The August issue of Gourmet contained a food writing supplement and now they've supplemented the supplement with podcast interviews with the writers and subjects of those pieces. They're up to the 3rd episode already, an interview with Calvin Trillin.
A friend of mine headed to the Union Square Whole Foods recently for some meat. She was interested in getting grass-fed stuff, and I told her that I knew they had grass-fed lamb from New Zealand, but wasn't sure about the beef offerings. Later she reported back about her experience (after purchasing lamb steaks and some ground beef). She says the butcher kept insisting that the beef was grass-fed, saying "See, it says, 'organic,' which means 'grass-fed.'"
Note to Whole Foods butchers: Organic does not mean grass-fed. Some organic may be grass-fed, some grass-fed beef may be organic. But it's not the same thing. It's confusing enough to figure out what's going on with our food supply. You'd expect someone who's selling it to you to at least have an understanding about what the labels mean.
A designer wonders if the dials on stoves could be better designed. The proposed redesign makes sense but doesn't seem that practical to me. My stove has a little picture next to each dial demonstrating which burner it controls. After nearly ten months of constant use, I still have to check to make sure I'm lighting the correct one.
While I was in Minneapolis, I visited the Mill City museum (details about this great place over at my husband's site). In the gift shop, I spotted this <a href="http://www.bellapamella.com/products/stella.php?fabric=13" title="Stella
Retro apron in Scotch Green Fabric”>retro apron from Bella Pamella. Even though I always use a plain white apron and have several of them, I wanted this. There's something so homey and cozy about it. I can just imagine wearing it as I take my roast goose out of the oven for Christmas dinner.
Mayonnaise turns 250 years old this summer and NPR has some information about its history. Also useful is the sidebar with information about whether mayo in the potato salad at the picnic will make everyone sick if it sits out for a while.
What makes a tomato an heirloom tomato? Barbara at Tigers & Strawberries has a nice post all about heirlooms.
I'm on something of a banana-eating roll lately. I'm trying to eat very healthful food these days, so I've added more fruit to my diet. Now I'm eating a banana a day and wondering why I didn't before. They're so easy to eat and yummy, full of carbs (which I do not eschew), vitamins A, B, and C, and they contain high levels of potassium. Also they have fiber, and most people don't get enough fiber. They're almost like the perfect food. So when I spotted this recipe for Chocolate-Covered Bananas, I thought, "Hmm…maybe I can add more bananas to my diet!" I know chocolate goes against the healthful claim above, but bittersweet chocolate is supposed to be good for you. So in some ways, by making a chocolate-covered banana, you're making an extra-healthy banana!
There's not a lot to report from my visit to America's heartland except this astounding fact: heirloom tomatoes are cheaper than regular tomatoes! The first night we were in Wisconsin, we went to the local farmer's market. One stand was selling both heirloom and regular tomatoes. The regulars were $2/lb and the heirlooms were $1/lb. $1 a pound! Can you believe it? At Union Square, they're between $4-5/lb, depending on the vendor. I guess they're cheaper than regulars because they're less popular out there. We took advantage of the price and bought a bunch for dinner the next night, and they were mighty tasty.
While I was away, Eater scored a picture of Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni. Funny, it's not how I imagined him looking at all. He looks like some 70s TV star, like maybe a buddy of the Six Million Dollar Man.
Update: Via email a reader points out that the photo of Bruni isn't much of a scoop. You can see it here on the HarperCollins website.
Bill Buford gushes about Harold McGee over at NPR. If you don't have McGee's On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen in your kitchen, you are missing a critical component of your food library. Every time I open it, I lose myself and just want to read forever. It's perfect for melding of my geeky side and my food side.