Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 85

weekly round-up of our favorite finds from the front lines of food

  • Singing the praises of masa, from pupusas (above, from a NYT slide show) to arepas and tortillas. "Without the tortilla, there is no taco. And, as the Mexican saying goes: Sin maíz, no hay país. Without corn, there is no country." (New York Times)
  •  An OpEd on how states can help Keep Farmland for Farmers by the founders of the National Young Farmers Coalition highlighted the difficulty faced by farmland turning into second homes for the wealthy. "Easements are intended to protect farmland, water, animal habitat, historic sites and scenic views, and so they are successful in keeping farms from becoming malls and subdivisions. But they don’t stop Wall Street bankers from turning them into private getaways, with price tags to of the land trusts that oversee these conservation easements have seen protected land go out of production. Why? A nonfarmer had bought it." (New York Times)
  • In Scotland two of our favorite industries are joining together to turn the byproduct of whisky into salmon feed. “Distillery effluent can be damaging, but also contains potentially valuable nutrients and micronutrients. The waste can also be used to produce a microbial biomass which has the potential to be a cheap and sustainable source of protein-rich feed." (Food Magazine)
  • Marcella Hazan, teacher, cookbook author and guide to Italian cooking for scores of Americans, died this week at 89. Her New York Times obituary quoted her husband on her notoriously strident style: "'A lot of people had encounters with her because she knew in her mind, in her heart, exactly how things were supposed to be,” Mr. Hazan said on Sunday. “That is what made her cooking great. Marcella wasn’t easy, but she was true. She made no compromises with herself with her work or with her people.'” (New York Times)
  • Ever want a taste of that cake you're bringing to a party later but can't think of a way to cover up where you snuck a taste? Of course you do. The solution to that dilemma has been found in the Nibble, a cake pan with a tiny sidecar for sampling. (Laughing Squid)