We haven’t met anyone who doesn’t love
the smell of freshly baked bread and cake.
Either because we associate it with our own childhood, or because bread is one of the oldest staples of the human diet, the fact is that we all seem easily captivated by the aroma of baked flour and sugar.
So it may take a very high level of craftsmanship, and a good deal of insight, for anyone to put a dent on such deep-seated reaction.
That’s what Dan Gentle, a designer and cake hobbyist, and Kittiwat Unarrom, a baker and sculptor, seemed to have Continue reading →
The short-comings of public campaigns about people’s bad health habits are well known. The best example, of course, are the billions of dollars spent trying to warn people about the devastation that cigarette smoking may cause.
The graphic depictions of terminal diseases caused by the nasty habit, tough rhetoric and even government-sponsored draconian laws restricting its practice, as it happened in New York, have all but failed to make a real dent in the profits of the tobacco industry, let alone the smokers’ pleasure.
At the end of the day, scary tactics notwithstanding, to quit smoking remains a deeply personal decision, akin of choosing a particular diet regime, or becoming a vegetarian.
Which brings us to the age-old discussion over whether we should or are we even supposed to have the flesh of dead animals as so central a staple of our food consumption.
Since last century, growing criticism of the meat industry has reached strident levels. Beyond the usual health-minded Continue reading →
Roadkill is all that an Englishman has been eating for 30 years. While in France, don’t ask for ketchup. And during the war, nothing beat serving your family a whole wolf.
Food is a crucial ID for any culture, and it can be source of praise and pride, or war and mayhem, depending on what side of the table you sit.
No wonder that what fueled the Discovery Era was the European drive to control the spice trade of the Far East. Besides flavor, in the 16th century spices helped to extend the food’s shelf life.
Take this quick tour of culinary trends to see that, when it comes to what we eat, we remain as parochial and insular as any small village Continue reading →
Hard Times Bring Changes & Crazy Ideas to Eating Places
Restaurants are like churches, someone already said: they exist solely to cater to the hungry, and yet they often leave them with an even bigger gap inside.
The other day, we caught an interesting and very useful take on restaurants fulfilling yet another function in our convoluted social relations: our home office.
The online discussion was about the benefits of becoming a regular at your favorite eatery, so to use it as a place to conduct your personal business too, along with eating and meeting people socially.
The idea, of course, is not new. But the article was instructive because of the author’s detailed strategy pursuing his dream of having an extended home office away from home.
So, there was the advantage of be known by the staff, of having Continue reading →
Novel Ways of Eating, Drinking & Getting Right Back at Your Mate
In the world of breaking news, there comes a time when one needs to look at the other way, the unbeaten path, the road less traveled, the jump into the dark of existence to make sense of it all.
It’s a path that may lead to yet more bewilderment and WTFs, but also to thrills one would experience only while riding a faulty roller-coaster in the middle of the night.
It may feel like a jolt of electricity but it does beat the diet of Continue reading →
The world may be getting smaller, with satellite imaging readily available and fast travel and instant communications shortening distances, but there are still magnitudes too hard for us to grasp.
The depth of the oceans, the width of a mega-hurricane, the height of the Everest seen from its foot. Even the size of a whale is so out of scale from our own, that we need to compare it to a school bus to visualize it.
Now add to that the space that all living people would occupy if Continue reading →
With all their tough talk about ridding the U.S. of its hard-working but illegal immigrant force, there’s one thing no one wants to live without: Vidalia onions. The sweet bulbs are a food trademark of Georgia and one of the state’s main sources of revenue. Above all, the variety’s popularity goes way beyond state and country borders, and no chef or gourmet worth his or her apron would know how to replace it.
Unfortunately, Georgia has just passed some draconian Continue reading →
A couple of years ago, Cracked.com published another one of its interesting, albeit almost always disturbing, lists: non-weapon things that may explode. Next to the usual suspects on that list, such as lithium batteries and volcanic-active lakes, there was some pretty unremarkable-turned-deadly objects such as an innocent-looking office chair and a powdered-milk factory.
You may now add another surprising explosive-prone thing, a fruit, no less: watermelons.
It happened in China, a country in such a hurry to grow fast that Continue reading →
Good evening. We’re starting our meal tonight with a selection of moldy cheeses and goat’s curd; Chocolate Soil, a.k.a., geophagy, with Papua New Guinea mud cakes; bacterial jelly and a generous serving of sheep’s heart, liver and lungs, otherwise known as Haggis. All served with a glass of gin punch.
The fermented entree special is fish on soy sauce with pickled Continue reading →
It turns out that one of the worst eating addictions of Americans has also a hold on people across the pond (and we say this looking anxiously over our shoulders; unlike women issues or politics, this is bound to attract a lot of passionate reader Continue reading →
Now here’s a story we keep hoping it’s a hoax but so far there’s no sight of that being the case. Reports from Singapore and Vietnam have been documenting a number of food intoxication cases traced back by they eating fake rice.
The staple of Asian cuisine, rice is never missing from the daily Continue reading →
As the damaging effects of overeating and excessive calorie intake become a well established scientific fact, it’s always reassuring to see corporations big and small getting behind healthy nationwide initiatives to address the problem.
Not Starbucks, though. Once identified with Seattle’s grunge culture, alongside Nirvana and those infamous plaid flannel Continue reading →
You’ve read about the importance of breastfeeding your baby, as most mammals already do it in nature. You’ve learned about indigenous peoples who breastfeed not just their own infants but small animals too. As you grow up, you’re told that organic donkey milk may be even better than your own as a staple of a healthy diet.
So you’re convinced that you’re hip to all the latest food Continue reading →
For centuries, babies have been breast fed by their mammal mothers as a normal part of their upbringing, and that includes both humans and animals. It’s considered the best food an infant can have and most scientific studies have confirmed the fact.
Except when they don’t, as was the case of the online version of the British Medical Journal, which questioned last week the benefits of the practice on a recent study. Or when, openly or not, the baby food industry Continue reading →
You’ve read here about a summit of 13 nations in Russia last month to discuss their commitment and strategies to protect the wild tiger, said to be facing a serious threat of extinction. Vietnam is among those nations.
But old, misguided cultural habits die much harder than these magnificent animals, it seems. Word just came out that Vietnamese authorities are planning a public auction of approximately six pounds of tiger paste – ground bones and Continue reading →
They’re alive, they’re packaged in custom-fit boxes, and they’re available in three sizes. An unusual idea by a Chinese entrepreneur, to sell individually wrapped hairy crabs in automated machines at underground stations in Nanjing, has become a hit with train riders. The crabs, which are considered a delicacy in Asian cuisine, get sedate in the 5 Celsius degrees of the machines, but are ready for consumption. A selection of bottled sauces are also available, to season the snack, that comes in small, medium and grande sizes.
Now, before you go around bad-mouthing the Chinese because of their eating habits, do we need to remind you of the several food shows on U.S. TV Continue reading →
During the (one of many) energy crisis of the 1970s, a U.K. campaign became an instant hit: “Share a bath with your neighbor and save water,” or something to that effect, was a short-lived government-sponsored campaign that found many a quiet flat dweller going beyond the call of duty and having lots of fun in the process. Ah, those tamer times we dare not speak of any longer.
But alas, the world may’ve taken more than its share of frightful turns, but certain basic human needs remain reassuringly constant. For some of us, meal time can be made into an occasion for companionship and sharing of precious Continue reading →
So you’re trying to cut down on red meat and decided that eggs are a good source of protein to replace it. Not quite ready to become a vegan yet, you think eggs will do it for now, as long as they’re natural, cage free and organic, right?
Ah, nothing like the sunny view of happy chicken being called by their names, roaming free on verdant pastures. That is, until the day comes when their true calling is disclosed and they head straight to your breakfast plate.
Now there’s evidence that an even darker side to this picture can burst your bubble easier than you can crack an egg shell.
It turns out some chicken farms have been playing loose with the Continue reading →
Over the summer, beekeepers in Brooklyn noticed a scary, disturbing trend, one that wouldn’t look out of place in a nightmarish sci-fi novel: their bees were turning red. Worst, instead of honey, they began producing an overly sweet, metallic tasting red concoction. Keepers were at loss to explain the new phenomenon, but then again, their world is no stranger to weird Continue reading →