click here to skip the menu and go to the page content

rebecca's pocket

about / archive / syndicate

.: archive --> Food


Good advice for restaurant websites

» Word [ 11/19/07 ]

Laura Schenone in San Francisco for a ravioli demonstration

» For those of you who will be in the Bay Area this Sunday, November 11, Book Passage is hosting an evening with Laura Schenone (author of the wonderful James Beard award winner A Thousand Years Over a Hot Stove) in honor of her new book, The Lost Ravioli Recipes of Hoboken. She will talk about ravioli, Farina's chef will do a demo, and then everyone will eat ravioli. Looks like fun.  [ 11/08/07 ]

Recommended: Just Bento

» I think you'll be just as excited as I am about Maki's new site: Just Bento. She'll be focusing on bento you can make in 20-30 minutes.  [ 11/02/07 ]

A poultry diet is less energy-intensive than lacto-ovo vegetarianism

» Want to save the world from global warming? Become vegan—or eat chicken [ 10/22/07 ]

Mike's Amazing Cakes

» Wow, wow, wow. These are amazing cakes. (via Maki [ 10/19/07 ]

San Francisco urban beekeeping

» Here's a superficial but interesting article about urban beekeeping in San Francisco. More common than I would have thought. I'd love to do this someday. (1) Comments  / [ 10/11/07 ]

The Picky Eater Gene

» Picky Eaters? They Get It From You. I was a super-picky eater—we all were. But none of us were this bad. (via se [ 10/10/07 ]

The best way to clean fresh produce

» NPR: What's the best way to clean fresh fruits and vegetables? Skip the commercially available produce washes and use a solution of vinegar and water (or even plain water, according to one research team). (via jh [ 09/25/07 ]

Japanese cooking = weiners?

» Maki asks (and answers) an important question: Why do Japanese people like wieners so much? Here is her list of examples.

Also, how much do you wish there was an English site like Cookpad?

People can post short responses to the recipes called tsukurepo, where they show a photo of their attempt making the recipe. A lot of recipes also note which other recipe on the site inspired the poster to come up with theirs. This is what makes the site unique - you can follow a complete genealogy of a recipe, and keep on discovering new variations on themes.

  [ 09/19/07 ]

Religious groups adopting humane, sustainable farming practicies

» So far up my alley: Of Church and Steak: Farming for the Soul. It's got everything: an evangelical Christian raising Kosher beef, Dr. Temple Grandin, organic halal, and nuns.  [ 09/11/07 ]

On the (very French) pleasure of drinking chilled red wine

» Mike Steinberger on the unsurpassed (and very French) pleasure of drinking chilled red wine in the summer. (2) Comments  / [ 08/16/07 ]

Southern Sweet Tea, An Appreciation

» What makes Southern sweet tea so special? It is good, though my father-in-law swears the stuff he buys in jugs at the store is better than what he can make at home. (4) Comments  / [ 08/10/07 ]

How to store and preserve fresh basil

» How to store and preserve fresh basil: Susan Kitchen's bouquet method and Mental Masala's mini-hydroponics method. Plus tips from Serious Eats readers, including several methods for freezing.   [ 08/08/07 ]

How to store and preserve fresh herbs

» How to store and preserve fresh herbs(1) Comments  / [ 08/02/07 ]

Mark Bittman: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less

» Here's another man after my own heart: Mark Bittman, Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. (via se(1) Comments  / [ 07/19/07 ]

Interview with John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly

» Here's a man after my own heart: John T. Edge, author of Southern Belly: The Ultimate Food Lover's Companion to the South, (and four-time James Beard award nominee and finalist for the M.F.K. Fisher Distinguished Writing Award). "Except for sex, eating is the most intimate activity we regularly engage in with others. [...] When we share food we share much of the same experience of the South. A lot divides us, but one of the reasons I'm so interested in food is that a shared love of okra can unite us too."

That's exactly why I love cooking so much. When I cook a meal with a history, I feel that I'm entering into the time and culture of the people who first created that food. After reading this interview, all I want to do is take a roadtrip through the South with this book in hand. (2) Comments  / [ 07/17/07 ]

USDA finally prohibits the slaughter of downer cattle in the US

» The USDA has finally permanently prohibited the slaughter of "downer cattle", to take effect October 1. This is largely a response to the threat of mad cow disease, first diagnosed in the US on Dec. 23, 2003.  [ 07/16/07 ]

How one working woman cooks family meals every night of the week

» NYT: "For the past 10 years, I have starred in my own reality series: “Working Mom Cooks Weeknight Dinner.” Think of it as “Survivor” meets “Iron Chef” with a bit of “Deal or No Deal.” In the show’s long-running history there have been stretches in which the entire tribe was forced to subsist on scrambled eggs, tuna sandwiches and reheated Chinese food. But together we have overcome obstacles, gained wisdom and reached a point where my husband and I and our two boys eat balanced and even inventive home-cooked meals most nights."

Cooking dinner every night is at once much, much harder than most people realize (especially if you're trying not to waste a thing—how can I use up this bunch of cilantro?) and, once you get into the habit, not nearly as hard as it seems like it will be. If you follow the meal plan she outlines here, you'll have something to eat every night of the week. (thanks, jjg!)  [ 07/13/07 ]

The Food Timeline

» The Food Timeline: food history reference & research service. From the FAQ:

What is the history of your favorite food? That depends upon the food and how deep you want to dig. Take tiramasu. This dish was "created" in the late 20th century. You could find a few magazines articles confirming period popularity/origination and stop there. Or? You could go the next level and research the recipe based on composition. You would soon discover this dish was based on Victorian-era moulded creams which were based on Colonial-era tipsy cakes which were inspired by Renaissance-era trifles.
Very few (if any) foods are invented. Most are contemporary twists on traditional themes. Louis Diat's famous Vichysoisse was a childhood favorite. Today's grilled cheese sandwich is connected to ancient cooks who melted cheese on bread. 1950s meatloaf is connected to ground cooked meat products promoted at the turn of the 20th century, which are, in turn related to ancient Roman minces. Need more? Corn dogs and weiner schnitzel. French fries and Medieval fritters. New York gyros and Middle Eastern doner kebabs. Hershey's Kisses and ancient Incan cocoa.

So awesome.

At Hampton Court, we spent some time with the Experimental Food Historians in the Tudor Kitchens, perhaps the highlight of my visit. Since learning there is such a thing, I am tempted to become an Experimental Food Historian myself when I get home, working from my own kitchen, and subjecting my poor husband to experimental concoctions. (via br [ 06/18/07 ]

Book reviews on baking, by bakers

» Here's a find: Reviews of books on baking by amateur bakers. That's terrific summer reading for some of us.  [ 06/13/07 ]

Karen Hess, RIP

» Karen Hess, a "kind but combative" food historian died last week. Apparently, her book The Taste of America doesn't just chronicle food history—it skewers the popular chefs of the day, including my beloved Julia Child. "She always believed that history was written in our daily lives, not just in battles won and court cases, which was how traditional historians had always written things." John Martin Taylor, cookbook author.  [ 05/28/07 ]

Where the heck is Istria?

» When we first moved here, my husband and I found a review that described "San Francisco's only Istrian restaurant". We've spent the intervening time asking ourselves, repeatedly, "Where the heck is Istria?" After years of waiting, today the answer is revealed. (thanks, jjg(1) Comments  / [ 05/17/07 ]

Feeding a family on WWII rations

» In a nice piece of serendipity, Peacockharpy is doing her own experiment in feeding her family this month: Food is a munition of war.

I've always been interested in historical cookery, particularly because I feel it is a sort of time travel -- with some limitations, you can eat the same foods that the Romans did, or the medieval French, or the Elizabethan English. My husband has done World War II re-enactment, and I've joined him on occasion for a USO dance. So perhaps it's not surprising that when I said, "I think... it might be an interesting experiment to try and live on World War II rationing rules for a month," he didn't say, "Are you crazy?" but instead replied, "Hey, that does sound interesting. Let's do it."

She's right. One of the reasons I love cooking from other cultures—or even from other parts of my own country—is that I feel I'm engaging in that culture in an intimate way when I do. What people eat tells you so much about their everyday lives: what the climate is like, what is available in their area, how they spend their time, and then, over time, how those factors shape how they think about food. Food, for me, is one way to understand other people's lives.

She's using the rations laid out in a collection of U.K. wartime rationing recipes and plans to use some UK wartime recipes. What an absolutely fascinating project. (2) Comments  / [ 05/14/07 ]

Thriftyo Update

» For those of you wondering how it's going on my limited food budget, for Week 1, I came in $3.20 under budget [ 05/11/07 ]

The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge

» Whole Wheat Mushroom PizzaI'm still tweaking the website, but I'd like to introduce my latest project: The (Organic) Thrifty Food Plan Challenge Eating Organic on a Food Stamp Budget. (I've been persuaded that the second one is a snappier name.)

We eat well. Maybe a little too well, judging from our waistlines. And we eat pretty inexpensively, too. So the recent spate of publicity about Oregon Governor Ted Kulongoski's committment to eat food totalling only $21 for one week (the amount an average Oregon food stamp recipient receives) caught my attention.

Now, the Governor's stunt is a little misleading: no one expects The government doesn't expect food stamp recipients to eat on only $21 a week (though I'm sure some people try). The USDA's Thrifty Food Plan [pdf] (from which food stamp allotments are derived) is spartan enough, but the most recent figures provide an adult male between the ages of 20 and 50 years of age with $35.40 a week for food—part of which will be provided by food stamps, and part by the individual, depending on their income. Regardless, the Governor's point is well taken. It's not a lot of money to spend on a week's worth of food.

I pride myself on my thrifty shopping habits. I've also been fortunate in these last few years to be able to afford to buy organic and locally grown fresh food most of the time. So I've decided to take the Governor's challenge a step further. I'd like to see if I can feed the two of us for one month on a "Thrifty Food Plan" budget using organic food. My budget: 74.00/week or 320.80/month, the USDA "Thrifty" standard for a family of 2 adults, aged 20-50 years.

I just completed my first week. I spent more than I thought I would, but in general, I think it's going pretty well. You can read today's entry, how I'm accounting for individual items, my Sunday's week-end summary, or just start at the beginning and read from there.  (3) Comments  / [ 05/08/07 ]

The Best Meat Restaurant in Geneva

» Mark Bittman: Steak Frites: Seeking the Best of a Classic. We ate at Relais de L'Entrecôte [review], a meat restaurant in Geneva, on the recommendation of one of our hosts. We had no idea what we were in for, and were surprised when the waitress, approaching our table, asked only what we would like to drink and how we would like our steak done. It was delicious: sliced, sauced steak with huge pile of frites, and then when we were done...seconds!   [ 05/01/07 ]

Rice Paddy Art in Inakadate, Japan

» Did I never link this? Since 2000, the Japanese village of Inakadate has created rice paddy art depicting subjects as varied as a rice paddy Mona Lisa to traditional Japanese scenes and figures. Inakadate Village's webpage has documented villagers planting and harvesting rice from one year's design. Last year the village CIR even maintained a blog [ 04/23/07 ]

Maki Reviews Guinness Marmite

» Maki reviews Guinness Marmite—and manages to convince me that I'd like to try some.  [ 04/17/07 ]

Japanese: Bring on the high calorie foods

» 'In-your-face-food' a hit in Japan. Krispy Kreme, the McDonald's Mega Mac (4 patties!), and other high calorie foods are in such high demand that other American fast food companies are planning to expand into the market. I will say that I'm rather shocked to learn that a Krispy Kreme doughnut is 250 calories. (via jh [ 04/06/07 ]

Maki's Cute Bunny Bao

» Easter brunch bunny bao (steamed buns). Not only are these the cutest brunch food ever, they can be made ahead and frozen!

Update: Keys to Bunny Bao Success  [ 04/05/07 ]

Teaching toddlers about anytime foods and sometimes foods

» I love this concept for teaching preschoolers good eating habits: anytime foods and sometimes foods [ 03/19/07 ]

Cake Tourism

» Fabulous. Cake Tourism: Eating cake around the globe. I strongly recommend they try the Dutch Apple Pie. (And who says there aren't any new ideas for blogs anymore? ) (via jh [ 03/15/07 ]

Organic, Biodynamic, Heritage & Heirloom Seed Sources

» It's that time. Fork & Bottle's list of Organic, Biodynamic, Heritage & Heirloom Seed Sources  [ 03/13/07 ]

Smelling food makes you fatter

» The Scent of a Calorie: Whiff of Food Cancels Longevity from Caloric Restriction. (via jh [ 02/27/07 ]

Tasty food is better for you

» Compare: A new study shows that people absorb more nutrients from foods they enjoy eating [ 02/26/07 ]

Easy Japanese Rice Balls

» Onigiri (Omusubi) revisited: An easier way to make Japanese rice balls, step by step.  (1) Comments  / [ 02/09/07 ]

John Foraker Swings, Misses

» I often speak to business audiences to help them understand the value of interacting with blogs and other online media. So I was happy to see John Foraker, CEO of Annie’s Homegrown, dive right into the fray in response to a recent Salon article which attacked one of his products.

And then I read what he wrote.

It's not that the letter he reposts in Megnut's comments is so filled with marketese. Sometimes old dogs can learn just one new trick at a time. It's that he appears to think blog readers are stupid:

On our product boxes we recommend using lowfat milk for the healthiest product that, when prepared, contains fewer calories (280), less total fat (4 g) and less sodium (550 mg) than Kraft, which can contain up to 380 calories, 15 grams of fat and 740 milligrams of sodium per serving.

"Can contain up to?" Eventually, one of Meg's commenters noticed that he had pulled a fast one:

John, let's be fair here. You are comparing Annie's made with low-fat milk to Kraft made with whole milk. The "light prep" on Kraft's is only 290 calories, 5g fat and 600mg sodium.

His response? "Shannon, you make some great points. Thanks." And then he goes on to talk about something else.

Sure, John Foraker's statement is accurate. But it's deliberately misleading, comparing a low-fat version of his product to a full-fat version of his competitor's. Falling back on "recommended preparations" doesn't cut it. His statement is designed to give the impression that, all things being equal, Annie's macaroni and cheese is noteably lower in calories, fat, and sodium than Kraft's.

It would have been so easy to say, "We believe our product is superior because it contains no artificial colors and no synthetic chemicals. We don't like to eat that stuff, and we've built our company on the idea that there are other people who don't want to, either. The high quality of our ingredients also makes our macaroni and cheese taste better, or at least we think so."

And that would have been enough.

I came away the Salon article reminded that "natural" doesn't actually mean very much when it comes to food, but also reminded that—for a convenience food— Annie's Mac and Cheese has a slight edge on Kraft because it contains fewer food additives. I came away from John Foraker's remarks knowing that he's willing to deliberately obfuscate the merits of his and his competitor's products in order to deflect criticism of his company. And he's willing to go out of his way to do that in a supposedly "transparent" form, on a blog.

I'm left with a bad taste in my mouth. And a markedly lower opinion of the Annie's brand.

John, whomever is advising you about the blogosphere, it's time to find someone who can do more than point you to the most prominent food bloggers. You need someone who can help you understand the idea of transparency and who can explain to you that on blogs, as in most of life, charm is no substitute for honesty. (7) Comments  / [ 02/06/07 ]

2006 Cookbook Recommendations

» The Food Section has compiled a list of lists of cookbooks, gadgets, and food to give for the holiday. The King Arthur Flour Whole Grain Baking Book? (via) Hand me the smelling salts. (via wl(2) Comments  / [ 12/07/06 ]


» Frisee. Such a space-taker on the plate, so hard to pick up with a fork, and even harder to get gracefully into your mouth. I sort of hate frisee. There, I said it. (5) Comments  / [ 11/29/06 ]

Harold McGee hath a blog

» Hey! Harold McGee, author of the classic On Food and Cooking, has a blog. (via abw [ 11/16/06 ]

No-knead bread

» Jim Lahey’s No-knead Bread. [Recipe(5) Comments  / [ 11/09/06 ]

Hannaford's new food rating system steams the food industry

» Hannaford Grocery chain has developed a 3-star system that rates the healthiness of the food they sell, based on the overall profile of the food. Since Hannaford will mark down items for high sodium, trans fats, and low nutrients, even products that make strong health claims may receive low scores. As you might imagine, the food industry isn't particularly happy.

"[V-8] like drinking a vitamin with a lot of salt on it." Hannaford advisory board member Lisa A. Sutherland, assistant professor of pediatrics and a nutrition scientist at Dartmouth Medical School.
"I don’t know what their system is. What are they calling too much salt?" John Faulkner, director of brand communication at the Campbell Soup Company.
"The thing is, a lot of claims we see out there are puffery. But they don’t get to the point where we can call them fake or misleading." Joseph R. Baca, director of the office of compliance at the F.D.A.’s Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition.

 (3) Comments  / [ 11/07/06 ]

What the new Joy of Cooking is missing

» Slate: What the new Joy of Cooking is missing.  (2) Comments  / [ 11/03/06 ]

How to preserve pumpkin for year-round enjoyment

» How to Keep Yourself in Pumpkin All Year Long. Bonus link: The Lemons Family Favorites Cookbook featuring Grandma Lemon's Custardy Pumpkin Pie [ 11/02/06 ]

A better way to grow cilantro

» A better way to grow cilantro. I've been trying to grow herbs on my deck since a bunch from the market is usually more than I need and I end up throwing half of it away. (via jgb [ 11/01/06 ]

Decaf? Not so much

» I thought everyone knew this: decaf coffee has less caffeine than regular coffee but is rarely caffeine free. Listen to your body to tell you when you've had too much.

Oh, also, a cup of coffee has more caffeine than a shot of espresso. A cup of espresso would have more caffeine than the equivalent amount of coffee, but if you really want to wake up, have the drip, not the fancy stuff.   [ 10/24/06 ]

A Feast Day Cookbook

» Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton & Helmut Ripperger. (via ml [ 10/20/06 ]

Eating Seasonally Charts

» "Eat seasonally" is a mantra of sustainable living, but in the middle of a crowded produce department, that can be impossible to determine—everything is seasonal somewhere. Here's a list of what's in season where, arranged by state(2) Comments  / [ 10/18/06 ]

Healthier snacks for schools

» Snack makers pledge healthier snacks in schools. Food manufacturers are even developing healthier snack items to meet the new standards, but they have limited influence: vending machine sales are usually sold by independent contracters.  [ 10/11/06 ]

Restaurants worth travelling to

» R.W. Apple: 10 Restaurants That Are Worth the Plane Ride [ 10/11/06 ]

Paul Newman's Restaurant venture

» Newman's Own Restaurant. His official title is "Director of Opinions" but he sounds to me a little like "Chief Curmudgeon".  [ 10/05/06 ]

99-year-old Japanese chef still cooking

» Kakutaro Taira is a 99-year-old Japanese chef who still cooks at his restaurant. "I feel so happy whenever a customer praises my cooking. I'll hang on as long as I'm alive and kicking." Kakutaro Taira, proprietor and head chef of Ozeki, a traditional Japanese restaurant. (via mn [ 10/05/06 ]

It's time for a dumpling revolution

» A Dumpling Manifesto: Why Americans Must Demand Better. "The Chinese dumpling is a magnificent product of the human imagination: At its best, it is charming in appearance, chewy and savory, and can trigger a head rush like sashimi or blue cheese. [...] For the most part, however, the dumpling has arrived here in bastardized form, as similar to the real thing as Kraft Parmesan cheese is to its ancestors. That's why it's time for a dumpling revolution."   [ 09/28/06 ]

E. coli is the result of modern farming practices

» More on E. coli on spinach and in the digestive tracts of cattle.

But the villain in this outbreak, E. coli O157:H7, is far scarier, at least for humans. Your stomach juices are not strong enough to kill this acid-loving bacterium, which is why it’s more likely than other members of the E. coli family to produce abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and, in rare cases, fatal kidney failure.
It’s not found in the intestinal tracts of cattle raised on their natural diet of grass, hay and other fibrous forage. No, O157 thrives in a new — that is, recent in the history of animal diets — biological niche: the unnaturally acidic stomachs of beef and dairy cattle fed on grain, the typical ration on most industrial farms.

thanks, MollyMagnet!  [ 09/25/06 ]

Two farmers talk about organic spinach growing and harvesting

» Andy Griffin, the former owner of Riverside Farms, one of the spinach growers implicated in the recent E.coli breakout, has written a very informative post on spinach harvesting and why he got out of the baby greens business. (via mn)

Every sealed bag of pre-washed greens is like a little green house. The greens inside are still alive, as are the bacteria living on them. If the produce in the bag is clean, great, but if it isn’t the bacteria present has a wonderful little sealed environment to reproduce in, free from any threat until the dressing splashes down and the shadow of a fork passes over. Frankly, I think convenience is overrated.

And my most recent CSA newsletter has a bit to say about organic spinach growing practices.

Many media outlets, and so-called experts, have failed to understand the details of this event. [...] [T]hey have tried to make a connection between organic produce and animal manure, a potential source of E.coli. Fact: It is a violation of federal law, the National Organic Standards Act, to use raw animal manures on a crop that will be harvested within 120 days of application of the manure. No organic farmers are using raw animal manures on their spinach fields anymore, if they ever did. It  is far more likely that a conventional farmer would use raw manures —there are no regulations prohibiting the practice for anyone other than organic farmers. The FDA never insinuated this connection; they are intimately familiar with the organics law.

 (2) Comments  / [ 09/22/06 ]

Spinach Substitutes

» NY Magazine: Spinach Substitutes. (via rw [ 09/20/06 ]

Food, regulated food

» Two great links from Megnut:

"The Agriculture Department has proposed a standard for grass-fed meat that doesn't say animals need pasture and that broadly defines grass to include things like leftovers from harvested crops."

"Why is it, that in America it's easier to buy drugs, guns and political favors than it is to buy a gallon of raw milk?" (2) Comments  / [ 09/15/06 ]

NYC gets Seattle-style espresso

» New York finally gets Seattle-style espresso [ 09/15/06 ]

Upscaling the tea bag

» Upscaling the humble tea bag.  (2) Comments  / [ 09/14/06 ]

What happens when GM escapes into the wild?

» When genetically modified plants go wild.

Some amount of movement of GM crops outside their containment areas "is virtually inevitable," Mr. Fernandez says. "The question is, how do we feel about that? How important is that? Does it matter what the crop is?" The bentgrass may pose no significant danger, he says, but "would we feel differently" if it were a plant that produced pharmaceuticals?

Also, um: "This year, 61 percent of all corn and 89 percent of all soybeans planted in the United States were GM varieties, the USDA estimates. More than 80 percent of the US cotton crop is also GM." I don't mind them doing it, so much as I mind them doing it in secret. If this is really safe, why can't we know about it? But I suppose its just easier to donate to the re-election campaigns of key people than to do the hard work of educating the public, or actually participating in a public conversation about the merits and dangers of these products, and how they should be implemented. (via dm(4) Comments  / [ 09/08/06 ]

The Essentials of a Japanese Pantry

» The essentials of a Japanese pantry organized by must-haves, good-to-haves, and not-essential-at-all. (via afb [ 09/06/06 ]

Modern Mendels

» Strong anti-GMO feeling in Europe means that US farmers can't export their genetically enhanced produce overseas. Biotech companies are responding by combining high-tech genetic analysis with good old-fashioned cross-breeding [ 08/29/06 ]

Kitchen Sisters profile Carl's Corner

» The Kitchen Sisters profile Carl's Corner, Texas, a truckstop that became a town so the owner (now mayor) could sell liquor. It's now the location of Willie Nelson's annual Fourth of July picnic, and a biodiesel fueling station called "BioWillie's". The Kitchen Sisters, by the way, have produced a book called Hidden Kitchens, based on their popular NPR series.  [ 08/29/06 ]

US rice supply contaminated with GM rice

» "Agriculture Secretary Mike Johanns announced [last week] that U.S. commercial supplies of long-grain rice had become inadvertently contaminated with a genetically engineered variety not approved for human consumption." Is anyone surprised by this? (3) Comments  / [ 08/25/06 ]

FDA okays spray-viruses to combat listeriosis

» More food news: The FDA has okayed a process to spray a cocktail of viruses on meat to be consumed by humans in order to combat listeriosis. Jorn sez:"FDA okays swallowing spiders to catch flies". (3) Comments  / [ 08/18/06 ]

State Fair Food Cooking: Still Competitive

» On the other hand, State Fairs are updating their food competitions by introducing contests for items like biscotti and bagels and specifically including men: in men-only baking contests, events pitting local firefighters against the sheriff’s department in Iron-Chef contests featuring local ingredients, and spectator events like chicken wing cook-offs and barbecue contests. "Cooking and gardening are almost hobbies now, not necessary for survival as they were when the fairs began. But the spirit is just as competitive as it always has been." Diane Roupe, a longtime judge at the Iowa fair.  [ 08/18/06 ]

Farm-to-table Restaurants a new trend

» A new American trend takes eating locally to it's logical conclusion: restauranteur-owned farms. "I pick the Swiss chard and put it in the car. They wash it off in the kitchen, and then we eat it. I can’t tell you the difference that makes." Dan Kary, owner of Cinque Terre restaurant and Grand View Farm in Portland, Maine.

Now wait a minute. This seems like a natural match to me. The Foodie/Slow Food/Eat Local crowd should be flocking to the fair to meet local farmers, learn about local foodways, and submit their own preserves for judging. And what better place for organic and pasture-based farmers to meet a public interested in local agriculture—and to exchange information with other farmers about their businesses and their farming experience? (1) Comments  / [ 08/18/06 ]

New bill designed to get fresh produce into neighborhood bodegas

» Proposed federal law would help corner stores stock and sell healthy food.

The "Bodegas as Catalysts for Healthy Living Act", introduced into the House in late July by Rep. Nydia Velazquez (D-NY)...refers to a small business grants help bodegas stock produce and market healthy items, as well as funding local education campaigns to spur purchases. In tackling the issue of access, the bill addresses one of the most salient critiques one can launch at food gurus like Alice Waters and Michael Pollan: That for many Americans, the issue isn't about finding a locally grown, organic apple. It's about finding an edible apple, period.

Of course, Waters and Pollan are all about local access to food for all, so just dismiss that particular straw man as a writer's flourish. Read it anyway.  [ 08/17/06 ]

White Silo Winery makes country wines

» White Silo Farm and Winery is part of the Connecticut Wine Trail (who knew?) but it doesn't produce wine made from grapes. It specializes in fruit-based country wines [ 08/17/06 ]

What Sims teaches prepubescent girls

» What Sims teaches little girls: good hygiene, household economy, and subversion. (via rw(1) Comments  / [ 08/15/06 ]

Wim Delvoye and his meat parquet floor

» Wim Delvoye is a Belgian conceptual artist who has a strong food thread running through his work. He is famous for his tattooed pigs, and his Cloaca, machines that process food through a series of containers to extrude, um, digested food at the end. I am rather taken with his stained glass windows made of X-rays, and especially with his parquet floor made of cold cuts. (Hat-tip: B|K.)  [ 08/15/06 ]

Cuba's local organic farms now feed the nation

» Cuba's USSR-supported economy exchanged "tropical exports" for 63 per cent of its food and 90 per cent of its gasoline. When the Soviet Union collapsed, Cubans found themselves subsisting on half the food they had previously (and without the petroleum needed to manufacture fertilizer and to transport food from farms to consumers). Castro rejected the classic neo-liberal approach of "exporting what you're good at and importing what you need". Instead, Cuba got good at food, and focused on building small farms where the people are. Havana's local gardens now supply its citizens with more than 90 per cent of their fruit and vegetables. (via rw) Update: Unfortunately, the story has just gone behind a firewall. I'm looking for a copy somewhere on the Web, but so far have not found one. Sorry. Found! Thanks, Melissa! (4) Comments  / [ 08/11/06 ]

Bacon Mayonnaise

» Oh, dear heaven. Bacon Mayonnaise. Enough said. Related. (via megnut [ 08/10/06 ]

Jack Keler's Wine-making Blog

» Jack Keler's Winemaking Blog has it all, from identifying grapes to weather effects on fermenting wine. And the recipes! Banana Wine, Mesquite Wine, Daylily Wine, Mint Jelly, and Mint Jelly Wine.... There are no permalinks, so scroll down to see what a vasty resource this is. (1) Comments  / [ 08/04/06 ]

S'MAC Gourmet Macaroni and Cheese

» Oh, dear Lord. S’MAC (Sarita's Macaroni & Cheese) is a NYC restaurant that serves 10 versions of gourmet macaroni and cheese: Gruyere and slab bacon, brie with roasted figs, shiitakes and rosemary, and good old American and Cheddar Cheese are all on the menu.   [ 08/03/06 ]

Chicago teaching new immigrants how to eat in America

» A Chicago resettlement program is offering classes in shopping and eating to new immigrants, an attempt to educate people accustomed to food scarity to cope with the sudden abundance (and junk food) that surrounds them. (thanks, Lisa!) (1) Comments  / [ 08/01/06 ]

Whole Foods to start supporting local farmers

» Whole Foods has responded to criticism that they are part of the industrial organic complex by creating a new initiative that will provide grants to small farmers, and require stores to feature produce from at least 4 local farmers [ 08/01/06 ]

Indian vegetarian-only communities

» In India there is a growing trend for neighborhood societies to uphold strict vegetarian-only housing policies. It's completely legal, as are housing societies based on religion. "It's just not fair. It's a monopoly by vegetarians. If you step out to eat, there's nothing for miles because everything around is veggie." Kiran Talwar, a resident who has seen vegetarianism take over restaurants and groceries all over his childhood neighborhood. (via amy)  (1) Comments  / [ 07/26/06 ]

Foodies and their annoying affectations

» Don't miss this hilariously snarky article about foodies and their affectations. When I first joined Orkut, I joined a couple of groups that were centered around food (cheese, I think, and artisian breads, and something else I was hoping to learn about). I un-joined just 24 hours later, unimpressed with the level of posturing that pervaded all of them. (via mn(1) Comments  / [ 07/24/06 ]

More summer reading for food lovers

» More Summer Reading: For the beach: A feast of culinary novels [ 07/21/06 ]


» Here comes the Nanofood. George Elvin describes the future of high-tech food.  [ 07/18/06 ]

More molecular gastronomy

» Wired: My Compliments to the Lab is another article on the "molecular gastronomists" who are using specialized equipment (the "anti-griddle", anyone?) and chemical additives to create cuisine that is both haute and high-tech.

"How would Thomas Keller make that parsley sauce?" Achatz asks.... He'd puree parsley and oil in a blender and strain it.
"Then he'd have parsley oil," Achatz says. "It tastes like parsley and oil." Achatz instead starts with parsley juice, maybe a little water and salt. "That liquid is going to taste intensely of parsley, because that's all it is. Then I'd thicken it with Ultra-tex 3, a modified starch that imparts zero flavor but gives it the same viscosity as oil."
Keller, in other words, would have compromised the flavor of the parsley. Achatz believes that technology can actually deliver a purer dish.

(via megnut(1) Comments  / [ 07/17/06 ]

Profile of Angelo Garro

» A short profile of San Francisco blacksmith and master forager Angelo Garro, the man who taught Michael Pollan to hunt for The Omnivore's Dilemma [ 06/30/06 ]

Wine 101 and recommended books on wine

» Wine 101: A Sensory User's Manual ... using chemistry, physiology, physics and psychology to develop a wine palate, and this list of recommended books on wine. Also see this recommended article, Intro to Wine Tasting by Lauriann Greene-Sollin, Sommelier-Conseil.  [ 06/29/06 ]

Umami Information Center

» Did you know that green tea is an Umami-rich food? Now you do, thanks to the Umami Information Center. One of their recent articles describes the complexity of choosing, preserving, and cooking with konbu, although there is little in the way of concrete advice offered to the home cook. (4) Comments  / [ 06/29/06 ]

Rosemary Recipes

» A Little Weekend Cooking: Upon my return, my community garden plot was overrun with rosemary. What to do with the surplus? I started searching on the Web and found so many interesting recipes, I wish I had brought more home:

The Basics



Main dishes and Sides



  [ 06/23/06 ]

Pollan responds to Whole Foods

» Michael Pollan replies to Whole Foods' open letter to him. Quite honestly, it's as interesting as the first. (via mn [ 06/22/06 ]

Omega-3 deficiency may cause modern neurological conditions

» Did omega-3 fatty acid lead to the "great cognitive leap" in the Palaeolithic era—and is omega-3 deficiency responsible for contemporary brain dysfunctions like dyslexia, ADHD, and depression? (via robotwisdom [ 06/22/06 ]

Nudo Community Supported Olive Grove

» Wow, I love this idea: Europeans can adopt an olive tree in Le Marche, Italia and receive all of its produce for one year. They receive two shipments: one of extra virgin olive oil, and one of lemon infused olive oil and olive oil soap. I wish a grower here in California would take up this model. (And send me some olives, too!) (via afb [ 06/21/06 ]

Cork'd - Social Wine Reviewing site

» Also from A Full Belly, Cork'd, a community site for reviewing wines. As someone who is always looking for an inexpensive, great-tasting wine, this looks like a promising resource.  [ 06/21/06 ]

Walmart goes organic and the dominoes start falling

» NYT: On the complexity of Walmart going Organic, Michael Pollan.  [ 06/14/06 ]

A Summer Reading List for Foodies

» A Summer Reading List for Foodies [ 06/14/06 ]

Molecular Mixologists

» Two Parts Vodka, a Twist of Science examinies a new breed of cocktail designer who uses food science to elevate their trade from bartending to molecular mixology.  [ 05/25/06 ]

On modern gardening

» A Long Row to Hoe, to Avoid a Store-Bought Tomato. Garret points out that his father managed to produce an ample harvest every year without investing $16,000 to do it. (via dm [ 04/17/06 ]

Merlot fights back against an imaginary foe

» Merlot fights back is Swanson Vineyards wine seminar for trade and media that is designed to counter, as I would judge, a single movie character's refusal to drink Merlot. "Did you know how important clay in a merlot vineyard’s soil is? Did you realize that the wine Miles (in Sideways) hoarded and opened on his birthday was a '61 Cheval Blanc, a 50/50 cepage of Merlot and Cabernet Franc? These are just a taste of the connoisseurship of Merlot the seminar will provide."  [ 04/17/06 ]

Nutricate helps restaurant customers eat healtier

» Good idea: Nutricate is a company that enables restaurants to print meal-specific nutrition information on customer receipts. (via usfp [ 04/12/06 ]

Homemade Tofu

» Fabulous: Making Tofu at home. Once you've assembled the equipment and ingredients, it looks nearly as straighforward as making yogurt, and only a little more time-consuming. (1) Comments  / [ 04/10/06 ]

I am going to be the meanest mother

» Eating french fries during early childhood may lead to a 27% increase in the risk of breast cancer later in life [ 03/28/06 ]

Mango Love

» Madhur Jaffrey on the real benefit of the new US nuclear and trade pact with India: Mangoes. (via jch [ 03/23/06 ]

Food Science Reading List

» A Food Science and Molecular Gastronomy Reading List [ 03/23/06 ]

The Smithsonian's Travelling American Food Exhibit

» Key Ingredients: America by Food is the website companion to the Smithsonian Institution's traveling exhibition of the same name. It features an American Food Timeline, a collection of recipes and stories from across the USA (contribute your own!), and an exhibition schedule [ 03/21/06 ]

US Tiffin Ladies

» In India, lunch is traditionally prepared for workers by a wife, mother, or domestic and then delivered hot to the place of work. In the United States, in places with large East Indian populations, commercial versions of this service — often prepared by homemakers as a small side business — are springing up, allowing Indians to have a healthy taste of home. "Indian restaurants do not compare to what these ladies serve. Today for lunch I ate pao bhaji. If you were to see it on any menu, which I doubt, it would be mass produced. This tastes like my mom's." Vijay Beniwal, a software design engineer for Microsoft. (2) Comments  / [ 03/20/06 ]

More Mad Cow Disease

» A third case of Mad Cow disease has been found in Alabama. Predictably, the USDA and National Cattlemen's Beef Association say this is evidence that the voluntary program is working. Public-interest groups say voluntary programs are not enough, and are urging Congress to make permanent bans on allowing "downer" cows into the human food supply, and to extend it to pigs and other livestock. Frankly, I'm shocked to discover that this was a temporary measure. "There is no reason to play Russian roulette with the food supply, nor is there any reason to torment nonambulatory livestock by dragging or pushing them into slaughterhouses with chains, bulldozers, or forklifts." Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society of the United States. (3) Comments  / [ 03/15/06 ]

Soda makes you fat

» Reports to be published in two scientific journals this week will argue that soda is not just a co-factor to obesity, it is a cause. They've amassed an impressive arsenal of evidence (I particularly like the jelly bean study). "I think that's laughable," said Richard Adamson, a senior science consultant to the American Beverage Association.  [ 03/07/06 ]

Pantyhose Tea

» It is an Anglo-Sino delicacy, born of the Chinese love of strong black tea and the British love of milk tea. Brewed, strained, rebrewed, and strained again, it is called pantyhose milk tea. "This way, the color is evenly distributed and the tea feels smooth to your throat, like aged wine." Lam Chun-chung, proprietor of the Chinese cafe Lan Fong Yuen, a "shrine for creamy tea fanatics".  [ 03/06/06 ]

Non-Dairy Rich

» Obituary, Robert Rich: How a war-time ice-cream manufacturer invented a soy-based, frozen topping and coffee creamer, fought off 42 separate lawsuits from enraged dairy men, and created the biggest family owned food-service company in America.  [ 02/28/06 ]

Supersizing the Salad Bar

» These Taiwanese students took Pizza Hut's "One-trip-to-the-salad-bar" rule as a challenge and documented the resulting masterworks. (via rw [ 02/25/06 ]

DIY African Irrigation

» Glyvyns Chinkhuntha is a self-taught Malawian farmer who has used limited resources to create a home-grown irrigation system that feeds a lush farm in the midst of Africa's drought. His prescriptions for African farming: education, independence from Western aid, freedom from debt, and stewardship of resources. "His irrigation system is a four-tiered network of berms that gets its water from the river. Each channel is the width of a hoe. By simply moving a clod of dirt here and there, Chinkhuntha directs water to thirsty plants."  [ 02/01/06 ]

Make your own chewing gum

» Coolhunting reviews Glee's Make Your Own Chewing Gum Kits [ 01/31/06 ]

The Beermapping Project

» The Beermapping Project. Like beer? Like maps? You're home. (via KIP [ 01/30/06 ]

Yogurt Panna Cotta

» Good and good for you: Yogurt Panna Cotta (via at [ 01/26/06 ]

The French are fattening

» Ooh la la! The French are getting fat. Prepared foods, sedentary lives, the breakdown of the family dinner, and... "With all the awareness of obesity, there is also a countertrend. The French may have begun to embrace the large woman." (via dm [ 01/25/06 ]



» primary link / supplemental information / internal link

my book

» the weblog handbook
amazon editors' best of 2002, digital culture

recent posts

» Genderswapping Media
» And this after the most pleasant twos
» 75th Anniversary of the Hindenburg
» Job disparity starts at the beginning of women's careers
» Obama's data-crunchers
» 2012 Halloween Costume Winner
» The Aftermath of Sandy