Archive for the ‘food’ Category

Oysters

July 23, 2016

A typical workday for sixth-generation oyster farmer, restaurateur, author and actor Joël Dupuch, of Arcachon, on the southwestern coast of France, with the words of symbolist poet Léon-Paul Fargue. M. Dupuch is “the most famous oyster farmer in France.” Directed by Douglas Guillot; produced by Panthalassa. Selected for the National Geographic Short Film Showcase.

“J’adore les huîtres: on a l’impression d’embrasser la mer sur la bouche.”

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Who Moved My Cheese?

July 12, 2016

food cheese wedge

Thieves stole 20,000 pounds of cheese from a truck parked at a business in Oak Creek Wisconsin last week.

“Police say the semi driver was transporting the load from Green Bay to the New York City area and unhitched the trailer to run an errand. When he returned, the trailer and $46,000 worth of cheese was gone.

It’s not the first such heist of the legacy commodity in a state where sports fans like to wear foam wedges on their heads. A semitrailer carrying $70,000 worth of cheese was stolen from Germantown, another Milwaukee suburb, in January.”

— “Thieves at large, with 20,000 pounds of cheese, in Wisconsin,” Chicago Tribune

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Hot Dog Eating Contest. God Bless America.

July 3, 2016

Hot Dog Eating Contest: God Bless America

Matt Stonie vs Joey Chestnut. Miki Sudo vs Sonya Thomas. It’s the 100th annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest.

Or is it?

“Showmen behind Nathan’s annual Fourth of July hot dog eating contest have long claimed the tradition began in 1916 as a showdown between patriotic immigrants on the Coney Island boardwalk.

That would make this Monday’s contest a centennial, except for an inconvenient truth: The contest and its backstory were invented in the 1970s by PR men trying to get more attention for Nathan’s, which had just become a publicly traded company.

‘Our objective was to take a photograph and get it in the New York newspaper,’ acknowledges Wayne Norbitz, who served as president of Nathan’s for 26 years and still sits on the board of directors.

Norbitz is careful to say that the company’s source for the 1916 story is ‘legend has it.’ He says the first contest actually happened in 1972, and the early chowdowns were all small, sparsely attended affairs.

‘We’d honestly wait for a couple of fat guys to walk by and ask them if they wanted to be in a hot dog contest,’ he says.”

— “Behind famed hot dog contest, a whopper of a legend,” Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

More:

“Competitive Hot-Dog Eaters Have Made America Great Again,” Walt Hickey, FiveThirtyEight

“The Aspiring Writer Who Became an Eating-Contest Emcee,” Ross Arbes, The New Yorker

Related:

“An ode to America’s favorite summer food — the hot dog,” Bruce Kraig, Washington Post

Update:

“Joey Chestnut eats 70 hot dogs, 17 more than Matt Stonie, to win Nathan’s title,” Michael Balsamo, Associated Press

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

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4th of July. Hot Dog!

July 1, 2016

4th of July. Hot Dog!

Many Americans will celebrate this Independence Day by ingesting a batter-like slurry of pork and/or beef meat taken off the bone by advanced meat recovery machinery (AMM) and mixed with potassium lactate, sodium diacetate, sodium erythorbate, corn maltodextrin, sodium nitrate, and paprika extract, then forced into tubes for processing.

Patriotic citizens will heat the slurry-filled tubes over glowing little pillows of carbonized sawdust and petroleum distillates, place them in enriched flour buns moistened with a paste of ground yellow mustard seeds mixed with acetic acid and turmeric, and garnish them with many tiny cubes of chemically preserved cucumber dyed an improbable green with FD&C Yellow #5. Then they’ll eat them.

Yum!

The National Hot Dog & Sausage Council says Americans will eat 7 billion hot dogs this summer, 150 million of them on Independence Day. So enjoy our National Food, and have a safe and happy 4th of July.

Read more:

“What’s in Your Wiener? Hot Dog Ingredients Explained,” Katherine Harmon, Scientific American

“Why Americans Are Eating Fewer Hot Dogs,” Paul Lukas,Bloomberg BusinessWeek

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Image (after James Montgomery Flagg and Oscar Mayer) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Robbers Hit a French McDonald’s While the SWaT Team Eats Dinner

June 10, 2016

Robbers Hit a French McDonald's While the SWaT Team Eats Dinner

A couple of guys walked into a McDonald’s in Besançon, France on Sunday evening, but they didn’t come for the Boeuf Ranch Moutarde or Croque McDo. They robbed the joint at gunpoint. Among the 40 diners, however, were 11 off-duty members of Groupe d’Intervention de la Gendarmerie Nationale or GIGN (these guys), crack anti-terrorism police. As the desperadoes made off with about $2,000 in cash, one of them tripped and was disarmed by GIGN, who shot the other guy outside McDo’s when he didn’t drop his weapon. No diners or pommes frites were harmed during the take-down, and the injured burger bandit will recover.

More:

“Armed robbers thwarted trying to hold up McDonald’s where 11 special forces officers happened to be eating dinner,” Henry Samuel, The Telegraph

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

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The Golden McNugget of Japan

June 6, 2016

The Golden McNugget of Japan

The culture of Japan, full of mystery. The Tea Ceremony. Zen Buddhism. Hello Kitty. And now an 18-karat gold Chicken McNugget.

To mark introduction of two new dipping sauces, Fruit Curry and Creamy Cheese, McDonald’s Japan is giving away a solid-gold Chicken McNugget weighing 50 grams (1.8 ounces), worth about $1500. Clues are being dropped on Twitter.

More:

“McDonald’s Japan Is Giving Away a Gold Chicken Nugget,” Elizabeth Licata, The Daily Meal

(more…)

‘Evaporated Cane Juice’

June 1, 2016

Evaporated Sugar Cane Juice

“In recent years the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ has appeared as an ingredient on food labels, most commonly to declare the presence of sweeteners derived from the fluid extract of sugar cane. However … FDA’s view is that such sweeteners should not be declared on food labels as ‘evaporated cane juice’ because that term does not accurately describe the basic nature of the food and its characterizing properties (i.e., that the ingredients are sugars or syrups) …. Moreover, the use of ‘juice’ in the name of a product that is essentially sugar is confusingly similar to the more common use of the term ‘juice’ — ‘the aqueous liquid expressed or extracted from one or more fruits or vegetables, purees of the edible portions of one or more fruits or vegetables, or any concentrates of such liquid or puree’ (21 CFR 120.1(a)). Thus, the term ‘evaporated cane juice’ is false or misleading because it suggests that the sweetener is ‘juice’ or is made from ‘juice’ and does not reveal that its basic nature and characterizing properties are those of a sugar.”

Guidance for Industry: Ingredients Declared as Evaporated Cane Juice, Office of Nutrition and Food Labeling Food Labeling and Standards Staff, HFS-820 Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition, U.S. Food and Drug Administration

More:

“Evaporated Cane Juice? Puh-leeze. Just Call It Sugar, FDA Says,” Dan Charles, NPR

“Evaporated cane juice: Sugar by any other name…” Marion Nestle, Food Politics

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

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Burnt Offerings

May 27, 2016

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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Hillary: Hot!

May 19, 2016

Hillary: Hot!

When Beyoncé  sang “got hot sauce in my bag, swag” white people asked black folks “is this a thing?” It is. When Hillary Clinton revealed the bottle of hot sauce in her own handbag, she was accused of pandering for the black vote. She wasn’t. She’s carried hot sauce around for years, and had 100 different brands in the White House when she was First Lady.  What brand is she packin’ these days? Ninja Squirrel Hot Sauce, from Whole Foods.

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

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Tajik Bread

May 14, 2016

Bread baking at Shamsullo Dustov’s house in Kumsangir, Tajikistan, near the Afghan border. A film by John Wendle, selected for the National Geographic Short Film Showcase.

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