ArtDaily: One of the oldest Cognacs tops Bonhams Whisky Sale.
“The auction’s top lot and front cover catalog highlight, a 1762 vintage Gautier that is one of the oldest authenticated cognac vintages known, experienced spirited bidding amongst an international clientele, eventually selling to an online bidder from Poland for a final price of $59,500.” I’ve told a story about old cognac before.
Vox: Here’s how expensive the lime shortage made your margarita.
EPIC Bar | Protein | Gluten Free | Paleo | Grass Fed Protein Bars.
Just ate a Bison Bacon/Cranberry bar. Can’t taste any cranberry, but sure as heck can taste BACON. Which is always a good thing. Be careful what you pair it with (what you drink). Could have untoward flavor impacts. Not quite as high in protein as I usually like … but none of the chocolate coatings and overload of sugar. Pleasantly surprised, and recommended!
Smithsonian: The Evolution of American Barbecue.
“The first indigenous tribes Christopher Columbus encountered on the island he named Hispaniola had developed a unique method for cooking meat over an indirect flame, created using green wood to keep the food (and wood) from burning. Reports indicate that the Spanish referred to this new style of cooking as barbacoa: the original barbecue.”
Mother Jones: Why American Apples Just Got Banned in Europe.
“So do DPA-treated apples present real health risks? I don’t know—and neither, apparently, do food safety authorities on either side of the Atlantic. Until they learn more, Europe has decided that the public shouldn’t be gobbling up DPA along with their daily fruit.” Interestingly, apples can be stored in a low oxygen environment to prevent scald, replacing DPA entirely. So there’s a workable backup.
HiConsumption: The 12 Best Tasting Gluten-Free Beers On The Planet.
GF beers are hard to find here in Santa Fe. Lately the local store has been stocking Omission Pale, and it’s not bad. Very hoppy. Next week, it’ll likely be gone. My dream is to have a decent stout again (Guinness lunches in NYC are very much missed).
SciAm: Invasive Carp Clobber Catfish in Taste Test.
“Asian carp suffers from guilt by association with its bottom-feeding cousin, the common carp, and its muddy-flavored flesh. However Asian carp, including the silver and bighead, feed on microscopic plants and animals suspended in the water. Asian carp’s meat has a cleaner flavor and pearly white flesh.” Unless it’s farm-raised, catfish tends to taste like the mud it frequents.
Kickstarter: A Goose That Lays Golden Eggs.
Scrambled in the shell. Clever. How about a larger one that mixes paints?
WaPo: ‘Happy Days’ no more: Middle-class families squeezed as expenses soar, wages stall
“The Johnsons both work, earning $90,000 between them, not a princely sum but one that places the couple squarely in the middle of household incomes for the Washington region. But for the Johnsons and many other American families, being middle class means living paycheck to paycheck.” Food prices never went down after the last gas shock, and just seem to keep climbing.
The Airship: Literary Bars & Restaurants IRL.
BBC: France’s silent tea revolution.
Ah, grow a pair. Drink PG Tips. I dip mine for at least 50 dunks, then steep for five or six minutes. I like strong tea.
DiscoverMag: Study proves cat bacon just as tasty as pig bacon.
“The high cost of swine production has caused producers of processed meat products to seek alternative sources of bulk meat. The objective of this study was to compare the nutritional values and taste acceptance of processed cured bacon produced from readily-available feline sources to that of traditional porcine bacon.” Some are going to hate me for posting that. [It is a joke, people.]
Modern Farmer: The Joy of Cooking Invasive Species.
“Kudzu, feral pigs, bullfrogs and burdock are just a few of the foods in the invasivore repertoire. These pests are all edible and some are considered delicacies in their native land. Invasivores seek to re-frame these species as an ethical food choice and have a slew of nifty slogans for the cause, like ‘Eating Aliens’ and ‘Eradication by Mastication.’” Ahem. Deadfood.com, too. The ‘French Fried Skunk’ recipe’s pretty entertaining (‘skim off scum …’).
Paris Review: Shad Season.
“Shad and shad roe used to be a common spring meal up and down the Eastern seaboard. Nowadays, it is the purview of traditionalists and evangelical seasonal eaters. If you are neither, it is still the kind of edible time machine that is worth seeking out when you can.”
Discover Magazine: What’s In Your Gut?
“I signed up online, paid $99 and received a kit in the mail with a small tube and two swabs to take my choice of a stool, skin or saliva sample. I logged my diet for a week, entered the data on the project’s website and then mailed off my stool sample. Eight months later, I got my results: A single page of candy-colored graphs compared my guts with those of the average participant. Like all participants’ results, my data, minus identifying information, will be added to an open-source database as part of the Earth Microbiome Project ”
Paris Review: Ovid’s Ancient Beauty Elixirs.
“The rumors are true: it’s Publius Ovidius Naso’s 2,057th birthday. You can score some points with the classicists in your life by mentioning this in casual conversation, especially if you toss in a reference to the Metamorphoses.”
365/2: 077. Morning dinner prep; stew.
EspressoSmith: Whiskey Barrel Coffee.
Oh my. But the price! Xmas. Maybe.
SciAm: Spice Imports Carry Lots of Filth.
Yum, yum. Bugs, poop and mold. The ‘rodent filth’ column makes me twitch, living here in hantavirus/plague country.
Guardian.UK: New York homeless shelters housing record-high 53,000 people per night.
“The report blames the city’s homeless crisis on a combination of factors. It cites the ‘disastrous homeless policies’ implemented by then-mayor Michael Bloomberg; the city’s worsening housing affordability; and the growing income inequality gap.” Hard to believe it could be worse than the ‘80’s. The Franciscans did particularly good work in the ‘80’s. Their website. What I used to do, going out to lunch, was to swing into a McD’s on my way back to the office and buy a ‘Happy Meal’ and hand it to a random homeless individual. I was never ‘attacked’, never insulted, always thanked.
LRB: Bee Wilson reviews ‘Farmageddon’ and ‘Planet Carnivore’.
Medium: How We Make Chocolate.
An ad, really, but an interesting one.
Guardian.UK: Animal protein-rich diets could be as harmful to health as smoking.
“The apparently harmful effects of a high-protein diet might be down to one or more other substances in meat, or driven by lifestyle factors that are more common in regular red meat eaters versus vegetarians.” Needs more research. From my reading, IGF-1 is the likely culprit, but research conflicts over whether protein from red meat is a direct influence. Dairy intake is pretty unequivocal. Plant-based proteins may actually reduce IGF-1. The elephant in the room is livestock supplementation; rBST gooses the IGF-1 in dairy products; jury’s out on meat itself. It would be very interesting to see them repeat this with organic foods. Overall, the studies need to be targeted better; comparing to smoking is purely to generate a knee-jerk reaction.
Later: Others noted the sensationalist, misleading nature of these stories.
The Big Picture: Your Broccoli Is Way Too Thirsty.
Rice, and orchards, are the biggest users of water … by a long, long stretch. This infographic is misleading.
SciAm: 1,000-Year-Old Teeth Reveal Diet and Disease.
“Your mouth is like a battlefield of bacteria.” I had garlic in my meal yesterday; I woke up to Waterloo this morning.