Howler Monkeys Lose Their Vegetarian Street Cred

Wild howler monkeys, thought until now to be strictly vegetarian, were caught on camera raiding chicken coops and eating eggs. It's the first time the monkeys have ever been recorded eating animal matter.


Puro Chile: A Taste (and a Sip) of Chile


Puro Chile, a new shop billing itself as a Chilean "wine, food, design, and travel emporium," officially opens next week at the corner of Grand and Centre Streets in Manhattan (it will open this Thursday for "tastings," but no sales).

The shop takes its name -- which means "Pure Chile" -- from the first words of Chile's national anthem: Puro, Chile, es tu cielo azulado ("Pure, Chile, is your blue sky").

The private enterprise -- unaffiliated with the Chilean government -- retails exclusively Chilean products.

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Global Warming + Declining Grain Yields = Less Food

A new report by the Food Policy Research Institute says that cuts in world grain yields due to global warming will cause "calorie availability" to decline by 7% in developing countries by 2050.


"Kimcheedillas" on the Hudson

Speaking of vendrification, Grub Street reports that The Krave, a copycat of L.A.'s famed Kogi Korean taco truck currently rolling through the streets of Jersey City, is billing itself as “the Official New Jersey Korean BBQ Truck.” Are Korean taco trucks destined to be the next "original" Ray's pizza?


Aussies Revolt Against Vegemite "iSnack 2.0"

iSnack 2.0

Following an uproar by Australians, Kraft Foods is recanting on its plans to name a new line of its vegemite product "iSnack 2.0." The high-tech, forward-looking concoction is a blend of vegemite and cream cheese. Yum!

The ludicrous name, which sounds like a joke (but isn't), was selected by Kraft as part of a public naming contest that fielded 48,000 entries.

According to the Brisbane Times, following an overwhelmingly negative reaction to the choice, Kraft issued a statement that it was backing down: "Please bear with us for the next 48 hours as we finalise how Australians and New Zealanders can decide the new name through an independent popularity vote."

An announcement from Kraft Foods regarding the name is expected on Friday.



ven·dri·fi·ca·tion (noun): The process by which an influx of fancy food trucks selling gourmet treats threatens to displace established, traditional street vendors.

Kogi BBQ Taco Truck (Shiho Nakaza) Katie Robbins coined the term in a September 25, 2009 article in BlackBook reporting on rising tensions in New York neighborhoods between existing kebab and hot dog vendors and their new competition: social-media savvy entrepreneurs serving up cupcakes, schnitzel sandwiches, and Tahitian vanilla panna cotta (among other treats) from their high-end food trucks:

"In a city accustomed to gentrification, perhaps this new phenomenon could be described as “vendrification,” with more expensive, higher-tech carts and trucks sweeping in and shaking up the culinary terrain of the streets. Predictably, this shift has led to some tensions between the “traditional” vendors and the newer-style sellers, who often use heavily decorated trucks, rotating seasonal offerings, and regular Twitter tweets advertising their current whereabouts to draw in customers. For the kebab and hot dog vendors, who often stay in the same city-assigned location day after day, it becomes a question of market infringement."

Illustration: Kogi BBQ Taco Truck, by Shiho Nakaza.


Cooking With Dregs

Don't toss that leftover wine! As long as it hasn't turned into vinegar, you can still use it in your cooking.


Big Cheese: Mozzarella Braid Breaks Guiness Record


Cheesemakers in the town of Sala Consilina, just outside Naples, broke their own Guiness World Record for the world's largest braid of mozzarella cheese. A team of 40 pulled and twisted a braid of mozzarella extending 78.8 meters in length. This was the third world record in three years for Sala Consilina's mozzarella makers.

[Via @ColdMud]



Dangerous Pairings: Durian and Alcohol

Researchers in Japan have found that pairing alcohol with durian could be toxic.


The LEGO Kitchen


Over the weekend, I found myself at the just-opened LEGO store at New Jersey's Garden State Plaza.

While I had a hard time pulling myself away from LEGO's ultra-cool new "Architecture" series featuring the Guggenheim Museum, Frank Lloyd Wright's Falling Water, and landmark skyscrapers, I also noticed a series of new products intended to outfit your kitchen in the contours of the classic toy bricks.

Clockwise, from left: LEGO kids cutlery, minifigure cake mold, minifigure cookie cutters, rolling cookie cutter, and kitchen storage set.