Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

Aaaaagh! After getting home this morning from my night shift at the hospital, I conked out in bed BEFORE FINISHING MY FORKY FRIDAY POST! (This is what happens to zombie drug dealers.) It wasn’t until I woke up this evening that I remembered that I left y’all hanging. Sorry, dudes.

Well, better late than never. Ready for another mess ‘o links?

Gimme The Real Poop

You’ve heard of Kopi Luwak, right? Also known as “civet coffee,” this brew’s made using the beans of coffee berries after they’ve been eaten and pooped out by little furry cats. I’m not kidding.

Kopi Luwak’s gotten so popular that some folks are shelling out hundreds of dollars for a taste of this stuff—so naturally, there are a ton of scammers selling counterfeit civet crap beans. Luckily, there’s now a test to check if you paid for the real deal.

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam


The Tipping Point

Pete Wells, The New York Times’ resident restaurant critic, is (in)famous for his strong, unfiltered opinions. I’ve been a loyal reader ever since he wrote a scathing review of Guy’s American Kitchen & Bar, filled with nothing but largely rhetorical questions; no matter if you agree or disagree with Wells, he’s certainly an entertaining read. His latest screed against tipping is a thought-provoking piece—especially for those of us who have worked in food service (both in front- and back-of-the-house roles). What say you—are you a firm believer in tipping? Or do you side with Mr. Pink? [FYI: Link is NSFW]

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

Oh, Baby

As the child of Asian immigrant parents, eating nose-to-tail was de rigueur. Fresh fish would flop around in the shopping cart that we pushed around the local Asian market, and the poultry served at the dinner table invariably had heads and feet attached. I grew up eating all sorts of things that might turn some stomachs. Perhaps that’s why reading this NPR article about eating cochinillo asado, or Spanish roasted suckling pig, made me hungry rather than disturbed about chowing on a wee baby piglet. Having eaten Chinese roasted suckling pig on visits to Hong Kong since the age of three, I can tell you it’s insanely delicious. Am I a horrible person?

Actually, don’t answer that.

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

Maybe They’re Just Too Nice To Say No

Last month, I was lucky enough to spend some quality time with two of my favorite Canadians, Dusty and Cindy Sexton. If Dusty and Cindy are any indication, our friends up north are over-the-top friendly, polite, and kind. (Yes, I recognize that I’m stereotyping the entire population of a country. But I figure Canadians are too nice to mind.)

Still, as nice as they are, Canadians are just as kooky as us Americans when it comes to super-processed snack ideas. From now until October 16th, Canadians can vote for the newest Lay’s Canada flavour (yes, “flavour” with a “u”): Creamy Garlic Caesar, Perogy Platter, Maple Moose, and Grilled Cheese & Ketchup. I’m sorey, but I’m gonna have to sit this one oot. (Serious Eats has picked Perogy Platter as its favorite to win.)

“Nacho Cheese Gas Chamber”

Okay, I take it back: Americans are still the kookiest when it comes to industrial food processing. Exhibit A: Take a gander at the insanely complex manufacturing process employed by Taco Bell to create its Doritos Locos Taco shells.

The best line from this article:

“…the companies ended up creating a proprietary seasoner in the process, not least because for workers on the manufacturing line, the plumes of Doritos seasoning would create an almost Nacho Cheese gas chamber.”

Radioactive Fish?

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

As if identifying safe and sustainable seafood isn’t already complicated enough, a new question has emerged from the wake of the Fukushima nuclear reactor disaster of 2011: should we be worried about radioactive fish in our oceans? This article in the Los Angeles Times says no: get your sashimi on.

Yes, Virginia, There Are Real Food Condiments

I still haven’t tried the universally-lauded, Whole30-approved condiments from Tessemae’s, but according to this Forbes article, thousands of others have happily stocked up on bottles of the company’s delicious sauces and salad dressings. My prediction: This multi-million-dollar family-run company is going to take over the world, one bottle of wing sauce at a time. Real food for the win!

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

I’m So There

I love scoping out new places to eat in my favorite cities. I’m not slated to return to NYC until sometime next year, but I’ve already got Betony bookmarked after reading this 3-star review and checking out Serious Eats’ slideshow on how they make their short ribs.

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

[Photos by Serious Eats]

Apparently, the secret is to use copious amounts of beef fat. Makes perfect sense. Tallow, after all, is the answer to all of life’s questions.

A Nose For Truffles

Got a cute doggie hanging around your house? It’s about time your pooch earned his/her keep, don’t you think? Put your canine to work hunting truffles! 

Eat Up!

Ready for some recipes?

  • It’s no secret that I love tomatoes. Two incredible recipes that take advantage of those late-summer tomatoes at the farmer’s market are Dorie Greenspan’s Yesterday’s Tomatoes, Today’s Vinaigrette and Simple Bites’ Home Canned Marinara Sauce.
  • I’m determined to conquer the grill, so I’m reading up on recipes at the moment. And right now, I’m loving Russ Crandall’s recipe for Picanha, a staple dish at my favorite Brazilian barbecue joint. I also love that there’s a graphic version of this recipe on cartoonist Alex Boake’s blog. I’m OBSESSED with food illustrations, which is why I adore books like Relish and In the Kitchen with Alain Passard. (That’s also why we packed our upcoming cookbook with cartoons!)

Forky Friday: 9/6/13 by Michelle Tam

Whew! That’s all I got this week. So kick back, relax with this mesmerizing video about cranberry harvesting, and I’ll catch you on the flip side.

Ciao for now—I gotta go get ready for another overnight shift!

About Michelle Tam

Hello! My name is Michelle Tam, and I love to eat. I think about food all the time. It borders on obsession. I’ve always loved the sights and smells of the kitchen. My mother was (and is) an excellent cook, and as a kid, I was her little shadow as she prepared supper each night. From her, I gained a deep, abiding love for magically transforming pantry items into mouth-watering family meals.

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