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Living, eating and researching in Italy at the University of Gastronomic Sciences
A million kinds of cheese
I need to take my Chinese family (10-12 people) out to dinner on Thanksgiving. They're restauranteurs prone to saying "I can make that better myself" and "Aiyah, so expensive!" Chinese/Asian food would be preferable, especially if I can show them something new or different. Last year, we went to Fu Run and they loved the cumin lamb chop and candied taro. Where should we go this year?
Is it just me or does the name remind you of "saddest fries"?
We like it Unscoopably Firm!
A hopeless mishmash of good intentions gone horribly wrong: homemade pizza dough topped with ketchup and Kraft singles, served with rice. (Yes, this really happened.)
Oh no the secret's out, stay away from my block-away pizzeria!
That first paragraph transition made me LOL, I only wish all of my blind dates were so hilariously awkward.
I'm about 2/3 of the way through the book, and though I agree that some criticisms are needed (some of Cowen's restaurant-choosing advice seems based on anecdotal observations rather than rigorous research or theory), I do think that he makes important arguments about food systems that we foodies with means take for granted. For instance, he critiques the holy tenet that local food is always best. While eating seasonal, local produce tastes great in many cases, distance is not the only factor in carbon footprint. Production methods matter even more. Farmers who use winter greenhouses or irrigate heavily are likely using more energy and resources than a farmer in a warmer, rainier climate who ships items using transportation with a low carbon footprint. Thus, it can be better to eat a banana shipped here via boat instead of a tomato grown in a greenhouse in upstate NY, then trucked for several hours to a farmers market.
Many reviewers who have said this book is against all that is good and Alice Waters cite his appreciation of agribusiness (for its economies of scale) and GMOs (for radically increasing crop yields). He does gloss over the myriad issues that have resulted from the domination of agribusiness in this country, but in the end, I find that many of Cowen's policy prescriptions (to encourage less meat consumption, to tax carbon) are actually in line with what Bittman or Pollan might recommend.
Overall, the book is a good (if disorganized) mix of restaurant advice, cultural history and economic theory. If you are a devout foodie who cares about conscientious consumption, read this book and be prepared to challenge your beliefs or stand your ground.
alton brown's avocado & 'dine sandwich!
my mundial chef's knife!
Dino bbq in Syracuse!
pho and hot dogs!
carnitas and rillettes!
Invite lots of people over to help fold potstickers!
Pho and hot dogs!
$22 8" Mundial chef's knife, best bang for the buck you can get
Chinese cleavers, light, sharp, doubles as a pestle
all black, all the time
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