Food news antipasto

If you are like me and cannot have too much Jacques Pépin in your life, head over to to YouTube to see a charming interview with the iconic chef that aired last week on CBS This Morning. Jeff Glor sat down with Pépin at his home in Connecticut, where at age 85 he shows no signs of slowing down. The chef has another cookbook debuting next year, which will be his 32nd book.

Researching the origins of a particular cocktail can lead one down rabbit holes filled with twists and surprises. That is definitely the case for a drink called The Devil’s Martini. The website Libation Legacy (Cocktail Legend & Lore From the Newsprint of Yore) takes us on a journey that involves a college-town bar, gambling debt, and abandonment.

Very few blue foods exist in nature – even blueberries have more red than blue inside. Blue is not a particularly appetizing color, so how is it that blue raspberry came to be such a popular flavor for candies and frozen drinks? As you might guess, the marketing department was involved. Read about the rise of blue raspberry over at Food & Wine.

Jay Rayner’s series about ten cooks (and their cookbooks) that changed the way we eat is now complete, and you can see the full list of books in The Guardian. Apparently more than a few people were disappointed that their favorite food writer, Elizabeth David, was not included in the rankings. Rayner explains why he omitted David in a short Twitter thread.

If you have only encountered poppy seeds in muffins or on top of bagels, you are missing out on a great flavor experience says Michael Turkell writing for Taste. Those uses do not allow poppy seeds’ rich flavors – “nutty, fruity, floral, and earthy” to shine. Grinding the seeds releases a world of flavor, and adding ground poppy seeds to pastries can be a revelatory experience. Don’t settle for supermarket poppy seeds, says Michelle Polzine of the late 20th Century Cafe in San Francisco. “Most purveyors of poppy seeds have no idea how to store them and will unwittingly sell you stale crap. Good ones should smell musty, like the forest after it rains or time travel.” 

Photo of Poppy-seed braid (Mohnzopf) from Classic German Baking by Luisa Weiss

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