What We're Reading: August 6, 2014

 

With freshwater eel populations in decline, a Japanese summer ritual is also endangered. [Smithsonian

 

But there’s no saltwater in it: how a boardwalk candy classic got its name. [Mental Floss

 

McDonald’s tests the limits of fast food with a 60-second drive through guarantee. [Time

 

Thanks to candy chain It’Sugar, you’ll soon be able to purchase SNL’s “Schweddy Balls” and “Colon Blow Granola.”  [Grub Street

 

New... Read more >

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JBF Presents Health & Food: Is Better Food the Prescription for a Healthier America?

 

 

On October 27 and 28, the James Beard Foundation will host the fifth annual James Beard Foundation Food Conference at the Convene Conference Center (730 Third Avenue) in New York City. 

 

This year’s theme, Health & Food: Is Better Food the Prescription for a Healthier America?, will bring together thought leaders in agricultural technology, nutrition science, processing, manufacturing, policy, and public health to take a hard look at health and food, and what is and is not working to address the health impacts of the modern American diet. ​

 

The JBF Food Conference will also include the fourth annual James Beard Foundation Leadership Awards, held at Hearst Tower and co-hosted by Good Housekeeping with support from the GRACE Communications Foundation.

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Eye Candy: Vanilla Bean Custard with Rhubarb and Anise Hyssop Shortbread

 

Two-time JBF Award semifinalist Giuseppe Trentori and his all-star team from Chicago’s Michelin-starred BOKA crafted a spectacular contemporary menu at their sold-out Beard House dinner last year. For the dessert course, pastry chef Sarah Jordan wowed diners with a vibrant vanilla bean custard with rhubarb and anise hyssop shortbread​. This eye-catching treat was paired with a fruit-forward Roussane from Villa Creek Cellars and promptly devoured by our satiated guests.

 

View this event's menu and details here. For upcoming Beard House dinners, check out our events calendar. Photo by Elana Iaciofano. 

 

Elena North-Kelly is senior editor at the James Beard Foundation. Find her on... Read more >

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Nancy Silverton, Sandwich Hero

 

“One of the great American arts,” wrote James Beard, “is the art of sandwichmaking.” Were he alive today, Beard would be happy to find that one of his favorite culinary mediums is thriving. And he’d probably thank Nancy Silverton.

 

In the late 1990s Silverton, already well known for her work at La Brea Bakery and inspired by the abundance and creativity of the sandwiches she ate on a trip to Italy, started dedicating Thursday nights to sandwiches at Campanile, the seminal, high-end Los Angeles restaurant that she opened with chef Mark Peel.       

 

“I had always loved a great sandwich,” says Silverton. “But the trip to Italy was eye-opening. It was like, ‘Wow! Here is this great thing that nobody is doing in this country.’”

 

After returning to the States, Silverton launched the weekly sandwich night at Campanile. It was one of the first times that a four-star, award-winning chef had lavished so much attention on the humble s... Read more >

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What We're Reading: August 5, 2014

 

Caviar poaching in the land-locked Midwest? [Medium]

 

A day in the life of a London food delivery cyclist. [Miracle of Feeding Cities]

 

Harvard scientists reveal the surprisingly diverse world of cheese rind microbes. [Wired

 

USDA expands the definition of “processed foods,” placing frozen fruit and Twinkies... Read more >

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Eat This Word: Hoecake

Hoe Cakes

Johnnycakes, ashcakes, battercakes, corn cakes, cornpone, jurney cakes, jonakin, jonikins, Shawnee cakes, and hoecakes (or hoe cakes) are all regional variations of flatbreads made with cornmeal, water, and salt. Since Native Americans showed the Pilgrims how to cook with corn, they are also most likely to have taught them how to make these precursors of our modern-day pancake. Hoe cakes were, as Culinaria United States notes, “supposedly created by slaves who cooked ‘journey’ cake batter on their hoes under the hot sun while working in the fields.” The original three-ingredient recipe has evolved during the last 400 years, and eggs, oil, butter, and even baking powder are now standard in most recipes. You can of course opt for a mix, but Aunt Jemima prefers wheat to cornmeal. Whichever recipe you use, the frying pan has become the cooking utensil of preference.

 

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Recipe: A Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

A Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich

 

August is National Sandwich Month, so our programming here at Delights & Prejudices is switching to all things sammy.

 

To kick off our theme, we're reaching into the JBF Book Award archive for a sandwich from 2009's Cookbook of the Year, Fat, by chef, food stylist, and fat advocate Jennifer McLagan. Supported by common sense and science, McLagan comes to the defense of an often maligned ingredient, arguing that fat is an indispensable nutrient and flavor enhancer. The book features recipes that cleverly employ oil, butter, or animal fats, such as her Perfect Bacon, Lettuce, and Tomato Sandwich, which is slathered with a bacon fat–enriched mayonnaise.

 ... Read more >

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What We're Reading: August 4, 2014

Sundae

 

Dominique Ansel is at it again with a canned ice cream sundae. [Grub Street

 

It's a boat, it's a food truck, it's Nauti Foods! [Washington City Paper

 

José Andrés shares his top watermelon recipes for perfect summer treats. [National Geographic

 

South Korean activists send a sweet peace offering to North Korean factory workers. [Food Beast

 

The lowdown on heirloom tomatoes. [... Read more >

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Happy Hour: The Vermouth Cassis Cocktail

Vermouth Cassis cocktail, courtesy of the James Beard Foundation

 

"An ideal summer drink" according to James Beard, this fetching cocktail is anchored in French vermouth and club soda, with a whisper of crème de cassis to balance the bitter fortified wine. The next time you're in the mood for an Americano (Campari, sweet vermouth, club soda), take the Vermouth Cassis for a spin.

 

Get the recipe.

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Sustainability Matters: August 1, 2014

 

A French supermarket chain aims to cut food waste by making “ugly” fruits and vegetables fashionable—and it’s working. [Grist]

 

Representative Rosa DeLaura has introduced a sugar-sweetened beverages tax act, known as the SWEET Act, in an effort to decrease soda consumption and raise funds for programs to combat diet-related disease. [Food Politics]

 

General Mills has released a new set of climate policies to cut emissions and reduce deforestation. [Mother Jones]

 

2014 could be the driest year in almost a century for California. Some scientists believe the drought could last for a decade or more, wreaki... Read more >

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