We're on vacation. See you next week.
"What I’ve learned in the past two years is that when people say they’re too busy to cook, it isn’t like when they tell their doctors they exercise three, maybe four times a week. They mean it: they’re too busy to cook, or at least too busy to cook dinner every night of the week before the children go to bed."
A recent article in the Guardian on gourmet sea salts quotes Alison Lea-Wilson, founder of the Halen Mon Anglesey Sea Salt company, on the growing market for for artisan salts and the emergence of selmeliers:
When the Lea-Wilsons started 15 years ago, business experts said there was no market for artisan sea salt. But over a decade in which many people have become more interested in what is on their plates, the company's success – demand has always outstripped supply – does not overly surprise them. "There are even restaurants in America that employ 'selmeliers' to advise diners on which salt to choose for which dish," says Alison.
The most oft-cited selmelier is Mark Bitterman, the author of Salted: A Manifesto on the World's Most Essential Mineral, with Recipes and the owner of The Meadow, a gourmet shop in Portland, Oregon, that specializes in specialty salts. An Associated Press story profiling Mr. Bitterman and his devotion to salt noted his status as a selmelier: "Using the language of wine, Bitterman talks about salts that are 'unctuous,' that impart 'spiciness' or 'butteriness.' He refers to a salt’s 'meroir,' the qualities it derives from its ocean, and calls himself as a 'semelier.'"
Belgium has gone 249 days since its last election without forming a government. As a protest, a group of Belgian students ate fries in their underwear.
A secret consortium of growers has brought Japan's Dekopon, a huge seedless mandarin, to California.
A new video to promote the 2011 Paso Robles Zinfandel Festival in Paso Robles, California, parodies the Old Spice ads with a swaggering connoisseur of zinfandel (as opposed to a bare-chested promoter of deodorant).
According to Nathan Myhrvold, author of Modernist Cuisine, you are better off using a thick (custom fabricated) sheet of steel than a pizza stone when making your own pies at home.
Even fans of tongs (and they do have their arch-enemies) will acknowledge a flaw in their design: the propensity to mess up your kitchen work surface every time you set them down. Dreamfarm's Clongs offer a design solution: the tongs feature a notch in the handles that allow the business end to stay off the counter when at rest.
Stainless steel with heat-resistant silicone tips. $14.95 at Dreamfarm.
In its March issue, Saveur magazine will launch restaurant reviews penned by notable food writers.