March 3rd, 2013
Rouge By Carte Noire. Looks gorgeous, and I'll bet it tastes even better than it looks:
Why did I have to watch this when it was too late at night for me to pop out to my local supermarket and buy something sweet and sugary and delicious?
May 20th, 2012
Dan Hill on the joys of Helsinki's Restaurant Day:
Ravintolapäivä is "Restaurant Day" [...] After starting in Helsinki a year ago, Ravintolapäivä's role is to suggest "a food carnival when anyone can open a restaurant for a day".
Which it is, although this doesn't quite describe the genesis of the event, which came out of frustration with the effort required to set up a restaurant in Helsinki, of the kind that is open for more than a single day. [...]
Today, though, the sun was shining, the streets were full, and that frustration was long forgotten, given the explosion of invention on offer. [...]
For instance, our first stop this morning was for breakfast served from a little wicker basket lowered from a first floor window into the group of waiting customers below. Euros are stuffed in the basket, and up it goes. You shout up your order. Breakfast comes back.
The string had a menu attached, featuring egg and bacon, or eggs benedict, in home-baked English muffins (both hot bacon sandwiches and English muffins are extremely difficult to come by in Helsinki.) This is, again, not exactly within the law, but if this is considered a problem, then I believe the saying is the law is an ass. [...]
February 14th, 2012
For one day only, Pizza Hut is getting into the wedding business:
Not content with ruining dinner, they're now looking to ruin the wedding proposal too. Specifically, Pizza Hut is hoping to trick as many as ten idiots into proposing to their significant others with a big old box of disgusting. Don't believe it?
There's certainly a set of people willing to spend $10,000 on a proposal. It's likely there's also a set of people who would propose with chain restaurant pizza. Still, it's disheartening to think that the intersection of those two sets may not simply be zero. Thankfully, it's simultaneously hilarious. [...]
January 3rd, 2012
When Paul Rosenblatt answers the phone, he says "Bananas!", or, All you ever wanted to know about the science of making bananas ripen at the right time in the right place, on an industrial scale. Fascinating stuff.
December 3rd, 2011
Having lived in Paris for almost a decade, Simon Kuper has come to the conclusion that happiness is a table for one:
[On lunch...] By now I've worked out the essential elements. For me, the first is solitude. As a married person with children living in a cramped city, loneliness isn't the problem. Rather, you're always drowning in loved ones. Happiness is a table for one with something to read. I don't go as far as the man I know who says he's happiest when eating dinner alone with a book about war, but nearly. As I once had to tell my wife: "Nothing you could say could be as interesting as this article that I'm reading." (After some thought, she offered the correct response: "I'm pregnant." Luckily it was a joke.)
March 29th, 2011
About The Greggs Adventure:
Greggs has been around for as long as you've been alive. Always there on the high street ready to offer sandwiches, soup, buns, whatever. You've had a Greggs lunch at least once in your life. It's earned something of a dodgy reputation due to the, ahem, varied quality of the food on offer. I realised one day that I really had no idea what's good and what's not good at Greggs. This blog is my attempt to change that.
I do have to register my strong disagreement with the author on one vital issue: the Bacon and Cheese Wrap is far better when hot. It is Just Not Right to let one go cold.
March 7th, 2011
A A Gill on dining at L'Ami Louis, the worst restaurant in Paris:
Our servant glides past and does a silent-movie double take. "Your snails!" he exclaims. "They have not come!" His cheeks bulge as he flaps his short arms. In all my years of professional eating, I have never seen this before. I have seen waiters do many, many things, including burst into tears and juggle knives, and I once glimpsed one having sex. But never, ever has a waiter commiserated with me about the lack of service.
Twenty minutes later, possibly under their own steam, the snails arrive. [...]
January 20th, 2011
On the great English breakfast:
6. Open a can of Heinz baked beans – accept no substitute – these are not so much a foodstuff as an architectural element of the finished plate. Think of beans as colour and a concealer of disheartening flashes of empty plate between meats.
7. Mushrooms and tomatoes may be grilled at this stage but no gentleman would consider eating them. They are vegetables. Vegetables are a form of table decoration. They aren't food – they go next to food. As the great Dr Johnson should have said 'Vegetables are what food eats' and I have no intention of disagreeing.
April 15th, 2010
Cole Morton wonders whatever happened to the full English breakfast:
The Full English is the one meal that England does well, with fat bangers, sizzling rashers and eggs oozing sunshine, strong tea and two buttered toast.
This is food that makes you feel good just thinking about it, a platter that pulls on the heartstrings (as well as straining the heart). It's an icon of Englishness, as much of a symbol as the flag of St George, but here's the thing: who really eats it these days?
Less than 1% of the population starts every day with a cooked breakfast, compared to the 1950s when it was more than half of us. I was thinking about this the other day, chewing (and chewing) my compulsory muesli while dreaming of bacon and eggs. If the full breakfast is so representative of the English, what does it say about us? And if our attitude to it has changed so much, what does "the Full English" really mean – not just in the sense of what is on the plate, but in terms of being fully English? [...]
[Via Give Me Something To Read]
December 1st, 2009
Who Watches the Watchmen Cookies. Very nice.
Also, I should mention how pleasing it is to see the Orbyn brand back in action. I wonder: is Robyn's the most nomadic British weblog of the last decade? Off the top of my head, I can't think of anyone else I've been reading all these years whose blogging has had so many online homes.
That's not a criticism, you understand: if anything, the fact that I've kept following Robyn's blogging through all those changes of address is a sign of how much I've been enjoying what I've been reading.
November 6th, 2009
CNN reports on a wake in Reykjavik:
REYKJAVIK, Iceland – All reporters will tell you from time to time that they do their work out of love of the story, a need to tell the world. This, I'm sorry to say, is not one of those times.
There are some CNN assignments which are performed not from either of those noble motivations but simply from duty, or happening to be in the right place at the right time, which really means you are in the wrong place at the wrong time.
I cannot bear even to mention the name of my subject, but I don't need to. The first few targets of my intended interview rush past, evading the red and white CNN mike box. Apparently nerves remain raw and emotions are running high.
In less than 48 hours from my filing of this report, Iceland, a country of a mere 300 thousand souls – is destined to become a more soulless place as its three branches of the mighty McDonald's forest are lopped off by the tree surgeon of global finance. [...]
[Via The Scout Report]
June 25th, 2009
Adam Brent Houghtaling on applying Brian Eno's Oblique Strategies in the kitchen:
In his yearlong diary, A Year with Swollen Appendices (Faber & Faber 1995), Eno wrote, "I'm starting to think that all the world's problems could be solved with either oyster sauce or backing vocals." He has often used cooking as a metaphor for the artistic struggle to proclaim something never saidâ€”or sautÃ©edâ€”before. A Year with Swollen Appendices is peppered with references to oyster sauce, garam masala, and the Zen of cooking. Upon the release of his 1982 album, Ambient 4: On Land, Eno compared the creative process of a cook to improvisation, saying that an intelligent cook will abandon his or her recipes at a certain point: "You taste the dish and you realize there's the seed of an interesting new taste. So you work on that and forget you were making chicken Kiev, or whatever. You make something new." And in 2000 he showed how little difference existed between his approach to the kitchen and the studio: "My style of cooking is let's see what's in the kitchen, and think of something imaginative to do with it. Which is exactly the same idea one has as a producer."
These metaphors blossom within the Strategies as well, specifically with the proverb "Discover the recipes you are using and abandon them." [...]
[Via The Morning News]
April 7th, 2009
Are we sure this story wasn't published a few days late?
Sainsbury's has renamed Pollack as Colin because, it said, potential buyers were too embarrassed to ask for pollack, a cheap and plentiful cod substitute. After a marketing revamp by the designer Wayne Hemingway, and extensive market research, Sainsbury's hopes colin will revitalise the market for the fish.
Image really is everything; so to help colin stand out on-shelf we've used bold, bright colours and a design that is cheekily inspired by another well-known 'Pollock' [the artist Jackson Pollock]. The new-look colin sleeve will be the star of the Sainsbury's store; we expect coach-loads to travel by land and sea to see it.
[Via The Null Device]
January 25th, 2009
November 27th, 2008
Natural Harvest: A collection of semen-based recipies
Semen is not only nutritious, but it also has a wonderful texture and amazing cooking properties. Like fine wine and cheeses, the taste of semen is complex and dynamic. Semen is inexpensive to produce and is commonly available in many, if not most, homes and restaurants. Despite all of these positive qualities, semen remains neglected as a food. This book hopes to change that. [...]
[Via Judge a Book by its Cover]
September 20th, 2008
June 14th, 2008
The Munchy Box: surely the most awe-inspiring post-pub snack ever concocted.
Just throw in a deep-fried Mars Bar and a can of Irn Bru and you'll be set for the night. And the following day, come to that.
May 17th, 2008
Welcome to the Body Bakery:
Kittiwat Unarrom has a master's degree in fine arts and creates bruised and battered heads, feet and other internal organs at a bread shop in Thailand. [...]
The photographs reminded me of the work of the ice truck killer from Dexter.