The United States of Yum (and a chislic recipe)
January 14th, 2011
05:30 PM ET
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Eatocracy zOMGBFF and former colleague Kristyn Pomranz unleashes her mad genius upon the world with this map of regional food favorites, divvied up by state.

Head on over to My Food Looks Funny for the full map, but know this about Ms Pomranz - she's co-written two (2) musical plays, I Can Has Cheezburger: The MusicLOL! and Hot Dogs: The Competitive Eating Musical and should be approached with extreme caution. And possibly snacks.

And if you're a resident South Dakota, you probably have your own chislic recipe (it's cubed meat, by the way and it's usually fried), but if you aren't and you don't and you're jealous, our pal Beannie's family cookbook does. You're welcome.

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Chefs with Issues – Suvir Saran on HIV/AIDS activism: part 2
January 14th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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Editor's note: Read "Hope Survives: 30 Years of AIDS," an AC360° special report.

New Delhi-born Suvir Saran is the executive chef of Dévi restaurant in New York City, where his authentic Indian flavors earned one Michelin star in 2007 and 2008, as well as two stars from The New York Times and three stars from New York Magazine.

He is also the author of "Indian Home Cooking: A Fresh Introduction to Indian Food, with More Than 150 Recipes" and "American Masala: 125 New Classics From My Home Kitchen."

This is the second in a two-part interview with Saran on the subject of HIV/AIDS activism, the disease's impact on the food world and his personal life, his identity as an Indian and a gay man and the healing power of a good meal.

Read part one

How has being a world-respected chef influenced your ability to perform advocacy work?

I may be respected around the world, but my bank account does not reflect the wealth of one who has achieved much. I never worry about this fact. I treat money as transient, something we have to only be leaving us. To me amassed wealth is almost akin to some corruption that takes away from our soul and spirit.

And so, I take my place in the world of food as a means to also that little fame and my few minutes in the limelight as a means of sharing, educating, learning and leaving some legacy. The cookbooks I have written, my restaurant Devi, my affiliation and my presence at Cornell University, UC Berkeley and at Yale, as also other campuses and corporate dining facilities have given me a larger platform than I could have ever created for myself. Since I bring with me critically acclaimed books, with quotes from very celebrated authors and chefs of repute – people listen to me and invest some time in what I have to say.

Lunchtime poll – made-up food names
January 14th, 2011
12:30 PM ET
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I swear, I had to come back into the living room and back up the TiVo to make sure I wasn't hallucinating. I listened to the commercial once, then again, then verified with my husband.

"I didn't just fall and bump my head, right? The announcer did actually say, 'Any'tizers® QuesaDippers™,' right?"

Yes. Yes he had.

Hey, I dig a good neologism or tasty portmanteau as much as the next lady. For crying out loud, the word "Eatocracy" came into being during a conference call last spring as I ranted, "It'll be a food democracy! A foodocracy! Heck, an eatocracy!" Boom. Legal department e-mailed, domain nabbed, Twitter feed and G-mail addy secured and now we have, like, officially-printed aprons and cutting boards and everything.

For web-based businesses, I totally cut slack. Decent domain names are wickedly hard to snare, and creative spelling often called for. But a food item? Generally at least a tad suspect for me. There's a good chance it's madly processed, because the more naturally or classically made stuff already has, you know - names (confit = okay, word with a ®, ™ or random apostrophe ≠ okay).

I'm not saying that a piping hot basket of Any'tizers® QuesaDippers™ or some Very Cherry Crispitos® ("With a convenient hand-held shape...a practical option for an on-the-go lifestyle.") wouldn't taste pretty righteous after a night of pounding down some Hpnotiq®. But, with all my language faculties intact, they just don't sound like a smart idea.

Bonus round - share your favorite made-up food names in the comments below!

Box lunch
January 14th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • A Bordeaux bubble in China. - TIME

  • Yes, another human cheese story. They just keep pumping 'em out. - Grist

  • Daily Meal and Saveur founder Coleman Andrews eats better on the street than you do in your schmancy kitchen. - Grub Street

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