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Sunday Reading

Robyn Lee 2 comments

Got a little extra time on your hands now that it's Sunday? Catch up on some of the longer-form food articles from around the web this week with us. Jason Sheehan of The Denver Westword describes his four-hour dinner at Le Bernadin in rapturous detail and calls it the best meal he has ever eaten. [via Fork In the Road] The Guardian gives advice on how to grow your own carrots and what are the best varieties to try. Salon interviews Taras Grescoe about his seafood industry exposé, Bottomfeeder: How to Eat Ethically in a World of Vanishing Seafood. "There are the Anthony Bourdains having these 'to die for' meals and having a great time, but no one's really talking... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 2 comments

Got a little extra time on your hands now that it's Sunday? Catch up on some of the longer-form food articles from around the web this week with us. In case you missed the thread, or maybe you just need to catch up, but the Talk topic "Serious Eats users: please introduce yourself" is now up to 160+ comments(!). Wired has a lengthy piece on what they're calling "peak water," or "the point at which the renewable supply is forever outstripped by unquenchable demand... Freshwater is the ultimate renewable resource, but humanity is extracting and polluting it faster than it can be replenished." The UK's Telegraph posts a review of Gordon Ramsay's Plane Food, his restaurant in the new Terminal... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael Post a comment

Michael Laiskonis on the savory-sweet crossover in desserts. Slate on the Kosher wine "revolution": "keeping the faith no longer requires smiting the palate." The Economist's cover story is on the current wave of food price inflation. The LA Times has a piece on rising beer prices, cheeky headline and all: Rising beer prices hard to swallow. The New Statesman runs a cover piece, How the rich starved the world: "World cereal stocks are at an all-time low, food-aid programmes have run out of money and millions face starvation. Yet wealthy countries persist with plans to use grain for petrol." Salon has a writeup on two recently-released books on bananas: "the history of this fruit goes hand in hand with the... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael Post a comment

Portfolio on geopolitics and kitchen appliances: "Entertaining plays a significant role in global diplomacy," so American ambassadors in so-called hardship posts get pricey Viking ranges. The Associated Press reports that the Bush administration is likely to move research labs for one of the most contagious animal diseases from an isolated island laboratory on Plum Island, New York, to the U.S. mainland near herds of livestock, raising concerns about a "catastrophic outbreak." MIchael Laiskonis praises his staff at Le Bernardin: "While it's my name and credibility out front, they do a lot of the leg work. Simply put, a lot of what they do day in and day out is to make me look good."... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael Post a comment

A long piece from Vanity Fair on Monsanto Michael Laiskonis on trial and error and the refinement of a dish over time. The Wall Street Journal chronicles how chefs in Moscow are applying techniques from molecular gastronomy to traditional Russian cooking. After the jump, a video of Chef Anatoly Komm in the kitchen of his restaurant Varvary.... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael Post a comment

The New York Times runs an op-ed piece by Jack Hedin, a farmer, on the Department of Agriculture's hampering of local, organic produce: "[C]onsumers who would like to be able to buy local fruits and vegetables not just at farmers' markets, but also in the produce aisle of their supermarket, will be dismayed to learn that the federal government works deliberately and forcefully to prevent the local food movement from expanding." The Morning News does a wrap-up of beef news from the month of February. There's surprisingly a lot. Tabloid Baby has a follow-up on So Good Blog's coverage of the invention of the cream cheese-filled bagel.... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 2 comments

The New Yorker on the relationship between food miles and their carbon footprint and the difficulty in measuring it: "Food carries enormous symbolic power, so the concept of 'food miles'—the distance a product travels from the farm to your home—is often used as a kind of shorthand to talk about climate change in general." If the priority is the reduction of emissions of greenhouse gases, then eating locally may not be best: "The environmental burden imposed by importing apples from New Zealand to Northern Europe or New York can be lower than if the apples were raised fifty miles away." Michael Laiskonis discusses the use of found objects in food, using items such as Ritz crackers or Dr Pepper: "In... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael Post a comment

Slate Magazine has a great write-up on the 1947 Château Cheval Blanc, probably the most celebrated wine of the 20th century: "The '47 Cheval is not a wine that someone contrived to make; it is a wine that essentially made itself." Portfolio reports on micro-micro breweries, or one-man brewing. Brian Hunt of Moonlight Brewing, in Fulton, California: “You can’t make Bud, but you can’t make Sierra Nevada Pale Ale either. You have to find something you can do better, and focus on that with your passion and skill.” Rick Bayless in the New York Times Magazine's Domains feature, on the worst dish he created: "Avocado-coffee ice cream. It tasted like excrement and looked like it too." The New York Times... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 4 comments

Michael Laiskonis writes about the "amber liquid gold" that is beurre noisette, with recipes for financiers and brown butter ice cream. The New York Times Magazine makes the case for a nutritional and sustainable food source: insects: "After all, if Americans love shrimp and lobster, why won’t they eat their terrestrial cousins?" The New York Times profiles the "Wisconsin Candy Delta", somehow neglecting to mention the very good Candinas. Ooooh, pretty slide show. Ruth Reichl interviews Marcus Samuelsson on the opening of his new restaurant, Merkato 55. Grub Street has a preview with pictures. Gourmet praises Sriracha: "Put it on any old thing, and that thing—empanadas, a plate of scrambled eggs, whatever—will turn into something gloriously, fabulously new. Sriracha imparts... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 1 comment

Michael Laiskonis, executive pastry chef of Le Bernardin, compares cooking and architecture and provides a recipe for his interpretation of a mille feuille. Dara Moskowitz Grumdahl visits a farmers' market in the US Virgin Islands. [Gourmet] Wineries in California try to "cork the problem of limos and tour buses bringing partyers to their venues." [LA Times, via Slate] A 33 cent tax on plastic bags in Ireland has been resoundingly successful: "Within a year, nearly everyone had bought reusable cloth bags... Plastic bags were not outlawed, but carrying them became socially unacceptable." [NYT] Sara Dickerman on pudding: "sometimes the comfort of a comfort food has less to do with eating than it does with cooking." [NYTM] Hearst has been poaching... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 4 comments

Slate debunks the New York Times' "scaremongering" story about mercury-tainted sushi. [Slate] The Observer's Susan Smillie travels to the South and discovers that "things really differ state to state..." and is baffled by shrimp and grits for breakfast. [Observer Food Monthly] Mark Bittman, who is not a vegetarian, writes about the environmental impact of meat consumption: "beef generates 24 times more CO2 than vegetables and rice." [NYT] Question: Is there a difference between brown and white eggs? Answer: No, they're just more expensive. [Chow] On Friday, Serious Eats' Pizza Weblog Slice survived an Internet thrashing due to its exhaustive list of regional pizzas. Seems as though everyone has something to say about their local pies: read the many comments over... More

Sunday Reading

Raphael 4 comments

Gourmet runs an until-now unpublished essay by the late food writer Edna Lewis, What is Southern? [Gourmet] Two months after their own Frank Bruni goose-eggs Harry Cipriani's, the New York Times tries to explain its enduring popularity. [NYT] Amanda Hesser revisits a late 80s recipe for Potato, Shiitake and Brie Gratin. [NYTM] Eric Asimov has a hangover. [NYT] The Hydrox cookie has been killed off. Fun fact: the "name came from combining the words hydrogen and oxygen, which Sunshine executives thought evoked purity." [WSJ, via Coldmud] Chinese exporters are going kosher to offset the U.S. backlash over tainted food products. [Mercury News, via Consumerist] Maureen Dowd gets food poisoning and White House doctors come to the rescue. [Barfblog]... More

Sunday Reading

Ed Levine 3 comments

Anthony Bourdain didn't pull any punches when he was interviewed by my friend Robb Walsh on the subject of illegal immigrants working in restaurant kitchens. "People have differing opinions on what we should do about immigration in the future. How open or how closed our borders should be. Fine. But let's be honest, at least, about who is cooking in America NOW. Who we rely on--have relied on for decades. The bald fact is that the entire restaurant industry in America would close down overnight, would never recover, if current immigration laws were enforced quickly and thoroughly across the board. Everyone in the industry knows this. It is undeniable. Illegal labor is the backbone of the service and hospitality industry--Mexican,... More

Sunday Reading: Toxic Chinese Fish Farms; Michael Pollan; Francis Ford Coppola

Ed Levine 4 comments

A truly terrifying story on Chinese fish farms in toxic waters. We should be very scared. Michael Pollan frames the sustainability issue in a whole new way, and in doing so he makes us see how sustainability relates to the story above. Is Francis Ford Coppola aiming to become the George Foreman of the espresso set? It will set you back $699 to find out in April when Coppola's Illy Francis Francis X7 hits stores everywhere.... More

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