Friday Faves No. 139

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

We resisted watching this, but then, Schadenfreude can be sweet: Hugh Acheson Made Kris Jenner's Nachos And if you still haven't had your fill: The 23 Most Ridiculous Lines From Kris Jenner's Kookbook (yeah, that's how she's spelling it). 1) On her casual taste in dishware: "I am notorious for my table settings and my dishes. If I'm cooking an Italian meal, I will grab my red Hermès china to go with the red sauce." (Eater)

Marketing rule #1 — don't insult your customers. Sexist beer ads: why it's time for a cold, hard rethink. "There is a powerful business case for beer companies to abandon the puerile misogyny and step into the 21st century. The Daily Mail reports that the number of female beer drinkers in the UK has doubled to 1.3 million in recent years, and that women make up 31% of weekly beer drinkers." And the real shocker: "The study, which examined nearly 40,000 banner adverts over a six month period, is perhaps another suggestion that sticking a semi-naked woman next to a product isn’t necessarily the most inventive or effective way to sell it." (Guardian)

Ivory Coast president tours country's first chocolate factory. Chocolate to be made in Ivory Coast for first time despite country being the world’s biggest grower of cocoa beans. "Despite its French ownership, the plant represents a small victory in the continent’s battle to profit from its natural resources instead of exporting them to be processed elsewhere." (Guardian)

Does A Pig Fed With Green Tea Taste Better? Some farmers in Japan think so. Apparently, it works with goats too. (Modern Farmer)

A nice personal essay from David Chang on how war and scarcity can shape a culinary legacy. "At the end of the day, you’re not born a great cook. It’s something you have to learn, and you need something to work with." (Lucky Peach)

The Piggly Wiggly way: Businesses should think carefully about continuing to heap work on their customers. Lots of interesting points here: "The reason why so many people feel overworked these days is that they are constantly being asked to do “unseen” jobs by everybody from Amazon to the Internal Revenue Service to the local school board. And the reason why they feel so alienated is that they spend so much time pressing buttons and speaking to machines rather than interacting with other people." And: "If [businesses] never meet their customers, they will lose touch with them. And although self-service is great for saving costs, its effect over time is to train customers to shop on price, and thus to switch as soon as a slightly cheaper rival comes along." (Economist)

'It's like eating a hedgerow': why do hop shoots cost €1,000 a kilo? Sounds like a bit much to pay for something described as "kale-like," but if people are willing to pay... (Guardian)

Sing Along Snacks: Jamaica Jamaica

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

As farmers market season gets into full swing, Brigadier Jerry sings about veggies and marketing in Jamaica Jamaica. It's like a shopping list you can dance to.

"I-man borrow my brother van
was making a truck going over these hills, man
to check my grandfather who is a farmer
Lord! who live inna Manchester area....

(He) give me 17 bunch 'a 'di green, green banana
34 pound 'a 'di Irish potatoe
55 pounds of the sweet sweet cassava
Lord, 'im neva have no tomatoe
'im neva have no tomatoe"

Friday Faves No. 138

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

This Morbid Artist Serves Her Cake with a Side of Death (like above, and much more through the link made from chocolate) "The chocolate project came about as kind of a natural progression of having switched to an edible medium,” de Vetten explains. “I was reading Dr. Paul Koudounaris’ book Empire of Death and was marveling once again at the painted skulls displayed in the Ossuary of St. Michael in Halstatt, Austria, and it occurred to me that I could make myself one, in chocolate. I hadn’t really thought about if that would be something my customers would want or aimed at selling. It was just something I wanted to own and as I couldn’t have a real one I made one from chocolate."  (Munchies)

Astoundingly Realistic Candy Animals Skillfully Crafted Using the Traditional Japanese Art of Amezaiku gives a cuter version of sugar art. (Laughing Squid)

Why your next food porn will come from Ethiopia Really, it's about time. (CNN) 

The All-Stars of Stadium Snacks From the best pie in English football to Baltimore’s crab cakes, we serve up the tastiest game-day grub (Mr. Porter)

'Tales' Of Pig Intelligence, Factory Farming And Humane Bacon with Barry Estabrook Good commentary, but not an easy listen. (NPR)

As if you didn't already know that kombucha was up to no good; it's now part of an LA cult bust. (Jezebel)

Is it aliens, or is your microwave talking to you? At one observatory in Australia they were. Rogue Microwave Ovens Are the Culprits Behind Mysterious Radio Signals (National Geographic)

Decaying City Just Wants To Skip To Part Where It Gets Revitalized Restaurant Scene “Sure, we’ll eventually see lobster roll stands and high-end noodle bars popping up on every corner, but that could take years or even decades. Let’s just skim over all the gang turf disputes and burnt-out streetlights and go straight to blocks lined with stores specializing in key lime pies, locally sourced butcher shops, and gourmet empanada places. That honestly seems like the way to go.” (The Onion)

Friday Faves No. 137

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Woman walks Paris marathon with a bucket on her head to talk about water. Gambian woman Siabatou Sanneh (above) displays a sandwich board which translates as "In Africa women walk this distance each day for drinking water" as she carries a jerrycan of water on her head while walking the route of the 39th Paris Marathon in Paris, on April 12, 2015, to raise awareness for the cause of charity "Water for Africa." (CBS News)

The Guardian explores the brave new world of food packaging language. From ‘family owned’ and ‘created with love’, to ‘hand crafted’ and ‘authentic’, food-packet rhetoric is now mainly in the business of selling nice feelings...A brand of snack bars is made “in small batches at our own makery”. Makery? I am guessing that “makery” is a portmanteau for “made-up bakery.” (Guardian)

The language fight is getting ugly: MillerCoors Sued For Selling Blue Moon As A Craft Beer (Consumerist)

Human mind wired for marketing through storytelling, says Forrester analyst “Decision making is not rational and it is not rational in business-to-business either,” said Laura Ramos, vice president and principal analyst at Forrester Research, San Francisco. “You wouldn’t know that from looking at content because in B2B, you think if you put all the facts out there of course consumers will make the right choice.” (Luxury Daily)

Who needs New Nordic? Giving Northern (North American) Cuisine Its Due "Both at sea and far inland, chefs from some of the chillier regions of North America are making an effort to dive deeper into their habitat. From New England up through the Maritime Provinces of Canada and west to Montreal and Toronto, they are doing culinary work that poses questions without simple answers: What exactly is Northern cooking? And how do you make that identity clear and compelling to diners?" (New York Times)

Michelin Star Chef Turns Spring Fashion into Culinary Masterpieces (PSFK)

Better to eat vegetarian that a lot of industrial meat. The Nation’s First Vegetarian Public School Is Thriving "We had no focus on vegetarianism specifically," says Groff, the school’s principal. "If we were presented with a free-range, organic chicken, that’s something we would talk about." (Fast Company)

Friday Faves No. 136

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

This Brilliant Instagram Chef Is Making Junk Food Look Like Fine Dining. Above, one of the creations of “Chef Jacques Lamerde.” (via Buzz Feed)

If you have a food business you want to take bigger, Steve Case wants to hear your restaurant pitch. The deep-pocketed AOL founder is going on the road again to search for new investment vehicles, including restaurants, in off-the-beaten-path locations. (Restaurant Hospitality)

Out With The Caraway, In With The Ginger: 50 Years Of American Spice Consumption Why are people crazy for turmeric but dissing allspice? (FiveThirtyEight)

Wanted: chefs to cook for boatloads of seasick migrants. "The Migrant Offshore Aid Station, set up last year by Italian-American philanthropists, aims to rescue some of the record numbers of migrants capsizing while trying to reach Europe by sea. In an advertisement that riffs on the call-to-arms supposedly made 101 years ago by Ernest Shackleton as the explorer sought a team to reach the South Pole, MOAS is on the lookout for people to keep them all fed: 'Wanted: great chefs to brave the Mediterranean in exchange for an extraordinary adventure,” the advert reads. “Position is voluntary. Honour and recognition will follow in the event of success.'” (Guardian)

In the world of culinary letters and photography, the Saveur blog awards and James Beard Foundation book nominees are out.

In one more way to suck the fun out of life, menus will now have to list calorie counts for alcohol. At least the ruling will apply only to chain restaurants. (Wine Spectator)

Forget emoji — show someone you're thinking of them by sending a (real & drinkable) glass of Champagne. Moët & Chandon partners with new app Skosh to do just that during the Miami Open. “If you see a friend just received a new job in New York via LinkedIn, you can send a drink. If you want to send a glass of Champagne to your newly married friend on their honeymoon in Hawaii, you can send a drink. (Luxury Daily)

Sing Along Snacks: Candy

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

The Presidents of the United States rockin' some Candy in a live version at the Trocadero Theater in Philadelphia.

"Well the devil, she made sweet candy,
Took six days and nights to dream
On the seventh day she rested,
Woke up early and made ice cream
Now the devil, she must be a dentist
With deep jawbreaker eyes"

Friday Faves No. 135

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

 

If you ever thought you were the most cocktail obsessed person, you're wrong. The people who make ice sculptures with 3D printers (like above) and then put them in drinks win. (Food & Wine / FWx)

History of the Egg Cream "The sweet, frothy combination of bubbly seltzer, frosty cold milk and sugary chocolate syrup explains the enduring appeal of the egg cream. But the true origin of this classic American drink remains a delicious mystery. Despite the fact that there’s no egg and no cream, most New York natives have a story about the famous potable, and whether it was invented in Brooklyn or on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is a source of heated debate." The excellent song about Egg Cream by Lou Reed was a Sing Along Snack. (Imbibe)

Now available on Amazon — rental goats! Yes, really. They're "vegetation management experts" to you. (KUOW / NPR Seattle)

Gluten Free Museum Tumblr painstakingly removes gluten products from famous works of art. (Dangerous Minds)

Most irresistible headline of the week: How I Went From Being a Backstreet Boy Impersonator to a Sustainable Seafood Chef  You had us at Backstreet Boy Impersonator, but talking about working for healthy fisheries in the Bahamas isn't bad either. (Munchies)

Friday Faves No. 134

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The house that Champagne built: a Russian man has built a house made almost entirely of Champagne bottles in the city of Chelyabinsk, where it is known as the “Palace of Oz.” It took 12,000 bottles, so you'd better start drinking if you want one of your own.(Drinks Business)

In hard new this week, the seafood world has been called out in an new AP Investigation: Are slaves catching the fish you buy? (AP)

Is the Strawberry Field The Next Farmworkers’ Rights Battleground? It's not just hard work, it's literaly poison: "Roman Pinal, the Southern California regional director for the United Farm Workers (UFW), says strawberry pickers are more susceptible to pesticide exposure than the average farmworker because the fields are more densely planted than other crops, meaning chemicals are being sprayed or are drifting closer to farmworkers. What’s more, compared to crops that are harvested once a season, strawberry plants produce fruit every two days—creating a situation where chemical management and harvesting occur “right on top” of each other, he says." (Civil Eats)

New waves of distilling have been a boost for rural areas, and that was the case in the 1920s and 30s too. Old Time Farm Crime: The Hooch Farmers of Templeton "Templeton Rye, “the good stuff,” was a hot commodity in Prohibition era Chicago, Kansas City and New York and its popularity helped save many a family farm in rural Northwest Iowa where the booze was illegally distilled by desperate farmers during the lean years of the 1920s and early-30s." (Modern Farmer)

'New Nordic' goes to the bar with Icelandic Birch Cocktails. (Huffington Post)

A Belgian chef Is making summer in a bottle with gin flavored with lobster. (Munchies)

Now Marriott has a magazine. You could too. Don't worry about all this new lingo. "Content" = stuff worth looking at that makes people like you. “Content marketing is a marathon; it’s not a sprint, said Lisa LaCour, vp of global marketing at content-recommendation platform Outbrain." (Digiday)

Scottish Langoustines

Just in time for Seafood Expo North America in Boston (SENA 2015), Polished is working with Scottish company Macduff Shellfish to launch a new product to the North American market — frozen clusters of Scottish langoustine tail meat chunks. 

The langoustines are wild-caught from a well-regulated fishery. The meat is not treated — just straight-up frozen shelled langoustine meat. The clusters are small, so chefs can quickly thaw just what they want to use. 

Quick thaw, Quick cook Pre-shelling means no labor in the kitchen and the tender, delicate meat cooks up in minutes. And because its frozen, chefs can keep it on hand to always have something for specials or a knock-out dish for a surprise VIP.

Menu Versatility Langoustine meat is at home cozied up to caviar as it is at the bar in a deviled egg, and it can be used to replace crab or shrimp in a variety of dishes. Check out the slide show — styled and shot by Polished — for inspiration. And if you're still hungry, there's more from around on the web on the Macduff Shellfish Pinterest page.

Friday Faves No. 133

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

From Lucky Peach

From Lucky Peach

We try not to rant on fad diets, so we're always delighted when someone else does it for us. You'd be hard pressed to find anything with a more convoluted rationale than Paleo. Food & Consequences: The Real Paleo Diet "In the end, what’s really interesting to me is that diet fads exist at all, since they presuppose a level of food security and consumer choice that are unprecedented in human history. The Paleo diet as a cultural phenomenon is inconceivable outside the context of the development of agricultural societies." (Lucky Peach)

The Real Problem With Bread (It's Probably Not Gluten) Is there no problem that industrial food can't both cause and "fix" for a price? "In commercial bakeries, rising time has been winnowed from hours or even days down to mere minutes, thanks to fast-acting yeasts and additives. By contrast, the team in Jones' laboratory, located in a rural stretch along Puget Sound, lets dough rise for as long as 12 hours—and they've found that the longer it rises, the less potent the gluten that remains in the finished bread." (Mother Jones)

If Wines Had Online Dating Profiles Wine needs love too. See which type is your perfect match, then grab a bottle. (Buzzfeed)

The latest installment in the "eat it to save it" files: Pacific groundfish. "Unless fishermen can collect a price that reflects the expense of the new sustainable methods of catching groundfish, we won't be able to maintain the fishery's revived state. The challenge is to reintroduce these species to consumers, build demand and help secure
a strong market that can support the fishermen and fishery in the long term." (LA Times)

Veuve Clicquot will be the first company to produce packaging using grapes when the Champagne house launches its newest “Naturally Clicquot” next month. (Drinks Business)

Only the good die out. Super-delicious and eco heroes, oysters, clams and scallops face high risk from ocean acidification, new study finds. (Guardian)

Friday Faves No. 132

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Angst muffins (above). Life is short. Read the full comic here, while you can. (Existential comics)

The furry face of California salmon conservation: beavers. "Wild salmon are adept at crossing the beavers’ blockages. In addition, the dams often reduce the downstream transport of egg-suffocating silt to the gravel where salmon spawn, and create deeper, cooler water for juvenile fish and adult salmon and steelhead. The resulting wetlands also attract more insects for salmon to eat. In ongoing research that covered six years, Pollock and his colleagues showed that river restoration projects that featured beaver dams more than doubled their production of salmon." (On Earth)

Pancake day and Semla — the quieter culinary pursuits of Shrove Tuesday. "But the Protestant Reformation, which swept across Northern Europe some 500 years ago, killed off most of the traditions that made Catholic Mardi Gras so much fun. As they stripped the church of ornate decoration, reformers railed against the feast-and-famine cycle of extremes." At least they still had sugar. (NPR)

Bittman Does Berkeley: Talking Food Politics With Mark Bittman On how the food conversation is evolving: "Labor has really stuck out for me. The fact that people who cared about food did not talk about labor five years ago and now they do talk about labor, that’s a big deal." And to the inseparable issues of food and economic justice: "People are suffering. we need to fix that. but that’s not a cooking problem. if there’s a cooking problem, I can solve it. Cooking is easy. Social justice problems are not so easy." (KQED)


From Cup to Coupe: A History of Our Favorite Champagne Glass With the release of A Year in Champagne in select theaters and on iTunes March 6, we've had Champagne on the brain. (Food52)


With emerging markets such as Russia and China facing disruption, Rabobank has highlighted a shift in exporters’ focus towards the US. (Drinks Business)

Friday Faves No. 131

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The ladies-only beer club of Sweden launches their first pale ale (above). Tired of the guys at the bar mansplaining beer to them, they took brewing into their own hands. (PRI/The World)

'Cheese Cupid' Is Like Tinder For Wine And Cheese, But It's ALWAYS A Match (Huffington Post)

Mardi Gras is around the corner. The real story of Gumbo.  (Serious Eats)


That’s not a sheep, it’s a WiFi router! It’s also a sheep. (Grist)

Helena Bonham Carter strips off with a tuna in ad campaign against overfishing. Alas, click bait has not been proven to lead to activism, or even good everyday choices. (London Evening Standard)

Siracha has gone about as mainstream as an ingredient can go — it's now a new Heinz ketchup flavor.  (Laughing Squid)

Moxie — it makes Mainers mighty. Turns out that the treasured New England soda also makes a mean cocktail (or six). (Bangor Daily News)

Friday Faves No. 130

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

You think those little individual K-Cups of coffee are cute, do you? Sure, this little video is just a dramatization of what could happen. That's what you think now. But it's time to kill the K-Cup before the plastic wins. Don't say you weren't warned. (NPR)

New York’s Health Department Wants to Freeze All of Its Sushi An attack on authenticity? Good public heath sense? Other states already do it. (Munchies) 

Relax, people. You are the boss of your food. Stop being afraid of it. We’re "clean eating" our way to new eating disorders. Is orthorexia about to join the DSM?  (Salon) 

We see perfect produce. He sees pain and danger.  How the produce aisle looks to a migrant farmworker. (PRI/The World)

Bad for fish and bad for people: Meant to Keep Malaria Out, Mosquito Nets Are Used to Haul Fish In  (New York Times)

A Compound in Beer Might Save Your Brain from Degeneration "The beneficial compound is a flavonoid called xanthohumol, which is found in hops (and thus, in beer)." (Munchies)

If that inspired you to get your geek on, and throw around doozies like oxidation and red anthocyanin molecules, we've got you covered. Everything you ever wanted to know about cork, but were afraid to ask. A Chemist Explains Why Corks Matter When Storing Wine  (Wine Folly)

What does a fictional world taste like? Londoners will get a sample as a Game of Thrones pop-up restaurant offers a taste of Westeros. How about a sample of a dish called: “The Lies of Tyrion Lannister and his Proclaimed Innocence” which happens to be poached veal tongue with beetroot, horseradish and Oldtown Mustard”. (Guardian)

And if you think that sounds unappealing, how about beer made from treated waste water? A trial of home brewers and one commercial brewery in Oregon are giving it a go. "Clean Water Services spokesman Mark Jockers said his company is the top provider of recycled water in Oregon. Its high-purity water treatment system turns sewage into water that meets or exceeds all drinking water standards." Want a cricket burger to go with that? (NPR)

Will fish be the next up and coming fake meat? Sounds pretty good compared to "recycled" beer, right? (NPR)

Sing Along Snacks: Jammin

It's never too early or too late for a snack, so crank up that volume on your computer.

Today we celebrate what would be Bob Marley's 70th birthday with a special Sing Along Snack that is near and dear to my heart. While this is not strictly speaking a food song, it has become a sing along tradition in my family. 

I have a blended family, complete with four amazing kids.  Every summer, they pick a veritable boat-load of plums and we make jam.  The kids even came up with a special name for this annual production: LL Plum. 

One year, while toiling over the steaming sterilization pot and pitting production line, we suggested that Graeme put on some music.  Now, everyone who knows our family is aware of our penchant for all things reggae, so it wasn't shocking that he chose to play some Bob Marley. But when Graeme started singing along "We're jammin..." while filling a jar full of plum jam, all of the girls stopped, rolled their eyes and burst out laughing. "Really Graeme? Jammin!" 

Ever since that particular jammin' episode, we always make it a point to include Bob Marley in our annual production.  We will have to wait for another Sing Along Snack day for the story of how Dillinger's "Cornbread" became part of ALL of our family road-trips.

A heartfelt Happy Earthstrong Bob Marley. 

One Love - Polly & da Easy Crew

 

Friday Faves No. 129

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Even Victorian orphans are foodies now in satirical spins on classic Ladybird illustrations, like one above. (Guardian)


Bone Broth cocktails are now a thing, at least in LA. "For the broth itself, Melendrez boils lamb neck bones for eight hours then clarifies the liquid, straining it through a coffee filter. Instead of a cocktail glass, the hot savory cocktail is served in a shallow bowl garnished with toasted crostini and bits of asparagus, carrots, and cilantro leaves. Does that make it more soup than cocktail? "If you put a Bloody Mary in a bowl, wouldn’t it be like gazpacho almost?" questioned Melendrez. "I’m just trying to change people’s perceptions about what a cocktail possibly could be."' (Eater)

WTF story of the week — Is Kim Jong-Un Really Opening a Restaurant in Scotland? “North Korea is rich in natural resources and we like the taste of Scotch whisky, so [Scotland and North Korea] can be beneficial to each other.” (Munchies)

Despite their smart phone obsessions, Millennials aren't buying their wine online.  (Punch)

Time to buy an extra suitcase for your next visit home, because these are sad times for Brit expat chocolate lovers.

In better news from the UK, the Guardian's video selection was in great form this last week with these two: 

Have you tried the full English breakfast detox? (video) which really sums up what we feel about the detox trend. And then there was 

Americans try haggis for the fist time (video). Some sophisticated souls are on board, some, think of socks. (Guardian)

The Surprising Science Behind Your Favorite Flavors Did our sense of taste make us human? From evolution to culture, a new book explores the science and perception of flavor. (On Point)

Colorado inmates are turing into farmers. "All inmates have to work, whether that’s in the library, or the cafeteria, or somewhere else—you have to do something to keep yourself busy. And over 1,000 guys are on a waiting list for one of the agricultural programs.”

 

Friday Faves No. 128

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Happy 2015! We took an break from the blog over the holidays. We rested. We planned. We drank Champagne and ate lots of cookies. Here's a few stories that caught our eye.

A clip (above) from one of our new favorite boards on Pinterest — all food illustrations.
Have you been to visit us on Pinterest yet? Come over

7 Ways The Utensils You Use Change The Taste Of Food. The shape, weight and color of your cutlery can significantly alter the way you perceive the fundamental aspects of food, from how sweet it tastes to how much you think it costs. (Fast Company)

ConAgra food truck. Where to begin... (Modern Farmer)

Getting bumpsy and poggled: A History of 'Drunk' Words, a new book explains the evolution of synonyms for "intoxicated," including how English got "wasted," "bombed," and "lit." (Atlantic) 

A great interview with Ruth Richel on restaurant reviews. (OpenTable)

Foie gras is back on the right side of the law in California. And it's all anyone wants to talk about. (Eater)

Sherry with a Chance of Onion Rings What to expect next year in restaurants, bars, cookbooks and more. (Tasting Table)

Barbarians at the farm gate. Hardy investors are seeking a way to grow their money. "Farmland has been a great investment over the past 20 years, certainly in America, where annual returns of 12% caused some to dub it “gold with a coupon”. In America and Britain, where tax incentives have distorted the market, it outperformed most major asset classes over the past decade, and with low volatility to boot." For more money to flow in, financiers and farmers will have to learn a lot more about each other....Farm investing requires patience; it is ill-suited to flipping and trading. But those willing to climb over the barriers could reap big rewards. The investment thesis is as simple as they come, as Mark Twain realised long ago: “Buy land, they’re not making it any more.” (Economist)

This Icelandic Chef Has Use for Your Marijuana Grow Lights (Munchies — have we told you yet how much we love this food site?) 

Let's Talk Chicken — everything you ever wanted to know about your favorite bird, but were afraid to ask. (On Point)

Best armchair travel piece: Profile of The Hunter-Gatherer Chef of the Scottish Highlands (Gear Patrol)

Christmas might be over, but it's never to late to up your baking game. Listen to Science Friday's Cookie Science Secrets (Science Friday)