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.'"
food bub·ble (noun): The inflation of food production based on the unsustainable use of water and land.
Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute, explained the term food bubble in an interview with New Scientist:
That's when food production is inflated through the unsustainable use of water and land. It's the water bubble we need to worry about now. The World Bank says that 15 per cent of Indians (175 million people) are fed by grain produced through overpumping - when water is pumped out of aquifers faster than they can be replenished. In China, the figure could be 130 million.
Frederick Kaufman also used food bubble, but to describe inflation in food prices, in a July 2010 article in Harper's titled "The food bubble: How Wall Street starved millions and got away with it."
In an interview with Eater, former New York Times restaurant critic Mimi Sheraton described her philosophy of eating as that of a bestovore:
If it tastes good, then that's fine. I'm not a total locavore. I'll say that. I consider myself a bestovore. Nevermind local if it is not the best. But if I were faced with a Pennsylvania peach or Georgia peach, I would take the Georgia peach every time and let them sort it out in Pennsylvania. I think the locavores should stay home, that they shouldn't fly back and forth, especially from California making big carbon footprints in the sky to speak to us about the importance of being local.
In an article titled "Brooklyn: The Brand," the New York Times reports on how corporations like the Gap and Williams-Sonoma are seeking to cash in on Brooklyn's growing reputation as a center for hand-crafted artisanal foods:
Small restaurants and large companies, like Williams-Sonoma, are lining up to hitch their wagons to Brooklyn’s D.I.Y. chic, as though the borough offers something missing in mainstream food culture, maybe in culture in general. It’s not that Brooklyn artisans are going corporate, but that corporations are Brooklynizing.
In a first for the Dictionary of Modern Gastronomy, we're inventing a new word and calling this phenomenon boroughwashing.
*Denotes a DoMG original word.
Today's Washington Post features an article on the locapour movement in Virginia, along with some of the resistance of restaurants and chefs to regional wines:
As the "eat local" movement has taken root in restaurant kitchens across the country, a "drink local" movement has blossomed as well. It started, ironically enough, in California, where the San Francisco Chronicle reported last year that area vintners were complaining about locavore restaurants that glorified local farmers but stocked their lists with imported wines.
The article cites the example of German Broggi, beverage director at the Park Hyatt Hotel "and its fervently locavore restaurant, Blue Duck Tavern," who has embraced the drink local concept "with the idea of building Blue Duck Tavern's 'locapour' credentials."
The website Global Voices defines nommunication is a contraction of the Japanese word nomu ("to drink") and "communication":
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Drinking with classmates or team mates when you are a student, or with colleagues when you are an employee is an important activity if you want to be part of the group. According to many, it is with a glass of beer or sake in hand that a new type of franker communication may occur, or a nommunication.
Nommunication (roughly translated as drinkommunication) is a term created by mixing the verb nomu (to drink) and the term ‘communication'. It can be defined as an important part of becoming a social person [en], as it deals with the working etiquette of an employee, and was created to indicate the type of communication that is established between a superior with his junior colleagues over social drinks apart from the office.
The Wall Street Journal recently explored the emergence of a popular new wave of Paris restaurants, such as Frenchie (right), that have become known as néo-bistrots:
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The defining features of the néo-bistrot appear to be an innovative, cosmopolitan approach, with a refreshingly casual atmosphere and often prix-fixe menus that are priced at less than Ś50 per person, which passes for cheap in Paris, at least. Apart from Le Chateaubriand, where the cuisine is decidedly at the more adventurous end of Basque cuisine, most of the leading examples offer traditional French bistro fare but with an international twist.
veg·e·ta·ble butch·er (noun): a person who trims, peels, and otherwise prepares fresh vegetables for customers to cook at home.
New York City's installment of the Piemontese food market Eataly, set to open on August 31, 2010, will feature a vegetable butcher in its produce department, according to chef and restaurateur Mario Batali, a partner in the venture.Read More >
In the August 21, 2010 edition of the Wall Street Journal, wine writer Lettie Teague described the resurgence of Sauvignon Blanc and its popularity as a safety wine.
Here, she recounts a conversation about Sauvignon Blanc and safety wines with her lawyer friend Kim:Read More >
NPR recently reported on the cleanup of the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, noting the work of researchers to assess the impact of the oil on sea life using virtual shellfish, which help quantify the amount of contaminants in the water:Read More >