5@5 - Make your own soda syrup at home
September 9th, 2011
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

America's taste for soda isn't fizzing out anytime soon. A recent report by the National Center for Health Statistics found that half of Americans sip sugary drinks daily.

However, there's no need to stick to the store-bought, corn syrup-laden mélange of flavors: Homemade sodas are not only healthier, they allow for experimentation with whatever flavor tickles your fancy.

All you need is some soda water - either bought or carbonated at home with a seltzer maker - and a little know-how from twin sisters Hannah and Isabel of Sisterhand Syrups.

Five Tips on Making Your Own Soda Syrup at Home: Sisterhand Syrups

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Filed under: 5@5 • Think

Eat like a Viking in Iceland
September 9th, 2011
03:30 PM ET
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Putrefied shark meat. Sheep heads and testicles. Some of Iceland's traditional delicacies might challenge a few palates, but if you're looking for a little edible adventure, eating like a Viking just might be the way to go.

Long before the days of 24-hour diners and fast-food chains, the people of Iceland couldn't just run to the convenience store or make a 3 a.m. pit stop at Taco Bell.

Food options were limited in the long, cold winter, so they were eating very old food and trying to stretch it as far as they could through curing and drying. This led to some very...interesting items on the menu.

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Filed under: Buzz • Destination Adventure • Iceland • Icelandic • iReport • Travel

Google acquires Zagat in delicious deal
September 9th, 2011
02:00 PM ET
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Google is throwing significant muscle into its new focus on local businesses: It has acquired reviews behemoth Zagat for an undisclosed sum, the company said Thursday.

"[Zagat's] iconic pocket-sized guides ... were 'mobile' before 'mobile' involved electronics," Marissa Mayer, Google's head of local and location services, wrote in a blog post announcing the deal.

Zagat, founded in 1979, rates restaurants on a 30-point scale based on consumer surveys and reviews. Its guides include short paragraphs culled from those reviews, and it operates in 13 categories and more than 100 cities.

Read the full story: "Google buys Zagat in push for local market"

September 9th, 2011
11:30 AM ET
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When Marco Canora was the chef de cuisine 10 years ago at Tom Colicchio's now flagship restaurant Craft, his gnocchi were described by then New York Times restaurant critic William Grimes as "eye-rolling pleasure bombs" in his three-star review.

This past week, current Times critic Sam Sifton re-reviewed Craft citing the gnocchi as "the same butter-laden pleasure bombs Mr. Grimes raved about in 2001."

While Marco Canora has moved on, becoming the executive chef of his own restaurants - Hearth and Terroir - as well as the author of the James Beard-nominated cookbook "Salt to Taste," his gnocchi legacy carries on.


Breakfast buffet: National wiener schnitzel day
September 9th, 2011
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday.

Please hold all wiener jokes until the end - September 9 is National Wiener Schnitzel Day!

You may just toss this phrase around willy nilly, or you may have been saying it for fun all your life, but do you actually know what it is?  Today's the perfect day to find out, and then go track down some darn good schnitzel and scarf it up.

This traditional Austrian dish involves pounding a boneless bit of veal or pork, escalope-style, dredging it in bread crumbs and frying until golden brown. Wiener schnitzel is usually served with a lemon wedge and a potato side, usually potato salad or potatoes with butter and parsley.  Mmm, meat and potatoes sounds good in any language!

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