Posts Tagged ‘food’

Jobs: Nutella Taste-Testers Wanted

August 8, 2018

Jobs: Nutella Taste-Testers Wanted

The Ferrero company, maker of Nutella chocolate hazelnut spread, wants to hire 60 Nutella tasters, no experience needed. These assaggiatori di Nutella will be based in Italy and receive training in honing their palettes. Candidates should get in line behind us, per favore.

More:

“Italy is looking for 60 Nutella tasters,” The Local

“This Company Will Pay You to Move to Italy and Eat Nultella For a Living,” Joe McGauley, Thrillist

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Top image (“Still Life with Pewter Jug and Nutella, after Cezanne”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Your Sandwich Changed the World

July 18, 2018

The carbon footprint of your BLT. An NPR Skunk Bear video by Ryan Kellman and Adam Cole.

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The Great American Cheese Glut

July 3, 2018

The Great American Cheese Glut

The U.S. has the largest stockpile of cheese in 100 years,1.39 billion-pounds of coagulated dairy fat. Is this a great country or what? Milk production is booming, but Americans are drinking less moo juice, so dairy producers are storing the surplus as cheese. The summer closure of chocolate-milk– and cheese-happy school cafeterias adds to the dilemma:

“The 1.39 billion-pound stockpile, tallied by the Agriculture Department last week, represents a 6 percent increase over this time last year and a 16 percent increase since an earlier surplus prompted a federal cheese buy-up in 2016.

Analysts say commercial warehouse stocks have swelled because processors have too much milk on their hands, and milk is more easily stored as cheese. Demand has also fallen as school cafeterias close for the summer and restaurants wind down the cheesy specials they offer in the winter and early spring.

Some have grown concerned that stockpiles will build further yet if trade tensions with China and Mexico cut into cheese exports. Cheese prices have fallen sharply, they say, eroding dairy farmers’ already thin margins.”

— “America’s cheese stockpile just hit an all-time high,” Caitlin Dewey, Washington Post

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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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Kim Jong-un Loves Burgers

June 5, 2018

Kim Jong-un Loves Burgers

North Korea’s Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un reportedly wants a McDonald’s in Pyongyang. Guess he’s preparing for a Korean visit from U.S. Supreme Leader Donald Trump. In the meantime, you can get a burger at Pyongyang’s Munsu Water Park, but it will cost you $76. You want fries with that?

Actually, Kim Jong-un is said to fly in Big Macs from China for his own consumption, and the few ordinary North Koreans who have $2 to spare can get hamburger-like objects at Samtaesong Cooling Beverages in Pyongyang.

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Breakfast Cereal: Shot From Guns

May 10, 2018

Dave Arnold and the staff of the Museum of Food and Drink demonstrate the breakfast cereal puffing gun, which débuted at the St. Louis World’s Fair in 1904.

Produced by Sky Dylan-Robbins and Matt Buchanan for The New Yorker.

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The Macaroons of Moses

March 30, 2018

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.

Origins of the Passover macaroon are shrouded in mystery. Some believe the dense sweets derive from hastily assembled desserts prepared by the Israelites as they fled Egyptian bondage on a route devoid of donut shops. Others maintain that, in the nineteenth century, rabbinical scholars exploring caves near the Dead Sea uncovered a huge cache of ancient canisters of sweet, rock-hard, unleavened biscuits. Each spring these pious prospectors slapped “Kosher for Passover” labels on the cans and exported them to the growing Jewish community in the United States, and a tradition was born.

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Chow Mein Sandwich

March 10, 2018

“Chow Mein Sandwich,” by Alika & The Happy Samoans.  An ode to the local specialty of Fall River, Massachusetts.

“Originally hailing from Hawaii, Alika and the Happy Samoans ended up as the house band for China Royale, a Chinese restaurant in Fall River, Massachusetts, that dates back to 1950. The chow mein sandwich— a Chinese American dish if ever there was one—dates back even earlier, at least as far back as the 1930s. The Happy Samoans recorded their ode to the sandwich on an early 1970s lounge album, supposedly recorded live at the China Royale. Just imagine the cocktails with their little umbrella swizzles.” — Oliver Wang

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Groundhog Day

February 2, 2018

Groundhog Day

It’s February 2nd, time to monitor Marmota monax and dream of winter’s end. Whether or not you believe in woodchuck weathermen, one thing is certain: you can’t have groundhogs if you want a backyard full of fresh garden veggies.

Groundhogs (aka woodchucks, whistlepigs, and marmots) are insecto-vegetarians and confirmed locavores. If you plan to plant this spring, harvest those hairy beasts now. Celebrate Groundhog Day with critter cuisine.

Serving suggestions:

Woodchuck au Vin

Canadian Fried Woodchuck

Groundhog Pie

Woodchuck Recipes from Michigan (Oriental Groundhog,Waco Groundhog in Sour Cream,Woodchuck Stew, Woodchuck Meat Loaf)

More groundhog lore and recipes here and here.

In his book Groundhog Day, Don Yoder reprints a classic groundhog recipe from Cooking with the Groundhog, published as a fundraiser by a hospital auxiliary in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania, home of the “official” Groundhog’s Day Festival (there are more than a few others ). A Georgia groundhog is on Twitter.

Seven years ago, whilst stalking the elusive picture book Geoffrey Groundhog Predicts the Weather, we espied an ad for the Range Kleen Preseasoned Cast Iron 10 Inch Fry Pan on the book’s Amazon.com page and cooked up today’s graphic. There’s obviously no “storybook ending” to this post if you’re a groundhog.

Related:

“Eight Things You Didn’t Know About Groundhogs,” Jason G. Goldman, Scientific American blog

“Groundhogs and Ground Squirrels: Winter Prognosticators,”  Sharol Nelson-Embry, Quest

“40 years of groundhog forecasts, mapped,” Kennedy Elliott and Shelly Tan, Washington Post

“Punxsutawney Phil: incompetent — or evil?” Phil Edwards, Vox

“Depressed Groundhog Sees Shadow Of Rodent He Once Was,”The Onion

“Where Did Groundhog Day Come From? ” Mental Floss

“A Short History of Groundhog Day,” Danny Lewis, Smithsonian.com

“Groundhog Day Explained,” CGP Grey (video)

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Image (“Marmot sauté, after John James Audubon”) 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.

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Nutella Riots Rock France

January 26, 2018

Nutella Riots Rock France

While French President Emmanuel Macron talked trade in Davos, back home the République was rocked by retail riots. The Intermarché supermarket chain slashed the price of Nutella by 70%, causing chaos across the country. Customers fought, employees were punched, les flics were called.

The French really love that chocolate hazelnut spread on their baguettes in the morning. They consume 26 percent of world Nutella production.

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Thin-Crust Cultural Heritage

December 8, 2017

Thin-Crust Cultural Heritage
Even though one in three of Italy’s pizza makers isn’t Italian, the UNESCO  Intergovernmental Committee for the Safeguarding of the Intangible Cultural Heritage has named Neapolitan pizza an Intangible Cultural Heritage.

“The art of the Neapolitan ‘Pizzaiuolo’ is a culinary practice comprising four different phases relating to the preparation of the dough and its baking in a wood-fired oven, involving a rotatory movement by the baker. The element originates in Naples, the capital of the Campania Region, where about 3,000 Pizzaiuoli now live and perform.” — UNESCO
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