Posts Tagged ‘food’

Knishes

June 4, 2014

Knishes

“When Laura Silver‘s favorite knish shop in New York closed it doors, she started to investigate why it shut down. And that led to a years-long research project ….

Her book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food explores the history of the baked delicacy filled with meat or vegetables and what it means to the people who love it.”

– “The Humble Knish: Chock-Full Of Carbs And History,” NPR

Knishes are big in New York of course, but also in other places with large Ashkenazi (Central- and Eastern-European Jewish) populations, like Argentina:

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Burnt Offerings

May 24, 2014

Burnt Offerings
It’s Memorial Day weekend, and patriotic citizens honor America’s fallen heroes by incinerating and ingesting meat outdoors. Other observances include mass motorcycle runs, traffic jams, parades of children and pets, and ceremonial retail frenzy.

This weekend will fatten U.S. meat sales and heat up the economy. Citizens who do not eat meat grill veggies; religious Jews grill kosher meat. It might be said that burger burning, bargain-hunting Americans are celebrating the values our fallen heroes were defending, but only if gluttony and consumerism are mistaken for expressions of freedom.

Anyway, have a thoughtful weekend. Observe the traditional moment of silence on Monday at 3:00 PM. And try to avoid the traditional outbreak of Memorial Day motor accidentsboating mishapshouse fires, and food poisoning.

Related:

“National WWII Museum Poll Shows 80 percent of Americans Unfamiliar with Memorial Day’s Real Meaning” (Press Release).

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com [Note: I imagined this outrageous grill a few years ago; now someone is selling it].

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Chobani Commencement

May 20, 2014

Chobani Commencement

Hamdi Ulukaya, the “Turkish king of Greek yogurt” in America, gave the commencement address last Sunday at the State University of  New York at Albany, of which he is an alumnus. Mr. Ulukaya, who built Chobani into a billion-dollar business in five years, has been called “the Steve Jobs of Yogurt.” He’s also been called a yogurt thief by his ex-wife, who says he swiped the Chobani recipe from Fage yogurt.

Related:

“Old Factory, Snap Decision Spawn Greek-Yogurt Craze,” Sarah E. Needleman, Wall Street Journal

“How rural Chenango County became Greek yogurt capital: The story behind Chobani yogurt,” Don Cazentre, Syracuse.com 

“Greek Yogurt a Boon for New York State,” William Neuman, New York Times

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Restaurants are Crossing the Line

May 18, 2014

Restaurants are Crossing the Line

“If you think the great equalizer in rank-conscious Washington is the Department of Motor Vehicles or a summons to appear for jury duty, you haven’t been out to eat lately. Thanks to a ravenous appetite for fashionable food served in appetizer-size restaurants — and an abundance of millennial patience — the leveling agent for secretaries and Secretary of State alike boils down to this: More of us are waiting in line for dinner because restaurants aren’t taking reservations.”

– “No reservations? This restaurant trend has become harder to swallow,” Tom Sietsema, Washington Post

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Photo (Rose’s Luxury, Saturday March 8, 2014 5:00 PM) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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El Cinco de Mayo, un día de fiesta grande en los Estados Unidos

May 5, 2014

El Cinco de Mayo, un día de fiesta grande en los Estados Unidos

Cinco de Mayo, the 5th of May, is the biggest Mexican holiday in the entire United States. Oh sure, the holiday commemorates the 1862 Battle of Puebla, so kids in that Mexican city get the day off to watch a parade, and gringo-infested beach resorts get a little loco, but the rest of Mexico carries on as usual.

North of the border, it’s a different story. The community-based Mexican-American celebrations were co-opted by marketers for big multinational brewers, tequila importers, and mega-food purveyors. In other words, St. Patrick’s Day with mariachis. Is this a great country, or what?

More:

“Cinco de Mayo: A History Obscured by Beers and Burritos,” Jason Ruiz, Long Beach Post

“U.S. Marketers Turn Cinco de Mayo Into Pan-Ethnic National Celebration, Joel Millman, Wall Street Journal

“Does Mexico Celebrate Cinco De Mayo? Find Out How Holiday Became Mainstream,” Susmita Baral, Latin Times

“Why is Cinco de Mayo More Popular in America Than in Mexico?” Brian Greene, U.S. News & World Report

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The Macaroons of Moses

April 14, 2014

The Macaroons of Moses

Tonight many Jewish families hold the Seder, the ritual meal celebrating the holiday of Passover. Many Americans are unfamiliar with the customs of this dinner, such as recounting the Exodus story as told in the ancient Maxwell House Haggadah and the obligation to drink four glasses of wine (oh, the sacrifices …).

One seasonal custom puzzling to Gentiles is the appearance of canned Kosher cookies in American supermarkets. Many Jews are puzzled as well, since the cookies are macaroons made with coconut, chocolate, and other ingredients not prominent in the Old Testament.

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America Changes the Channel on TV Dinners

April 9, 2014

America Changes the Channel on TV Dinners

“Frozen meals, long associated with the American affinity for eating dinner in front of the tube, are a nearly $9-billion business in the US, according to data from the market research firm Euromonitor. Through decades of intense growth, frozen foods have found their way into just about every American household—99% of them, according to a 2012 report by AMG Strategic Advisors (pdf).

But TV dinners are losing their ubiquity. Just ask Nestlé, which is struggling with its Lean Cuisine frozen food line. The food giant is even considering unloading its $400-million frozen foods business entirely. And with good reason. After nearly 60 years of sustained growth, frozen ready meal sales have finally started to dip. Since 2008, they have either fallen or come in just about flat.”

“America’s 60-year love affair with frozen TV dinners is over,” Roberto A. Ferdman, Quartz

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Image (“TV Dinner”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Serve the People! KFC in China.

March 31, 2014

Serve the People! KFC in China.

KFC’s China division is adding 15 new items to menus at the country’s 4,600 restaurants. Let a thousand chickens bloom! The new grub will be promoted by Chinese celebrities Chen Kun and Kē Zhèndōng. What’s the “K” in “KFC” stand for again, Kaiping?

KFC China is also rolling out a new mobile app and updated employee uniforms. Skeptics say it’s all meant to distract attention from last year’s Avian Flu and food safety scares.

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Man Eats Nothing But Pizza for 25 Years

February 26, 2014

Man Eats Noting But Pizza for 25 Years

“Beyond the fact that his diet is completely horrifying, he also has diabetes and frequently gets low blood sugar. When his blood sugar dips into the danger zone, it sometimes results in his blacking out on the kitchen floor in his underwear with frozen food scattered around him. There was that one time he bought a new car and then blacked out on the drive home. He swerved off the road and totaled the vehicle, but besides from that isolated incident, his pizza diet seems to be working out for him.”

– “This Man Has Survived on Pizza for 25 Years,” Justin Levy, VICE

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here.  Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Eating & Cooking

February 3, 2014

Michael Pollan addressed the Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce (RSA) about a simple way to eat healthy without a rulebook or fad diets. Video of his lecture is here, but the short animated excerpt above is more fun.

Illustrator: Kerry Hyndman for Damn Fine Media.

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