Wednesday, October 22, 2014

The Feed: October 22, 2014

Tea Bags
Tea bags may be convenient, but as Bonnie S. Benwick writes in the article below, there is a better way.
The Feed is my weekly round up of interesting food-related stories from newspapers, magazines, blogs and websites.

Washington Post: "Tea Might Become Your Favorite Hot Beverage, if You Ditch the Little Bags," by Bonnie S. Benwick.
As a typical American, I start my day with a cup of coffee (cup and a half actually, down from the former two). But around the world, tea is the hot drink of choice, especially when brewed with higher-quality loose-leaf tea instead of the easy but less-flavorful bagged variety that are so popular here. Reading Benwick's article inspired me to make my first cup of tea in a long time, and might just get me to pick up some loose-leaf tea at Teaism soon.

Washington Post: "Ten Fruits and Vegetables You're Storing Wrong," by Candy Sagon.
Articles about produce storage have been done before, but it's so easy to forget the rules, so I appreciated this reminder that includes good tips like not storing fruits and vegetables together (gas the fruit gives off will speed decay of the vegetables) and not washing them ahead of time (the moisture promotes bacteria). Sagon goes on to provide specific tips for 10 fruits and vegetables.

Washington Post: "Plate Lab: When Squash and Celery Root Turn into a Dish of 'Noodles'," by Joe Yonan.
Treating spaghetti squash like pasta is a popular trick this time of year, but Yonan writes how D.C. restaurant Thally (a great place I visited earlier this year), is turning butternut squash into its own unique "noodle" dish. Check out the accompanying video.

New York Times: "Washington Has More on Its Plate," by Jennifer Steinhauer.
Should I consider this an olive branch or sorts? An article from the New York Times actually talking up the D.C. restaurant scene? Sure, this year D.C. was named coolest city by Forbes and best city to travel to by Lonely Planet, but when it comes to eating out, D.C. has long had a inferiority complex in comparison to the Big Apple. While I think the latter still wears the national dining crown, there are a lot more jewels in D.C. these days. It's nice to see that publication from up north taking notice.

New York Times: "As American as Tarte Tatin," by Julia Moskin.
Moskin describes French Tarte Tatin as a dessert much simpler to assemble than pie consisting of apples, caramel and crust. Need I say more? Sold!

Wall Street Journal: "Recipes That Take Tahini in New Directions," by Louisa Shafia.
If you're like me, you might have a tub of tahini in the fridge because you bought it to make hummus. Turns out the nutty sesame paste with a texture like super runny peanut butter has lots of other great uses too. Chef Alex Stupak of New York's Empellón Taqueria serves it with eggplant, for example. This article got me thinking, what would it be like in a cookie?

Los Angeles Times: "Soaking Beans? In Most Cases You Don't Need to," by Russ Parsons.
Every recipe I've ever seen that calls for dried beans also calls for soaking them overnight, which means 9 times out of 10 I reach for canned beans instead, since I don't have to think about the pre-planning of a 24-hour bath. Well guess what, Parsons dispels the notion of a required soak, noting that instead you can just cook the beans a little longer until they are tender. Genius! (I actually did this with the Smoky Pinto Beans I made last year).

Eater: "How the Aperol Spritz Became Italy's Favorite Cocktail"
It's Cocktail Week over at Eater, where I've been enjoying in particular the D.C. coverage. This story, from the national site, chronicles how the Aperol Spritz became so popular in Italy.

Mario Batali: "A Kernel, and the Truth," by Jim Webster.
This is just a shout out to Jim Webster (D.C. writer who co-wrote with Mario Batali the new book America--Farm to Table), who, like me, is bemoaning the fact that New Morning Farm's corn season has passed, and it will be many long months before we can enjoy those wonderful, sweet ears again.

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