Josh Ozersky has written on his carnivorous exploits for Time, Esquire and now Food & Wine; he has authored several books, including The Hamburger: A History; and he is the founder of the Meatopia food festival. Follow him on Twitter @OzerskyTV.
Happy burger season! As we do at this time every year, we begged our favorite burger expert, Josh Ozersky, for his Top 10 Must-Try Burgers list for 2014. Ozersky is the author of the excellent "The Hamburger: A History." He gave it some thought, and then handed over his awesome list, plus intel on why these places made the cut.
Only a madman or a glutton with infinite resources could hope to eat every hamburger in America. Think of how big the country is! And yet, it would be equally ludicrous to suppose that the 10 burgers I listed here last year are still the country’s best. Every year new hamburger debutantes have their coming-out parties, and each year obscure starlets emerge from the hinterlands to enchant even the most effete of critics.
Here then is this year’s edition. Not all are new; and not all are necessarily mind-blowing. A few, like Hildebrandt’s and Dyer’s, owe as much to their picturesque surroundings and rich history as they do to the salt and blood of their beef. But all 10 of these burgers deserve our attention, our respect, and most of all, our willingness to eat several of them, one after the other.
Fat is what matters in your food. That’s the key thing to remember about fat. The lean mean tastes like whatever; you couldn’t tell a thin slice of chicken breast from a carpaccio if your life depended on it. No, “The fat is the meat, and the meat is the vegetable,” as the saying goes, and this is especially true of real fat, the kind that comes from animals.
I should clarify here - so to speak - that I am not talking about the revolting white fat that sits congealing on the plate when they slice open the prime rib. No, I mean hot fat, crispy fat and most of all liquid fat, the kind you can roast or sauté things in. Most herbs and spices, as volatile organic compounds, are fat-soluble, so it’s not hard to give the fat you use deep flavor - deeper than you ever get by just seasoning the food. I use Aleppo pepper, rosemary, chiles, sage and whatever else I can think of to put into it.
But are all fats created equal? I don’t think they are. I think there is a eternal hierarchy of Seven Great Greases, as I have come to think of them. They are as follows.
Kate Krader (@kkrader on Twitter) is Food & Wine's restaurant editor. When she tells us where to find our culinary heart's desire, we listen up.
If you had to sum up 2013 in one word, what would it be? Me, I have to say doughnuts. Mostly because of the omnipresent Cronut, the pastry that mashed up croissants and donuts and got people lining up for hours and launched a trazillion knockoffs.
But don’t forget that this was also the year Dunkin' Donuts introduced their Glazed Donut Breakfast Sandwich for those who want a sticky sweet bun for their bacon and egg sammy. And there’s word that Krispy Kreme will soon introduce “Donut Theater” to the US. Basically, that’s a clever name for a make-your-own doughnut situation.
But enough about doughnuts. Let’s discuss a few other things that happened in 2013: the highs and the lows.
2013 was a big, beefy year in food news, from the downfall of butter queen Paula Deen and blowback to Chick-fil-A over their stance on same-sex marriage to record levels of foodborne illness and some pretty public squabbles over how people treat restaurant workers.
We'll be sharing our favorite stories over the next few days, along with the ones we think most shaped the year in food (like, say, SNAP cuts, mysterious horse meat, trans-fats and the soul-lifting power of a hot meal in times of crisis), but for now, we're going strictly by the stats. Our readers clicked, shared and had plenty to say in response, and here are the top ten stories of 2013 in each of those categories:
- 10 Most Read
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