Wednesday, August 7, 2013

The Feed: August 7, 2013

The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.

Epoch Times: “The Psychology Behind New York’s Cronut Phenomenon,” by Kristen Meriwether. 
So much ink has been spilled about the cronut: the croissant-doughnut hybrid pastry that’s made foodies everywhere salivate. I’ve resisted including anything in The Feed about them until something truly interesting came along, which happens to be Meriwether’s entertaining piece about why this fatty torus has so captured appetites. Yes, people apparently will wait in line 2 ½ hours before the Dominique Ansel Bakery where they’re made opens. She talks to a psychology professor about their popularity and even waits in line to try one herself (snagging Chef Ansel’s latest creation in the process).

Washington Post: “Lab-grown beef taste test: ‘Almost’ like a burger,” by Marta Zaraska.
Remember your school cafeteria’s lunchtime “mystery meat”? Someone’s spent over $300,000 to invent a really advanced version of that. Actually it’s ground beef created from stem cells from a cow’s shoulder. The scientist who created it says lab-cultured meat could help feed the planet and address environmental issues associated with traditional beef farming. Tasters said it tasted like beef…sort of. Apparently it was a little dry. I’m highly skeptical.

Washington Post: Wine: Alcohol content is tricky to label, by Dave McIntyre.
The Post’s wine column will now include alcohol content information for featured wines. In announcing the change, McIntyre provides an informative overview of the recent “alcohol creep” trend and explains what the alcohol percentage means and even how higher alcohol levels affect taste. I was fascinated to learn that wines that are 14.1% alcohol or higher are technically classified as dessert wines and therefore taxed differently than wines of 14.0% or less alcohol. This, apparently, has nothing to do with the actual style of wine in question. I checked a bunch of my bottles and found a high of 15.6% (a Plumpjack syrah) and a low of 12.5% (Ken Wright Cellars pinot noir).

New York Times: “To Every Vegetable’s Season, Another Season,” by Melissa Clark.
As if it wasn’t enough to make an effort to eat seasonally, now Clark has gone and found out that we actually should also consider within a season when certain ingredients are at their peak. It makes a lot of sense actually: tomatoes are usually available by mid summer but reach their peak a little later. Clark includes a good example of a soup with fava beans that’s better if the beans are a little more mature (and thus more starchy) rather than when they’re young.

Smitten Kitchen: “burst tomato galette with corn and zucchini,” by Deb Perelman.
I’ve never made a galette, but after looking at Perelman’s delicious recipe for galette with summer vegetables, I really want to try making one. I’m thinking roasted tomatoes and caramelized onion would be good. Her post has a great discussion about how important it is to get the moisture content right to prevent the pastry from getting too soggy.

CNN Eatocracy: “5@5 - Low-alcohol bottles for your summer bar,” by Christophe Hille and Chris Ronis.
Guest writers Hille and Ronis of New York’s Northern Spy Food Co. contributed this nice feature on making summer cocktails with aperitifs. They use a few of my favorites, such as Lillet Blanc and Cocchi Americano, the latter of which is used in the Celery Tonic (which I adapted a bit for the Celery Tonic I posted last week).

Cooking for Keeps: “Salmon with Charred Corn, Jalapeños, Bacon and Lime.”
Since it’s Sweet Corn Week on my blog, I wanted to find a good corn recipe from another blog to include in The Feed this week. It has to be this delicious combination from Cooking for Keeps. I totally agree with the writer: corn and bacon do go great together.

Los Angeles Times: “Use zest to bump up the flavor in yourrecipes,” by Noelle Carter.
Carter has the 411 on using citrus zest in recipes with this story (and accompanying video) of excellent tips on doing it right. I particularly like her observation that “zesting a juiced fruit is like trying to zest a flat tire.” So true!

The Oregonian: “Just how dangerous is BPA in canned food, and 10 ways you can reduce your risk of exposure,” by Grant Butler.
I remember reading about the dangers of BPA years ago. Seems the chemical is still commonly used for can lining and plastic containers, despite growing consumer awareness about its dangers, particularly for the young. Butler does a nice job reporting on the latest research about BPA concerns while also including the counterpoint that the benefits of eating more fruits and vegetables preserved in BPA containers may outweigh those risks, especially for adults.

Slate: “17 Cocktails for a Better Body,” by Troy Patterson.
“Healthy cocktails” may seem like an oxymoron, but as Patterson chronicles, the current craft cocktail craze’s obsession with quality, local ingredients (including fresh fruit and vegetables) isn’t that far from the veggie-laden entrees that have become en vogue. Sounds like he had fun doing research, which involved drinking everyone’s favorite trendy green: kale.

1 comment:

  1. Good roundup. When are you going to make me a galette? How long until we start drinking kale cocktails?