A med & grad student who used to work the line in LA, NYC, SF and Napa talking about the science of cooking and cooking with science. Harold McGee's On Food And Cooking - The Science and Lore of the Kitchen never satisfied my kitchen curiosity and more than one Chef grew exasperated with my asking "Why?" I'll try to stay on topic, but you may see a kvetch or two about the school & hospital.
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This week's tasting menu is started off by Mark Bittman at the New York Times, who toured a "traditional" pig farm in Iowa. Traditional in the sense that they don't use antibiotics, the pigs aren't penned and the crops he does grow are rotated. I'd like to note that farms like these aren't the ones receiving much of the federal farm subsidies. Most of that money goes to factory farms. A pity. Farms like these are doing good things.
The LA Times has a bit on bluefin tuna farming. It will be interesting to see how this unfolds, if it can be beneficial or just as harmful as some large scale salmon farming has been.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest has released their annual Xtreme Eating Awards. And the...big...winners (?) include The Cheesecake Factory with their "Ultimate Red Velvet Cheesecake" at a whopping 1,540 Calories and 59g of saturated fat as well as their Farmhouse Burger (1,530 Cal and 36g sat fat), Coldstone Creamery's PB&J Shake (1,590 Cal & 42g sat fat) and Morton's Porterhouse (1,390 Cal, 36g sat fat) with creamed spinach (330 Cal, 15g sat fat) and mashed potatoes (850 Cal, 34g Sat fat). Definitely remembering why I don't go to chain restaurants anymore right now. Can I just get a shaved brussel sprout salad? Wilted with olive oil, shaved red onion, pine nuts and a bit of feta? Thanks.
Tara Duggan has a thought provoking piece on the fiscal challenges facing new farmers.
And finally, a look at how technology and money fuels the arts. Specifically how it has fueled the culinary renaissance in San Francisco.
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I love red velvet cake but those numbers I think I gained a kilo just by reading this...
That calorie count award is pretty funny. Its kind of like that buffalo wing chicken sub at subway that has 200 extra calories over the normal chicken sandwich, just becasue of the wing sauce :P
Sauces can be huge calorie bombs. It's hard to make a good, flavorful sauce from scratch each time. So places look for shortcuts when you don't have skilled cooks in the "kitchen." The easiest way to add flavor to them is to add fat, sugar or salt. There's a chain a friend worked at that he never ate at. He found out they just loaded their BBQ sauces with lard and corn syrup to make them taste good. His facial expressions when telling that story are a blast.
Gross, my wife fills her BBQ sauce with whiskey and coffee :) I like those flavors better.