Archive for the ‘food’ Category

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

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‘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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Egyptians Make Italy’s Pizza

May 11, 2016

Egyptians Make Italy's Pizza

What’s more Italian than Pizza? 1.6 billion pizzas are eaten in Italy every year. The food has it’s own academy to train pizzaioli (pizza chefs) and has UNESCO Heritage status.

But making pizzas is hot, sweaty work, and Italians aren’t so eager to make pizzas these days, so many of Italy’s pizzas are being made by immigrants. 35% of Italy’s pizzaioli are from other countries, and 20% of them are Egyptian.

More:

“In Italy, one in three pizza makers isn’t Italian,” Annalisa Merelli, Quartz

Related:

“With A 2-Km. Pizza, Naples Aims To Deliver A Slice Of History,” Laurel Dalrymple, NPR

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Image (“Egyptians Make Italy’s Pizza, after a 4th Dynasty Giza pyramid painting”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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The East Is Red. Red Hot Peppers.

May 9, 2016

The East Is Red. Red Hot Peppers.

“The food of the true revolutionary is the red pepper. And he who cannot endure red peppers is also unable to fight.” – Mao Zedong (born and raised in Hunan Province, quoted by Otto Braun aka Li De 李德 ).

Read more:

“Why Revolutionaries Love Spicy Food: How the chili pepper got to China.”  Andrew Leonard, Nautilus

Related:

“Hot Peppers in China,” Yang Xuanzhang and Li Piao (translated by Nick Angiers), China Scenic

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

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Make America Grapenuts Again

May 7, 2016

Fix America’s crumbling infrastructure with Kellogg’s Whole Wheat Pep Flakes Cereal. Superman says so. It’s the American Way.

h/t: Ira Gallen

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Seis de Mayo

May 6, 2016

Seis de Mayo

Last night, the 5th of May, millions of Americans commemorated the Mexican victory at the Battle of Puebla (1862) with volleys of shots — of tequila — bravura barrages of beer, and murderous margaritas. Unsurprisingly, this morning finds heads held hostage and stomachs seared from nacho napalm. Today’s Spanish vocabulary lesson: crudo means ” hangover.”

If you celebrated Cinco de Mayo with cerveza, celebrate Seis de Mayo this morning with el desayuno de los campeones, the Breakfast of Champions. The traditional Mexican hangover cure is menudo  tripe soup or stew.

Emergency hangover instructions issued by the Department of Homeland Security suggest a stockpile of canned menudo —Juanita’s,  Pico PicaLa PreferidaLa Costeña, — but if you prefer fresh relief, have an ambulance deliver a few pounds of white honeycomb beef tripe (culin or pancita), posole (white hominy), dried or fresh chili peppers (ancho, poblano), onion, garlic, and maybe a nice calf’s foot (veal knuckle). Sure beats corn flakes.

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Pizza consumption at highest level in four years

May 4, 2016

Pizza consumption at highest level in four years

We’re eating more pizza, according to sources in the pizza-industrial complex. The average American ate pizza four times a month in 2015, up from 3.4 times a month in 2014. 32% of consumers say the nutritional value of pies is important to them, up from 25% last year. But forget about veggies —  we want meat, prosciutto in higher-end joints and chicken at all eateries.

If you don’t care about statistics, here’s a pizza report from the NHL:

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