'Wall Street Journal' on Serious Eats

Is Vodka Dead?

©iStockphoto.com/YinYang Eric Felten, the drinks columnist for the Wall Street Journal, seems to think so. He cites this year’s edition of Food & Wine’s annual cocktail compilation, Cocktails ’09, as proof of vodka’s demotion in the cocktail world. This year’s book has only ten vodka-based drinks, Felten notes, whereas the 2005 edition had 60. He openly celebrates the decline of all kinds of -tinis in favor of drinks based on gin, brandy, and other intensely flavored spirits. “As a way to inject unobtrusive alcoholic content into sugary drinks,” he writes of vodka, “the spirit is unsurpassed…But vodka's neutrality and uniformity would seem to be at odds with the slow-food crowd's embrace of robust flavors reflecting specific locales.” Is vodka... More

Would You Eat Stinging Nettle?

Nettle soup. ©iStockphoto.com/adel66 Wild lettuces, forest mushrooms, gathered berries—there are plenty of foraged foods we’re used to seeing at the market or on the menu. But stinging nettle? The plant ranks right up there with poison ivy for its effect on the unsuspecting hiker—a single touch can bring on an immediate, painful sting. But according to Seattle foraging expert Langdon Cook, author of Fat of the Land: Adventures of a 21st Century Forager, properly-prepared nettles make a perfect stand-in for spinach—whether in soups or pastas, as a cooked green, or as a base for pesto. Of course, nettle-eaters should handle the raw plant with care—using gloves when holding the uncooked green, and blanching the leaves in order to get... More

You Can't Even Drink Away the Misery

The crap economy has forestalled Guinness's plans to open a "super brewery." St. James Gate, the company's historic Dublin brewery, was to consolidate older buildings and sell off the freed-up land to finance the new operation. But, as the Wall Street Journal reports, that's down the drain now.... More

Wall Street Journal (Sorta) Does the Math: Delivery vs. Frozen Pizza

©iStockPhoto.com/lvinst When I first clicked through to this link on the Wall Street Journal site about the cost of delivery vs. frozen pizza, I thought there'd be some interesting numbers and an illuminating conclusion regarding DiGiorno's ad campaign touting the cheaper price of frozen pies. But, alas, "The Numbers Guy" doesn't really break it down for us. It comes out to a he-said-she-said piece in which chain pizzerias tout their selling points while a Kraft spokeswoman maintains that DiGiorno pizzas are still cheaper. The chain-pizza party line: Added Chris Sternberg, of Papa John's, in an email, "With delivered pizza,... More

Wall Street Journal's Ten Foods to Eat This Fall

Quince (left) and kabocha (right), two of this fall's "it" foods. The Wall Street Journal’s list of top ten foods to eat this fall is ... surprising. Gone are the apples and pumpkins of posterity, replaced with such oddities as quince and kabocha. And yet, such "unseasonal" staples as pine nuts and thyme made the cut. My prediction? This guide will become the "how to look chic at the farmers market" manual. My advice? Sometimes chic comes less from the unexpected and more from the obvious: Shop around, but don’t forget where you came from. There's a reason it's apple- and pumpkin-pie season. After the jump, what the cool kids are eating this fall.... More

Andre Ethier: L.A. Dodger, Food Blogger

We somehow missed this last week, and I kick myself for that because it's such a cool story. The Wall Street Journal has a charming feature on L.A. Dodgers outfielder Andre Ethier and his nascent food blog. Mr. Ethier knows where to find the best throat-meat tacos in Los Angeles, the juiciest Salvadoran papusas and the city's tastiest Romanian chicken stew. He waxes poetic about the pinto beans in his native Arizona, where they're often pureed with cream and lard. "Here they want you to taste the bean, not the lard, which is... different."In June, Mr. Ethier began snapping pictures of the dishes at some of his favorite restaurants and posting them on a blog he calls Dining With 'Dre.... More

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