Friday Faves No. 166

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

image via the Guardian

image via the Guardian

Eyes are on Rio and all thing Olympics this week, including food coverage. 

Food trucks rescue shortfall of Olympic vendors, a sign of Rio scene on the rise "This embarrassment for the organizers has been welcomed as an opportunity by food truck owners, who have been conscripted to provide emergency reinforcement for the fixed kiosks at the Olympic Park." (Guardian)

You can cook your own Brazilian snacks, no waiting in line. Become an Expert on Brazilian Cuisine Right Now (Eater) and Seven Brazilian Foods to Know if You're Going to the Olympics (National Geographic, The Plate)

Chefs Serve Olympic Village's Surplus Food to Rio's Hungry Population "RefettoRio Gastromotiva, the project co-founded by Italian chef Massimo Bottura and Brazilian chef David Hertz, aims to 'offer food and dignity to people in situations of social vulnerability,' according to a statement released by the City of Rio, which is supporting the initiative by providing a building for the group to use in the city center." (ABC News)

Newsflash of 2016 — women can be real athletes, and farmers. The Female Farmer Project puts a bright face (and some great interviews) on the new demographics of farming. Women have always been there doing the hard work of raising our food, but now they're out front and getting credit too.

A great long read on the struggles of surviving in limbo. Inside the women-owned restaurants of Yida, South Sudan’s largest — and most tenuous — refugee settlement. (Eater)

Is That Real Tuna in Your Sushi? Now, a Way to Track That Fish Traceability software has been on the edges of the seafood industry for a while, so it's great to see it get more coverage. (New York Times)

Another app for seafood is restaurant driven. Pearl shows users detailed info on seafood being served in nearby restaurants. "Do you know what you're getting when you order, say, clams casino? Pearl demystifies the process, providing information and education on the taste, texture, nutrition facts, and sustainability of your seafood." (Crave)

Food tech might not be as hot as you thought. The meal delivery and grocery space is crowded, and investment is looking further back in the chain. "Soil and crop technology turned out to be the dark horse in the sector, nabbing $161 million in investment this year compared to just $41 million last year." (SF Biz Journal)

Friday Faves No. 158

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

The most emotional ad about a strawberry you will every watch. OK, it's really about the epidemic of food waste and how "some 40 percent of all food purchased in the U.S. each year goes uneaten, wasting money, water and energy to the tune of $162 billion." (AdWeek)

The Future of Food Is Lab-Grown, according to some new start-ups. How appetizing they sound runs the gamut, from "fake meat" shrimp made with algae to stem cell meatballs. Sounds like a revolution that's going to be won on messaging and taste.  (Fortune)

Other than seaweed, the new food trend we're seeing everywhere is...weed.  In the Weed: Meet the bakers, chefs and soda makers who are taking the edibles world higher This new wave of products features "weed-infused spicy cheddar crackers, a buzzy iced coffee drink and even steak tartare with truffle oil that's got a little something special." (Tasting Table)

Kickstarter-Funded Chocolate Bar Company Wants to Pay Africans a Decent Wage For Once “There are no Ghanaian workers involved in the traditional or fair-trade production of chocolate (outside cocoa farms) because the production happens outside the continent....Our goal is to bring these jobs to Africa.” (Modern Farmer)

For fruit and veg, suffering might not make them beautiful, but it might make them more nutritious. Beneath An Ugly Outside, Marred Fruit May Pack More Nutrition (NPR)

The slow life of a Cow Cam: Waitrose live-streaming boring videos from the farm. "The strategy is simple: Shoppers want proof of quality food, so why not use modern technology to give them a live look at it? Waitrose does have a good sourcing story to tell, too, having recently become the only supermarket able to guarantee that all the cows that provide its milk and cream have access to grazing." (AdWeek)

Friday Faves No. 148

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Could triple-decker floating farms (like above) address future food issues? They sure look awesome. "Forward Thinking Architecture’s triple-decker Smart Floating Farms would feature 2.2 million square feet (2.04 sq km) of fish farm, hydroponic garden, and rooftop solar panels to power a floating barge, which could be anchored to the beds of oceans, lakes or rivers. The company estimates that each of its floating farms could produce about 8 tons (7.3 tonnes) of vegetables and 1.7 tons (1.5 tonnes) of fish per year." (Nisa Media)

Underused species of fish to schools is expanding. “'We wouldn’t be able to meet their price point for wild salmon and other fish...The only way we can offer the program is with species that are undervalued.” The CSF also found a bycatch species with a mild flavor kids want to eat – similar to tilapia. “It is not mainstream and we are hoping it doesn’t go mainstream, because the price would go up.'" (Seafood Source)

Is the Democratic Republic of Congo the Switzerland of Africa? Let's hope it can be. "Cheesemakers in this region are thriving, despite having survived decades of tumultuous warfare." Culture)

A formerly downright nasty stretch of Market St. in San Francisco has been getting a food-focused spiff-up.  "A new culinary scene has been born seemingly overnight, the child of a three-way love affair among real estate developers, tech workers and food professionals that many say is unprecedented." (New York Times)

Pacific to Plate allows public seafood markets to set up like farmers markets. "Pacific to Plate streamlines the permitting process so that commercial fishermen can organize under a single permit—just like certified farmers markets—allowing public seafood markets to operate as food facilities and fresh fish to be cleaned for direct sale." (San Diego News)

Texas-based supermarket chain H-E-B strikes import deal directly with Italian trade bodies for specialty foods. (Houston Chronicle)

EU Looks into Insects as Food. This is where food processing really earns its keep. Turn them into textured protein. "How and to what extent the inclusion of insects in gastronomy can impact the general consumption pattern in the population is unclear but (it) holds the potential for a rapid change in future consumption patterns," EFSA's report said. You're going to need some serious marketing with that. Best line of understatement: "Belgian supermarket operator Delhaize in 2014 introduced tapenades based on mealworms in its Belgian supermarkets, but they were not a hit." (Reuters via Specialty Food)

Scientists say Maryland’s gigantic new oyster reef is a pearl that could save the Chesapeake Bay. "Maryland can lay claim to the world’s largest man-made oyster reef. It was finished just days ago, and rests at the watery bottom of Harris Creek on the Eastern Shore, spread across more acres than the national Mall." (Washington Post)

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)

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. 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 — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 86

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


  • Got high temperatures and constant sunlight? Start a roof-top algae farm like these in Bnagkok that grow "super food" spirulina (above). EnerGaia is the company that's making it happen, and they want to feed you their vitamin and protein-rich brew in everything from smoothies to pasta. (Design Boom)
  • Wine under attack in France? What's the world coming to? Alas, the tone of a new campaign to tax wine as a health risk sounds awfully American. “Gastronomy, art de vivre, wine in moderation – this is still the majority of the French, but there is a real minority that wants to make illegal everything that could possibly be harmful." Sigh. (Wine Spectator)
  • The news that people in the seafood industry have known for years is hopefully coming into the mainstream: farmed salmon is a lot better than it used to be and not every producer is the same. The article doesn't get us all the way there, but it's a step in the right direction. Even Seafood Watch can admit: “Our understanding of the science has changed, and production practices have changed....Some of the older concerns are less of a concern.” (Washington Post)
  • From Senegal to the American South: a Charleston chef traces the roots of his favorite Southern dishes back to West Africa. "'The contributions of Africa to beloved dishes like gumbo, jambalaya and collard greens are monumental,' he says. They are dishes born of the terrible legacy of slavery that, as he puts it, "need to find their true voices again." (Food & Wine)


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 75

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


  • Draught and flood-resistant gorilla beans (above) are helping fight malnutrition in central Africa. "Protein-rich gorilla beans have been bred to target malnutrition in DRC's North and South Kivu provinces. They contain up to double the iron and 70% more zinc than regular beans, and are often used as a meat substitute. Much of the scientific research into the purple and white kidney-shaped pulses, which have been produced without genetic modification, has been conducted by African research institutions" (The Guardian)
  • Rising temperatures are throwing food production in jeopardy, especially in the western US, and we're not doing enough to adapt, says an OpEd on Our Coming Food Crisis. "Last year some farmers made more from insurance payments than from selling their products, meaning we are dangerously close to subsidizing farmers for not adapting to changing climate conditions." Maybe we should be looking at Gorilla Beans too. (New York Times)
  • The Distraction of Data: How Brand Research Misses the Real Reasons Why People Buy "The evolutionary psychologist Geoffrey Miller believes that humans display brands like proud peacocks exhibit their tail feathers, as “fitness indicators” that advertise their potential as mates....Humans also advertise their “fitness” to our fellow kind. The brands we choose are symbols that signify traits that mark our success and worth in the pecking order." (Fast Company)
  • We love collective action: A new seafood industry coalition for sustainability has formed called Sea Pact, made up of member companies Albion Fisheries, Fortune Fish & Gourmet, Ipswich Shellfish Group, Santa Monica Seafood, Seacore Seafood and Seattle Fish Co. "The coalition will pool resources to promote fisheries and aquaculture improvements, in an effort to support more environmentally-friendly fishing and seafood farming." (Seafood Source)
  • In the shadow of the world's tallest building, Dubai has a farmers market. "A whopping 4000 people attended the first market. 'People were unbelievably grateful...Local produce just was not available to the common man.'” (Modern Farmer)

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 67

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


  • The Cut Foods project (above) by photographer Beth Galton and stylist Charlotte Omnes gives a new look into the center of common foods, from donuts and coffee to soup and ice cream. "Normally for a job, we photograph the surface of food, occasionally taking a bite or a piece out, but rarely the cross section of a finished dish. Charlotte and I thought it would be interesting to explore the interiors of various foods, particularly items commonplace to our everyday life. By cutting these items in half we move past the simple appetite appeal we normally try to achieve and explore the interior worlds of these products."
  • El Bulli chef to launch cultural foundation Ferran Adrià aims to create a monument to high cuisine as fitting the legacy for a restaurant voted world's best five times. "I decided to get out of the restaurant star system...But El Bulli never closed. It is simply being transformed."
  • A portrait of the cuisine of Senegal, and the story of their indigenous rice, now under threat by GM crops. "Indigenous Senegalese rice is burgundy in color, transforming into a pale violet when cooked. In Bassene’s carefully arranged pile of rice bundles, there was an equal number of red and tawny yellow rice varieties. He explained that this was a blended variety of traditional Senegalese and Asian rice, a product of the GM crops that have begun to infiltrate the fields of western Africa just as they are the world over. ...One wondered if he felt that after such long struggles and eventual triumphs over war, slavery, and colonization, he finally felt defeated by the silent war being waged upon his fields by the pitchmen touting the virtues of GM foods. Bassene took a bundle of the red indigenous rice in his hand, gripped its base tightly, and said, “We will always prefer our own rice. We will never stop farming it.'”
  • Share: The Cookbook that Celebrates Our Common Humanity is a project of Woment for Women International (WfWI), with contributions from Annie Lennox to Aung San Suu Kyi. "Food builds our physical resilience, brings us joy, and strengthens our bonds with family and friends. What we choose to eat, and how we choose to prepare it, can also generate employment, wealth and economic stability for others."
  • A look in The Guardian at whether Food miles are missing the point: "The problem is it's far too simple. Looking only at transport costs for your food is not just to miss the bigger picture, it's to miss the picture entirely. The only way you can get some sense of the footprint of your food is by using what's called a Life Cycle Analysis (LCA), which brings everything about the production of that item into play: the petrochemicals used in farming and in fertilisers, the energy to build tractors as well as to run them, to erect farm buildings and fences, and all of that has to be measured against yield. It's about emissions per tonne of apples or lamb."
  • Another reason to oppose fracking: it's messing with beer. "According to the Association of German Breweries, hydraulic fracturing to extract oil and natural gas from shale rock poses a threat to the taste of pilsner and they're campaigning against legislation to regulate the extraction process."

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 64

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

  • 3D printing meets food (above). Janne Kyttanen has produced prototype printed pasta, breakfast cereal and burgers to demonstrate how advances in 3D printing could transform the way we eat (interview and slideshow). "Kyttanen, co-founder of design studio Freedom of Creation and creative director of printer manufacturer 3D Systems, told Dezeen: 'Food is the next frontier. We’re already printing in chocolate, so a lot of these things will be possible in the next few years.'"
  • What drones should be dropping: beer. In South Africa this summer, concert goers will be able to order beer on their phones that will be delivered by drone, kind of like beer from heaven.
  • Square, the mobile payment start-up firm, sets its sights on the food industry "Several months ago, Square launched a “Business in a Box” package for $249, including two card readers, an iPad stand, a cash drawer and an optional receipt printer, all wirelessly connected to the Square Register app. Last week, Square announced an update to that app designed specifically for quick-serve restaurants, allowing operators to modify orders and print kitchen tickets."
  • Flavor and Language — the eternal challenge of describing flavors in words. "I came across an interview with Harold McGee, that peerless explorer of the science of food. In it he said apropos of sauvignon blanc: ‘It is so difficult to connect particular flavours with their sources, it’s hard to really define what minerality is, or what the expression of a place in a product could actually be. And you have to ask yourself, how many times have people actually tasted minerals, like the flint from which Loire white wines are said to get their flavour? How often do you put a rock in your mouth and suck on it?’" via the excellent project Flavour First
  • Workers Claim Racial Bias in Farms’ Hiring of Immigrants “If you can’t find locals to do the work, why is the answer to bring in people who have little protection and not grant them legal status?” asked Mr. Knoepp of the Southern Poverty Law Center. “If we need them, why not bring them in and make them legal citizens with real protections? The answer is because then they wouldn’t keep working in the fields given the conditions of that work. They would do something else. It doesn’t have to be this way.”
  •  Trending: sommeliers = new food celebrities "Until recently, serious restaurants in the United States were owned by celebrity chefs, creative developers like Danny Meyer and Richard Melman, or corporate chains. But sommeliers have now begun taking the lead role, as investors make them the centerpiece of their restaurant concepts."

  • Nigeria is one of the top markets for champagne. "The figures, from research company Euromonitor, found that Nigeria had the fastest growing rate of new champagne consumption in the world, second only to France, and ahead of rapid growth nations Brazil and China, and established markets such as the US and Australia." And not only are they drinking champagne, they're making music video about it. Check out Pop Champagne

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 62

  • A new local food and beverage consciousness has come to Ghana. "'We are trying to create a new atmosphere here, and to rejuvenate our sense of identity," said Kofi Owusu-Ansah, 39, who founded Republic with his brother Raja last year. 'If you look at our spirits, you will find not one single import – the base for all our cocktails is local-made sugar cane spirit akpeteshie.'" Curious about all the African food you don't know about? Check out the new project My African Food Map.
  • Russians are now trying to get back to their former, healthier cuisine. "'We want to inspirate [sic] the old Russian traditions with new feelings and ideas," Akimov says. "In Europe, it [local food] is about health and sustainability. In Russia, it's more than that. It's an opportunity to revive whole regions.' LavkaLavka and its partners aren't just resurrecting their country's indigenous foods – they are reinvesting in the people who grow them."
  • What we will probably all be eating soon and probably should be already: edible insects. London-based company Ento wants to convince you to give this sustainable protein a try.

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 53

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


  • Granny among the apples (above). French photographer Cerise Doucède creates photos of people posing amidst flying objects.
  • Poetry among the cheese, New York City cheesemongers get funky with their ripe prose. A favorite from Bedford Cheese Shop: "Andante Dairy Nocturne Icelandic ponies. Japanese cats on the Internet. Yawning puppies. Toddlers who give each other hugs. Goats climbing all over everything. Pink and green macaroons. Red pandas. Sparkly nail polish. Do you get where I’m going? Cute things. This cheese is so perfect and cute and delicious you just want to marry it. Or buy one and eat it."


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 50

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


  • We found ourselves on a bit of a theme this week with stories from Scotland, and this little gem of a video sealed the deal. Above is a fine example of what the internet was really meant for — a goofy song featured animated Scotch Eggs.
  • It's a little geeky but a cool development for fisheries: the James Dyson Award goes to a new kind of net called a SafetyNet (link to a video that explains it all to you). "The goal of the SafetyNet system is to make commercial fishing more sustainable by significantly decreasing the numbers of non-target and juvenile fish caught during the trawling process."
  • And now to mix it up, an only-in-New York story of the The Lox Sherpa of Russ & Daughters, famous smoked fish emporium of the Lower East Side. "After growing up on a diet of flour paste, cheese soup and butter tea, Mr. Sherpa now subsists on caviar and pickled herring and wild Baltic salmon. Instead of trekking in flip-flops, he hops the F train to work (when it’s running), and he prefers coffee to butter tea. “Forget about it,” he said. “You have to start your day with coffee in this city.”'

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 46

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

  • Have you visited us on Pinterest yet? A sample of some of our favorite images of the week, above.
  • As Supermarkets Spread in Africa, Some Farmers Find It Hard to Compete. "Supermarket chains are rapidly expanding all over Africa. And they're not just changing the way people shop -- they're transforming the way food is produced in a region where agriculture provides almost 60 percent of all jobs. 'The main problem of the small farmer is market access...How will they put (their goods) into the marketplace?' As supermarkets spread, they could lift millions of small farmers out of poverty by buying from them, or competition from big commercial farms could ruin them."
  • More college grads are heading to the farm."For decades, the number of farmers has been shrinking as a share of the population, and agriculture has often been seen as a backbreaking profession with little prestige. But the last Agricultural Census in 2007 showed a 4 percent increase in the number of farms, the first increase since 1920, and some college graduates are joining in the return to the land."

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 43

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

  • A sense of whimsy decorates a bar called “Le Nid” (meaning the nest) in Nantes, France.
  • Food has always been part of diplomacy, but now American chefs are being tapped by the State Department as official culinary ambassadors. "The wide-ranging effort creates an American Chef Corps, a network of culinary leaders who could be deployed to promote U.S. cooking and agricultural products abroad."
  • Smithsonian magazine takes a visual tour through the history of the lunchbox, from 19th tins to mid-20th century classics, like the Partridge Family and Lost in Space.
  • There's nothing more mid-century than nuclear obsession. Cold War–Era Science Shows Beer Will Survive a Nuclear Apocalypse "In a world that had seen the potential of nuclear weaponry and that faced the threat of disaster as America and the U.S.S.R descended into the Cold War, a hierarchy developed around facts society might need to know about nuclear explosions. Number 32.2a on that list, apparently, was understanding 'The Effect of Nuclear Explosions on Commercially Packaged Beverages.' Specifically, beer. And soft drinks."
  • Urbanization Puts Farms In Africa's Cities At Risk "The survey — which is the first of its kind — looked at city farming in 31 countries, where more than half of Africa's urban population lives. The authors say that governments need to integrate urban farming into city planning, or else the cities may lose one of their best sources of food."