Most of the time we don’t take a full hour out of our workday for a methodical lunch, instead finding ourselves at the corner store, collecting what we can to fill our stomachs. This is where two paths diverge: some go for a fried cutlet sandwich followed by dessert; others cobble together a reasonably healthy meal followed by an average life expectancy. Read on to find out how to get a healthy lunch next time you’re eating on the go.
A Cheese Professional Talks Aging
If you walked into your place of employ and found mold colonies growing on your workspace, chances an alarm would sound: time to improve your hygiene. Not so for Brian Ralph. In his world, this is just another day at the office. This gives him a particular view of the world — and you can learn a lot from a guy like him.
A Beefy Refresher
Excerpts from an Intro to Spanish Butchering
Any book that introduces “a sharp implement, a capacity to witness death, and a good amount of blood” as self-evident truths in the business of slaughtering pigs has our attention. Jeffrey Weiss’s new book, Charcutería: The Soul of Spain, is much more than spectacle: it’s an authoritative resource on Spanish butchering and meat-curing techniques, complete with recipes for traditional Spanish dishes, handsome photography and anecdotes from the author’s personal experience. In this excerpt, provided to GP by Agate Publishing, Weiss describes taking part in a matanza (“pig slaughter”) in Extremadura, a rugged region in western Spain.
Raising the Bar
As a greater number of athletes experiment with more natural fuel sources, nutrition bars have followed suit with ingredients heavy on nuts, berries, dates, chia seeds and agave syrup. Many are organic and gluten-free. The result is a better bar for athletes, one easier to digest than ever before. Here are a handful we’re eating now.
The Fat Kid's Guide to Decent Snacking
Decrying the snack a week after the Super Bowl might seem heretical, but look: if you don’t stop your addictions to croissants or lard-chips or the ungodly delicious class of “puffed” snacks, one of these days you’re going to need a triple bypass, and there’s no use blaming genetics. So rather than even considering cutting down or stopping entirely, I’ve decided to head off cholesterol at the pass with some healthier snacking alternatives. Be strong, friend.
Low Hanging Fruit
For anyone uncomfortable with pills, powders, shots and gels, Mother Nature offers an alternative way to stay healthy this winter. We’re talking berries, those tart little packets of juicy goodness. But beware: not all berries are created equal, and some go together better than others. Our resident fruitarian breaks down some of the most popular options.
Protein shortage, averted
Some people hear the phrase “beef alternatives” and think tofu, seitan and bean burgers. We think local goat, French-style chicken, grass-fed lamb, name-brand pigs, roast duck, double-smoked Danish salmon, whole lobes of foie gras, elk — and then sometimes beef again, because beef from here is technically an alternative to beef from there. Ready to for a feast of all of the above? Here are our 10 favorite online purveyors of high-quality meat.
If your significant other invited the relatives for Thanksgiving, you’re probably praying that there won’t be a repeat of what your cousins still call the Great Turkey Fiasco of 2003. But why not go on the offensive? This is your day, dammit, and just because Aunt Hellen and Cousin Doug have decided to hold a…
A Five-Star Gear Patrol Dining Survey
Trusting someone with a restaurant suggestion is a show of great faith. A good suggestion puts you in the inner circle, a candidate for godfather of the next child, a guy whose name is mentioned behind closed doors, approvingly, with vigorous nodding. A bad suggestion keeps both parties involved up at night. There is so much good food in America right now that winnowing the lot to a few handfuls of the best is difficult. Do you include the roadside shack that isn’t technically a restaurant? Do you disqualify a place for foam smears and cheese dust? Are you being persuaded by hype?
And so our litmus test was simple: these 25 American restaurants are the places we’d send a friend if he had time for one meal in Chicago, Denver, Houston or any of the other cities on this list. One city, one suggestion, one good meal. Thank you. You’re welcome.
Capon, Capon, Goose
The noble, courageous turkey. Subject of paintings by Claude Monet and Norman Rockwell; famed favorite fowl of Benjamin Franklin. For the past century and change, the beloved bird has complemented the traditional Thanksgiving feast. However, as home chefs and weekend warriors become more adventurous in the kitchen, many are eschewing tradition for pomp, presentation and flavor. If you’re looking to join the nouveau-thankful, try embracing one of these five options.
Armed to the Gizzard.
The kitchen is one of the last bastions of respect and order in a society that mostly eschews hierarchy. Snapchat may be run by kids, but grandma’s red sauce is no flash in the pan. Though we’ve proved our chops in the kitchen, for Thanksgiving we decided to bring in one of the big guns of culinary wisdom: Jim Oseland, Editor-in-Chief of Saveur, one of our favorite food magazines. Here’s his essential turkey-roasting kit.
Carving a Winner
The Thanksgiving turkey is the one dish each year that’s make or break, and it’s all yours. Get the turkey right and you’ll be giving warm handshakes and sipping bourbon all night; dry it out and you’ve brought a dark cloud over the extended family. The good news is, roasting the big bird is easier than running the fumblerooski against the in-laws — and that works every year. To find the most direct route to turkey perfection, we consulted with chef Harold Moore for his foolproof recipe.
Good Gifts, Whichever Way You Slice 'Em
We get it — everyone is a foodie now. From your buddy excitedly fawning over the new Santoku he just picked up to your dad calling to inform you about the super authentic Ethiopian place he wants to try next time he and mom come to visit, the chances of having a cookie on your holiday shopping list are greater than ever.
But what do you buy them? Your food-focused gift-getter obviously already has the basics — the knives, pans and culinary detritus that make up his obsession — and nothing says, “hey, I’m too lazy to make an effort, but I think I remember you’re into food” like a gift card that ends up only covering half the bill at the restaurant-du-now. Thank Bourdain, we’ve got you covered with a dozen of the best gastronomic gifts for the season.
A taste of the Northwest
Feast Portland is more than just the story of food or chefs in the Rose City. While the bulk of the festival’s events take place in Downtown Portland, Feast is about all of Oregon and its bounties: locally sourced meat and produce; fish from the Columbia River and surrounding waterways; wines of the Willamette Valley; and a craft beer industry that has made Oregon the number one state for brew artists and Portland the state’s epicenter. GP stopped in to enjoy the tastes.
The sights and sounds of two-weeks in Spain
It’s got to be slog (a once-in-a-lifetime slog) to travel through an entire country in just two weeks. But to pare your footage from those two weeks into a three-minute video? Monumentally more difficult. Fortunately, this clever three-minute video employs split screen formats, so your eyes can multitask and take in more than three minutes worth of visuals. Good thing, too, because there’s a lot to take in.
[Cacao] farm to table
Back safely in the U.S., I removed the cacao ball from my running shoe. I unwound the plastic wrap from the dark brown orb and sniffed it. My best friend, Mycah, and his wife, Ashley, had picked it up at a cacao farm in Baracoa, a small town on the eastern tip of Cuba. This was the good shit. I pictured myself shaving it over ice cream to impress a date or using it to flavor chili. Oh, this chocolate here? I got it from a guy in Cuba. Chef François Payard showed me how I could actually use it.
Cool, moisture-rich dishes are perfectly refreshing in summer. Pulling ingredients from the fridge, or better yet, your backyard, and preparing them sans the uncomfortable added heat of an oven or stovetop is the ideal. In our cold dish primer, we examine five excellent cold-dish recipes, along with the “methodology” of preparing each type of food and optional accompaniments and alternatives to make your (picnic) table sing.
As I write this, I have a Bhut-Pepper Vertigo candy, made with five of the world’s hottest peppers, on my tongue. It is hot.
Sauces with a little extra sauce
Ole Smoky Tennessee Moonshine is a great corn whiskey that we’ve covered before; what really caught our eye recently, though, is their huge range of Moonshine-soaked foods. Soaked isn’t the right word, exactly: each jar contains less than 1% of their 100 proof ‘shine. Still, it’s an entertaining menu.
Ignore those cries for Yelp
Customer reviews make or break countless decisions — particularly when it comes to where to dine. But why take the word of all the world’s self-righteous social media whores when you could rely on expert advice? That’s the idea behind Where Chefs Eat: A Guide to Chefs’ Favourite Restaurants ($13).
Whittle away at your meal
Sure, you’ve used an Opinel blade to eat — but that was a skewer of venison charred over a kindling fire under the stars. Enjoy quality cutlery under different circumstances with Opinel’s Bon Apetit Table Knives ($70). These dishwasher-safe, olive wood-handled knives feature Swedish stainless steel blades and handsome, sleek design, somewhere between a paring and a steak knife
What's Hawaiian for more water please?
Founded on the basic ingredients of love and salmonella, culinary amateurism can be downright frightening. Yet hot sauce producer Adoboloco ($8+) has managed to pull it off, thriving without a Kraft-sized bankroll. This Hawaiian family unit has turned cuisine curiosity, which started as a simple family garden project and a love of spiciness, into a…
Don't carbonize these ones
Wondermade Marshmallows ($8) shatter the conventional s’mores mold with their diverse line of flavored addiction cubes sugary treats. Boasting a perfect spongy consistency, these handcrafted marshmallows challenge the pallet with a bouquet of unique flavors like gingerbread, peppermint, s’mores (s’mores inception?), pumpkin pie, Guinness and bourbon. A smartly designed box accomplishes the sole mission of…
Delicious to the bitter end
A key cocktail element hasn’t gotten much love lately, but Woodford Reserve Bourbon Aged Spiced Cherry Bitters brings small batch excellence back to our favorite drinking “dash”. The notable bourbon maker teamed up with Bourbon Barrel Foods, blending standard gentian root with cherry and spices to create a unique alcoholic add in. The bitters are…
A baker's dozen for the culinary nut
Blame Anthony Bourdain and his gallivanting food porn circus. Blame Bravo’s utterly watchable, bro-it’s-not-reality-TV show, Top Chef. Blame the hipsters, the bandwagoners, the trust-funders — and for Guy Fieri’s sake — please, someone, blame Bobby Flay. Because if one thing is certain in today’s chow-crazy culture, it’s that you’ve got a foodie on your holiday…
No, it wasn't a four-hour talk
Pine pollen is a powder that contains the cellular material used to produce male sperm cells in coniferous plants. It’s available on Amazon.com as a supplement to increase testosterone, with some companies marketing it as a source of “perpetual youth”, claiming that it helps with everything from improving endurance to regulating prostate function. As part…
Think Outside of the (Grill) Box
If you’re grilling as much as you can before the blizzard season hits, you may be growing a little tired of beer-can chicken and burgers. For a change of pace, Beefeater brings you their grilltop Pizza Oven ($250). A replacement for the conventional hood on a Beefeater 4- or 5-burner grill, this alternative top gives…
The spice is right
Artisanal condiments are the latest front in the slow food war, and our taste buds are thrilled to be part of the collateral damage. Jojo’s Sriracha ($12) is a new brand of small-batch chili sauce created by Joelene Collins, who became so entranced by the stuff at the age 15 that she now slathers it…
Five pillars of American beef
Every kind of meal has its own purpose, its particular ritual and significance. Burgers are meant for tailgating; road trips run on fast food; French restaurants seem fit for special occasions like anniversaries and third dates where you’re really trying to get some. Chief among dining rituals is the steakhouse dinner, when friends and colleagues…