The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.
Washington City Paper: “Thank You For Sharing,” by Jessica Sidman.
On the occasion of the recent ceremony naming April 9 “Jaleo Day” in D.C., Sidman reflects on the popular Spanish restaurant and its big-name chef Jose Andres’ influence in popularizing small plates, a.k.a. tapas, beyond their Spanish origins to encompass a service style that restaurants making all manner of cuisine have embraced.
New York Times: “I Heart Artichokes,” by Mark Bittman.
Bittman’s article, along with its great interactive graphic, 9 Ways to Make the Most of an Artichoke, explores various methods for cooking everyone’s favorite oversized thistle. I’d like to try them sautéed with anchovies and garlic. Sounds delicious.
CNN: “Opinion: What the 'ag gag' bills mean to my farm,” by Ryan Goodman.
Farmer Ryan Goodman of AgricultureProud.com is a great resource: a working farmer that writes about agricultural issues with an aim towards informing his down-the-line urban customers that have little or no firsthand knowledge of what actually goes on at a farm. My first reaction to so-called “ag gag” laws that seek to curtail undercover activism to expose harmful farm practices was that they should be opposed as a blow to consumer transparency in an industry that needs more oversight. However, Goodman’s story raises some good points about how the footage shot in the name of such activism may distort what’s actually going on and hurt small farm businesses like his own. While I still believe in undercover work in the food industry (Tracie McMillan’s The American Way of Eating is an excellent example of its value), Goodman’s op-ed makes a good case that such issues need a nuanced view and aren’t as one-sided as many would like.
Smitten Kitchen: “Ramp Pizza,” by Deb Perelman.
It must be ramp season: lots of food blogs are featuring them. For the uninitiated, ramps are wild leeks that resemble scallions but have redish bulbs. The have a very short season, so people tend to go a little nutty about them. I used them last year in a halibut dish with mushrooms, asparagus and pea puree. If I can find some this year, I’ll probably make this pizza, which looks absolutely divine and sounds amazing when you read Perelman’s description of what it’s like when it comes out of the oven. Delicious.
Eater: “How Restaurants Can Deal With No-Show Diners,” by Amy McKeever
It’s frustrating when certain popular restaurants won’t take reservations. Although my knee-jerk reaction is to think these restaurant must believe it’s cool to force patrons to wait 60 to 90 minutes for a table (OK, I still think some must feel this way), others just don’t want the hassle of no-shows, an increasing problem for the rest of us who always honor their reservations. McKeever explores five tactics restaurants are employing to deal with the problem, including, and I don’t mind this one at all, tracking prior offenders.