I usually have on hand several different kinds of rice, each with a different use. A look at a variety of rice in the pantry and its uses. I'm not much of a rice eater at home, but when I have it out, I always enjoy it.

japanese tea
Japanese tea photo from Flickr user Yoppy

I want people to walk out of the restaurant not feeling heavy and full, but vibrant and restored, says new Gramercy Tavern chef Michael Anthony. Grub Street reports butter and animal fat use to be used sparingly, "Vongerichten-like combinations of juices and herbs" will appear in their stead. What's he think he's operating, a Jamba Juice?

Trend alert from upstate New York: A supermarket food bar that's more like ordering at the bar of a nice restaurant. "Your place is set with real silverware and glassware. A server brings your food to you, beautifully presented on white plates." You pay after you eat and no tip is required. Will this trend reach NYC? Probably not, we all know no New Yorkers go to the supermarket, they eat out and get delivery.

Until the 19th century the average Japanese had never eaten beef or butter and it was only with the American Occupation after World War II that white bread was introduced into the daily diet. Now trendy Japanese are reverting to the old diet and Tokyo's filling with cool vegan cafes.

Pomme de Granada
A lentil & pomegranate salad recipe accompanies The Department's lovely pomegranate photo.

Researchers found that hollow cellulose fibers knocked off a cloth or paper towel used to dry a Champagne flute act as bubble-formation, or "nucleation," sites. "Glasses wiped with a towel show 'an excess of effervescence,'" so your bubbly will be even more bubbly.

Lately I've been enjoying milkshakes, especially black and whites and chocolate malteds. But it seems they often come with whipped cream, which I don't like. Over at Serious Eats, I asked Milkshakes: should they come with whipped cream on top or not? If you have an opinions, please sshare it. I'm curious if this is more common than I thought.

Häagen-Dazs is running a contest for a new flavor on their site. "Post an original entry -- whether it's a story, video, photo or artwork -- depicting your dream ice cream flavor combination now through February 9, 2007." Annoyingly, the site loads a giant video and wants to launch pop-ups to tell you all about this contest, so consider yourself warned if you click through. Still, it would be fun to enter.

I have it on very good authority that that delicious Häagen-Dazs Sticky Toffee Pudding ice cream I wrote about will be going into the regular flavor rotation due to its popularity. Yay! Except that I ate too much of it and am kind of burned out on it right now.

Wine management software can produce an instant, detailed inventory of a collection and sort it, for instance, by grower, region or drink-by date. Most are web-based now too, so you can access your collection from handheld devices when you're out and about. Sounds cool, if you know, you have so much wine you can't keep track of it. Me? I know exactly what's in my wine "cellar," about four reds worth saving and several more worth drinking right now.

You can buy absinthe from Europe online, but as McGee points out in the article below, "Europe currently has no regulations on how absinthe is made or what it can be made from." So do your research before you make Hemingway's cocktail, or any other absinthe drink.

Harold McGee recreates Hemingway's absinthe cocktail, without the absinthe. “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.” McGee reports that recent studies disprove the belief that absinthe causes hallucinations and criminal behavior.

Asking whether cloned meat and milk are safe is not even the right question. The right question is, why clone at all? "Cloning isn’t just a matter for the F.D.A. to decide. It is up to us as a society to decide as well."

200 calories of food
What do 200 calories of food actually look like? Pictures show various foods in 200 calorie portions, organized by weight. Not surprisingly, you get a lot more celery than peanut butter for 200 calories! [via Lifehacker]

Can a man cover the 1050 miles from Copenhagen to the Mediterranean Sea with only 14 Euros in his pocket? Hint: not if he wants to eat very much. [thanks Jason!]

Industrial pig waste also contains a host of other toxic substances: ammonia, methane, hydrogen sulfide, carbon monoxide, cyanide, phosphorous, nitrates and heavy metals. "America's top pork producer churns out a sea of waste that has destroyed rivers, killed millions of fish and generated one of the largest fines in EPA history." Mmmm...other white meat...[via Dethroner]

The cameraman beside me drew in his breath sharply: three little babies were grilling on the spit. Don't worry, the "babies were three medium-sized monkeys." BBC reporters reflect on some of their more memorable meals.

In a modern country, a rise in disease caused by tainted food seems like a giant step backward in public health. The F.D.A. is trying to find a way to stop outbreaks like the recent spinach and lettuce contaminations, but doesn't have the resources for inspections of every farm.

Right now there’s a big tension between small scale and industrial food production. My friend Leah interviewed me for her site, and I talk about the current state of food, living in New York City, and "astounding facts" that no one knows about me.

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