Friday, May 12, 2006

Eating On the Road

Roadfood means great regional meals along highways, in small towns and in city neighborhoods. It is non-franchised, sleeves-up food made by cooks, bakers, pitmasters, and sandwich-makers who are America’s culinary folk artists. Roadfood is almost always informal and inexpensive; and the best Roadfood restaurants are colorful places enjoyed by locals (and savvy travelers) for their character as well as their menu. Roadfood.com was conceived in 2000 as a website devoted to finding the most memorable local eateries along the highways and back roads of America. Unlike many dotcom ventures, Roadfood.com is an entirely volunteer effort launched with no expectation of ever making money. Compensation for the producers comes from the hundreds of positive email comments they receive each month, the notoriety generated from the many news articles and stories written about the site and the awards and recognition presented to Roadfood.com for its design and content. Anyone planning on taking a road trip in North America will want to bookmark this cool site. RoadFood.Com lists and reviews the best and most memorable local eateries situated alongside the long and winding roads of America and Canada. Hungry travelers can search the website either by "State" or "Restaurant" to find great food along their route. Brave souls who have discovered a roadside gem of their own can post the eatery and publish a review online.


Roadfood http://www.roadfood.com/

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Feminist Food, Cooking, and Eating History

From Betty Crocker To Feminist Food Studies In recent years, scholars from a variety of disciplines have turned their attention to food to gain a better understanding of history, culture, economics, and society. The emerging field of food studies has yielded a great deal of useful research and a host of publications. Missing, however, has been a focused effort to use gender as an analytic tool. This stimulating collection of original essays addresses that oversight, investigating the important connections between food studies and women’s studies. Applying the insights of feminist scholarship to the study of food, the thirteen essays in this volume are arranged under four headings - the marketplace, histories, representations, and resistances. The editors open the book with a substantial introduction that traces the history of scholarly writing on food and maps the terrain of feminist food studies. In the essays that follow, contributors pay particular attention to the ways in which gender, race, ethnicity, class, colonialism, and capitalism have both shaped and been shaped by the production and consumption of food.

College-level students of culinary and feminist studies won't want to miss the unusual history in From Betty Crocker To Feminist Food Studies: Critical Perspectives On Women And Food: it gathers scholarly essays from a range of disciplines to address issues of economics, society and culture in food history, using gender as its foundation. Thirteen essays are arranged under four headings by history, representations, marketplace and resistances, following the history of scholarly food writing and feminist food studies. From studies on the influence of large corporations in determining what made up a proper meal in this country to surveys on how women have kept families nourished, essays consider race, gender, and social identity as it relates to food.

From Betty Crocker To Feminist Food Studies
Arlene Voski Avakian & Barbara Haber
ISBN 1558495118

University of Massachusetts Press http://www.umass.edu/umpress

Thursday, April 20, 2006

The Dilemma of Food

The Omnivore's Dilemma What should we have for dinner? To one degree or another this simple question assails any creature faced with a wide choice of things to eat. Anthropologists call it the omnivore's dilemma. Choosing from among the countless potential foods nature offers, humans have had to learn what is safe, and what isn't - which mushrooms should be avoided, for example, and which berries we can enjoy. Today, as America confronts what can only be described as a national eating disorder, the omnivore's dilemma has returned with an atavistic vengeance. The cornucopia of the modern supermarket and fast-food outlet has thrown us back on a bewildering landscape where we once again have to worry about which of those tasty-looking morsels might kill us. At the same time we're realizing that our food choices also have profound implications for the health of our environment. The Omnivore's Dilemma is bestselling author Michael Pollan's brilliant and eye-opening exploration of these little-known but vitally important dimensions of eating in America.

Few of us can really say anymore what’s for dinner. If we could, says Michael Pollan, corn would usually be the answer. Bite into a hamburger and you’re probably dining on a cow that lived on almost nothing but corn for most of its short life. Opt for the trout instead, and it’s just another form of corn-fed meat. Fried in corn oil, sweetened with corn syrup, our cheapest calories trace to the crop most responsive to industrialized agriculture. Big Corn is feeding a hungry world, Pollan says. But it’s also making us sick and poisoning the environment. Pollan, the author of The Botany of Desire, isn’t pointing this out to shame us. In The Omnivore’s Dilemma, he carefully documents four paths that food can take before it reaches our tables, then lets readers “figure out their own answers” about what they should eat. The result is an “intelligently gory” book. As chickens’ throats are slashed, cattle are brained by so-called stunners, and Pollan himself guns down a wild boar for his most unmediated meal, you can’t help but admire his “gameness.” His effort chases away the ignorance that separates most of us from the food we eat, and it will be interesting to see how many readers can live with what he shows us. If you think that food raised organically is a no-fault alternative to industrialized agriculture, Pollan’s “clearheaded and sometimes heartbroken” chronicle might make you reconsider. Clearly, “our visions of contented cows and free-range chickens don’t always match the realities.”

Pollan has divided The Omnivore's Dilemma into three parts, one for each of the food chains that sustain us: industrialized food, alternative or "organic" food, and food people obtain by dint of their own hunting, gathering, or gardening. Pollan follows each food chain literally from the ground up to the table, emphasizing our dynamic coevolutionary relationship with the species we depend on. He concludes each section by sitting down to a meal - at McDonald's, at home with his family sharing a dinner from Whole Foods, and in a revolutionary "beyond organic" farm in Virginia. For each meal he traces the provenance of everything consumed, revealing the hidden components we unwittingly ingest and explaining how our taste for particular foods reflects our environmental and biological inheritance.

We are indeed what we eat-and what we eat remakes the world. A society of voracious and increasingly confused omnivores, we are just beginning to recognize the profound consequences of the simplest everyday food choices, both for ourselves and for the natural world. Pollan is also too much a realist to suggest that the hunter-gatherer path he explores in the book’s final section can become anything more than an occasional ritual. The “dilemma” of Pollan’s title refers to the fact that human beings can choose any number of foods for their survival. While the choice is made difficult enough by the knowledge that we are what we eat, this “brilliant and eye-opening book” makes us face the harder truth that “what we eat remakes the world.”

A few facts and figures from The Omnivore's Dilemma:
- Of the 38 ingredients it takes to make a McNugget, there are at least 13 that are derived from corn. 45 different menu items at Mcdonald’s are made from corn.
- One in every three American children eats fast food every day.
- One in every five American meals today is eaten in the car.
- The food industry burns nearly a fifth of all the petroleum consumed in the United States¯more than we burn with our cars and more than any other industry consumes.
- It takes ten calories of fossil fuel energy to deliver one calorie of food energy to an American plate.
- A single strawberry contains about five calories. To get that strawberry from a field in California to a plate on the east coast requires 435 calories of energy.
- Industrial fertilizer and industrial pesticides both owe their existence to the conversion of the World War II munitions industry to civilian uses—nerve gases became pesticides, and ammonium nitrate explosives became nitrogen fertilizers.
- Because of the obesity epidemic, today’s generation of children will be the first generation of Americans whose life expectancy will actually be shorter than their parents’ life expectancy.
- In 2000 the UN reported that the number of people in the world suffering from overnutrition—a billion—exceeded for the first time in history the number suffering from undernutrition—800 million. The great food problem of our time is that there is too much of it, not too little.
- Super-sizing works as a marketing strategy because people presented with larger portions don’t stop eating when they are full, but rather will eat more than 30% than they otherwise would. Why? Probably because our bodies evolved in an environment of feast or famine, when it made sense to eat as much as possible when food was available.


The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
Michael Pollan
The Penguin Press, Hardcove, 6 x 9 inches, 320 pages, ISBN 1594200823

The Omnivore's Dilemma http://us.penguingroup.com
Michael Pollan http://www.berkeley.edu

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

American Revolutionary Recipes

Mars has teamed up with historical foundations like Colonial Williamsburg and Monticello to create chocolate based on recipes from the Revolutionary era. The bars and drinking chocolate are slightly gritty because methods for grinding cacao beans were quite primitive in the 1700s. (Mars admits to using electricity this time around.) The treats contain authentic spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, anise and cayenne pepper. Revolutionary Americans like George Washington and Thomas Jefferson enjoyed chocolate as a breakfast drink. Somewhat prophetically, chocolate was perceived as healthy (albeit as a treatment for asthma; polyphenols hadn’t been discovered yet). Foodies go crazy for the story behind the food. They embrace artisanal, handcrafted products that teach and take them back in time. Plus, chocolate. Products are sold at Fort Ticonderoga, Colonial Williamsburg, Mount Vernon, Monticello and the Smithsonian. See the website for mail-order info and historic recipes.

American Heritage Chocolate http://www.americanheritagechocolate.com

Friday, March 03, 2006

Historic American Cookbooks

The goal of "Feeding America: The Historic American Cookbook Project" at the Michigan State University project is to create an online collection of the most influential American cookbooks published between the late 1700's and the early 20th Century. The digital archive includes page images of 76 cookbooks from the MSU Library's collection as well as searchable full-text transcriptions. This site also features a glossary of cookery terms and multidimensional images of antique cooking implements from the collections of the MSU Museum. The Feeding America online collection intends to highlight an important part of America's cultural heritage for teachers, students, researchers investigating American social history, professional chefs, and lifelong learners of all ages. The introductory essay by Jan Longone that discusses the project and the history of cookbooks in America. Browsing through the gallery of digital images and full-text transcriptions of these ancient cookbooks will give you insight into culinary history. Visitors can also search the site by text or author to read about a specific cookbook or chef.

Feeding America http://digital.lib.msu.edu/projects/cookbooks/index.html

Sunday, February 05, 2006

Plants That Make Food

Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide A comprehensive survey of the plants that provide food, beverages, spices, and flavorings, this book will serve as an invaluable reference to gardeners, ethnobotanists, nutritionists, culinary professionals, dieticians, and food enthusiasts. This scientifically accurate guide will allow them to identify all the major plant-derived foods and flavors, research culinary uses, and understand their dietetic and nutritional properties. Introductory chapters cover the various categories of plant use, including cereals, pulses (legumes), nuts and seeds, fruits, vegetables, culinary herbs, sugar plants, beverages, spices, and flavorings. The core of the volume is an encyclopedic description of more than 350 food and flavor plants in use worldwide, with over 1000 color photographs. This accessible, pictorial guide is a concise source of practical information, not readily available elsewhere, and should be on every food enthusiast's bookshelf. Ben-Erik van Wyk is a professor of botany at the Rand Afrikaans University, Johannesburg, South Africa. His research interest is in systematic botany and plant utilization. He is also the author of Medicinal Plants of the World with the same publisher.

Food Plants of the World: An Illustrated Guide
Ben-Erik van Wyk
Timber Press, 480 pages, 1000 color photos, 6.5 x 9.5 inches, hardcover, $39.95
ISBN: 0-88192-743-0

Timber Press http://www.timberpress.com

Saturday, February 04, 2006

Our Vegetable Travelers

The original publication of this article about the origins of vegetables used in the United States appeared in the August 1949 issue of National Geographic magazine. Features information about over 30 vegetables, including carrots, corn, okra, peas, potatoes, tomatoes (also known as "love apples"), and watermelon.

Texas A&M Horticulture Network http://aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Field Guide to Chocolate

Candy bars, milk shakes, cookies, flavored coffee—even cereal and medicine! Chocolate is a key ingredient in many foods. In fact, it ranks as the favorite flavor of most Americans. And yet, few of us know the unique origins of this popular treat. The story of chocolate spans more than 2,000 years and now circles the globe. The tale began in the tropical rainforests of Central and South America where cacao (kah KOW) first grew. Chocolate is made from the seeds of the cacao tree. But the journey from seed to sweet is a long one, spanning many centuries and requiring many processes. The approach of Valentine's Day always makes many of us think of chocolate. Read all about how it became both an industry and an all-consuming passion.

Chocolate http://www.fieldmuseum.org/chocolate/history.html

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Will Plant Lawns for Food

A home that’s good enough to eat? Fritz Haeg’s Edible Estates program helps volunteers set up edible landscapes, covering the costs of replacing the standard lawn and flower beds with fruits, vegetable, herbs, and grains. The Edible Estates project plans to hit nine cities in the United States over the next three years, enlisting an adventurous family in each town. Volunteers must be willing to defy suburban landscape traditions by cultivating and tending their own front-yard farm, “for all neighbors and car traffic to see” (FritzHaeg.com 1.06). A home in Los Angeles is slated for planting in Spring 2006. As health-conscious Americans embrace the value of fresh-grown farmer’s market produce, the earth around them takes on different significance, as a source of potential health instead of a useless, hard-to-maintain façade.

Edible Estates http://www.fritzhaeg.com/garden/initiatives/edibleestates/main.html

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

We the Mothers

Whereas we are, literally, what we eat, and
Whereas food is the largest route by which chemical pollutants, including pesticides, trespass into our bodies, and
Whereas pesticide residues are now routinely detected in human amniotic fluid, umbilical cord blood, breast milk, and the urine of school children, and
Whereas pesticide exposure is a suspected contributor to childhood cancers, infertility, miscarriage, preterm labor, birth defects, and learning disabilities, and organic agriculture provides us food with demonstrably lower residues of toxic pesticides, and
Whereas organic farming methods also protect our air and water from toxic contamination as well as enriching the soil for future generations,
We the mothers and we the children, in order to form a more perfect communion between our bodies and the biological environments we inhabit, establish environmental justice, insure ecological tranquility, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of a bountiful, sustainable harvest for ourselves and our posterity, hereby declare our abiding support for the farmers who produce organically grown foods.

We the mothers and we the children...
1. recognize that women’s bodies are the original environment for us all.
2. believe that organic farming upholds basic human rights to safe food and security of person.
3. know that the very young require special protection from toxic contamination.
4. are willing to take precautionary action to keep ourselves safe.
5. assert our right to eat anywhere on the food chain, as our cultures, dietary preferences, or level of morning sickness dictates.
6. are alarmed that agriculture has become the number one polluter of fresh water.
7. count frogs, bats, bees, and earthworms among our friends.
8. refuse to be fooled by supermarket price tags.
9. entreat our public institutions to buy organic.
10. pledge to learn about the farmers who grow our food and the problems they face.

Mothers of Organic http://www.moomom.com

Monday, January 09, 2006

Podcasting for Food

All you really need to listen to a podcast is some kind of media player on your computer. Podcasts are really just MP3 files you can download likes songs. Also, many podcast sites now have their own players. But if you want to automatically collect and store podcasts you listen to often - and this is especially good if you want to stick 'em on an iPod as you rush out the door every morning - you'll need an aggregator. To serve up properly proportioned tastes of food and wine, Winecast offers free iPodder software for Windows and MacOS X preloaded with the feed for Winecast and Eat Feed. All you need to do is download and install this software, then Winecast and Eat Feed will automatically appear on your computer. By default, iPodder is setup to add a playlist to iTunes, so the podcasts automatically sync with your iPod. If you have another brand of mp3 player that syncs with Windows Media Player, all you have to do is change the radio button in iPodder's "preferences." Podcast 411 has a great list of resources if you're interested in learning more, or how to create your own show.

Winecast was launched in late 2004 and is the first of several wine and food podcasts. The show is hosted by Tim Elliott, a tech marketer, adjunct professor of marketing and longtime wine lover. Each week, one or two podcasts are produced that focus on a wine region or grape variety with tasting notes for these wines along with wine product reviews, tasting tips and other wine-related subjects. All the wines featured on the show are purchased by the host at retail or sampled at wine tasting events. The shows run on average 15 minutes in length and can be automatically downloaded with podcasting software or played in a web browser on your computer. Since the show started, over 50 episodes have been produced and the audience has grown to over 9,000 listeners from around the world.

Eat Feed bills itself as "the podcast that takes you back in time, across the country, around the world, and back to your own table." Eat Feed would be right at home on a public radio station, and recently won Podcast of the Year. It has good interviews that dig relatively deeply into topics I find interesting: history, traditions, and techniques.

Two food radio shows also have podcasts: Good Food from KCRW, and The Splendid Table - partial podcast only - from American Public Media.)

Winecast http://www.winecast.net
Eatfeed http://www.eatfeed.com
Podcast 411 http://www.podcast411.com
Good Food http://www.kcrw.com/podcast
The Splendid Table http://splendidtable.publicradio.org/about/podcast

Friday, January 06, 2006

Caviar: Roe to Ruin

Those oh-so salty eggs of the sturgeon have fascinated everyone from Aristotle to the nouveau riche that reside on various cul-de-sacs along Americaís eastern seaboard. Regrettably, the demand for these tiny morsels has outstripped the supply, and this week the secretariat of the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species declared that there would be a temporary ban on caviar exports. In recent years, there has been increasing concerns about the long-term viability of the sturgeon population, and a number of factors (including pollution) have led to drastic reductions in their numbers. Much like the price of gold in recent years, the price of beluga caviar has doubled, with the current price standing at about $200 an ounce. Many concerned organizations are concerned due to the fact that temporary bans in 2001 and 2002 failed to result in stricter conservation measures and sturgeon populations continued to fall. It should be noted that effectively managing the sturgeon population has been bedeviled by the fact that harvest data for these rather imposing creatures do not include those fish that are poached across their natural habitat.

Caviar Emptor: The Decline of the Caspian Sea Sturgeon provides information about the current status of the Caspian Sea sturgeon, along with helpful environmental friendly alternatives. FAQs: Caviar Trade is offered by the World Wildlife Fund that answers such questions as "Why is caviar traded?" Fishonline, created by the Marine Conservation Society, provides information about which fish are from well managed sources around the world.

Caviar Emptor http://www.caviaremptor.org/
FAQs: Caviar Trade http://worldwildlife.org/trade/faqs_caviar.cfm
Fishonline http://www.fishonline.org/

Friday, December 23, 2005

Exploring the Thai Palette

Both amateur and seasoned chefs alike will love this great cooking website. Thai Table is entirely dedicated to educating people about the delicious cuisine of Thailand. Learn how to make Tom Yum, Satay, Pad Thai, Gang Kai (Red Curry Chicken) and other scrumptious staples of Thai cooking. This great site covers everything from finding local Thai markets in your area, to tips on how to select produce, control "spice" levels, and cook an array of authentic Thai dishes at home.

Thai Table http://www.thaitable.com/

Thursday, November 17, 2005

A Pied Noir Cookbook

A Pied Noir Cookbook This unique cookbook relates the story of the Pied Noir or “Black Feet,” Sephardic Jews from the North African nation of Algeria. The cuisine of the Pied Noir reflects a storied history: Expelled from Spain, and later forced to flee Algeria, their cookery was influenced by the nations they inhabited, as well as the trade routes that passed through these areas. Over the centuries, they collected recipes and flavors that came to form a unique and little-known culinary repertoire. The 85 recipes in this fascinating book are accompanied by a history of the Pied Noir and the story of the author’s family. A glossary of culinary terms and menus for Pied Noir feasts are also included.

Chantal Clabrough has a Bachelor of Arts in Latin American and Caribbean Studies from McGill University. She has lived and worked in Veracruz, Mexico where she taught English. She currently works as an event coordinator and freelance food writer in Montreal, Canada.

A Pied Noir Cookbook: French Sephardic Cuisine from Algieria
Chantal Clabrough
Hippocene Books, hardcover 100 pages, ISBN 0-7818-1082-5

Hippocene Books http://www.hippocrenebooks.com

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Tea and Pomegranates

Tea and Pomegranates Nazneen Sheikh has lived among the kings and queens of Mughal food - in fact, they're family. Through tales of her Kashmiri relatives and the wonderful meals they have shared together, she brings alive the food-mad history and enduring culture of the Mughal people. Pink tea served in a samovar by her grandmother, a gift of wild black mushrooms from her matinee-idol uncle, her aunt Khush's secret recipe for Kashmiri hareesa - the sight, smell and taste of these and other delicacies infuse Nazneen's memories of her childhood. From entertaining Pakistani cabinet ministers to feasting to end Ramadan and picnicking in the countryside, Tea and Pomegranates is a culinary delight. In ten chapters, each accompanied by a rare and delicious Mughal recipe, Nazneen invites us to enjoy a banquet that starts at the break of day and ends at night. As captivating as a novel, this unique memoir takes the reader on a fascinating journey into a culture that never fails to celebrate the rich possibilities of food, life and love. A delightful sample chapter is available on the Penguin website.

"In Tea and Pomegranates, Nazneen Sheikh weaves past and present into a fascinating memoir. Her loom is the history of Kashmiri Mughal cuisine, her silks are the exotic, mouth-watering dishes of a privileged childhood. I wanted to run to the kitchen to try her recipes, but I couldn't put the book down." - James Chatto, author of The Greek for Love

Tea and Pomegranates: A Memoir of Food, Family and Kashmir
Nazneen Sheikh
Penguin Canada, Paperback, 224 pages, ISBN 0143017799

Penguin Canada http://www.penguin.ca

Friday, November 04, 2005

The White Stuff

Milk: Its Remarkable Contribution to Human Health and Well-Being Milk is the one food that sustains life and promotes growth in all newborn mammals, including the human infant. By its very nature, milk is nutritious. Despite this, it has received surprisingly little attention from those interested in the cultural impact of food. In this fascinating volume, Stuart Patton convincingly argues that milk has become of such importance and has so many health and cultural implications that everyone should have a basic understanding of it. This book provides this much-needed introduction.

The book has received positive reviews: "Knowledgeably written ... Milk is a scientifically researched and presented response to modern-day claims downplaying or even attacking the health of milk as a food. Unashamedly pro-dairy consumption, Milk backs its fervent emphasis upon the importance of regularly consuming dairy products as a part of a balanced diet with research, statistics, and modern scientific wisdom ..."-Bookwatch "... knowledge, broad background, and thoughtful scientific matter allow him to become the ultimate science based apologist for milk." - Journal of Dairy Science "Patton is one of the few scientists who has the understanding of all aspects of the dairy industry to write such a far-ranging book and he has done so marvelously ... This book presents clear and documented facts that will allow the reader to evaluate the radical claims made against the dairy industry by the animal rights activist movement. I would recommend this book as an enjoyable and informative read for anyone interested in nutrition, particularly their own." - Thomas W. Keenan, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University

Patton's approach to his subject is comprehensive. He begins with how milk is made in the lactating cell, and proceeds to the basics of cheese making and ice cream manufacture. He also gives extensive consideration to human milk, including breasts, lactation, and infant feeding. Pro and con arguments about the healthfulness of cows' milk are discussed at length and with documentation. Patton explores the growing gap between the public's impressions of milk, and known facts about milk and dairy foods. He argues that the layperson's understanding of milk has deteriorated as a result of propaganda from activists anxious to destroy milk's favorable image, misinformation in the media, and scare implications from medical research hypotheses. Stuart Patton is professor emeritus of food science at Pennsylvania State University. Milk: Its Remarkable Contribution to Human Health and Well-Being is a 'must' for any academic or public library collection on nutrition.

Milk: Its Remarkable Contribution to Human Health and Well-Being
Stuart Patton
Transaction Publishers
ISBN 1412805112

Transaction Publishers http://www.transactionpub.com

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Food and Class

By championing the environmental, cultural, and gastronomic superiority of small-scale farming, the Slow Food movement offers a flavorful alternative to the bland, nutritionless fare of America's agribusiness giants. The movement seeks to narrow the chasm between food's consumption and production, preserving biological and cultural diversity along with taste. Unfortunately, the equally wide chasm between America's rich and poor has limited the model's reach: while locally grown food is available throughout the country, it is significantly more expensive than its imported, industrial competitors. Things weren't always this way, Tom Philpott writes in Grist. For the bulk of human history, people have lived on locally grown food; only the wealthy few could afford to import exotic delicacies. Then cheap labor, massive subsidies, and large-scale operations of modern agribusiness pushed the price of food hauled long distances to unprecedented lows. America is now hooked on industrial food, and the consumption of small-scale agricultural products lands primarily on the tables of well-heeled urbanites. Rural America, caught in a long-term economic decline, consumes an overwhelmingly industrial foods diet, and even people involved in the production, preparation, and presentation of locally grown grub can scarcely afford to purchase their own products. Grist exists to tell the untold stories, spotlight trends before they become trendy, and engage the apathetic. It claims: "We're fiercely independent in our coverage; we throw brickbats when they're needed and bestow kudos when they're warranted. And while we take our work seriously, we don't take ourselves seriously, because of the many things this planet is running out of, sanctimonious tree-huggers ain't one of them." Well worth keeping up with.

Grist http://www.grist.org/

Friday, October 21, 2005

The Science Of Cooking

Learn a little bit of the sweet science behind cooking at this fun site. The articles and other information on The Science of Cooking website scientifically break down food-related techniques such as Pickling, Baking, Organic Farming and Candy-Making. Rummage through one of the food topics which include "Candy", Bread", "Eggs", "Pickles", "Meat", and "Seasoning". There are lots of cool features to explore including the "Candy-o-matic" (which shows how different candies are made) and the "Kitchen Lab", an experimental feature of each yummy section. Discover how a pinch of curiosity can improve your cooking! Explore recipes, activities, and Webcasts that will enhance your understanding of the science behind food and cooking.

Exploritorium http://www.exploratorium.edu/cooking/

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

The All-Purpose Turkey Site

America's Test Kitchen, publisher of the fabulous Cooks Illustrated magazine, has updated their Turkey Help website designed to answer all questions about making Thanksgiving and Christmas dinners featuring our favorite bird. This year, they've added more recipes, new equipment recommendations and shopping sources, and both a video and photo essay on how to carve a turkey.

Here are a few of the tips included in this rich information site:
1. A stuffing bag is one of the Useful Turkey Tools, but if you don't want to buy one, it's easy to construct from cheesecloth.
2. To keep gravy warm at the table, as well as easy to pour, use an insulated coffee carafe. It cuts down on spills and keeps gravy hot throughout the meal.
3. If you don't have a storage container to protect your pie, the bowl from a salad spinner makes a great cover.
4. To easily rinse brined turkey, place it on a wire rack, set the rack in your (empty) sink, and use the spray hose to wash off the turkey.

Turkey Help http://www.turkeyhelp.com

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Goddesses of Chocolate

At Chocolate Deities you'll find everything from the Goddess of Willendorf to Kokopelli lovingly preserved in handmade chocolate. You can choose the scary visage of the Irish Earth goddess Ma Gog in her Sheela na Gig visage complete with gaping vagina. Ganesh, the Hindu elephant-faced god, is available in dark, white, or milk chocolate. Our advice? Go with the full pound of milk chocolate formed in the image of the Goddess of WIllendorf. She's a 30,000-year-old fertility figure. Take the advice of the makers of these delectable deities and hold her in your hands, feel the weight of her voluptuous body, gaze on her tremendous breasts. As you let the chocolate melt slightly in your hands, bite her head off and see if she's as hollow as a chocolate Easter bunny rip-off. Chocolate Deities are handcrafted of excellent quality Belgian, fair-trade dark, milk and white chocolate by family chocolatiers in the Catskill Mountains of New York. Each one carries with it the story of that particular deity and implicitly a wish. The designs are unique, accomplished by a design and sculptural team that includes Jeanne Fleming, Jessica Bard, Natasha Brooks-Sperduti and Cristina and Diego Cid of Creators of Legend. They can custom make any deity you may require, given enough lead time.

Chocolate Dieties http://www.chocolatedeities.com/