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Friday, July 30, 2010

Lers Ros' Fried Rabbit: Buffalo By Way of Bangkok

Posted By on Fri, Jul 30, 2010 at 4:00 PM

Lers Ros' rabbit, a satanic take on the hot wing. - ANDREW SIMMONS
  • Andrew Simmons
  • Lers Ros' rabbit, a satanic take on the hot wing.
It wasn't until after we raked up the last morsels that we realized our dinner at Lers Ros had consisted almost entirely of fried dishes. With the exception of succulent pork belly cubes, everything we'd ordered had come encased in the kind of crunch only deep-fryers bestow: catfish salad, a whole strapping tilapia, and rabbit, all accompanied by sauces and dressings tending toward the ruddy, tear-inducing side of the spice spectrum.

While each item left us happy and thirsty, our throats parched from grease, salt, and chiles, the rabbit appetizer ($8.25) somehow managed to stand out: small curls of juicy pink meat clumped around tiny bones that had clearly seen the business end of a heavy-duty cleaver. Chicken wings came to mind ― albeit somewhat satanic ones, the pieces of rabbit covered in browned garlic confetti, flanked by a saucer of what looked and tasted suspiciously like Frank's RedHot by way of Bangkok. Instead of celery and carrot sticks, a few fat discs of cooling cucumber fanned out along the edge of the plate.

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Thursday, July 29, 2010

With Rice Paddy Art, Japanese Village Creates Tourist Bonanza

Posted By on Thu, Jul 29, 2010 at 4:05 PM

Images are "painted" using thousands of rice plants genetically engineered to have different hues. - SHIHO FUKADA/NEW YORK TIMES
  • Shiho Fukada/New York Times
  • Images are "painted" using thousands of rice plants genetically engineered to have different hues.
In Inakadate, a village in rural northern Japan, rice is not just an important crop, a staple, it's a medium for intricate, colorful paddy art that might make Christo or Andy Goldsworthy just a little bit hungry.

According to a July 25 New York Times article, a local clerk named Koichi Hanada came up with the idea 20 years ago to "paint" massive, sprawling pictures using thousands and thousands of rice plants, after his boss begged him to find a way to draw tourists to their sleepy community. He's been quite successful, too. Last year in September, when the rice grows long enough to perfectly render the images, over 170,000 visitors passed through the town of less than 9,000 mostly older residents, causing traffic snares and other difficulties.

Writer Martin Fackler deems the project a distinct cultural creation:

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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Rachael Ray Olive Oil Among Brands Not So Extra-Virgin

Posted By on Wed, Jul 28, 2010 at 4:20 PM

Rachael Ray-brand EVOO: From yum-o to uh-oh!
  • Rachael Ray-brand EVOO: From yum-o to uh-oh!
If you too fight insomnia with cough syrup and late-night episodes of Rachael Ray's cooking shows, you know the perky, much-maligned crafter of 30-minute meals uses a cute acronym for the fruity green sap she drizzles over her convenience-oriented concoctions. She calls it EVOO, short of course for extra-virgin olive oil, the lifeblood of the Mediterranean. If a study done by the U.C. Davis Olive Center at the university's Robert Mondavi Institute for Wine and Food Science is to be believed, Ray might not only be annoying ― she might also be inaccurate.

As reported by NPR earlier this week, more than two-thirds of random tested samples of imported, so-called EVOO may have been adulterated, diluted, or otherwise degraded below the standards for extra-virginity. "It's like we have our own CSI: Olive Oil lab here," the lab's forensics manager, Charles Shoemaker, told NPR. He broke down a few of his factors: For starters, spectroscopic studies to reveal oxidation and subsequent rancidity and fatty acid testing to see if any soybean or sunflower has corrupted the olive.

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Facebook Group for Vegetarians Sick of the Roast Veggie Sandwich

Posted By on Tue, Jul 27, 2010 at 4:06 PM

The inescapable roast vegetable sandwich. - KARIN_1973/FLICKR
  • karin_1973/Flickr
  • The inescapable roast vegetable sandwich.
We wager that thousands of Facebook groups pop up daily. Some celebrate a specific subject or idea, others vilify one. Legendary punk houses, politicians, unpopular comedians, and the antiquated process of recording music from radio to tape ― they all boast devoted groups of Facebook users and reflect certain values and predilections in their members' profiles.

While we try not to overstock our page with memberships in groups, we're considering joining a newbie. A small (by Facebook standards) collection of presumed vegetarians led by University of Pennsylvania alum Roxy Lonergan have issued a sharply worded broadside against a meatless menu item they claim to face all too often in their pursuit of fleshless fare: the dreaded roast vegetable sandwich.

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Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Food Blogs We Love: Shut Up, Foodies!

Posted By on Tue, Jul 20, 2010 at 11:41 AM

su_foodies.png
Shut Up, Foodies! came to our attention via a friend's Facebook post. The entry to which he'd linked ("Things that Come in Cans") consisted solely of two photographs depicting canned items. In one from July 2010, up loomed a fleet of Candwich products (hideous-looking tube-shaped sandwiches that come, naturally, in cans). In the other, sat a tin of the late Italian artist Piero Manzoni's shit dating back to 1961.

The site isn't always so restrained. Plenty of posts poke fun at foodie self-importance in keeping with the blog's professed mission statement:

Attention, locavores, omnivores, urban butchers, backyard beekeepers, cheese fanatics, and conspicuous consumers of consuming: Your chickens won't save the world and we don't want the life story of everything on the menu. We don't care what you eat ― we just want you to lower the volume. Also, please stop talking about ramps.
He or she has a point.

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Monday, July 19, 2010

Good Farm Movement Wants to Write a Cookbook

Posted By on Mon, Jul 19, 2010 at 1:44 PM

GOOD FARM MOVEMENT
  • Good Farm Movement
Some of the ramblings on the Good Farm site sound a little blazed, but with the operation's latest project, Mark Andrew Gravel and company are tackling something substantive and extremely practical: a DIY guide to meal-making focused on the art and economics of cooking. Details about the book are forthcoming, but as you might expect, they're looking for some funding. Anyone who donates will receive, in the mail, a sticker that says "I [Heart] Soil."

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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Food Blogs We Love: Slice Harvester

Posted By on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 5:04 PM

rsz_slice_harvester.png
The project of a New Yorker aiming to feast on every oily orange-and-white-mottled triangle of dough his city offers, Slice Harvester is the latest in a long parade of Internet whimsies we have enjoyed. The site acknowledges a lot of food scene trends: urban foraging, or at least, in the site's title, language suggestive of it, the celebration of cheap, humble eats frequently eaten streetside while drunk, and the unabashed asking for startup money on the Internet. Yes, the man who promises to eat a slice at every pizzeria in New York City wants donations to help fund his effort:
If you enjoy Slice Harvester and read regularly, please consider donating as little as $2.50 per month to help me pay for all this pizza. If you donate $5 and up you will receive a complimentary copy of the following issue of Slice Harvester Quarterly, as well as a mention in that issue as an Eggplant Parm Patron. Donations of $10+ will be listed as a Meatball Sandwich Saint, $20+ gets you a coveted spot as a Chicken Parm Champion, and $50+ you become a Whole Pie, Ride or Die, Most Fly Guy in NY!

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Meatless, Gluten-Free 'Barbecue'? Isn't That Sacrilege?

Posted By on Thu, Jul 15, 2010 at 10:48 AM

Nothing against the meat averse, but really? - STRIATIC/FLICKR
  • striatic/Flickr
  • Nothing against the meat averse, but really?
Well-heeled San Franciscans are happy to shell out serious clam for expensive cooking classes, dinner discussions, and special food-tasting events, but a three-hour, $75 workshop teaching participants how to throw a "barbecue" without gluten, meat, or dairy? Sounded like pretty steep sacrilege to us, but this week, a Hands On Gourmet workshop shared the secrets of crafting gluten-free hamburger buns, vegan patties, reconfigured sides like potato salad, and strawberry shortcake with coconut ice cream ― for that very price. There was gluten-free beer as well, so no one, we imagine, needed to haul in a case of Coors.

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

We Think Humphry Slocombe Could Learn a Thing or Two from Jasper Slobrushe

Posted By on Wed, Jul 14, 2010 at 3:37 PM

Jake Godby.
  • Jake Godby.
While we applaud Humphry Slocombe proprietor Jake Godby's antagonism-via-meat approach to handling vegan hecklers, we reckon the ice cream impresario could de-fat his reaction to one Jasper Slobrushe ― the Twitter-crazed persona charged with aping Slocombe's general vibe. In her two-week-old New York Times article profiling Godby and his operation, Elizabeth Weil met the 28-year-old dude behind Slobrushe at a downtown bar to discuss motive. He didn't reveal much besides a major hobby ― the upkeep of 15 Twitter accounts ― but if he's having a lark failing to muck up Slocombe's swagger, Godby and his crew were not amused. As Weil described, they were "furious."

"Furious" seems a little harsh.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Jammin' at the Ferry Building with Happy Girl

Posted By on Mon, Jul 12, 2010 at 10:11 AM

DIANE/HAPPY GIRL KITCHEN CO. VIA FACEBOOK
  • Diane/Happy Girl Kitchen Co. via Facebook
We're jammin' ―

To think that jammin' was a thing of the past;

We're jammin',

And I hope this jam is gonna last.

Bob Marley sang those couplets. He probably wasn't thinking about fruit preserves when he penned them, but analyzing them in that context yields ― if you will ― a ripe, juicy discussion all the same. Because jam is a thing of the past, a foodstuff that became popular via necessity ― because jam, unlike, say, a kingly roast turkey leg, is "gonna last." Middle Eastern countries, though likely not the "Babylon" of which Marley often sang, were responsible for creating the first fruit jams and jellies. Knights returning from the Crusades may have introduced preserves to European palates, and by the late Middle Ages, such products were, on the regular, getting smeared across the white-lead makeup-caked faces of ladies and lords.

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