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)

 

Friday Faves No. 127

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

A brief history of how the rich and poor eat in an excellent photo essay (image above). Be sure to use the center tab that drags left and right for the full picture. (Independent) 

Hardship on Mexico's farms, a bounty for U.S. tables: A new four-part series exploring how thousands of laborers at Mexico's mega-farms endure harsh conditions and exploitation while supplying produce for American consumers. "They want us to take such great care of the tomatoes, but they don't take care of us." (LATimes)

Taking the message to the people, ‘Black Brunch’ organizers put protest on the menu at restaurants in Oakland, California. (KQED)

I like pig butts and I cannot lie: 16 of the best food T-shirts you need to own  (Food & Wine)

Futuristic Fungi: Austria-based Livin Studio has created a process to cultivate edible fungi that digests plastic as it grows in photos and a video. (Dezeen)

Women's work on US farms remains under counted. "Women have always worked in agriculture, historically. I think a key issue is whether or not it's counted," says Julie Zimmerman, a rural sociologist at the University of Kentucky who studies how women's roles on the farm have changed over time. "If you see working on your farm as being part of your role as the spouse or the wife, as helping out, then you might not even recognize it as being 'working on the farm,' even if you're doing it all the time." (NPR)

Gilbert & Sullivan lives! A Champagne kerfuffle has arisen in Britain's Parliament. "During budget negotiations meant to impose some belt-tightening measures, the House of Lords refused to merge their catering services with their lowly counterparts in the House of Commons because 'the Lords feared that the quality of Champagne would not be as good if they chose a joint service.'" The Lords bought 17,000 bottles of Champagne since 2010 at a cost of $417,000. (via Wine Spectator)

Friday Faves No. 126

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

 

A new way to wear your dinner (above). "Hatanaka, a Japanese manufacturer specializing in highly realistic plastic food replicas for restaurants, recently entered the fashion business with their line of food replica jewelry and accessories on their website." (Laughing Squid)

Further confusing consumables and wearables, a new fabric has been created using Harris Tweed that will permanently give off the smell of whisky. (BBC)

If your meal was good, but your server stinks, this restaurant in LA will let you tip just the cooks. (Food & Wine)

Budget Problems? Kentuckyand Elsewhere Find Answer in Bottle “'A key factor is the growing interest in American whiskey,” said Frank Coleman, a spokesman for the Distilled Spirits Council. 'Then obviously you have all these ancillary economic impacts,' he said, such as sales of bottles, corn used to make bourbon, and tourism." (New York Times)

Made in China, the boutique version. "The conventional wisdom—or cliché—is that China can reproduce Western manufacturing or technology overnight, but European artisanal culinary delicacies that have evolved over generations are all but impossible to replicate. And yet, even apart from wine, there are dozens of small producers in China who are now attempting to do just that, with surprising success. Truffles, burrata cheese, prosciutto, feta, Roquefort, baguettes, foie gras—almost every Western gourmet item has been tackled by Chinese entrepreneurs for a new audience of adventurous diners." (WSJ via Punch)

SciShow Explains the Chemistry Behind What Makes Spicy Things Taste ‘Hot’ and Minty Things Taste ‘Cool’  (via Laughing Squid)

To the theme of what's (really) old is new again: Mead  (Food & Wine)

Friday Faves No. 125

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Strong commentary brought to us as a collaboration between the Guardian newspaper and the Royal Court theatre-makers: Britain Isn't Eating. This micro-play satirizes the coalition government's approach to food banks and the 'feckless poor'.  Something to keep in mind as the holidays approach. (Guardian)

Everything old is new (or should be) again! Iconic chefs, such as  Ferran Adria, head to Brazil to talk about biodiversity and what it truly means to eat local. (NPR)

We are all now familiar with the tyranny of the pumpkin spiced everything, but Just What Is In Pumpkin Spice Flavor? (Hint: Not Pumpkin)  (NPR)

Pumpkins, manure, burning cars and riot police. There's nothing more French than a strike. "French farmers unions organized a nationwide day of protest yesterday, staging demonstrations in villages and cities across France. Thousands turned out, expressing their anger at collapsing prices (due in part to sanctions against Russia), increased environmental regulations, cheap imports, and high costs." (Atlantic)

Time to give Port a chance: Wine Spectator names a Port as Wine of the Year and you should probably be drinking more of it. (Food Republic)

Garifuna Settlement Day in Belize is November 19th so we are taking a quick look back into a October 2012 issue of Saveur Magazine's 'Cassava Nation' article. As the temperature drops dive into a dish of steamy banana leaf tamales, pumpkin bread, or a rich and hearty seafood soup. It makes us all warm inside just thinking about it! (Saveur)

Unilever (Hellmann's Mayonnaise) vs Hampton Creek (Mayo): who has the right to be called real "mayo"? It doesn't look like this will be resolved in time for your left over turkey this coming Thanksgiving. (New York Times)

Friday Faves No. 124

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Wine, women and television: Red Wine Is the Drink of Choice on ‘Scandal’ and ‘The Good Wife’ "The way wine is used as a character device in shows like these can tell us a lot about how wine is viewed in popular culture. As much as a small group of wine lovers would like to believe wine has gone mainstream, in fact its portrayal on television as a character prop suggests that many Americans still view it as somehow effete, foreign or, at least, no different than any other alcoholic beverage. (New York Times)

Boldly going where no cafe has gone before, a new science-inspired restaurant opens in MIT's backyard of Cambridge, Massachusetts. The restaurant, Cafe ArtScience has a sister incubator / exhibit space called Le Laboratoire. "Le Laboratoire also has been where Edwards incubates his many offshoot companies. Theres’s WikiFoods, a company that develops edible food skins that are looking to replace plastic packaging and the oPhone, a gadget that sends olfactory messages." (Wired)

Africa's Slow Food, in pictures: "This year Lavazza Coffee and Petrini collaborated on Lavazza’s annual Earth Defenders Calendar to celebrate the farmers of Africa’s Slow Food movement—individuals who safeguard the land, crops and resources in their local communities. The 2015 calendar, featuring photography by Steve McCurry, is a sumptuous visual treat that opens a window into a culture and livelihood most of us know very little about." Proceeds for all calendar sales will go to the “10,000 Food Gardens in Africa” project. (Forbes)

Guilty pleasure read: Jeremiah Tower — just the name is memory lane of 1970s and 80s California cuisine. Is he coming back on the scene? The writer John Birdsall on Tower: "as a know-nothing kid cooking in San Francisco in the late 1980s, I envied and feared Tower like nobody else I ever thought about. Jeremiah was the Jay Gatsby of my own longing for ascendancy, the distant idol of my ambitions, trailed by a rumor-fueled narrative of trouble that, to me, only made him more heroic." (Eater)

Friday Faves No. 123

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Happy Halloween!

Decoding The Food And Drink On A Day Of The Dead Altar "This day is a joyous occasion; it's a time to gather with everyone in your family, those alive and those dead," says Hayes Lavis, cultural arts curator for the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian. (NPR)

DIY destruction: Illegal foragers are stripping UK forests of fungi. “In rural areas, foraging is fine if you are picking for your own personal use. But the difference with Epping Forest is that it is on the doorstep of the millions of people in London and can even be reached by tube train. (Guardian)

How Benu’s Corey Lee Attained the ‘Unattainable’ Third Michelin Star On writing his upcoming cookbook and how that influenced him: "Writing the book and going through the process of writing that book was, I think, really important in the evolution of our restaurant. The moment you start to explain things or articulate ideas that just live in your head, you start to understand them a lot more and I think that's really focused the identity of the restaurant in the past year or two. That book was really a catalyst for the way our food has evolved and the kind of menu that we do now." (Eater)

The Digitized, Home-Delivered Future Of Our Food Supply Will going to the grocery store be history? How the online order and delivery business is reshaping our food economy. (On Point)

Shut Up and Eat : A foodie repents A thoughtful piece on the endless food chatter. "The first time I quit restaurant reviewing, in 1995, I remember thinking that the fascination with food was a bubble: we had reached Peak Food. I may never have been more wrong about anything." (New Yorker)

With candy, you know you're eating sugar. It shouldn't be sneaky. John Oliver, as usual, does a great job taking it to the sugar industry. Via Grist 


Friday Faves No. 122

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

We've been seeing glimpses of fish skin leather for years, but now the big kids of design are getting into it. Prada, Dior and Nike are finding a fashionable new purpose for fish skins. Fish leftovers are often turned into meal for animals, but top brands are turning fish skin into leather
 (Guardian)

21 Food Words & Phrases That We Should All Probably Quit Using  A list of food writing pet-peeves from the twee (sammy, delish) to the philosophical (sinful: "Eating is pleasure and sustenance, not sin. Don't mix the two.) Amen. (Kitchn)

So book trailers are a thing — and this pastry one is totally out there! Prepare for confusion. First there was Thug Kitchen now this for Brooks Headley's Fancy Desserts. Warning: Both are NSFW.

Whole Foods to Chobani: Please Leave Was it because they got too big, or because they're not green enough compared to other, smaller producers?  (Inc.)

Supreme court backs California's foie gras ban (Guardian)

A Peek Inside the Lunchbox Museum in Columbus Georgia, the largest collection of antique lunch boxes in the world, with all your childhood faves (1930-80's) from Hopalong Cassidy to Mork & Mindy.  (Honest Cooking)

Take note aspiring food business people: Our friends at Local Food Lab are taking their business training show on the road with one-day intensive workshops across the US. 

Friday Faves No. 121

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Bug Power: Cricket Flour and power bars (above): "With Millennials particularly adventurous when it comes to food and the protein trend still on the upswing, these products have a decent chance of gaining traction." (JW Intelligence)

I'm not a chef, but I play one on TV: why stars are lining up to play chefs? Bradley Cooper is in London playing a chef in a movie that follows a spate of documentaries starring some of gastronomy’s most esteemed avatars  (Guardian) 

Go ahead and blame your parents: Scientists say DNA determines coffee consumption.  (PBS Newshour)

A new restaurant concept allows New Yorkers to sample the fare of talented chefs from all over the country. (New York Times)

Jancis Robinson Swears by Milk Thistle Supplements, Says Mexican Wine Is the Future (Food & Wine)

Is Scotch Whisky the new liquid gold? A rare whisky index is compiling data.  (Telgraph)

If you're trying to be the happiest place on Earth, a little bubbly never hurts. Disney get's its own branded Champagne. (Drinks Business)

Friday Faves No. 120

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The illustrated sound of frying food in other languages. In English, we say fried eggs "SIZZLE," but in China they go "ZIZI."  (First We Feast)

The Hard And Soft Rules Of Apple Cider Cider sure isn't new, but it's surge in the market is making news.  Check out this full hour radio segment. (On Point)

The gluten police are coming: a new portable device lets diners test foods for gluten. (Eater)

For the stylish bootlegger who like their household objects to multi-task: The Prohibition Kit comprises a fully-functioning cooking pot, fondue stove, fruit bowl and watering can that can be combined to brew alcohol at home. "Producing schnapps, liquor or alcohol is very restricted by the law in most countries," says Morackini. "The separated elements are legal but put together the objects become illegal. I wanted to explore the limit of legislation." (Dezeen)

Charles Spence: the food scientist changing the way we eat An Oxford professor’s research into what affects flavour, from who we eat with to background noise, has influenced food-industry giants and top chefs alike. Now his new book brings food science to the home cook, too. (Guardian)

New York, the World's Greatest Wine City: Swaggering sommeliers, intrepid importers, sophisticated consumers—why even French Champagne producers agree New York is the greatest town for grape. "In New York, wines are decontextualized," he said. In other words, everything has an equal shot—whether it is a bottle from Bordeaux, Rioja or the Priorat. There is no regional bias to overcome. As Mr. Little stated, "It's the most egalitarian city in the world." (WSJ)

Seattle Assesses Fine to Homeowners for Wasting Food "In an effort to encourage residents to stop wasting food, the city council passed an ordinance this last Monday that allows households to be fined $1 each time that garbage collectors find more than 10 percent of organic waste in their garbage bins."
(Triple Pundit)

Friday Faves No. 119

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Great things come in small packages with seafood too, especially at Tincan, a new London pop-up that serves only canned seafood(Guardian)

The Vocabulary of Food — reading menus through politics and pretensions, and a cool-sounding new book, “The Language of Food: A Linguist Reads the Menu” (New York Times)

Ever wonder what the Waldorf Astoria was serving for dinner in 1917? The New York Public Library has made available a digital archive of menus through the years.  So far: 1,302,722 dishes transcribed from 17,376 menus

If we could get rid of all that pesky running, this is a marathon we could really get into: The Marathon du Médoc: a full marathon with 23 wine stops, costumes, oysters, steak, and ice-cream. (Guardian) 

Ralph Lauren has gotten into the coffee business to spiff up your breakfast. And there's a snazzy vintage truck and copy right out of a perfume ad: “The smell of freshly brewed coffee evokes so many memories for me, mostly of time spent with friends and family; the people I love.” (Luxury Daily)

After 25 Years, Food Arts Magazine Folds Who will fill the gap? (Eater)

Friday Faves No. 118

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

These 5 Crops (including the beautiful vanilla, above) Are Still Hand-Harvested, And It's Hard Work  (NPR)

Could Great Lakes Fisheries Be Revived Through Fish Farms? "The reality is that the native Great Lakes wild fishery is in a state of general collapse...If we're going to have locally available fish, it has to come from fish farms." The concerns trade on the assumption that's there's only one way to raise fish. (NPR)

The back of your fridge is a perfectly good babysitter for your starter, but for some, it's the new frontier in helicopter "parenting." (Guardian)

Downton Abby and The Sopranos have had their own cookbook. Now its Portlandia's turn.
Check out the guides below and do head over the cookbook's website to play with the incredible menu generator, spitting out brilliant dishes like "dehydrated wild roses salad of cabbage blossoms" and "communal veal with inverted asparagus and a charred yeast brew paste." (Eater)

Nomiku Sous-Vide Cooking Immersion Tool Adds a Larger Screen and Wi-Fi, available for home cooks. Awesome idea or food poisoning generator? (Laughing Squid)

Sing Along Snacks: Cookin' and Jammin

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

The characters of British animated series Rastamouse spend a lot of time in the kitchen. And, since the show has its own band in da Easy Crew, there must be singing and dancing.

Brace yourself for a serious dose of cuteness, and one of the most adorable ear worms around.

"Pots and pans are all a bangin'

Spoons and forks and knives are clangin'

All that time we be a spendin', spicin', whiskin', shakin', blendin'

Cookin' and jammin"