Faves No. 197

favorite finds from the front lines of food

Do you really understand chopsticks?

As much as I love all things food——-this is just a hard pass! Ugly sweaters can be charming I guess, but no, keep the food themes off them! I mean - all I want for Christmas are tacos…no! (Food & Wine) (fine, tamales….maybe)

These do not look ugly! And, I now know what kind of cookies I plan on making this holiday season. Let the ugly frosting begin! (Williams Sonoma)

The road to hell is paved with….awww who cares! This road in Germany was paved with more than good intentions, it was covered with a literally a ton of milk chocolate. It took 25 firefighters armed with shovels to pry off this little “technical difficulty”. (Guardian)

The latest unfortunate Climate Change Round-Up (NPR the salt):

  1. Fishermen

  2. Raw Oysters

  3. Maple

In the DUH files - James Bond has a drinking problem. (Munchies)

Want to eat fries and stay healthy? No problem. But you can only have 6. Not six handfuls, not six orders, just 6 singular fries. Like this is going to happen! (Forbes)

And finally- the most googled foods in 2018:

  1. Unicorn cake

  2. Romaine lettuce

  3. CBD gummies

  4. Keto pancakes

  5. Keto cheesecake

  6. Necco Wafers

  7. Keto cookies

  8. Keto chili

  9. Keto brownies

  10. Gochujang

(The Take Out)

Friday Faves No. 168

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

image via Downeast Magazine

image via Downeast Magazine


In a central Maine warehouse, the fungus–loving partners of Cap N’ Stem are running Maine’s weirdest farm. And it's pretty cool. (Downeast)

We know about the terrible conditions that farmworkers can be subjected to, but did you know labor and human rights abuses are happening on fishing boats based out of US ports? "For many boat owners, the fishermen are a bargain: Bait and ice can cost more than crew salaries. Some of the men in Hawaii earn less than $5,000 for a full year. By contrast, the average pay for an American deckhand nationwide last year was $28,000, sometimes for jobs that last just a few months, according to government statistics. Experienced American crew members working in Alaska can make up to $80,000 a year." (Star Advertiser)

*By week's end Whole Foods had dropped fish from Hawaii. (Undercurrent)

'Rancher, Farmer, Fisherman': Conservation In America's Heartland A full radio hour on the challenges: the rancher, farmer, fisherman view of conserving our environmental future. (On Point)

Cultural appropriation, again. Why You Should Care About the Bon Appetit Pho Uproar "I think eating a delicious pho that satisfies you is more important than eating an authentic pho....But in addition to the quest for delicious, some other things matter too — like history and culture. Context matters, and sensitivity matters. When you’re talking about (and eating, and making) food, you’re dealing with the lifeblood of people. A lot of times, just giving credit — and if possible, some monetary sharing — to people you learned from is helpful." (Paste)

Cleaning the bay, oyster style:  NYC’s newest oyster bed is 50,000 mollusks and 5,000 old public school toilets. (Washington Post)

Why Farm-to-Institution Sourcing is the Sleeping Giant of Local Food The farm-to-institution market holds more power to benefit farmers and fisherman than any other local food market. (Civil Eats)

Making the old new again is always eco: How to refurbish a vintage cast iron skillet (Gear Patrol)

Friday Faves No. 162

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

Watch as 10 Swedish children ages 3-9 taste test oysters to find out what they really think.

Swedish kids are no strangers to seafood. They even have fish paste in tubes! But how do you get kids to embrace the oyster? Brasserie Lipp thinks they have it figured out; you give it to them for free! (Seafood Source)

OK....now what? What will the Brexit mean for UK food? (Eater)

Questions over the sustainability of wild harvested seaweeds lead to cancellation of the Maine Seaweed Festival. Some of the organizers say a 'Gold Rush mentality' as the product gains popularity threatens the industry's future, but harvesters disagree. Thoughts? (Portland Press Herald)

Chewing Over Our New Idea Of 'Better' Food At The Fancy Food Show This past week we were at the Fancy Food Show in NYC and so was the iconic Clark Wolf. Here is a small taste of his take on the state of specialty foods: "It's a history lesson, a geopolitical reflection and a mouthwatering decent into a foo coma of bounty."  (Forbes) 

Normally eggshells can be disposed of in the garden, crushed up and scattered on flower beds or just thrown into the compost bin, but what do you do when you are a Scotch egg manufacturer facing the problem of how to get rid of 1.5m eggshells a week? You partner with your local university to create a sustainable and cost-effective way to use the shells. (Guardian)

At the first Refugee Food Festival in Paris, chefs in exile show off their skills: From Refugee Chefs, a Taste of Home “Immigrants here are seen in a negative light, as pulling the country down, as having nothing to offer, but in fact they offer a chance to exchange cultures, to bring something positive: The cuisine of a place gives pleasure.” (New York Times)

From noodles to poodles The tastes of China’s consumers are rapidly changing "Brands that promise healthy lifestyles are also thriving. In a recent survey, the top complaint by Chinese consumers was poor food safety and the next biggest grouse was shoddy health care. These attitudes have helped restaurants and supermarkets with names like 'Element Fresh' and 'Pure and Whole' spread like organic mushrooms across the land." (Economist)

As Chinese, Iranian and Indonesian As Apple Pie A great look at the diverse origins of our favorite foods, but this quote is too fun to not call out: "By the turn of the 20th century, pie had become 'the American synonym for prosperity,' as The New York Times proclaimed in a 1902 editorial. 'Pie is the food of the heroic. No pie-eating people can ever be permanently vanquished.'" (NPR, The Salt)

Even Vogue is talking about shrimp: Should We Really Be Eating Shrimp? A simple dinner-party question—should one eat shrimp?—sets off on an ethical and gastronomic journey. (Vogue)

Kellogg’s Is Opening Its First-Ever Permanent Café Dedicated Entirely to Cereal in Times Square Get in line for "cereal innovation and delicious experimentation," otherwise known as cereal from the box with fancified toppings like thyme, white chocolate and matcha (not all in the same bowl). (Laughing Squid)

Friday Faves No. 151

our favorite finds from the front lines of food

How Alabama is Farming its Way to an Oyster Revolution A group of farmers and scientists are stabilizing the Alabama oyster industry by creating their own aquaculture infrastructure. (Civil Eats)

Bring on the beans: The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, which declared 2013 the International Year of Quinoa, has declared 2016 to be the International Year of the Pulses (IYP). The ambitious goal: feed, and simultaneously save, the planet. (Restaurant Hospitality)

Is the only way to fight sexism in the kitchen to set up an all-woman shop? One sushi restaurant in Japan has tried it. (Jezebel)

Is cooking school a rip-off? Le Cordon Bleu shuttering North American schools. Heightened federal scrutiny of for-profit programs cited in the decision. (Restaurant Hospitality)


See you all in 2016!


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 — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 77

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

  • Sushi Cat Island (above, full video here), courtesy of Japan. Sometimes, it doesn't help to ask why. The world, and internet videos, are mysterious.
  • Ecologists Turn To Planned Grazing To Revive Grassland Soil "'When I learned about it, that style of grazing, the basis was everybody was producing more grass," said Andrews, a fifth-generation cattle rancher in eastern Colorado. "It's hard, as a producer, to argue with more grass. Because we never have enough grass.'" (NPR)
  • The trailer for A Year in Burgundy (a documentary film on Burgundy winemakers that Polish has done publicity and promotion for) has been viewed 11,000 times by people in 128 countries. Have you seen it yet?


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 70

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


  • With Silver Bells and Oyster Shells (and So Their Gardens Grow) "The oyster industry has grown nearly 20 percent yearly in states like Rhode Island, Virginia, and Massachusetts, over the past decade, and owning a restaurant in which to sell the product is becoming a more common business model for oyster farmers."

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 51

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


  • Truffle sex: "The black truffle has always been assumed to be a self-fertilizing fungus, but it's not..."

  • One of the biggest obstacles to restaurants going green is food waste — hard to track and hard to fix. LeanPath software is trying to help. "When cooks put food waste on the LeanPath scale, they identify it and why they're throwing it away — like overcooked meat or spoiled fish. The software then calculates what that food waste is worth. With that information, a kitchen can figure out how it needs to change, Shakman says. (Watch a demo of how it works here.)"
  • One way to combat food waste is the latest condiment trend: crumbs! Eleven Madison Park in New York City has elevated all the leftover seeds and salt that we all stick our finger into the bag to get into "everything bagel dust."


Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 49

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


In the wake of Hurricane Sandy, our hearts go out to our friends and fellow travelers in food in the Northeast.

We send our best to the farmers who have seen the last of their harvest and their infrastructure destroyed.

To the chefs who will find themselves without a stove once the power comes back and the bills get paid (or not paid).

To the line cooks and dishwashers who can't get to work from the outer boroughs without the subway.

And to everybody who has gone without power, or water or a hot meal.

On a related note, maybe there's hope in one of our favorite foods — oysters. One source for help for increasing storms: plant more oysters argues Paul Greenberg in a New York Times OpEd. "But what is fairly certain is that storms like Sandy are going to grow stronger and more frequent, and our shorelines will become more vulnerable. For the present storm, all we could do was stock up on canned goods and fill up our bathtubs. But for the storms to come, we’d better start planting a lot more oysters."

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 12

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


  • Is it possible to scientifically plot out why some flavors go with others? Researchers have tried in Flavor network and the principles of food pairing (illustration above). "A hypothesis, which over the past decade has received attention among some chefs and food scientists, states that ingredients sharing flavor compounds are more likely to taste well together than ingredients that do not."
  • A look at visions of post-industrial Milwaukee explores how urban agriculture and aquaculture are becoming key to reclamation efforts. "What we really like about Sweet Water, and what they’re very adamant about, is that they want to make these spaces productive again. They see themselves as part of a narrative of production in the city of Milwaukee. They see themselves as being in touch with the [industrial past], but working in a way that speaks to the needs of the 21st century."
  • Turning to agriculture as a way to cope with joblessness isn't just for Americans. With Work Scarce in Athens, Greeks Go Back to the Land “In big cities, there’s no future for them. For young people, the only choice is for them to go to the countryside or to go abroad.”

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 8

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


  • Will American consumers enter a brave new world of high-end canned seafood? Stewed monkfish tripe and others from Italian chef Moreno Cedroni are now available on shelves in New York.
  • What will food production of the future look like? check out this floating farm idea, where greenhouses are suspended over cities like giant balloons.

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 4

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


  • The Wall Street Journal wrote on chefs and twitter in @Foodies: Peak Into My Kitchen. "It's a power tool. Before you had to [spend] a quarter-million dollars in ads to do this."
  • Young entrepreneurs are finding inspiration in the past, from Sheep Lawn Mowers to raising chickens. “It’s a gateway to that whole rural dream...And with the type of recession we’re having, there’s stability in it.”
  • Why stop at 140 characters when you can bring consumers to a world of information. QR codes provide the anti-tweet for wine and other foods. "I’m looking forward to the day when I will be able to scan a QR Code on a barrel of cheese and be transported to a farm instead of a news review."

Friday Faves — notes from the new gastroconomy, No. 3

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