Food news antipasto

Yesterday I wrote about how foods fall on a continuum, making it difficult to have hard and fast definitions for food. Today I spied an article that makes a counterpoint to that argument. A recent poll of amateur chefs in Spain found that there was broad consensus about the unwritten rules for paella. For starters, seafood is a no-no.

Cookbook lovers can often find inspiration from the pages of their favorite tomes. Recently US customs officials found that some folks have another way to use cookbooks as a pick-me-up: by stuffing cocaine inside of them. Officers seized a cookbook from Trinidad and Tobago that was on its way to Brooklyn. Instead of finding recipes for callaloo, they discovered hollowed out pages and a stash of illicit powder. Sacrilege!

Chinese smashed cucumbers with sesame oil and garlic (Pai huang gua) from The New York Times Cooking by Julia Moskin

Want to get out some frustration while making dinner? Take advantage of the latest food trend of “smashing” ingredients. The technique moves beyond traditional potatoes and ventures into additional firm vegetable territory with cucumbers, apples, beets, radishes, and carrots. Smashing allows for the food’s cell walls to be ruptured, which can unlock flavors and create interesting textures while conveniently providing an outlet for your frustrations.

Instacart, the online grocery shopping platform, launched a new tool this week called Shoppable Recipes. It aims to provide food creators the ability to make their recipes “shoppable” on Instacart via “strategic integrations on TikTok and Tasty, as well as on Hearst Magazines’ properties like Delish, Good Housekeeping and more.” Since I don’t use Instacart, I will stick with EYB’s shopping list feature.

Food waste is a huge issue that will be compounded by the fighting in Ukraine, which is one of the breadbaskets for Europe. Farmers and startups around the world are investigating ways to combat waste, often through direct-to-consumer models. The Sydney Morning Herald provides information on several of these startups in Australia.

GBBO fans have been savoring the Stand Up to Cancer series that recently debuted on Channel 4, but what will they do after that is over? Maybe they will head to The Pantry Bar, “the boozy new addition to the latest outpost of The Big Bake — a collection of (now) three venues that holds casual baking competitions open to anyone interested in throwing down about $60 [USD].” It sounds like a good time to me.

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