Food news antipasto

The next time you sit down to drink a refreshing Pimm’s Cup or cool and soothing martini, you should take a moment to thank the people who invented cocktails. The history of this craft is murky, but David Wondrich (author of the amazing Oxford Companion to Spirits and Cocktails) dives deep into lore and vintage newspaper clippings alike to unearth some of the earliest efforts in this field. Wondrich pegs the birth of the cocktail to the mint julep and explores the role of African-American bartenders who invented this iconic Kentucky Derby drink and thereby, modern mixology.

How to caramelize onions from The Kitchn by Emma Christensen

Many recipes promise caramelized onions in less than an hour. We want to believe it can happen, but we know those recipe writers are lying to us. So how long does it really take to produce deeply colored, richly flavored, truly caramelized onions? According to Russ Parsons, who insists the process cannot be rushed, it will take over three hours to achieve ‘culinary gold’. The results of your patience will be duly rewarded, he says. Parsons is an onion aficionado, telling us “If ever there was an example of a miracle hiding in plain sight, it is the onion. We rarely give it a second thought, yet it is a marvel of chemistry.” 

Ina Garten celebrated her 74th birthday this week (probably with a lot of “how easy is that?” food). In honor of this occasion, The Kitchn assembled a list of the 74 best lessons they have learned from the Barefoot Contessa. The list includes the obvious gem “store bought is fine,” but also offers tips on choosing cookware and which ingredients are pantry must-haves.

Major cookbook publisher Penguin Random House has run into an obstacle with its proposed takeover of Simon & Schuster. The US Department of Justice is allegedly looking into the merger on anti-trust grounds and there are reports that it has ramped up the investigation by serving subpoenas on publishers and agencies. The agency does not comment publicly on active investigations and so has not confirmed this, but subpoena recipients (on condition of anonymity) have told Publishers Weekly about them.

Food often plays a large role in fiction, whether it involves memorable feasts or characters who are part of the food industry. In the latter scenario, some fictional chefs have left indelible impressions on readers. The Guardian’s Annabel Abbs has shared a list of her 10 favorite cooks in fiction, which includes Anatole in the PG Wodehouse Jeeves series and Gabrielle in The Cook’s Tale by Elizabeth Ayrton.

The Borough Market has a free download available with recipes: The Borough Market Guide to Baking. To download please click the “down arrow” on the upper left of the screen.

Lastly, Jenny has updated our Calendar with author events: Kristina Cho – Mooncakes and Milk Bread (see tonight’s event and others); De Gustibus Cooking School – NYC has added on location classes; Borough Market has added Valentine’s Gastrotours and other author events have been added for later dates.

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  • Indio32  on  February 7, 2022

    Ina’s lessons are interesting….. wonder what the UK equivalent of 28 is coz I’d buy it in an instant!

  • readingtragic  on  February 8, 2022

    You can caramelise onions in the microwave if you’re short of time…

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