The indulgence of pickled rope baloney
April 30th, 2014
03:15 PM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Silas House is the author of five novels, three plays, and one book of nonfiction. He is the NEH Chair of Appalachian Studies at Berea College. He wrote this essay for the Appalachian-themed issue #51 of the SFA's Gravy quarterly.

Dot’s Grocery, owned by my aunt, was the community center of tiny Fariston, Kentucky: a therapist’s office, sometimes a church, and—always—a storytelling school. Everyone gathered there to gossip and to seek the sage kitchen wisdom of Dot. She kept a Virginia Slim permanently perched in her fuchsia-lipsticked mouth and latched her steely blue-eyed gaze on her customers while they spilled their guts and sought her advice. A few times I witnessed prayer services there. The epicenter of a largely Holiness community was hard-pressed to escape that, after all. There were always the big tales, swirling around like the twisting smoke of the regulars’ cigarettes (in my memory, all of them smoked, everyone).

Looking back, the stories are what matter the most. But when I was a child in the 1980s my favorite things were: the cakes-and-candy rack, the old-timey Coke cooler with the silver sliding doors on top, and the huge jar of pickled baloney that sat on the counter next to the cash register. Beside it were a loose roll of paper towels, a box of wax paper, a sleeve or two of Premium saltines, and a large Old Hickory–brand knife.
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Frankenmeat: 'Not bad, actually'
April 30th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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In a nondescript hotel ballroom last month at the South by Southwest Interactive festival, Andras Forgacs offered a rare glimpse at the sci-fi future of food.

Before an audience of tech-industry types, Forgacs produced a plate of small pink wafers - "steak chips," he called them - and invited people up for a taste. But these were no ordinary snacks: Instead of being harvested from a steer, they had been grown in a laboratory from tiny samples of animal tissue.

One taster's verdict on this Frankenmeat? Not bad, actually.
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Filed under: Food Politics • Food Science • Ingredients • Meat • Technology


Kentucky Hot Brown is 'the ultimate drunk food'
April 29th, 2014
10:30 AM ET
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Editor's note: The Southern Foodways Alliance delves deep in the history, tradition, heroes and plain old deliciousness of Southern food. Writer Sarah Baird grew up in Kentucky and lives in New Orleans. Her first book, "Kentucky Sweets: Bourbon, Spoonbread, and Mile High Pie," was published earlier this year.

Drenched in gooey cheese, anchored by salty meat, and with enough thick bread to sop it all up, the Hot Brown is quite possibly the ultimate drunk food.

Over the years, the sandwich has not only reached far across the Commonwealth as a go-to remedy for a night of hard drinking, but has become the sandwich ambassador of Louisville’s dining scene. Crafted almost 100 years ago in one of the city’s finest grand hotels, the Brown (which is regal enough to give any Wes Anderson creation a run for its money), its decadence has become a thing of legend.
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Everything is coming up rosés
April 29th, 2014
07:00 AM ET
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Ray Isle (@islewine on Twitter) is Food & Wine's executive wine editor. We trust his every cork pop and decant – and the man can sniff out a bargain to boot. Take it away, Ray.

There was a time, and it wasn’t that long ago, when you couldn’t give away a bottle of dry French rosé wine in the US. The zillions of bottles of White Zinfandel on store shelves had somehow worked a kind of evil spell on wine buyers’ minds, convincing everyone that if a wine was pink, then it must therefore taste like soda pop and be sweet.

That’s changed, and nothing attests to it more than the fact that shipments of dry rosés to the US from Provence—the homeland of great dry rosé—shot up more than 40 percent last year. But it’s no surprise, when you think about it. Provençal rosé, which is light, crisp and not sweet in the slightest, is one of the best springtime (and summertime) wines around.
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Filed under: Content Partner • Food and Wine • Sip • Wine


April 28th, 2014
04:45 PM ET
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After a one-year stint in the number two spot, René Redzepi's Noma in Copenhagen, Denmark, has been declared the best restaurant in the world - marking its fourth time as the top seed.

Restaurant magazine announced the honor as it unveiled its "World's 50 Best Restaurants" list at London's Guildhall on Monday. The annual event, sponsored by  S.Pellegrino and Acqua Panna, is a celebration of the crème de la crème of global gastronomy.

The list, now in its 12th year, is curated by 900 restaurant international leaders, including chefs, food critics and restaurateurs.
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Investors not flipping for McDonald's performance
April 28th, 2014
01:30 PM ET
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Ronald McDonald has a new coif and a jaunty red blazer.

But a makeover won't help much when he gets in front of some angry franchise owners at the McDonald's Worldwide Convention in Orlando this week.

Franchise owners don't appear happy with the company's management in Oak Brook, Ill. Competition is heating up, especially at breakfast, and sales are hurting.
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April 28th, 2014
08:00 AM ET
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America's Test Kitchen is a real 2,500 square foot test kitchen located just outside of Boston that is home to more than three dozen full­time cooks and product testers. Our mission is simple: to develop the absolute best recipes for all of your favorite foods. To do this, we test each recipe 30, 40, sometimes as many as 70 times, until we arrive at the combination of ingredients, technique, temperature, cooking time, and equipment that yields the best, most­ foolproof recipe. America’s Test Kitchen's online cooking school is based on nearly 20 years of test kitchen work in our own facility, on the recipes created for Cook's Illustrated magazine, and on our two public television cooking shows.

Turning flour, water, and yeast into crusty, airy rolls is one of the hardest bits of kitchen wizardry around. But there are few things more delicious than homemade dinner rolls, especially when you wrap them up in a towel, place them in a pretty basket, and serve them with a hearty home-cooked meal.

We wanted to make the process foolproof to be sure you could enjoy this simple pleasure without frustration. To get a flavorful dinner roll recipe with a crisp crust and chewy crumb without a steam-injected oven, we replaced a few tablespoons of bread flour with whole-wheat flour and added honey. For an airy crumb, we determined exactly how much water and yeast would produce bubbly yet shapely rolls. A two-step baking process—baking the rolls in a cake pan to set their shape before pulling them apart to crisp up—gave our rustic dinner roll recipe the crust we were looking for.
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Filed under: America's Test Kitchen • Baked Goods • Bread • Content Partner • Dishes • Make • Recipes


Coffee klatsch
April 28th, 2014
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat? We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.
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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch


International airport food gets an upgrade
April 27th, 2014
10:45 PM ET
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From boxed sandwiches and salads in plastic tubs to fine dining the world's gastronomic masters are now using airports for their new restaurant openings.

Heston Blumenthal is the latest big name chef to open an air hub establishment. The Perfectionist's Café will open at London Heathrow Airport's Terminal 2 on June 4. While Blumenthal is best known for molecular gastronomy, his new diner with a wood-fired oven makes it the first British airport kitchen with an open flame.
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Filed under: Airports • Travel


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