The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.
Washington Post: “Wine: How do you unlock its flavors in your glass?,” by Dave McIntyre.
For the uninitiated, wine-tasting may seem like either an impossible skill or a bunch of hooey. Even for the initiated, it’s got a certain mystique. I still struggle to describe wines I like. There are certain types of cabernet I really love, for example, but darned if I find it basically impossible to tell people why. I just know when I get one. This week’s Post wine column offers an in-depth explanation of wine-tasting: how to use not just taste but other senses as well to identify a wine’s general age, body and flavor. McIntyre’s wine columns have always been an engaging read, but this year, with his dedication to more thoroughly explaining winemaking and its appreciation, his writing has been particularly enlightening.
NPR: “Restaurant Critic Finds Meaning At The Olive Garden In 'Grand Forks',” by NPR Staff.
Remember Marilyn Hagerty? In case you forgot, she’s the small-town restaurant critic from Grand Forks, North Dakota whose review last year of the local Olive Garden gained her national fame, as well as big-time industry friends like Anthony Bourdain. A collection of her reviews have been published as the aptly titled Grand Forks: A History of American Dining in 128 Reviews. Bourdain contributes a foreword.
NPR: “Don't Panic! Your Questions On (Not) Washing Raw Chickens,” by Maria Godoy.
Last week, The Feed included an NPR story warning home cooks not to rinse their chicken before cooking it. Apparently, it caused a firestorm of comments, so its writer, Godoy, did a follow-up Q&A with a food safety expert this week, further explaining the rationale behind the admonition (which stands, by the way).
Eater: “Cocktail U: Watch Dave Arnold Make a Debbie (Gibson),” by Amanda Kludt.
As part of Eater’s Cocktail University, Booker & Dax bartender Dave Arnold concocts a version of the Gibson martini he names for one of my favorite late ‘80s pop stars, Miss Debbie Gibson. He makes it with what must be a rather intensely flavored onion liquor, rather than the traditional onion garnish. Brilliant idea!
New York Times: “Reporter’s Notebook: I’ll Have What You’re Having,” by Jeff Gordinier.
The sharing thing seems so ubiquitous now that I doubt it will go away anytime soon. Although popularized by the tapas movement, Gordinier writes about another sharing phenomenon: the entrée for two. These tend to be well-proportioned and are thus easier to share than, say, a plate of three shrimp to divide among four people. I’ve been lucky to eat two of the entrees he writes about: the (good but overrated) roast chicken for two at The NoMad and the (absolutely divine) pork chop for two with stuffing at Ma Peche.
The Girl in the Little Red Kitchen: “Apricot Hand Pies,” by Susan Palmer.
Palmer pitched these as the perfect Labor Day weekend barbecue treat, but I bet they would be great at any fall celebration. Even making them might be worth celebrating: they sound delicious and fun. “Hand pies” are just pies but really small (so they fit in your hand). She made her with apricots, but I think I see some apple hand pies in my future.
Wall Street Journal: “How Snacking Became Respectable,” by Abigail Carroll.
A history of snacking in America shows the tradition of pleasurable between-meal eating has come a long way. I love that the original snack was the peanut, our household’s favorite just-got-home-from-work snack.