Today's notes on national stories, local trends, random tastes, and other bycatch dredged up from the food media.
1. Sous Vide at Home. As immersion circulators get cheaper, the Denver Post's Kristen Browning-Blas tests the countertop Sous Vide Supreme Demi, which sells for $299 at Sur La Table and Amazon. With the help of Sous Vide for the Home Cook, she finds she enjoys what's she's able to make, even though the machine takes up a serious chunk of her countertop and also requires purchasing a $129 vacuum sealing apparatus. Is the SVSD the new Fry Daddy? Is $299 too much to spend on an occasional appliance? If you have some serious technical skills, you can always make your own for about $75.
3. The Perennial Plate. This post is up a little late today because I just got sucked into watching 10 episodes of The Perennial Plate, David Klein's Web TV series. Klein, who looks like the love child of Lothaire Bluteau and Ryan Reynolds, trained at the Fat Duck and Mugaritz and just wrapped up a year of filing weekly 5-minute videos about eating locally in Minnesota. Now he's off on a six-month road trip around the United States, hitting places that don't end up in a lot of national stories about sustainability ― Iowa, Arkansas, Florida. Here's a sample episode about making winter teas with foraged fungus and sumac berries:
2. Rethinking the Supermarket. The article that circulated the fastest on Twitter yesterday was Sarah Rich's Atlantic piece about redesigning supermarkets. It's basically an interview with Rupal Sanghvi, whose HealthxDesign is looking at how the design of the supermarket ― the layout, the temperature, the building materials, the shopping carts ― can be tweaked to guide shoppers toward making more healthful purchases without lowering profit margins for businesses. Her goal is to build a pilot market in Brooklyn that could be replicated across the country. Very cool.