attempt to get the lowdown on Fiji Water outside of the typical press junkets the company normally brings reporters in on: "Shut up!" he snapped. He rifled through my bags, read my notebooks and emails. "I'd hate to see a young lady like you go into a jail full of men," he averred, smiling grimly. "You know what happened to women during the 2000 coup, don't you?"Eventually, it dawned on me that his concern wasn't just with my potentially seditious emails; he was worried that my reporting would taint the Fiji Water brand. [via The Awl]... More

When Is It Socially Acceptable to Share Food?

With certain friends, ordering repeats is not, under any circumstances, allowed at a meal. Two enchilada orders? Dear heavens, is this some kind of sick joke? Talk about a waste of another sharable dish. For others, sharing food is like sharing gum or toothbrushes. You kind of just don't go there, whether for germ-phobic or territorial reasons. The spectrum ranges from full plate-sharers to nibble-sharers to that food is freakin' mine, step off, anti-sharers. Of course food-sharing varies by culture and upbringing, but for many Serious Eaters, the pro-smörgåsbord mentality allows you to try many things. (Though we can probably all agree that it's not cool to offer someone a taste, only to have them snatch it up like... More

OMG, a Bunny Licking Ice Cream

Where do we even begin with this. The little bunny tongue? The regular squinting pattern? His right paw's ability to support not only ice cream and a cone, but the wafer too?! How his thoughts are probably filled with unicorns and rainbows? If you are not squealing audibly or at least mentally right now, there is something wrong with you. [via J-Walk Blog] Related Cute Paintings of Animals Eating Food Video: Squirrel Gets Head Stuck in Yogurt Cup Photo of the Day: Rabbits Eating Lettuce... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

1,224-Pound Cupcake: A pink-frosted world record in Michigan. [AP] Ruth Reichl on TV: Gourmet's Adventures with Ruth will premiere on PBS in October. [MediaWeek] The Lunch Box Project: Whole Foods and Ann Cooper have paired up to improve school lunches. [Examiner] Peaches & Greens: A new produce truck in Detroit. [AP] Soda Taxes: Industry groups are fighting a potential tax proposal on sugary drinks. [USA Today] Sublime Slime: Quit dissing okra. It deserves a chance. [SFC] Swine Flu Gift Baskets: Not sure what to get a loved one recovering from the illness? Piggy-themed products. [PR Newswire] Iowa State Fair: A barbecue sauce entry won this year's "Food Made with Honey" competition. [ReadMedia]... More

'The Next Food Network Star' Runner-Up Jeffrey Saad Gets His Own Show Too, Sorta

Earlier this month, The Next Food Network Star season five finale shocked some people when Bel-Air real estate agent Jeffrey Saad lost to stay-at-home Texas mom (and almost eerily Sandra Lee-reminiscent) Melissa d'Arabian. But based on the fourth season's results (when runner-up Adam Gertler landed a show in addition to the actual winner Aaron "Big Daddy" McCargo, Jr.) it's no big shocker that Saad wound up with his own little show himself. The Spice Smuggler is just online—at least for now. The name was clearly a riff on the The Ingredient Smuggler, Saad's pilot for his hopeful show in TNFNS's final episode. (Food Network was not going to let the opportunity to use smuggler slip!) In each of the... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Monday (August 17) Good Eats (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Apple of My Pie." Alton revisits the classic apple pie. (repeat) 8 p.m. ET, Food Network Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Thailand." In the midst of political upheavel in Thailand, Tony manages to explore the sweet, spicy, sour, bitter and salty tastes of Thai cuisine. 10 p.m. ET, Travel Channel Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (warning, a video plays automatically on... More

Market Scene: City Hall Farmers' Market in Boston

Note: On Mondays, one of our various Market Scene correspondents checks in with what's fresh at farmstands, what's coming up, and what you better get while the gettin's good. This week, our Boston correspondent Penny Cherubino of BostonZest checks in. Photographs by Penny Cherubino Bostonians who live downtown, have more than 25 farmers' markets within easy walking or public transit distance. The City Hall Farmers' Market is one of the most convenient. It's located on the plaza outside Boston City Hall at the Government Center subway station. It's also close to many places that bring people into the heart of the city. Peaches were on my shopping list with a whole new use in mind. Neelam Batra, author of 1000... More

Last Week's Contest Winners

Cook the Book: Easy Gluten-Free Baking: hhicks, maureenreiser, feelgood, elcorazonsangrante, and aeschylus. Winners have been notified by email and also appear on our Contest Winners page. Thanks to all who entered.... More

Street Food Profiles: Food Shark in Marfa, Texas

Note: Since this street food trend is getting a little out of control, it's time we get to know the vendors behind it all. Today we're kicking off a weekly series that will profile street vendors from across the country. First up, the Food Shark in a little town in West Texas. Name: Food Shark Vendors: Krista Steinhauer (chef) and Adam Bork (art director, mechanic, food prep, and cashier extraordinaire) Location and hours? Center of town in Marfa, Texas, on Tuesdays through Friday for lunch between 11:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. The Marfalafel What's on the menu? Falafel (or in Food Shark terms, "marfalafel"), hummus, salads, and a variety of daily specials including regional fare (like Mexican) and more How... More

Cook the Book: 'What We Eat When We Eat Alone'

Deborah Madison calls her new book a humorous book on eaters, but I beg to differ. What We Eat When We Eat Alone is a beautifully illustrated anthropological study that happens to have some great recipes. In What We Eat When We Eat Alone, Madison poses the same question to friends, neighbors, colleagues, restaurant professionals, and total strangers: What do you cook for yourself when you eat alone? The responses to Madison's query are a testament to Brillat-Savarin's adage tell me what you eat and I'll tell you who you are. You can tell a lot about people by the meals they choose to make for themselves alone. The first section of What We Eat When We Eat Alone sets... More

Whole Foods CEO Criticizes Health Care, Some Shoppers Boycott

Ever since Whole Foods CEO John Mackey wrote a Wall Street Journal op-ed piece last week stating that national health care is not a right for all Americans, some liberal groups are threatening to boycott the grocery chain. The company issued an apology to customers, saying Mackey’s "intent was to express his personal opinions, not those of Whole Food Market."... More

Learning to Make Freezer Jam

Photograph from The Bitten Word What is freezer jam? So called because it keeps so well in the freezer, it is, according to Clay and Zach at The Bitten Word, the perfect way to preserve summer fruit without distorting its flavor. "Making freezer jam is delicious and incredibly easy. With traditional jam, you thicken the fruit by cooking it and boiling it down. In making freezer jam, however, you use pectin to thicken. And since you don't cook the fruit, the jam tastes intensely like the fresh fruit itself." Find the recipe at their blog, The Bitten Word.... More

This Week in Eating Out

Just a Few Tweaks: Recipe, on the Upper West Side, just needs a bit more time to get consistent and become the restaurant it's meant to be. Catherine Zeta-Jones = Melitzanosalata: The sultry, smoky melitzanosalata at Taxim in Chicago translates to a certain special actress for Michael Nagrant. Hopefully, the other dishes at this gourmet Greek eatery evoke a similar reaction. Glorious Bovine Juiciness: Ray's Hell Burger has managed to snag a place in Robyn Lee's heart as one of her favorite burgers. Lucky burger. SAS: Strangely Addictive Sausages: There's nothing like Polish sausages "stuffed in a bun and covered in mustard, hot peppers, and a mound of gloriously sauteed onions" at Jim's Original in Chicago. Falafawha?: FalafaPizza, now... More

Watermelon Art

From Tatsuro Kiuchi on Flickr It's hard to not want to sit back with a giant wedge of watermelon after looking at On the Beach by artist Tatsuro Kiuchi. [via Personism]... More

This Week in Eating Out

Sweet and Savory: A healthy dose of salt and pepper only adds to the already supremely balanced burger and fries at Reservoir in Silver Lake, California. Chifa, Anyone?: Head to New Jersey with Brian Yarvin to sample two fine Chinese-Peruvian meals. New Kid on the Block: Get a taste of Fritz Pastry and its pineapple tarte tatin's "perfect flaky undercarriage" in Chicago. It's Doughnut Time: Join Carey Jones as she mercilessly eats her way through the Doughnut Plant's menu; a delicious journey full of jelly, frosting, and errant doughnut holes. New York Slice in Chicago: If you're craving a piece of New York, you can find a typical Big Apple–style slice in Chicago's Wicker Park at Santullo's Eatery.... More

Impromptu Taste Test: The Cult of Yakult

Have you ever tried Yakult? A probiotic dairy drink that comes in wee 65-milliliter plastic containers, I've only known it as "yahkuhluhteh" (essentially Yakult pronounced in Korean); that icky drink that my parents and grandparents drank but left my mouth with a strange, dry feeling whenever I took a sip. More

This Week in Recipes

Easy Faux-Risotto: Nick Kindelsperger makes Orzo with Cherry Tomatoes, Capers, and Lemon, a fresh dish reminiscent of comfort food favorite risotto. Zabaione at Home: "Soothing, comforting yet elegant all at once," zabaione makes for a special Italian treat. Orange Hot Sauce?: Make some habanero hot sauce to add a refreshing, spicy kick to your breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Happily Meatless: Meat would only detract from this awesome Caramelized Onion, Potato, and Blue Cheese Tart from our new Seriously Meatless column. Culinary Pixie Dust: Chorizo is the magic in this Tortilla Espanola that's good hot out of the oven, cold out of the fridge, and in your belly.... More

The Mission to Mars Menu: 20,000 Meals with a Five-Year Shelf Life

Photograph from AFP/Getty Images Since astronauts can probably only stomach so much of that freeze-dried ice cream from museum gift shops, a team of food lab scientists is plotting the menu for a three-year mission to Mars slated to blast off sometime after 2030. The food needs to be light enough, nutritious enough, tasty enough, and durable enough to withstand the journey to the Red Planet, according to the Los Angeles Times. Imagine having to pack more than 6,570 breakfasts, lunches, snacks and dinners all at once—enough meals to feed six people every day for more than three years. Imagine preparing all these meals with an allotment of 3.2 pounds of food per person per day, about one-third less... More

Video: Steamy Sarcophagus

In the style of famed British broadcaster David Attenborough comes this one-minute documentary of the horrifying life of a hard boiled egg named Andrew. "The clattering of pots and the sound of boiling water are precursors of Andrew's bubbling domestic doom." You know this won't end well. Watch the video after the jump.... More

In Season: Melons

Photograph from GlennB on Flickr I'm in love with summertime melons. After a winter of Korean melon, there's the crisp bite of watermelon, honeydew so sweet it makes my teeth ache, and when I'm eating cantaloupe, I feel like I'm just consuming straight vitamin C. The thought of lugging these juicy vessels home from the market and up three flights of stairs in this heat is a bit demoralizing, so I generally depend on raiding the fridges of friends and family. (I'm the best, aren't I?) It's when I'm hunkered over a big bowl full of melon, with the juices running down my face that I think, I should really have more friends to eat melon with. There are... More

This Week's Tasty 10

According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ... 1. Get in My Belly Now: Doughnut Ice Cream Sandwich from Peter Pan Bakery "An ice cream sandwich made with doughnut halves instead of cookies. Why didn't I think of that? Why haven't I ever eaten one before? Why aren't I eating one right now?" 2. Taste Test: Milk Chocolate Bars "Milk chocolate often gets dismissed as the immature younger sibling of dark chocolate, but we are not ashamed of loving it. When good, milk chocolate melts on the tongue like butter. Of the ten brands we tried in a blind tasting, see which were the most... More

Threadcakes 2009 Winners

How exactly do you cut this? The winners of Threadcakes, the awesometastic contest where people designed cake versions of t-shirts sold on Threadless, were announced this week. "Noah Express" was the grand prize winner of the 3D cake category, originally inspired by the biblical zoo of a scene on this shirt. According to winner Jennifer Flynn, the gumpaste was the most frustrating part of the process—and don't even get her started on the snake. Check out all of the winners here. If there was ever a polar opposite of Cakewrecks, this would be it.... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Whole (Lotta Drama) Foods: An opinion piece reacting to an opinion piece by Whole Foods CEO John Mackey. [LAT] Top Chef Masters: Is it a cooking competition or just plain goofy? [True/Slant] Chinese Food of Quarterbacks: Michael Vick is "good going down, but not long afterward leaving you unfulfilled." [WP] Mobilized Chefs: Maybe the auto industry is sucking, but food trucks are on fire. Ten of the best in America. [GQ] No More Cosmos: Bay Area bars focus more on customized cocktails. [SFC] Little Hands: The ten best children's cookbooks. [Independent] Tempeh Reubens: The top five vegan cult foods. [Powell's] The Fourth Star: Chicago Tribune critic Phil Vettel reveals his criteria for four-star reviews. [Grub Street Chicago]... More

Cute T-Shirt Alert: Cake Is Awesome

Two good reasons to get this shirt: cake is awesome (as are electric guitars), and Threadless is currently having a sale! $15 on Threadless until Monday, August 17. Related Cute T-Shirt Alert: Horror Story-Inspired Fast Food Pancakes Mountain T-Shirt, Plus Other Pancake Outerwear The Icecreamator T-Shirt 'Playin' in the Sprinkler' T-Shirt... More

Look Who's Talkin': Comments, Quips, and Tips We Have Known and Loved

There's so much going on in Talk week to week that we almost can't keep up. If you're in the same boat, here's a small selection of topics and responses that have piqued our interest this week. What Do You Go 'Out' For? "To get away from my kids!" —smokey07 Afghanistan-Friendly Recipes? Photograph from on Flickr under CC license "If he can boil water, there are plenty of options. The post office will ship there, and flat rate boxes are the way to go. Bertolli makes pasta sauces in zip-top bags (I only found this out because when my husband was in Iraq, he requested a spaghetti dinner be mailed to him. Kashi also makes their pilafs in zip... More

Hot Dog of the Week: 24-Hour Dog

"While many folks wouldn't touch a gas station hot dog with a ten-foot pole, it inspires a cult-like following for others." Past Weeks' Dogs Slaw DogPuka DogThe Philly ComboTijuana DogsTexas WeinersFlo's Hot Dogs Over the last few weeks we've highlighted some fascinating regional hot dogs. But for most of us, eating a hot dog does not mean traveling halfway across the country to a roadside stand in a half-abandoned coal mining town. This week's dog is a style that many will be familiar with, possibly more so than we'd like to admit. While the object of much ridicule--the term "gas station hot dog" being a common euphemism for anything on the bottom of the culinary barrel--the 24-Hour Dog can be... More

Video: Japanese Cheese Curry Cup of Noodles Commercial

The advertising world really does not flex the powers of maniacal cheese-faced men with curry-shooting laser gun fingers enough. Not nearly enough! I can't vouch for the tastiness of that orange goo but having Cheese Face Man himself pop through the window and blast your cup, now that is tableside service. This ad inspired a remix with Cheese Face Man deejaying (and busting his cheese curry gun moves on stage, obviously!) mashed up with cameos by Onion Bulb Face Man, Tomato Face Man, and what appears to be White Circular Blob Face Woman. The videos, after the jump.... More

It's a Little Quiet in This Corner

Aww. These Talk threads have few or zero replies as of today. Anyone have anything to say? Recipe for Zephyr Burgers (Kent, OH) "When I was in grad school (Kent State, 1992-94), there was a great veggie restaurant downtown called the Zephyr. They had an excellent grain-based veggie burger that was enough for a couple of meals. The restaurant is long gone, unfortunately, and I'm looking for the recipe for the burgers. Any clues?" Happy Turkey "Pie" or Ala King "...My question is what was that recipe? I cannot find the recipe. I kept it for years, and somewhere along the way it got lost. I have googled and cannot find it. Someone must have lived in Oak Park in... More

Mixed Review: Fantastic World Foods All Natural Falafel Mix

Ask anyone from Rhode Island about the most delicious falafel they've ever eaten, and they will surely get a dreamy, faraway look in their eyes and recall the best stuffed pita they've ever had—the one at East Side Pockets on Thayer Street in Providence. When I was in high school I went late in the afternoons, in between classes and play rehearsals. My order never changed: a falafel pocket with all the trimmings—hot sauce, hummus, lettuce, tomato, hot peppers, onions, pickles, tabouleh, tahini, and cucumber yogurt sauce. I've lived in New York City for six years now, and I've sampled falafel far and wide. While there are certainly some terrific options (my favorite is Bedouin Tent on Atlantic Avenue... More

Tomatoes Are Evil

Tomato haters, unite: is "dedicated to the belief that the humble tomato fruit is in fact EVIL." The website features a game where you can shoot tomatoes, facts that prove tomatoes' evil tendencies, tomato-free recipes, and more. I'm not a big fan of tomatoes (many friends have make fun of me for my distaste), but that only applies to raw, unadulterated tomatoes. When cooked or mixed with other ingredients, I'm generally fine with them. is for the extreme tomato haters who think tomatoes are the spawn of Satan. Do any of you fit in this category? [via The Presurfer] Related: Cilantro Haters Unite, While Wearing Anti-Cilantro Graphic Tees... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Ice Cream Parlors in San Francisco: Here are eight favorite ice cream parlors around the city. [Gourmet] Farm Raised vs. Wild Catfish: Farm raised catfish has lost some of its wild taste, such as "a hint of Mississippi River mud." [The Atlantic Food Channel] Decline of Fine Dining in San Francisco: San Francisco Chronicle critic Michael Bauer says that expensive restaurants may not be dying, but fewer chefs are willing to run them. [Between Meals] Snacks Wonderland in Washington: Snacks!, a new shop in Ballard, sells drinks, cookies, chips, cereal, and candy, with beer and wine to come. Don't worry—they also have antacids. [Slog] A Picky Eater from the Sea: A young tiger shark from the Aquarium of the Pacific... More

'This Is Home,' a Collaborative Art Project

This Is Home is a blog/project dedicated to "a visual exploration of the concept of 'home'" through one-sentence anecdotes. I was expecting to find more food-related submissions than there are so far, but there are a few. For better or worse, I can relate to the one above. (Dear Mom: I love you, just not your cooking.) You can submit phrases until August 31, when voting will take place to choose the best ones. Winning phrases will be printed on postcards and sold online.... More

Keggers of Yore

Nothing like a good ol' sporting goods store kegger to get the party started! Photograph from Keggers of Yore. I've never been to a kegger, but now I don't have to; I can just browse through the photos at Keggers of Yore and live vicariously through these nameless intoxicated partygoers! (Waning: some photos NSFW.) [via conky]... More

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Each week we round up our favorite posts and recipes from our friends at The Kitchn. This week, the Kitchn teaches us how to make elote, or sweet roasted corn, at home. Also on the Kitchn, Julia Child-inspired tea towels, frozen grapes, five fast grillable dinners, and aguas frescas.... More

The Cereal Project, an Online Database of U.S. Cereals

Earlier this month Mr. Breakfast unveiled The Cereal Project, an online database of U.S. cereals—over 1,220 so far—organized by name, company, date, and family, along with cereal commercials and games. (Remember that cereal you liked back in 1912? Yeah, they've got it.) It's everything about cereal you didn't know you wanted to know right at your fingertips! [via The Presurfer] Related Forgotten Breakfast Cereal Follow-Up Question Cereal Quiz Vintage Cereal Box Gallery... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Goes Job Hunting

Critic Turned Cook follows former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food critic Leslie Kelly on her journey away from the keyboard and into the kitchen. Take it away, Leslie! © There’s nothing more depressing than trying to find a job, especially in this depressed economy. Ever since I decided to make the leap from being a food critic to working as a cook, I’ve managed to land some plum spots using my connections. Because, you know, it’s not what you know; it’s who you know. Still, I really wanted to find a position without dangling my well-seasoned resumé as a professional eater. Fat chance, right? I started where most cooks do: putting in my application at a fast food restaurant. And immediately started... More

Video: VendrTV Visit's Portland, Oregon's Grilled Cheese Grill

In the latest episode of VendrTV, a visit to the Grilled Cheese Grill in Portland, Oregon, is as much about the Airstream trailer–based sandwich vendor as it is about the city's street-food scene in general. Host Dan Delaney talks to Food Carts Portland's Brett Burmeister as they sample sandwiches, including the "Cheesus" (pictured, bottom left), the grill's version of the Hamburger Fatty Melt. Watch, after the jump.... More

A Mother's Recipe and Tips for Making Wontons

Photograph from Bouchon For Two Mel of Bouchon For Two shares some helpful tips and a recipe on how to make her mom's Shanghainese-influenced wontons (which, judging from the photos, probably taste awesome) filled with seasoned pork, shrimp, and and flowering garlic chives. Since I'm an amateur when it comes to making homemade dumplings I didn't know the tips Mel includes in her post, such as combining two cuts of pork, and tempering the water three times while boiling the dumplings. Methinks a wonton-making party is in my future. Related Eat for Eight Bucks: Dumplings Two Ways, with Freestyle Dipping Sauce In Videos: Dumpling Battle in 'Kung Fu Panda' Photo of the Day: Fresh Dumplings... More

A Catherine Zeta-Jones-Like Eggplant Burlesque at Taxim in Chicago

Melitzanosalata, though it may sound like a rare form of civilization threatening virus, is actually one of the best Greek eggplant spreads I have ever eaten. Most eggplant spreads I've had tend to be slimy—choking them down triggers the gag reflex due to the fact that I imagine this is what the leftover guts of a Gremlin melted in the sun might taste like. The Melitzanosalata at Taxim, Chicago’s new gourmet Greek spot (by gourmet I mean they don’t serve 1,000 covers a night nor get most of their ingredients delivered via multiple Sysco Tractor Trailers), a charcoal-grilled eggplant purée larded with tahini and studded with crunchy and creamy toasted pine nuts, is more like the kind of velvety purée... More

Gadgets: HotSpot Eggshell Silicone Egg Poacher

As much as I love a classic Eggs Benedict, I can't help but blame the dish for pigeonholing one of my favorite foods--the poached egg. For addicts like myself, they're not only brunch's star attraction, they're also the perfect topping for most any pasta dish, sandwich, or green vegetable. That said, it's pretty essential to be able to achieve a perfectly runny yolk whenever the craving hits. After years of sometimes-success with the traditional vortex method (where boiling water and white vinegar are swirled into a vortex that keeps the egg together), I decided it was time to put some poaching cups to the test. What I happily discovered was that when you find a good set of poachers,... More

The 5 Phases of Caffeine Intake

After the magic begins, it's all downhill from there. See how the caffeine buzz unfolds at The Oatmeal's 5 Phases of Caffeine Intake. Related 'If You Like Coffee' Caffeine Examiner, Reviews of Caffeine-Filled Products Caffeine: The Good News and the Good News... More

Watch It with Us: 'Top Chef Masters' Episode 9

The remaining four: Rick Bayless, Michael Chiarello, Anita Lo, and Hubert Keller. If you're planning to watch tonight's episode of Top Chef Masters, join us here in the comments at 10 p.m. ET. It'll be an open thread—jump in with your observations or play-by-play as the episode unfolds. Who will remain? Someone who has a functional nose. Tonight's Quickfire involves a blindfolded taste test. They say you eat first with your eyes, but that schnoz is pretty important too. Also, the winner better get along with former Top Chef contestants—twelve of them will return tonight as sous cheftestants to help with the elimination challenge. Someone might want to put a leash on Dale Talde of Top Chef's fourth season,... More

Weekend Cook and Tell Roundup: 'Julie & Julia'

Photograph from Last week's Weekend Cook and Tell challenge was to recreate a dish from Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking. The challenge was inspired by Julie & Julia, which opened over the weekend. As it turned out, the soaring temperatures of last weekend and this week made it much more appealing to go and see the movie than fire up the stove. We didn't get a lot of responses, but a few brave souls accepted the challenge. Here are some of their Julia-inspired responses: Duncan1205 made Jambon Baise' au Made're. It's basically ham braised in Madeira and beef stock. Duncan1205 claims that this dish has converted non-ham-eaters into ham lovers. Cybercita has made several recipes... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Fear the Foliage: A giant carnivorous plant was found in the Philippines. [BBC] Hot Dog Vendor Economics: How much do they really make? [Slate] Biscuit Wisdom: How to not end up with a pan of hockey pucks. [LAT] Tomato Stack Salad: Won the 2009 Washington Post Top Tomato contest. [WP] Kitchen Wounds: A slideshow of cuts, burns, and scars in Seattle eateries. [SW] A Boiling-Egg Toaster: And nine other awesome kitchen gadgets. [Independent] Dessert Sliders: Ice cream patties and puff-pastry fries. [Epi-Log] U.S. Farmers' Market Oscars: Did your local market make the top 20? [AFT] Get Shaved: A new Twittering Hawaiian ice truck in L.A. [LAist] Wounded Berry Picker: An Alaskan 10-year-old was shot, but survived. [ADN]... More

Summer Wine Tip: Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc

Last week, Serious Grape columnist Deb Harkness stopped by with a few good candidates for refreshing summer wines. Over on her own blog, Good Wine Under $20, she's got another suggestion—the 2008 Dry Creek Vineyard Sauvignon Blanc, which "can hold its head up among zingy New Zealand bottlings, but has a bit more softness and is far less assertive."... More

Video: The Dog and the Butcher

If you like animations and sausage, you'll love this video. It's the classic story of dog and hanging meat products—dog attempts to eat scrappy dog food for about a second before going after nearby sausage ropes. The adorable two-minute animated short, after the jump.... More

The Amateur Gourmet's Meal at El Bulli

Just when I thought I was tired of hearing Spain's El Bulli called "The Greatest Restaurant in the World," Adam Roberts pops in with an El Bulli review at The Amateur Gourmet whose takeaway message is, "Yes, you must eat at El Bulli before you die if you want to experience the most amazing meal ever." His review format of comic book panels interspersed with short video clips of his 30-course meal (dishes including Coconut Sponge, Rabbit Canape with Your Giblets, and Pinenut Shabu Shabu) make for a most easily digestible (pun intended) and fun read. It took Roberts five years of trying before he got a reservation; better start now! Related Ferran Adria: The New Foam Meets the... More

Starbucks VIA Ready Brew: Instant Coffee That Actually Tastes Like Real Coffee?

"Way to go people in lab coats who figured this one out!" Instant coffee never seems like it's trying that hard to taste like regular coffee. You can almost hear Nescafé saying, "yeah, whatever, I give up." But Starbucks may be changing that. Earlier this year, the chain introduced Starbucks VIA Ready Brew, a line of instant coffee packets (three single servings for $2.95) sold in two flavors, Colombia and Italian Roast. We tried the Colombian packets against a fresh-brewed batch of Starbucks dark roast from around the corner and the paradigmatic instant coffee itself, Nescafé. While the Nescafé couldn't hide—ah, yes, that zap of chemicaly ink juice—it was actually really hard to differentiate the instant from the real deal.... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Neat Packaging: In the UK, Clearspring's organic pasta boxes use die-cut windows (above) to at once suggest and reveal the product within. [The Dieline] Not a Good Thing: Not even Martha can dodge the late blight. She's lost 70 percent of her tomatoes. [Martha Blog] "Brown Fat": Study shows it may be good for you—unlike white fat, it converts stored energy into heat. [Boston Globe] 10 Ways to Barter for Food: Use Craiglist, work at a farm booth, etc. [Chow] Omnivore's Delusion: A case against "agri-intellectuals." [The American via AS] Cheap Eatin': These might be totes obvo, but just in case, here are six tips on cooking on a budget. [Tribune]... More

I Know This Fish: Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, from Water to Table

Note: Today, a quick post that really evokes a sense of place. Food writer Cheryl Sternman Rule takes us on a fishing expedition in Alaska. Enjoy! —AK Photographs by Cheryl Sternman Rule When the server set the salmon carpaccio in front of me, I felt like whispering in her ear. "Just so you know," I’d say, "this fish and I have met before." And it was true. A day earlier, on Prince William Sound in southeastern Alaska, I’d bore witness as the commercial fisherman on whose boat I was riding netted three sockeye, pulled out their gills, and tossed them to the bottom of her bow-picker. There was blood, yes, but there was also something beautiful about the process—its simplicity.... More

Serious Green: Movies That Go Beyond Food Inc

© This summer's Food, Inc. has brought food consciousness in the U.S. to a whole new level. If Food, Inc. made you hungry for more info on food production in the U.S., you should get your hands on one of the movies below. These films range in theme from school lunches to genetically modified foods. People can talk and write about food production and industrial feed lots till they're blue in the face, but seeing sometimes makes all the difference. Food, Inc. was groundbreaking because it was the first enviro-food film to be screened at major movie theaters across the country. But the small, food-focused films that follow after the jump played at independent festivals and then never seemed... More

Food Art from James Reynolds

Photograph by James Reynolds British graphic designer James Reynolds has two interesting food-related projects in his portfolio: Far Foods features food packaging designs that illustrate where the food came from and how many miles it traveled to get to your supermarket, and Last Suppers is a series of stark photographs documenting the final meal requests of former death row prisoners. [via Swiss Miss]... More

Serious Cheese: Rogue River Blue Wins 2009 American Cheese Society Competition

Rogue River Blue, the beautiful grape-leaf wrapped blue cheese from Oregon's Rogue River Creamery, took top honors at this year's American Cheese Society competition, held last week in Austin, Texas. Rogue is actually one of the older creameries in the country, in operation since 1935. It also took home awards for its flavored cheddars, Chocolate Stout, and Lavender, as well as its Smokey Blue.... More

Mastering Barbecue Side Dishes

Photographs courtesy of the Paupered Chef What's barbecue without its accoutrements? Meat may play center stage, but as in so many meals, the sides are just about as important as the main event. Serious Eats contributor Nick Kindelsperger tackles slaw, hushpuppies, and black-eyed peas over at The Paupered Chef.... More

Peristaltic Anticipation

For those of you who pooh-poohed the Un-Constipated Gourmet post we posted over the weekend, here's something else to digest. Slog, the blog of Seattle alt-weekly The Stranger, dropped this photo on Sunday of a poster in the window of Seattle's Uwajimaya, a Japanese food and gift store. It advertises the Japanese manga and anime series Crayon Shin-chan, about which Wikipedia says: "Many of the jokes in the series stem from Shin-chan's occasionally weird, unnatural and inappropriate use of language, as well as from his inappropriate behavior." Not completely surprising, considering the fact that the children's book Everyone Poops is also a Japanese import. [Thanks, dmarina!]... More

Do You Eat or Email First?

You could eat this...or you could check your email! The first thing I do when I get up in the morning is groggily hobble to my computer, press the space bar to wake it from its sleep stage, and check my email. However, I don't see it as choosing Internet over food; I usually don't eat breakfast. (Yeah, don't remind me that it's "the most important meal of the day"—I've heard it a million times.) Yesterday's New York Times piece profiles people's struggles with technology taking up family time, in particular breakfast being sacrificed for email and other urgent Internet-required activities, such as checking Facebook or Twitter. These days more kids and parents start their mornings with phones and... More

How Do You Eat with a Beard?

I have been growing a beard lately. Mostly out of laziness. I am just plain tired of shaving. I kid myself that I am saving time by not engaging in the daily ritual of lathering and scraping because the longer my beard gets, the more time I seem to spend trying, unsuccessfully, to keep food out of it.... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Do Americans Still Cook? Or just watch the ones on TV? [HuffPo] Food (Mag) Fight: Comparing Bon Appetit and Gourmet. [WSJ] Is the UK Running out of Food? The big question. [Independent] Sweet Corn: In puddings, panna cottas, and ice creams. [SFC] Sam Sifton's Face: It went viral online. So much for anonymity. [Muckety] Is Julie & Julia a Chick Flick? A few menfolk admit they saw it. [EW] Cafeteria Scraps: Purdue's leftovers may generate electricity. [Chicago Tribune] Drinking Bubbles: A fizzy water-making kit vs. the canned alternative. [Epi-Log] DIY Butchery Trend: Demand for butchery courses is soaring. [Independent]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Monday (August 10) Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "San Francisco." Tony checks out Chinatown, Haight-Ashbury, and Fisherman's Wharf in San Francisco. 10 p.m. ET, Travel Channel Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Burgers, Tacos and Dogs." Guy checks out fast food done right in Houston, Texas; Milwaukee; and Reseda, California. 10 p.m. ET, Food Network... More

Cook the Book: Easy Gluten-Free Baking

Last week's episode of Top Chef Masters was a real insight into the limitations of a gluten-free diet. The challenge was to create a vegan, soy-free, and gluten-free dish for guest judge and actress Zooey Deschanel. When the completing chefs heard about Deschanel's dietary limitations they were flummoxed. Without meat, dairy, wheat, or soy, coming up with a tasty recipe was a challenge indeed. Michael Chiarello was the big winner with his quinoa pasta with salsa verde and gremolata, tomatoes, and crispy basil leaf. Art Smith's strawberry rice milk ice cream with almond brittle was the least favorite dish of the episode and sadly, got Smith eliminated. It's not surprising that dessert proved to be the most difficult course to... More

Market Scene: Mar Vista Farmers' Market, Los Angeles

Moving is a pain. I should know, I've done it some 26 times. Between clawing your way from beneath a tower of Pisa constructed out of different-sized boxes at your old home, eating fast but cheap food because you can't find your silverware and stubbing your toes on the rubble of boxes at your new place while wandering around aimlessly in the night looking for a light switch that isn't there, you can get a bit surly. A rainbow of sweet peppers When my fiancée and I decamped our beloved Fairfax apartment for the West Side a couple of weeks ago, I lamented being eight miles and a 25-minute drive farther from the Hollywood Farmers' Market—the site of my... More

Join Us in Chicago For A Gold Peak® Iced Tea City Flavors Couple-it Feast

City Flavors Couple-it Feast at Blackbird When: Sunday August 30, 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. Where: Blackbird, 619 W Randolph Street, Chicago IL 60611 (map) How Much: Free! Listen up, serious eaters, especially those who live in or near Chicago. Thanks to our partner Gold Peak Tea, Serious Eats is hosting a great party on Sunday August 30 at Blackbird, which is truly one of the Windy City's best restaurants. Blackbird chef and co-owner Paul Kahan, working with his chef de cuisine, has put together a seriously delicious menu of five dishes that they have expertly paired with each of the Gold Peak five flavors. The party starts at 6 p.m. and here's the crazy thing: if you're a member... More

'Food & Wine' Magazine Searching for Home Cook Superstar

The magazine will launch its first-ever Home Cook Superstar Search contest in the September issue. “This is truly the year of the home cook,” said Food & Wine editor-in-chief Dana Cowin. Anyone over 18 can enter here until December 1. The winner will receive a feature in the March 2010 issue and two tickets to the Cayman Cookout food-and-wine festival.... More

Video: Blue Man Group as Fast Food Employees

The guys from Blue Man Group weren't always an internationally famous theatrical group. Oh no—they started the same way millions of other people do: in the fast food industry. Good thing they changed professions since their service was terrible (although worked great as performance art). Watch the video after the jump.... More

Meet Your Farmers: Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farm, New York

"There's nothing more satisfying than producing something. In my case, it's a truckful of delicious food." Last week we began talking about the farmers that mean so much to serious eaters everywhere. Starting this week, we'll get an up-close and personal look at some of the individual farmers that grow and raise truly delicious stuff. Today we want to introduce you to Rick Bishop of Mountain Sweet Berry Farm in Roscoe, New York. Tomorrow we're going to post a really cool documentary we made about Rick and his family and their twice weekly visits to the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. In the meantime, let's get to know him. Name: Rick Bishop Farm: Mountain Sweet Berry Farm; Roscoe, New... More

Oatmeal Brûlée

Photograph from chotda on Flickr If your blowtorch has been getting dusty lately, don't worry. Oatmeal brûlée is a wonderful alternative to its custard cousin. Just make a normal batch of oatmeal (with old-fashioned or steel cut oats), sprinkle a thin layer of brown sugar on top, and fire away. If you're blowtorch-less, you can always go the broiler route. Related Grinning Bowls of Oatmeal I top my oatmeal with ______ [Talk] New Quaker Oat Campaign, and the Dawn of an Oatmeal Trend... More

The Five-Day Freeze Technique for Make-Ahead Meals

Photograph from Muffet on Flickr On Wisebread Linsey Knerl discusses her Five-Day Freeze cook-ahead technique. It's her way of cooking and freezing food for future meals without having to spend two days straight in the kitchen. So basically advocates doing a half hour to hour's worth of extra cooking while you're prepping that day's meal: We have some amazing batch cooking (or make-ahead) tips here on Wise Bread. I’ll share those with you later in this article. What I’m aiming to discuss, however, is how to achieve the same level "cook now, eat later" zen, without the horrid hangover that occurs when you shop for an entire month’s worth of food, cook for 12 hours straight, and then collapse... More

This Week in Eating Out

Sweet and Savory: A healthy dose of salt and pepper only adds to the already supremely balanced burger and fries at Reservoir in Silver Lake, California. Chifa, Anyone?: Head to New Jersey with Brian Yarvin to sample two fine Chinese-Peruvian meals. New Kid on the Block: Get a taste of Fritz Pastry and its pineapple tarte tatin's "perfect flaky undercarriage" in Chicago. It's Doughnut Time: Join Carey Jones as she mercilessly eats her way through the Doughnut Plant's menu; a delicious journey full of jelly, frosting, and errant doughnut holes. New York Slice in Chicago: If you're craving a piece of New York, you can find a typical Big Apple–style slice in Chicago's Wicker Park at Santullo's Eatery.... More

'The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast'

For all our collective obsession with food, dining, and the so-called joy of cooking, there's very little said about what happens to all that matter once we swallow it. Thus Danielle Svetcov's The Un-Constipated Gourmet: Secrets to a Moveable Feast, a cookbook with an eye towards promoting, er, gastrointestinal regularity. With lengthy discussions about different cultures' approaches to digestive health and a "Go Meter" rating each recipe, this isn't a book that dances around its unappetizing subject. "The result is part culinary history, part mouthwatering cookbook, and part inquiry into nothing less than our bodies themselves," writes Chris Colin in the San Francisco Chronicle. Surely, Hemingway is rolling over in his grave.... More

Funky Lunch, a Gallery of Creative Sandwiches

Nemo sandwich from Funky Lunch The sandwiches at Funky Lunch seem to be more for looking than eating, but in the Funky Lunch Twitter page creator Mark Northeast says he hopes to turn his funky sandwich designs into a book "to help parents encourage children to eat different foods in a fun and funky way." It works for bento boxes; bring on the funky sandwiches. [via urlesque]... More

This Week in Recipes

Vegetarian Splendor: Using a favorite pantry staple, Blake Royer makes Dinner Tonight with a Zucchini, Mushroom, and Goat Cheese Tart that'll make you postively frolic in the Garden of Vegetarian. More Bulgogi, Please: Hop on the bulgogi train with these Kogi-Inspired Bulgogi Tacos with Spicy Slaw. Choo choo! Gorgonzola is Your Friend: Get past gorgonzola's reputation as a badass cheese and try it in Gina DePalma's Farfalle with Zucchini and Gorgonzola for a "silky veil of nutty, buttery flavor over the pasta." You Had Me at "Fragrant Garlic": Squid Noodle Salad is a cheap, sustainable dinner all by itself, but add a "fragrant garlic topping" and you've got yourself a love affair. The Best Chip Since Utz Barbecue: Even... More

A 'Guide' to Understanding the Food Network

UPDATE: Do not bother clicking through the link here. Apparently, it is not funny. —AK, 8/9/2009 Longing for Cinnabon and Diet Cherry Dr Pepper? LOL. Food Network Humor, true to its name, offers a satirical list titled "Understanding the Food Network." These are little known "facts" that will help you "understand why the Food Network is the way it is": The Neelys: They are brother and sister. They just play a married couple.Sandra Lee: She feels that she is a woman trapped in a woman’s body.Tyler Florence: He is extremely sensitive to the fact that his first name is a common last name and his last name is a common woman’s first name.The Chairman of Iron Chef: He is not... More

In Season: Peaches

When ripe, peaches ae rich and heady jewels that are best eaten fresh, but since it can be difficult to polish off the dozen or so that come in a tray, here are some of our best peachalicious recipes--in salads, with pork, or puddingified. More

Video: The Man's Kitchen from 'Home Improvement'

Check out the ultimate "Man's Kitchen," according to Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor and Al Borland from Home Improvement. It's got everything today's man needs: vegetable pantry of beans and potatoes, super powered "macrowave," butcher, drink dispensers (beer, root beer, and Pepto-Bismol at your fingertips), and more. It's even self cleaning! Watch the video after the jump.... More

This Week's Tasty 10

According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ... 1. Taste Test: Milks Not From a Cow "Hemp milk, like hemp necklaces, should be avoided." 2. Serious Green: 10 Cheap & Green Kitchen Tips "As a committed tree-hugger and very recent graduate, I find myself plopped firmly at the intersection of cheap and green. Keeping things environmentally friendly while keeping costs down is important to me. Below, some of my best time-tested, budget-approved ways to keep both your wallet and the earth green and happy." 3. What is your fantasy food business? "If you were able to, what type of food related business would you start?... More

Photo of the Day: The Banana-Killing Bird

Photograph from on Flickr Banana death by human is your typical chew-and-swallow method, but when you get green birds involved, it becomes a little uglier. This hungry one decided to dissect the banana midsection, or the bananular belly in technical terms. Maybe bananas are like pigs and all the tender, succulent meat is hiding in the belly region? Related Photo of the Day: Individually-Wrapped Bananas, Freaking Us Out In Videos: Stacking Food on Animals Cute Paintings of Animals Eating Food... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Debt Makes You Fat: How owing money is linked to obesity. [Gourmet] Agrislang: Words to know on the farm. [AFC] The Joy of Pigs: They are the most entertaining, life-affirming, and intelligent creatures, according to one pig keeper. [Telegraph] Beware Beef: Over 800,000 pounds of ground beef has been recalled from a Fresno processing plant. [SFC] Alabaman Tomatoes: They're for sale on a lawn in Pinson, Alabama. Payment goes into a pickle jar. [NPR] Sustainability on London Plates: UK chefs rely on a network of local farmers and a "bloke with a fishing line." [WSJ] 34 Million: That's how many Americans (actually more) are on the U.S. food stamp list. [Reuters]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekend Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Saturday (August 8) The Early Show: Julie & Julia author Julie Powell is a guest. 7 a.m. ET, CBS Today Show: An ice cream taste test. 7 a.m. ET, NBC Viva Daisy! (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Ladies Brunch." Avocado stuffed with citrusy crabmeat salad, a veggie-laden Spanish tortilla, a salad from jicama, creamy black beans, and sweet mango for brunch. 9:30 a.m. ET, Food Network Secrets of a... More

Celebrate 'Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors' Porch' Day

"My grandfather has always said that if you have to buy zucchini, you must not have any friends."—padraigin on Metafilter Photograph from iLoveButter on Flickr What do you do with that truckload of zucchini you grew and have no use for? Foist it onto someone else! That's the point of Sneak Some Zucchini onto Your Neighbors' Porch Day, which takes place tomorrow, August 8. The creators of the holiday, Tom and Ruth Roy, share suggestions on how to get rid of excess zucchini at Wellcat. If you'd rather use your zucchini instead of give it away, here are some recipes to get you started: Farfalle with Zucchini and Gorgonzola Grilled Zucchini with Quinoa Stuffing Preserved Zucchini Pasta with Zucchini and... More

Look Who's Talkin': Comments, Quips, and Tips We Have Known and Loved

There's so much going on in Talk week to week that we almost can't keep up. If you're in the same boat, here's a small selection of topics and responses that have piqued our interest this week. So, They Slaughtered Me a WHOLE GOAT. What to Do? Photograph courtesy Fir0002 under a GFDL license "I have a great recipe for a single live goat and a pair of wellingtons...... perhaps that may be saved for a different website. Seriously... Carnitas, chili, curry, tacos, roasted, grilled, rolled, stuffed... Goat is delicious! All the above recipes, I second them." —Pavlov What One Food Mag Should I Get? "No way could I ever choose just one. Gourmet has always been wonderful, and has... More

Video: Johnnie Walker 'I Walk' Ad with Robert Carlyle

AdFreak is calling this spot for Johnnie Walker whiskey the best ad of the year so far. At six and a half minutes, it's a bit long but well worth viewing. It's shot in a continuous long take, with Scottish actor Robert Carlyle narrating the history of the brand as he walks down a road in the Scottish highlands. The mini movie becomes completely engaging about a minute in, when you realize the director has worked in a clever set of well-timed visual cues at roadside that correspond to Carlyle's walking, talking narrative. Watch it, after the jump.... More

Hot Dog Of The Week: Slaw Dog

"Slaw dogs can be found all over West Virginia, in dedicated hot dog joints, drive-ins, bars, delis, and old-fashioned dairy bars." Past Weeks' Dogs Puka DogThe Philly ComboTijuana DogsTexas WeinersFlo's Hot Dogs, Cape Neddick, Maine Two weeks ago I had my first real Slaw Dog at Martie's in Keyser, West Virginia. I wasn't expecting much from a hot dog joint on a half abandoned strip of shops in the middle of nowhere. But walking into the colorful diner-style counter decorated with old deli signs and hundreds of bottles of hot sauce, complete with a chest of ice cold beer and a smoke-filled video poker parlor in the back, I knew I had come to the right place. My hot dog... More

Video: Salami Fighting Association

Do you ever look at nunchucks and think, man, those sure look like sausage links? You're on the same wavelength as the guys of Salami Fighting Association, where the mantra is "food does not only give life, it can also kill." Wearing hula-like skirts made of bacon strips, they combine Chuck Norris moves with meat products. The video, after the jump.... More

Serious Grape: Cool Summer Wines

On Fridays, Deb Harkness of Good Wine Under $20 drops by with Serious Grape. Photograph from SLR Jester on Flickr The dog days of summer are upon us, and the heat is on. Many of us reach for beer or mixed drinks when the temperature climbs and we are in search of something icy cold and refreshing. But you don't have to give up on wine. Instead, you need to make summer-savvy choices. Before the cool weather hits, check out some of these recommendations for cool reds, rosés, and whites that will quench your thirst and match beautifully with the simple, fresh foods of August and September.... More

It's a Little Quiet in This Corner

Aww. These Talk threads—all recipe requests today—have few or zero replies as of today. Anyone have any clue as to how to make the following? Spicy Rice Cakes Recipe? "I'm looking to try and recreate the spicy rice cake dish served at Momofuku Ssam Bar, which I know is basically a spin on the Korean dish dduk bok ki, and was wondering if anyone had any ideas of recipes or places I can start. Am also wondering if anyone knows if this dish is going to be in the cookbook." Recipe Request: Sandwich de Migas "Talking about the Argentine layered sandwich—anyone has pointers/recipe or perhaps even a tip on where to buy it ready in NY? Many advance thanks!" Recipe... More

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 79: What's Your Favorite Seasonal Snack?

"I have been feasting with impunity on fruits that are being grown responsibly 3,000 miles from my home." When you're a serious eater and a serious dieter you look for treats or snacks that you can eat with impunity at different times of the year. Yes, all you Michael Pollan and Alice Waters acolytes, I am talking about seasonal snacks that I can eat without worrying about my weight. Bananas have become a staple of my serious diet, but they are neither local nor seasonal unless you happen to live in a sub-tropical area. (I did have some killer baby bananas in Vieques, Puerto Rico, last December that tasted like they had been crossed with limes--banimas or limnanas, anyone?) Summer... More

Behold the ChefStack Automatic Pancake Maker

I found out about the glorious pancake-making machine ChefStack through an IM conversation with Serious Eats intern Grace. Observe: Grace: Grace: Looks crazy Me: WUT Me: WUT Me: IT POOPS PANCAKES Me: PLOP PLOP PLOP Grace: Hahaaha Me: AHAHAHAH Me: HUH Grace: Hahaha omg don’t have a seizure! And that's what I sound like when you chat with me through IM about pancakes—my IQ plummets by about 100 points. The ChefStack—or as I like to call it, the Pancake Plooper—makes pancakes at a rate of 200 pph (pancakes per hour) and will set you back $3,500. Interested in owning one of these babies? Visit for more info.... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

"I'll just have a salad." Ugh, Men: Women eat less when dining with dudes. [National Post] Berlin: Rags-to-riches restaurateur opens Gendarmerie, attempts to wrest "it spot" crown from century-old bistro. [NYT] Spain's King of Sweets: A Q&A with Francisco Torreblanca. "...people may understand it or not, and that is fine. That is how a revolution starts, and that's how it starts with taste as well." [Chicago Tribune] Caloric Monitoring Difficult: "Every element of obtaining dietary intake information is fraught with error." [AFC] Whole Foods: CEO John Mackey admits, "We sell a bunch of junk." [Telegraph]... More

Fasting May Reset Sleep Cycle, Cure Jet Lag

Researchers may have come up with a way to quickly beat jet lag—don't eat for 16 hours. Fasting seems to reset brain cells that influence the circadian rhythms of mice. That's the catch. The technique works with rodents, but the researchers at Harvard Medical School and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston speculate that it will work with humans, too. What the heck—it's not going to hurt too much to experiment on yourself, right? [via Lifehacker]... More

Come on in 'The Kitchn'

Each week we round up our favorite posts and recipes from our friends at The Kitchn. This week, the Kitchn shares a brownie trick that will even make the normal box mix approach look like a time suck. Introducing, gasp, the one-minute brownie. Also on the Kitchn, spicy cucumber and lime popsicles, eating more jicama, a book specifically about pluots, and what eggs to use in meringues.... More

Critic-Turned-Cook Goes Down to the Farm

Critic Turned Cook follows former Seattle Post-Intelligencer food critic Leslie Kelly on her journey away from the keyboard and into the kitchen. Take it away, Leslie! All right chefs, cooks and hardcore food fans: Raise your wing if you've ever plucked a freshly butchered chicken. Does the thought make your skin crawl? I honestly didn't know if I could do it, but I somehow managed to step up during an intense culinary program at the Quillisascut Farm School of the Domestic Arts, a little slice of utopia about six hours east of Seattle in Rice, Washington. Loads of people give the local/sustainable talk, but few make it their life mission as have Rick and Lora Lea Misterly, makers of incredible... More

'Julie & Julia' (& Nora)

"Never before has food being cooked and eaten on screen looked so good." If you're a serious eater, you're going to love Julie & Julia, Nora Ephron's graceful, funny, and generously spirited new movie. Why do I say this? Not because the back of my head takes a star turn that, according to Nora herself, "has everyone talking" (ha, ha). No, I'm afraid that joy will only be shared by my family and friends who will be the only ones taking note of my hatted head walking behind Amy Adams as she orders beef for her boeuf bourguignon at the Dean & Deluca butcher counter. I say that you are going to love this film because it's as passionate, discerning,... More

The Meat Cheat Sheet

This lovely graphic from the Cattlemen's Beef Board and the National Cattleman's Beef Association contains everything you need to know about beef cuts and how to cook each kind. Click here for a close-up. [via Doobybrain] Related Illustrated Guide to Steak Cuts, Plus Grilling Tips 'New' Cuts of Steak... [Talk] Grilling: Thai Beef Rolls with Sweet Chili Sauce... More

Video: How To Send Food Back At a Restaurant

Stop-motion animation + an upbeat dinkly tune = fun educational video on restaurant etiquette! If you're not sure how to send food back at a restaurant, this video will give you some tips. Assuming that the restaurant is at fault, be polite, tell the waitress early on in the meal, and if your dish is still subpar, ask for it to be taken off the bill. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Tartin it Up in Chicago at Fritz Pastry

Outside of Pasticceria Natalina in Andersonville, there really are no transcendent bakeries in Chicago. There are good bakeries that serve some great things. There are bad to mediocre bakeries that serve one or two good things. But for various reasons, the next generation is slacking. You find the sacrificing of small scale artisan techniques for large scale production, or the substitution of cheaper vegetable oils and shortenings for what was once butter. Even the best bakeries here tend to drop off. As a result, I never miss a chance to check out a new bakery in the hopes that I'll find another young and hungry pastry maven who's rocking out the best flaky and doughy goodies around. Fritz Pastry in... More

Gadgets: Wusthof Knife and Scissors Sharpener

"Used regularly, it's a very inexpensive way to get $10 knives to perform almost like $80 ones." Slowly but surely, I've gone from being the girl with terrifyingly unsafe knife skills to being relatively nimble with a blade. But if there's one thing that still remains squarely outside my comfort zone, it's manual sharpening. As my current roommate is the fortunate owner of some enviable Wüsthof knives, I've yet to upgrade from my not-so-desirable (and since discontinued) Ikea set. Considering that the roommate (and her Wüsthofs) won't be around forever, I decided to put a knife sharpener to the test. With some TLC, could I get my crappy set to mimic the sharp competition? I quickly mustered up my old... More

Laura Ling's Special Soup Revealed, Sort Of

Why the hoagie, you ask? Wonder no more. This morning we noted that the mom of freed journalist Laura Ling (right, with hoagie) had been making her daughter's "special soup" for two days. But what the heck was that soup? This evening, the New York Times reports: "'Laura loves this soup,' said Mary Ling, standing in front of her daughter’s house in North Hollywood with a bouquet of flowers and some nourishment. 'It’s a special Chinese herbal soup.'" OK. That doesn't tell us much. Jump to, which says, "ABC's Kate Snow ... reported Wednesday evening that it's a 'Chinese watercress soup.'" (I can't find a link at this moment to back that up.) More from that same Times... More

Watch It with Us: 'Top Chef Masters' Episode 8

If you're planning to watch tonight's episode of Top Chef Masters, join us here in the comments at 10 p.m. ET. It'll be an open thread—jump in with your observations or play-by-play as the episode unfolds. Who will remain? Whoever can pull together a gourmet burger and side dish in the Quickfire and a soy-less, gluten-less vegan dish for guest judge Zooey Deschanel. The remaining cheftestants include: Hubert Keller, Rick Bayless, Anita Lo, Michael Chiarello, and Art Smith. After the jump, watch as Deschanel breaks the news to them about her extra-special diet.... More

Weekend Cook and Tell Round Up: Anchovies

Photograph from justmakeit on Flickr It's Wednesday afternoon and that means it's time to round up all of your Weekend Cook and Tell projects! Last week's challenge was all about embracing the anchovy and frankly I'm a little taken aback by all the love you have shown for these little hairy fish. I thought I was pretty much alone in my love for anchovies but as it turns out, they aren't such an acquired taste after all. Here are some of our fishiest and favorite responses: College days inspired shoneyjoe to revisit the combination of chicken-flavored ramen noodles accented with a few anchovies. The results were salty, oily, fishy and delicious, with a hint of ridiculous. In typical Italian... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

American Blogger In Paris: David Lebovitz blogs, tweets, and makes a killer caramelized white chocolate ice cream. [WaPo] The Unconstipated Gourmet: Cookbook author Danielle Svetcov loosens up in the kitchen. [SFC] Heirloom Stoves: It's best to snag one from the late 1940s or the 1950s. [Slate] Anchovies Are Your Friends: The little fishies contain umami, the indescribable fifth taste. [NPR] Pumpkinification: It's not too early to cook with gourds. [Guardian] Kogi Consultants: Mark Manguera of Kogi may start a consulting biz for mobile vendors. [LAT] Frosted Presidential Seal: Obama's birthday cake from yesterday. [NBC] Save Nathan's: Sign a petition so the original Coney Island hot dog stand doesn't get bulldozed-over. [Gothamist]... More

Cornucopia Salad at Georgia On My Thighs

Serious Eats contributor Michele Humes shares her experience making Paula Deen's cornucopia salad on her blog, Georgia On My Thighs. The salad is a sight to behold: lettuce, celery, green pepper, water chestnuts, peas, mushrooms, and bananas topped with a mixture of mayonnaise, sugar, and white vinegar, sprinkled with raisins, peanuts, grated Cheddar, scallion tops, and bacon.... More

Video: The Original Sushi Pillow Commercial

Plush sushi pillows are a little pricey—$40 for a California roll and $69 for an edamame body pillow, but after this commercial, you might be brainwashed into one. Or just freaked that four people in all black will chase you across bridges in the snow to Go-go music. The video, after the jump.... More

Cooking with a Friend: Cooking on a Weeknight

Jennifer Maiser writes about locally and sustainably grown food. The Cooking with a Friend series chronicles her cooking and menu planning adventures with her neighbor, J. Calabacitas, a great summer dish. It's been a few weeks since J. and I have been able to cook together but we eased back into it together pretty comfortably. We met on a weeknight this time, which means that we needed to be more careful about our time and doing complicated, long recipes. Since both of our freezers are quite full, we went through them to see what should be cooked, and what could free up space. We had baked a large sheet of ziti during one of our first weeks together—it was before... More

Styrofoam Coffee Cup + Sharpie = Art

Foam cup artist Cheeming Boey of Newport Beach, California, creates intricate designs using the underexplored medium of Sharpie pens. His Flickr set includes images of noodle shops, faceless diners, scaly fish, Japanese gods, and more, which sell for about $120 to $220 each. Styrofoam cups may typically be associated with ocean pollution and non-biodegradable landfill waste, but they are looking pretty snazzy here. Read this interview with Boey on the Sharpie blog. Related RIP 'We Are Happy to Serve You' Coffee Cups? Video: Squirrel Gets Head Stuck in Yogurt Cup Latte Printer Art... More

Freed Journalist Laura Ling an Apparent Hoagie-Lover

Freed journalists Laura Ling, with hoagie, and Euna Lee. When first published the news that journalists Laura Ling and Euna Lee were freed from North Korea yesterday, these were the photos they used. At some point, the website cropped out the hoagie from Ling's photo—but not before sharp-eyed Philadelphia Citypaper blogger Drew Lazor noticed it and screen-capped it, saying: ...why did CNN decide to zoom in/crop the image after its initial posting? Is it inappropriate to show a former detainee brandishing a sandwich like a motherfucking microphone? We certainly don’t think so. On the contrary—nothing, in our opinion at least, screams democracy quite like this. Fuck you, Kim Jong-il, you evil commie bastard! This shit has THREE KINDS... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Uncommon Economic Indicator: The worse the economy, the hotter the waitress? Hugo Lindgren thinks so. [NYM] Oysters: On the rebound in Chesapeake Bay. [NYT] Organic vs. Local: Which is best? [LiveScience] Dented Cans, Crushed Cartons: "Salvage grocers" thrive by offering steep on damaged goods. [AP] Julia Child: Celebrity chefs talk about their first encounters with her. [NYDN] Media Stampede: Why Julie & Julia director Nora Ephron is seemingly everywhere in the press these days. [The Awl] Crazy Dogs: America's outré weenies. [MSNBC]... More

How to Cope with CSA Stress

Photograph from justinhenry on Flickr Has your CSA membership compromised your ridiculously wild social life? Do you find yourself staying indoors to make use of the okra piling up? Cathy Erway of Not Eating Out in New York can relate, but she's come up with some tips: Beets last a really long time. Kohlrabi is not going to turn in a week, either. If you find that you simply have too much stuff to eat in a week (as I do often), go for the most delicate leafy greens first. Save the big heads of cabbage, potatoes, green beans and carrots for another week, and don’t worry about them. She recommends eating the produce raw (pots and pans can... More

Nutritional Wants and Needs Fail to Overlap

From recovering lazyholic on Flickr In her illustration "Nutrition", Erin Hanson depicts the food pyramid many of us would want if it was less likely to result in premature death: coffee, butter, pizza, and booze. If only. Check out her other food-related "Photoshop thoughts" on income, luck, embarassment, dilemma, and fornication.... More

Serious Green: 10 Cheap & Green Kitchen Tips

As a committed tree-hugger and very recent graduate, I find myself plopped firmly at the intersection of cheap and green. Keeping things environmentally friendly while keeping costs down is important to me. Below, some of my best time-tested, budget-approved ways to keep both your wallet and the earth green and happy. 1. Fill Your Oven Photograph from KirrilyRobert on Flickr Every time you turn on your oven to roast or bake something, make sure that baby is full. It takes a lot of energy to get an oven to 400°F, so you might as well fill all the rack space. Even if roasted sweet potatoes aren't part of tonight's roasted chicken dinner, I throw them in; they'll get put into... More

Blooming Champagne Cocktail

As if I needed yet another excuse to drink Champagne, here comes what may be the prettiest cocktail I've ever seen. The Hungry Mouse demonstrates how to use wild hibiscus flowers in syrup in a Blooming Champagne Cocktail. Just place a preserved hibiscus flower in a Champagne flute, and fill with your bubbly beverage of choice! The flower slowly opens and "blooms" in the glass, making it a beautiful treat that's "a little bit sweet—with just the faintest hint of raspberries."... More

Video: Remi Gaillard's Chicken Funeral

This video, by French prankster Remi Gaillard, was posted about a year ago but seems to be making the rounds on the web again. In it, he wears a chicken suit and stages a funeral at a rotisserie chicken joint. [Watch the video, after the jump.]... More

Haiku Lunchbox

When you're eating lunch, do you ever feel inspired to write three metrical phrases about it? Haiku Lunchbox looks like the beginning of a great site devoted to food poetry. So far there are only four entries, but I felt inspired to compose a fifth: Salty meats, damp loaf From jars of olive salad Muffuletta, love Related Awesome Burger Haikus Awesome Pizza Haikus Food Poems [Talk]... More

Serious Cheese: Cheese in Space

West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers The marketing geniuses behind, the webcam that broadcasts a 24/7 feed of an aging wheel of English Farmhouse Cheddar, have outdone themselves with a publicity stunt that rivals some of the greatest achievements of mankind. Last week, the West Country Farmhouse Cheesemakers launched a weather balloon in space, to which was hitched a slice of 18-month old West Country Cheddar. Their plan? To "mark the 40th anniversary of the first man on the moon and the first space flight undertaken by a piece of cheese." The device had an onboard GPS which was supposed to help them track the flight path of the cheese, as well as a camera to take pictures while in... More

Mini Deep-Fryer

Wired blogged about this mini deep-fryer last week, and at first I was quite taken with it. Who wouldn't want a small, easy-to-store deep-fryer that uses only a quart of oil rather than a gallon or more? But then I remembered the deep-fryer episode of Good Eats, in which I seem to recall Alton Brown talking about heat recovery—that you need a good amount of oil so that the food, when dunked, doesn't lower the oil temp so far that your goodies don't fry properly. Then again, if you're only making a single serving of fries or one chicken wing at a time, I suppose this thing might work. Still, if cooking for one is sometimes lonely, deep-frying for one... More

Video: Churning Artisanal Butter in Maine

You can almost smell and taste the butter in this video from the Boston Globe. It goes inside the Kate's Homemade Butter "factory"* in Maine, where 3,600-pound-capacity butter churns produce some truly delicious butter. (I know it's delicious because I actually have some in my fridge now.) After seeing the massive quantity of butter in this video I want nothing more than a nice short stack of pancakes slathered with the stuff—along with some Vermont maple syrup to complete the New England theme. [Mondo butterage, after the jump!]... More

Leftovers: The Day's Stray Links

Oyster "R" Rule: Break the ancient rule of oysterdom. [SF Chronicle] Italy Online: An artisan food culture might be saved by the web. [Guardian] Ex-Lady McCartney Turned Vegan Restaurateur: Heather Mills opens VBites in the UK. [Telegraph] Fruit Flies Attack SoCal: Traps have been placed in L.A. to kill the pest. [AP] Mark Bittman Responds: He'll answer reader questions on everything from olive oil to ribs until August 7. [Chowhound] Ketchup Sandwiches: It's not that bad, but people are cutting back on fancy groceries. [Seattle Times] Produce Stickers: How they can improve food safety. [SF Chronicle]... More

Fresh Food on TV: Weekday Edition

With all the channels on broadcast TV and cable—and the inevitable episode repeats—it's hard to sort out what's new or worthwhile. Let us sort it out for you so you don't miss anything worth watching. Times may vary with region; check your local listings for exact hour and channels. Monday (August 3) Good Eats (warning, a video plays automatically on site): "Bowl O' Bayou." Alton explains what gumbo is and the difference between Cajun and Creole. He also shares his recipe for making brick (dark) roux and gumbo. (repeat) 8 p.m. ET, Food Network Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations: "Down on the Street." Tony explores local cuisine sold at street carts, outdoor markets, and roadside stands around the world. 10 p.m.... More

Market Scene: Newton, Massachusetts

Since 1980, the Newton Parks and Recreation Department has sponsored a large and popular farmers' market every Tuesday in Cold Spring Park, which brings together 25 vendors and as many as 1,000 shoppers during peak season. Nicewicz Family Farm has been selling at the market for 20 years. They have a reputation for outstanding peaches and corn. Alan Nicewicz explained that even before his grandparents purchased the farm in 1929 there were peach trees on the land. "The soil is very good up there. It's hilly. We have a lot of clay which adds to the sweetness of the peaches. As for the corn, I think we grow some good varieties. We work very closely with the seed companies."... More

Cook the Book: '100 Best Vegetarian Recipes'

It seems like vegetarian meals are always met with back-handed compliments. "This nut loaf is so delicious, I don't even miss the meat!" Or "those portobello burgers were divine, almost as good as a real cheeseburger!" Too often vegetarian dishes try to compensate for their lack of animal-based protein with meat mimicry. In my opinion, this emphasis on meat simulation is part of why vegetarian cooking has developed such a bad reputation over the years. I was a strict vegetarian for almost ten years and I have eaten countless veggie burgers, soy dogs, and buffalo "wings." A Tofurkey graced my Thanksgiving table for more years than I would care to admit. I am currently a happy omnivore who thoroughly enjoys... More

Video: Animated 'Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom Nom' by Parry Gripp

This song by Parry Gripp might make a few screws come loose in your brain, but this cute animated video by Nathan Mazur of various bug-eyed animals (along with a robot and Abraham Lincoln) chewing their food makes it worth watching. My favorite is the fish—it's just so darn happy to be eating those flakes. Watch the video after the jump.... More

Should Junk Food Help Pay for Health Care?

Congress is considering a ten percent "fat tax" on junk food to help pay for the expansion of health care coverage. But as the Economist points out, defining junk food is tricky. While sugary drinks, fries, and burgers might be lumped under this umbrella of fatty foods, they vary on the junky spectrum. Should it be based strictly on fat, calorie, or sugar content? Others have suggested a more direct, though controversial, approach to the tax: charging people based on BMI or body fat content. One Economist reader had the following to say: The common denominator among smokers is cigarettes, so we tax cigarettes. The common denominator among alcohol-abusers is alcoholic beverages, so we tax alcoholic beverages. The common... More

The 'Veggie Reeltor,' a Broker for Vegetarians in the Bay Area

In looking for a real estate broker, I'd want to know his experience, his commission, his accreditation. But his vegetarian tendencies? As the San Francisco Chronicle reports, broker Daniel Berman, working from Palo Alto, California, sells himself as a "vegetarian reeltor." (And no, that's not a typo; due to trademark concerns with the National Association of Realtors, he's using the term "reeltor" in lieu of the normal spelling.) Believing that a customer and a broker should share fundamental values, he actively seeks out a veggie clientele. "Why should the real estate profession be the exclusive domain of meat-eating right-wing conservatives?" he asks. (Is it really?) He also offers to take a lower commission, if some portion of the savings are... More

Pig Speakers

Now pigs don't have to be limited to grunts and snorts—at least in Japan, where these ceramic piggy speakers are available in different colors for ¥4,725 (about $50). [via Engdaget; Tip o' the hat to Nick] Related White Castle Amplifiers Pig Faced Cooking Lid Video: Adorable Pig in Boots... More

Who Are Your Favorite Farmers at Farmers' Markets?

Farmers supply us with more in-season serious deliciousness than any other group of people I can think of, and given the adverse growing conditions this year, they need our support now more than ever. In the coming weeks, we're going to put the Serious Eats spotlight on some of the farmer heroes all over America. More

Make Your Own Monkey Bread

Photo from Picky Cook via Photograzing I'd be a lot more excited about Monday morning if I had started it off with a big hunk of monkey bread—a sweet, cinnamony breakfast bread made of fused-together balls of dough, begging to be torn apart with sticky fingers. The Picky Cook has a scrumptious-looking recipe for making one from scratch, along with a gorgeous step-by-step photo tutorial. But if this looks like too much of a project, the King Arthur Flour Classic Monkey Bread mix ain't half bad, either.... More

Watch It with Us: 'The Next Food Network Star' Season 5 Finale

If you're planning to watch tonight's episode of The Next Food Network Star, join us here in the comments at 9 p.m. ET. It'll be an open thread—jump in with your comments, observations, or play-by-play as the episode unfolds. This week it's down to the two finalists: Jeffrey and Melissa. According to judge Susie Fogelson, this was the toughest decision of all five seasons. Who do you think will be eliminated? And who deserves a show on the Food Network?... More

Snapshots from the UK: Pepsi Raw

"It tastes like you'd imagine Victorian drug store cola to taste." My idea of a natural soda usually involves an experiment in mixing seltzer water and fresh juice. You get to watch the mixture fizz and spit and change color, just like with an amateur chemistry set. So when I saw the "Natural Born Cola" Pepsi Raw (marketed in the U.S. as Pepsi Natural) in the cold drinks section at my local pharmacy here in England, I was intrigued by the slim-as-a-Red-Bull, dark-as-a-brown-M&M can. The ingredients listed are "sparkling water, cane sugar, apple extract, colourings: plain caramel, natural plant extracts including natural caffeine and kola nut extract, citric tartaric and lactic acids, (stabilizer) gum arabic, (thickener) xanthan gum."... More

Found: Nougat Chocolate Bar from Wendler of Nürnberg

"Basically a way to eat Nutella in a handy wrapped stick." I picked up the Classic Nougat Chocolate Bar from the small but packed-full-of-goodness Blue Apron Foods in Brooklyn. Blue Apron carries a wide variety of international candy bars, but this one with its classic gold wrapper caught my eye. The bar's gold packaging reminded me (how could it not) of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. Forget the kiddie cartoon characters and bright colors, I'll take a crisp gold wrapper any day. I unfolded the wrapping to reveal two layers of solid nougat, one dark and one light. The bar proved to be soft and dense at the same time. Each bite screamed chocolate and hazelnut nougat perfection. The... More

In Season: Cucumbers

Photograph from foodista on Flickr With summer in full swing, my cucumber intake has increased to alarming levels. In salads, soups, or just as a raw snack, the crisp crunch they add to a dish instantly cools me down, a brief relief from my steam room of an apartment. When at the market, look for firm specimens with a medium to dark green color. I prefer the smaller ones as they're less bitter and be sure to stay away from any yellow bits. Store them covered in plastic wrap and refrigerated for about a week or so (avoid the crisper, as it's too cold). If you find yourself unable to eat one more cucumber and want to use it... More

Snapshots from the South of France: Merguez Frites

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire. If you take one look at Merguez, and then one sniff, you’ll know nothing proves that old adage quite like this Moroccan sausage. The smoke comes from the cumin seed and the waft of the grill; the fire from the flames that lick its charred casing, and the burning heat of chili that you find within. If you read my weekly column French in a Flash, then you know that I tend to produce what might be called artistic French home cooking. And if you read that column you’ll also know that I have a French-Moroccan grandmother. What you may not know, my best worst-kept secret, is that I absolutely live and breathe for... More

This Week's Tasty 10

According to our handy site-metering utility, the top 10 most delicious items across the Serious Eats family of sites this week were ... 1. My Week Without Corn, Part II: The No Corn-Fed Animal Products Edition “I’ve basically become a corn-averse vegan." 2. Rubik's Cube Sandwich "Dammit! That means I have to solve it before I eat! DO NOT WANT. Too much work." —samplelife 3. Eat for Eight Bucks: Japanese Fried Chicken and Two Simple Salads "I love fried chicken in all its forms but tori no kara-age, Japan’s barely-breaded answer to popcorn chicken, holds a special place in my heart." 4. I Need a Happy, Healthly Food Project "I have had a spectacularly horrible month. Let's just say that... More