👓 Climate Change Is Messing With Your Dinner | Bloomberg

Read Climate Change Is Messing With Your Dinner by Agnieszka de Sousa and Hayley Warren (Bloomberg.com)
The future of food looks like lots of lobsters, Polish chardonnay and California coffee.

This is a difficult story to tell, though the timelapse imagery here is relatively useful. If one had some extra money lying around, it certainly indicates which crops one could be shorting in the markets over the next few decades.

I can imagine Jeremy Cherfas doing something interesting and more personalizing with this type of story via his fantastic interviews on Eat This Podcast.

h/t Jorge Spinoza

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🎧 A visit to Hummustown | Eat This Podcast

Listened to A visit to Hummustown: Doing good by eating well by Jeremy Cherfas from Eat This Podcast
Refugees selling the food of their homeland to get a start in a new life is, by now, a cliché. Khaled (in the photo) joined their ranks a year ago. But cliché or not, selling food is an important way to give people work to do, wages, and hope. If it’s happening on your doorstep, which it is, and the food is good, which it is, what’s a hungry podcaster to do? Go there, obviously, and report back. Which is why, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself, microphone in hand, waiting patiently in line for a falafel wrap.



Truth be told, there aren’t that many Syrian refugees in Italy. The most recent official statistics put the total at around 5000 with a little over 600 in Rome. Hummustown is helping a few of them.

Notes

  1. The Hummustown website tells more of the story and has a link to the GoFundMe campaign.

Somewhat different than the usual episode here, but in the best of ways. Still a wonderful look at food, culture, and humanity wrapped up in a fantastic story.

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👓 Farm Girl Café, Chelsea: ‘We don’t stay for dessert, because we have suffered enough’ – restaurant review | The Guardian

Read Farm Girl Café, Chelsea: ‘We don't stay for dessert, because we have suffered enough’ – restaurant review by Jay Rayner (the Guardian)
The food was so bad, says Jay Rayner, a nearby Yorkshire terrier started to look more appetising

It’s got to be difficult to write a restaurant review that’s more scathing than this. Wow!

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👓 The Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: Chickens | The Washington Post

Chickened The Silicon Valley elite’s latest status symbol: Chickens by Peter Holley (Washington Post)
Their pampered birds wear diapers and have personal chefs — but lay the finest eggs tech money can buy

I’m so glad I’ve got the ability to make chicken posts on my website now! I love the irony of being able to add this to my chicken feed.

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👓 You Say Tomato | Peter Hertzmann

Watched You Say Tomato by Peter Hertzmann from hertzmann.com
During my years of teaching, the tomato was the one ingredient I never wanted to appear in the mandated class recipes. Management refused to acknowledge that good tomatoes were seasonal, that fresh tomatoes were different than canned tomatoes, and that not all canned tomatoes were the same. This video is a partial response to those bosses that I should have forgotten about long ago.

I suspect he’s just scratching the surface of the topic of tomatoes. This is the first time I’ve seen or heard a reference about the origin of the fact that a tomato is both a fruit and a vegetable.

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📺 The Three Aspects of Knife Skills | Peter Hertzmann

Watched The Three Aspects of Knife Skills by Peter Hertzmann from hertzmann.com
Having written more than 80,000 words about knife skills as well as having taught numerous classes on the subject, I have come to the belief that good knife skills can be defined by just three simple aspects: grip, holding hand, and knife motion. In other words, the essence of good knife skills can be summarized by how you hold your knife, how you hold your food, and how you move your knife.

A solid little video on something every cook should know something about.

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👓 Sliced And Diced: The Inside Story Of How An Ivy League Food Scientist Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies | Buzzfeed

Read Sliced And Diced: The Inside Story Of How An Ivy League Food Scientist Turned Shoddy Data Into Viral Studies by Stephanie M. Lee (BuzzFeed)
Brian Wansink won fame, funding, and influence for his science-backed advice on healthy eating. Now, emails show how the Cornell professor and his colleagues have hacked and massaged low-quality data into headline-friendly studies to “go virally big time.”

This article is painful to read and has some serious implications for both science in general and the issue of repeat-ability. I suspect that this is an easily caught flagrant case and that it probably only scratches the surface. The increased competition in research and the academy is sure to create more cases of this in the future.

We really need people to begin publishing their negative results and doing a better job on understanding and practicing statistics. Science is already not “believed” by far too many in the United States, we really don’t need bad actors like this eroding the solid foundations we’ve otherwise built.

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🎧 Mike Solomonov | The Atlantic Interview

Listened to Mike Solomonov by Jeffrey Goldberg from The Atlantic Interview
Israeli chef Mike Solomonov recently won the James Beard Award for outstanding chef. He created the restaurant Zahav in Philadelphia, built a food empire, and expertly hid a drug addiction from everyone in his life. He talks with Jeffrey Goldberg, the Atlantic's editor in chief, about what he felt when his brother was killed, and how the tragedy first fueled and then helped him fight his addiction. Now in a long recovery, he cooks Israeli food as a kind of cultural mission.

A very interesting human story hiding behind a food “celebrity”. We definitely need more people like this in our culture helping to diversify interesting things in our lives.

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📖 Read pages i-39 of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice by Peter Reinhart

📖 Read pages i-39, Acknowledgements, Preface, Introduction, beginning of Chapter 1. What is it About Bread, of The Bread Baker’s Apprentice: Mastering the Art of Extraordinary Bread by Peter Reinhart (Ten Speed Press, , ISBN: 978-1-60774-865-6)

The opening is perhaps overly romanticized, though still interesting. He does relatively quickly get into the good stuff though.

📖 Read pages 195-244 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 195-244, Part 5: The Custard Continuum, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

The Custard Continuum may have been one of my favorite parts of the book. I particularly like that he includes a recipe for butterscotch, which he’s right in saying that there are so few.

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Reposting Eat This Podcast on Twitter

Reposted Eat This Podcast on Twitter (Twitter)
Let the celebrations begin. #Fornacalia offers bakers everywhere a chance to honour their ovens and their ingredients. https://www.fornacalia.com/2018/gearing-up-for-fornacalia/
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📖 Read pages 163-194 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 163-194, Part 4: Fat-Based Sauces, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

Mayonnaise: 20 parts oil: 1 part liquid: 1 part yolk
Hollandaise: 5 parts butter: 1 part liquid: 1 part yolk
Vinaigrette: 3 parts oil: 1 part vinegar

Rule of thumb: You probably don’t need as much yolk as you thought you did.

I like that he provides the simple ratios with some general advice up front and then includes some ideas about variations before throwing in a smattering of specific recipes that one could use. For my own part, most of these chapters could be cut down to two pages and then perhaps even then cut the book down to a single sheet for actual use in the kitchen.

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Part 4: Fat-Based Sauces

But what greatly helps the oil and water to remain separate is, among other things, a molecule in the yolk called lecithin, which, McGee explains, is part water soluble and part fat soluble.

Highlight (yellow) – Mayonnaise > Page 168

Added on Sunday, February 4, 2018

The traditional ratio, not by weight, is excellent and works beautifully: Hollandaise = 1 pound butter: 6 yolks. This ratio seems to have originated with Escoffier. Some cookbooks call for considerably less butter per yok, as little as 3 and some even closer to 2 to 1, but then you’re creeping into sabayon territory; whats more, I believe it’s a cook’s moral obligation to add more butter given the chance.

Highlight (yellow) – Hollandaise> Page 185

more butter given the chance! Reminiscent of the Paula Deen phrase: “Mo’e butta is mo’e betta.”
Added on Sunday, February 4, 2018

 

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Happy Fornicalia

Celebrating the Ancient Roman religious festival in honor of the goddess Fornax

As we coast toward the nones of February whence we’ll commence the celebration of the Fornacalia, by all accounts an Ancient Roman religious festival celebrated in honor of the goddess Fornax, a divine personification of the oven (fornax), and was related to the proper baking of bread, I thought it only appropriate to call some attention to what should be an international holiday for bakers.

While shamefully few, if any(?), now celebrate the Fornacalia, I’ve always looked at the word as a portmanteau of a festival along the lines of a bacchanalia for bread with tinges of seeming Latin cognates fornicati, fornicatus, fornicata, and fornicatae or the Greek equivalent porneia (πορνεία). Knead these all together and you’ve got the makings of a modern day besotted festival of bread immorality. And really, who wouldn’t want to celebrate such a thing?!

I’ll celebrate myself by doing some baking, listening to the bread related episodes of Eat This Podcast, while reading and looking at bread porn on Fornacalia.com. Special thanks to curio maximus Jeremy Cherfas for providing entertainment for the festival!

How will you celebrate?

 

Featured photo Bread is a flickr photo by Jeremy Keith aka adactio shared under a Creative Commons (BY) license.

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📖 Read pages 127-162 of Ratio by Michael Ruhlman

📖 Read pages 127-162, Part 3: Meat: Sausage, Mousseline, and Other Meat-Related Ratios, of Ratio: The Simple Codes Behind the Craft of Everyday Cooking by Michael Ruhlman (Scribner, , ISBN: 978-1-4165-661-3)

I like the idea of considering the traditional American hamburger as a special kind of sausage. This general abstraction appeals to the mathematician in me. It also encourages one to be geared toward the closer end of 70/30 meat/fat ratio when making hamburgers! Too often I’ve had people’s homemade burgers made with 92/8 ratios and they’re just dreadful. However, he does stop short and doesn’t encourage one to use pork fat in their burgers…

Highlights, Quotes, & Marginalia

Part 3: Meat: Sausage, Mousseline, and Other Meat-Related Ratios

There is no such thing as a good, lean sausage.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 132

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

The fat of choice is pork back fat, […] it’s better for you than the more saturated fat from beef or lamb.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Indeed, the word sausage derives from the Latin for salt.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Never use iodized salt, which adds an acrid chemical flavor to food. Use kosher or sea salt only.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Morton’s kosher is the closest to an even volume-to-weight ratio (a cup of Morton’s weighs about 8 ounces).

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 133

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Pork sausages should be cooked to 150 deg F before being removed from the heat, and poultry-based sausages should be cooked to 160 deg F.

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 134

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

I make sausage in 5-pound batches, since that’s the maximum that will fit in the 5- or 6-quart mixing bowl standard for most standing mixers;

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 135

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

[When making] Fry a bit-sized portion of the sausage and taste…

Highlight (yellow) – The Noble Sausage > Page 136

Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

One secondary and salutary effect of a brine is that it can actually carry flavors into muscle, …

Highlight (yellow) – Brine > Page 154

For those watching closely, he’s made a pun on the word salutary whose Latin root is also the word for salt.
Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

Sodium nitrite, often simply referred to as pink salt (it’s dyed pink), is a curing salt that’s inexpensive and available from www.butcher-packer.com, which sells pink salt under the name DQ Cure.

Highlight (yellow) – Brine > Page 158

Oddly this line is repeated twice in the footnotes on opposite pages, but provides a useful link for ordering supplies for making Canadian bacon and Corned Beef
Added on Saturday, February 3, 2018

🎧 Bread as it ought to be: Seylou Bakery in Washington DC | EatThisPodcast

Listened to Bread as it ought to be: Seylou Bakery in Washington DC by Jeremy Cherfas from Eat This Podcast
Jonathan Bethony is one of the leading artisanal bakers in America, but he goes further than most, milling his own flour and baking everything with a hundred percent of the whole grain. He’s also going beyond wheat, incorporating other cereals such as millet and sorghum in the goodies Seylou is producing. I happened to be in Washington DC just a couple of weeks after his new bakery had opened, and despite all the work that goes into getting a new bakery up and running, Jonathan graciously agreed to sit down and chat.

And almost as if to prove my point after writing about Modernist BreadCrumbs the other day, Jeremy’s latest episode is a stunning example of love and care in a podcast dedicated to food. I’m really so pleased that he can take a holiday, have so much fun with bread, and simultaneously turn it into something like this.

Even the title reads as if he were trying to out-do the entirety of eight episodes of Modernist BreadCrumbs in one short interview. I think he’s succeeded handily.

There’s so much great to unpack here, and simultaneously I wish there was more. I found myself wishing he’d had time to travel to some of the farms and done a whole series. With any luck he actually has–I wouldn’t put it past him–and we’ll be delighted in a week or two when they’re released.

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