Recurring Memes, Themes, and Schemes
Pie Is the New Cupcake
Purist pie mavens might be scrunching their eyebrows at all the artisanal fillings turning up—over in Brooklyn, the pie shop Four and Twenty Blackbirds makes a double-crusted strawberry balsamic and grapefruit custard. But whether they're age-old recipes or newfangled ones, pie is always a happy-maker. Step off, cupcakes.
The Cooking Channel
Coffee Toys and Cuppings
The coffee culture is expanding, looking more and more like that of wine. It's no longer just a caffeine delivery system, but something to savor and sip. Ooh, notes of cranberries and dank moss! (There are no wrong answers, right?) Coffee growers, traders, and roasters taste varieties side-by-side in a ritual known as cuppings, which even lay drinkers are getting into now and attending like wine tastings.
Sandra Lee Becomes New York's First Lady, Sorta
The Rise and Fall of Four Loko
Each 23.5-ounce can has 12.0% ABV (that's as much alcohol as some six-packs of beer) and twice as much caffeine as a small Red Bull. Basically it makes people go bonkers. But can't you go just as berserk-wacky when mixing vodka with Red Bull? Or just drinking too much in general? We polled readers, and 69% of you said that no, Four Loko should not be banned. New York chef Eddie Huang agreed, and was so passionate that he kept serving it at his restaurant Xiao Ye even after the ban. Turns out, oops, that was illegal and the restaurant closed soon after. Our cocktails columnist Paul Clarke offered ideas for other caffeinated cocktails in this post-Four Loko world.