Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Pizza Inflation Slices Through New York

January 19, 2023

Pizza Inflation Slices Through New York

The quintessential New York street food is a slice of pizza. While pizza-shaped objects appear in other cities, travelers and ex-New Yorkers have long considered the cheesy wedges of neighborhood slice joints throughout the Five Boroughs the ne plus ultra, exemplar and cornerstone of the city’s unique curbside cuisine.

Pandemic-related supplychain snags and inflation have now hit New Yorkers where they eat. The average cost for a cheese slice in the Big Apple is now 3 dollars.

More:

“Mapping the Death of NYC’s Cheap Slice,” Sarah Holder, Bloomberg

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Photo (Cheese slice, Joe’s Pizza, 14th Street, NYC) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

The Feds Are Coming For Your Gas Stove!

January 18, 2023

The Feds Are Coming For Your Gas Stove!

Panic raced thorough Fox News like a white-hot flame: Big Government is coming for your gas stove! The simmering discontent on the MAGA menu boiled over after U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) member Richard Trumka Jr. told Bloomberg the agency was conducting a review of gas stove safety after studies indicated their use constributes to indoor air pollution, and disease, including childhood asthma.

So the CSPS is studying the matter. Nobody is talking about a gas stove ban, and safety measures are as simple as turning on the exhaust fan when you cook, but that didn’t stop Fox fearmongers and their outraged audience. Gas-happy MAGAheads will continue to stoke stove-ban outrage until they cook up their next spurious rage-and-resentment recipe.

More:

“Republicans turn up the heat on a new culture war target: gas stoves,” Alaina Demopoulos, The Guardian

“How the humble gas stove became the latest flash point in the culture wars,” Maxine Joselow, Washington Post

“Republicans Mocked Over Outraged Claims Government ‘Coming for’ Gas Stoves,”Aila Slisco, Newsweek

“5 myths about gas stoves, the latest culture war clash,” Rebecca Leber, Vox

Related:

“How the Fossil Fuel Industry Convinced Americans to Love Gas Stoves,” Rebecca Leber, Mother Jones

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Photo (Toy stove with pots and pans, left on the sidewalk for young aspiring chefs) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Jello Shots

December 13, 2022

Jello Shots

Today’s recipe: Jello Shots. You don’t have to be a frat bro to appreciate them. Basically, it takes 2 cups of water to make one package of Jello; just make it with 1 cup, then add a half-cup of booze and a half-cup of cold water to the thick hot goo, pour into small cups, and put them in the refrigerator overnight.

You can read about Jello Shot chemistry here, or watch a quick video. If you’re too genteel for gellified booze shooters, make some Port Wine Jelly.

More:

“The Science of Jello Shots,” Kevin Liu, Serious Eats

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Image (“Jello Shooter Night at The Bar of the Folies Bergère, after Edouard Manet”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

High-Ticket Turkeys This Thanksgiving

November 15, 2022

High-Ticket Turkeys This Thanksgiving
A nationwide pandemic has raised the price of your Thanksgiving turkey this year. No, not that one. Rampant Avian influenza killed millions of birds practically overnight and forced farmers to euthanized hundreds of thousands more to curb further infection. All told, six million turkeys were killed, about 14 percent of the nation’s total turkey production. Prices will rise this year, perhaps as much as 70% percent.

— “Turkeys will cost more because 6 million of them died during bird flu outbreak,” By Erica Werner and Laura Reiley, Washington Post

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

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Japan: Sushi Scandals!

October 28, 2022

Japan’s national culinary treasure, sushi, was automated in 1958, when Yoshiaki Shiraishi, the Henry Ford of sushi, opened the first kaiten sushi (回転寿司 “revolving-sushi”) restaurant in Osaka. Today, the $5.1 billion business of conveyer belt sushi is dominated by four giant chains: Sushiro, Kura Sushi, Hama Sushi, and Kappa Sushi.

Competition between the big 4 firms is keen as a sashimi bōchō knife, and led to some bluefin-tuna-sized scandals this year. Last month, Tokyo police smelled something fishy, and arrested the president of Kappa Sushi for stealing corporate secrets from rival Hama Sushi. He later resigned. And in June, Japan’s Consumer Affairs Agency reprimanded Sushiro for promoting a sea urchin sushi 90 percent of their outlets didn’t actually carry.

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The McRib Is Going Extinct

October 27, 2022

The McRib Is Going Extinct

McRib, McDonald’s mechanically restructured pork “rib,” is seasonal, just like the flu. It’s back, but McD’s says this will be a farewell tour.

Maybe there are supply chain problems with the sandwich’s many non-pork components, like: ammonium sulfate, polysorbate 80, sodium benzoate, thiamin mononitrate, riboflavin, folic acid partially hydrogenated soybean and/or cottonseed oils, calcium sulfate, ammonium sulfate, soy flour, sodium stearoyl lactylate, ascorbic acid, mono- and diglycerides, ethoxylated mono- and diglycerides, monocalcium phosphate, calcium peroxide, calcium propionate,high fructose corn syrup, xanthan gum, and sodium benzoate. And let’s not forget azodicarbonamide, used to make yoga mats.

Nota Bene: The farewell tour kicks off on Halloween, so it may be more “trick” than “treat.” The McRib may rise from the dead like the zombie meat it is in years to come.

More:

“McDonald’s McRib coming back for a ‘farewell tour,'” Kelly Tyko, Axios

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Image (“How McRibs Are Made”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Pizza-Making Robot

August 17, 2022

Pizza-Making Robot

We know, you’re thinking “Great, yet another pizza-making robot.” But the inventors of RoDyMan (RObotic DYnamic MANipulation) digitized the actions of noted pizzaiolo Enzo Coccia, who wore a motion-capture suit while making traditional pies. Result: a robot going through the motions of making pizzas while producing soulless, pizza-like objects.

More:

“$2.9 Million Pizza-Making Robot Still Can’t Make Pizza,” Joel Hruska, ExtremeTech

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Kavanaugh Asserts Constitutional Right to Steak

July 15, 2022

Kavanaugh Asserts Constitutional Right to Steak

US Supreme Court Associate Justice Brett “I Like Beer” Kavanaugh was eating at Morton’s steakhouse in DC on July 6th when womens’ rights activists found out, and protested in front of the pricey eatery. Mr. Kavanaugh had to sneak out the back without dessert. Sad, but there’s always Grubhub.

Morton’s angrily responded that “Politics … should not trample the freedom … of the right to … eat dinner.” Protesters reponded by flooding Morton’s with fake reservations by phone and on Open Table.

There were other reactions. “Sounds like he just wanted some privacy to make his own dining decisions,” Chasten Buttigieg tweeted, alluding to Kavanaugh’s vote to overturn Roe v. Wade, the decision that guaranteed abortion access on the basis of Americans’ right to privacy. And after Fox News’ Peter Doocy asked if “These justices … have no right to privacy?”, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez tweeted “Pretty sure they overturned that right 2 weeks ago Doocy.”

More:

“Brett Kavanaugh is the latest target of protests at D.C. restaurants,” Emily Heil and Tim Carman, Washington Post

“‘Let him eat cake’: AOC reacts to Kavanaugh being forced out of restaurant by abortion rights protesters,” Axios

“Sorry, but the Constitution contains no right to eat dinner,” Washington Post

“Group offers up to $250 for SCOTUS justices sightings after Kavanaugh protest,” Axios

“Protests of Public Officials in Restaurants Aren’t Going Away,” Jessica Sidman, Washingtonian

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

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Swedish Squeeze Food

June 9, 2022

It’s Swedish. It’s squeezable. It’s food in tubes. The convenient containers of comestables are also popular in Norway, Finland, Germany, and the Netherlands, but Swedish supermarkets have vast arrays of tube food. You can even get tubes of cod roe paste from Ikea in the US. Some Americans get their tomato paste, pesto, or anchovies from tubes, but squeeze food is much more popular in Sweden.

More:

“Food in Tubes: A very Swedish way to package food,” Äteriet

“The Über Efficient Food Tubes That Are Beloved in Sweden,” Rose Heichelbech, 12 Tomatoes

“The Wonderful World of Tube Food,” Adventure Foodie

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Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

 

Lawsuit: False, Fattened Burger Advertising

May 31, 2022

Lawsuit: False, Fattened Burger Advertising

A new federal class action lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of New York alleges that Wendy’s and McDonald’s advertising exaggerates the size of their beef patties. The claims: McDonald’s ads use undercooked patties to make them look bigger, and Wendy’s ads pile toppings on their burgers so they look 15 percent to 20 percent larger than they really are.

Is it “food styling” or falsehood? Let the court decide. Don’t expect a fast fast-food decision, though.

More:

“McDonald’s, Wendy’s accused of beefing up burgers in ads,” María Luisa Paúl, Washington Post

“This is the photographic evidence presented in a lawsuit over fast-food burger sizes,” Michelle Cheng and Amanda Shendruk, Quartz

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Image (“Pharaoh Seti I Offering a Burger to the Gods”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.