2007: The Year in Appetizers


Will 2007 go down in history as the Year of the Rat? In February, local television news coverage of rats scampering throughout a Manhattan Taco Bell spawned an unusually aggressive Department of Health campaign to inspect and close  eateries infested by the nasty pests.Ratatouilleremy_2 A new word, "DOH'd," was soon born (courtesy of Eater), and closures of restaurants were documented with an almost manic intensity on blogs. A defender of rats emerged in the person of eGullet founder Steven Shaw with a piece on the New York Times op-ed page arguing that humans are a greater source of food contamination. Ironically, just a few months later, Disney's Ratatouille, in which the French rat Remy dreams of becoming a chef, opened to rave reviews by critics and moviegoers. The film was named one of the best films of 2007 by the American Film Institute and is seriously being considered for a best picture nomination at the Oscars. Has the lowly rat been redeemed?

Of course, the past year wasn't only about rodents. 2007 was also the year that cauliflower was cool, meatballs were the new black, the eat local movement got zeitgeisty, square tarts intrigued Parisian chefs, and brunch was big in South Korea.

Poring over a year's worth of Appetizers, The Food Section's daily links to food news, recipes, and gastronomical ephemera, we arrived at a list of 10 of the more notable stories in the world of food:

Whither the Baguette? Apollonia Poilane, daughter of master baker Lionel Poilane and CEO of the Poilane baking "dynasty," called upon her French compatriots to give up baguettes -- historically originating from Austria -- and eat more breads made from whole grains.


Hughgrant The Bean Toss:
Actor Hugh Grant was arrested in March for allegedly assaulting a photographer with a container of baked beans.

Chodorow Taking on the Critics: Unhappy with the zero star review of his steakhouse Kobe Club in the New York Times, restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow bought a full-page ad striking back at Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni. Anthony Bourdain and Mimi Sheraton, among others, joined the fray by condemning Chodorow. Before long, the restaurateur banned Bruni from his 29 restaurants and pledged to reward any person who spotted Bruni at one of his eateries with a trip to the Caribbean.

Flatbread2 The Flatbread Factor: As reported by the Wall Street Journal, a new study suggested that as nations get wealthier, tastes change: sales of flatbread, for example, tend to increase as urbanization demands more convenient meals, and sugar-based candy gets replaced with high-end chocolate.

Bottled_water Bottled Water Became Déclassé: Heeding concerns about the environmental costs of bottling and transporting water, Chez Panisse and other Bay Area restaurants launched a nationwide restaurant trend to stop serving bottled water in favor of tap.

Slowfood The Slow Food Meltdown: Slow Food leader Carlo Petrini, on a book tour for his book, Slow Food Nation, was confronted by farmers angry over his characterizations of the San Francisco's Ferry Plaza Farmer's Market as elitist.

Julielulia Casting Julie/Julia: We learned that Meryl Streep (top left) will play Julia Child  (top right) in the upcoming film adaptation of Julie Powell's Julie & Julia (based upon her blog The Julie/Julia Project). Amy Adams (bottom left) will play the blogger/author (bottom right). Stanley Tucci rounds out the cast as Paul Child, Julia Child's husband.

Excellence in Advertising: In an homage to Alfred Hitchcock, Martin Scorsese  directed Key to Reserva, a brilliant advertisement for the Spanish bubbly Freixenet inspired by North by Northwest and The Man Who Knew Too Much.

Batali The Batali Flip-Flop: After initially declaring his hatred for food blogs in a guest post on Eater, chef Mario Batali later became an unlikely convert to blogging, publishing the "Mario Unclogged" series on Serious Eats and launching his own blog chronicling the making of his upcoming TV series on Spanish cuisine. 

190bac The Perfect Bacon Sandwich: Researchers at Leeds University defined the formula for the perfect bacon sandwich: N = C + {fb(cm) · fb(tc)} + fb(Ts) + fc · ta.



Any post with floating heads gets a big thumbs-up in my recipe book! LOL!

Happy New Year - looking forward to more great food banter in 2008 :-)

Best wishes,


I wouldn't have pegged Hugh Grant as the sort to hit a shutterbug with a can of baked beans. A tin of some fancy oil maybe. But baked beans? No.


foodtube.net "Find a Video Recipe, or Add Your Own!"


We would like to introduce our website, http://www.foodtube.net/ It's similiar to youtube except that it's all food videos. You can find video recipes from many countries around the world. You can also add your own video, or star in your own! Thanks for checking out the website. Please spread the word. Have fun!



The best bacon sandwich is turkey bacon with garlic mayo and lettece. I like your blog...good stuff.


I got some souce or paste as a gift:

Chutney w/Pistachio
Just Rugelach

Taste delicious and I just want to know where to get it again. Can you help me?



Who knew that some of the exotic dishes came from very simple ingredients already available in your kitchen…..Gourmandia.com makes it possible for us to fix a quick exotic meal in no time…bon appetite!!


This is a wonderful site! I’ve been looking for something like this
for a while now!


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