|The Washington Post reports that ramen in Japan is suffering from a lack of originality. Perhaps they need to try my ramen tacos recipe.|
The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.
Washington Post: “In Japan, Ramen Aficionados Fear for Their Favorite Dish,” by Anna Fifield.
Ramen is a hot commodity in the U.S. these days, but in its Japanese homeland, the noodle soup is apparently cooling off. Fifield quotes one Japanese ramen association executive saying “everything has been tried” (yes they have a ramen association in Japan—should hardly surprise us folks in D.C., given that we have associations for everything here).
New York Times: “Special Sauce for Measuring Food Trends: The Fried Calamari Index,” by Neil Irwin.
Hummus, pesto and sundried tomatoes were, in decades past, the pork belly, quinoa and kale of today. Such is the cycle of food trends, which Irwin examines through the Fried Calamari Index, a benchmark for comparing other food trends against fried calamari—itself once a staple of cutting-edge restaurants that’s now a common element of chain-restaurant appetizer lists. He used Times Chronicle for his research, a New York Times tool for researching how often a particular term was used in the paper at a given time.
NPR: “Your Waiter Wants You To Put Down Your Phone,” by Alan Greenblatt.
Did you hear about the recent post on Craigslist from a restaurant that claims it compared recent surveillance footage to that from a few years ago and discovered that service has slowed down—because customers are spending too much time on their phones instead of ordering/drinking/eating/paying? NPR’s Greenblatt examines the issue, which has certainly generated a lot of interest, even if, as some suggest, the original restaurant’s findings were exaggerated. I’m mindful of not using my phone while we’re eating, unless we’re waiting to get the bill (or I’m shooting photos for a restaurant post, which I try to do as unobtrusively as possible and never while the server is trying to engage us).
Smithsonian: “Your Guide to Shopping at the Farmers' Market and Keeping Your Purchases Fresh at Home,” by Shaylyn Esposito.
Seasonal fruits and vegetables procured at the farmers market are (almost) guaranteed to taste better than what you get at the grocery store. However, you don’t want the premium you paid for them to go for naught. Esposito has tips for how to best treat your fresh, beautiful bounty.
Wall Street Journal: “Kick Into Highball Gear: Refreshing Cocktail Recipes,” by Kara Newman.
Old-school craft cocktails are often delicious, but also really high in alcohol, making it tricky to drink more than a couple without getting schnockered. Newman writes about how this may open a window for the comparatively less boozy (and ever-so-refreshing) highball cocktail. And they’re more than gin & tonic or vodka & soda too.
The Blueberry Bison: “Bison Basics: Organic Blueberry Mint Simple Syrup,” by JP Bison.
Speaking of highballs, I bet the Blueberry Bison’s blueberry and mint simple syrup would make a fantastic highball with some gin and soda (or maybe ginger beer?).
Wall Street Journal: “10 Things Winemakers Won’t Tell You,” by Catey Hill.
Hill shares a great list of facts about wine many consumers may not know, some of which could be problematic while others are just interesting.
My Poor Liver Podcast: “Episode 6: Josh Bergstrom in-studio.”
Six episodes in and the My Poor Liver Podcast has achieved a nice balance of wit and education—I feel I’ve learned a lot, especially about wine from listening to these two. For episode 6 they interview a special guest, Josh Bergstrom, of Oregon’s Bergström winery.
Health Perch: “Low Calorie Summer Cocktails.”
Summer is a great time to drink cocktails, but all those calories can add up in a bad way when it’s time to hit the beach. Here’s Health Perch with some great ideas for ways to slim those cocktails down a bit.
Fix: “Around the World in 7 Grills.”
Sure, August can be hot as Hades, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t stop grilling. Here’s a fun infographic from Fix featuring seven different grilling styles.