Why a recipe is more than a collection of ingredients

Several food magazines, websites, and authors have landed in hot water in recent years due to charges of cultural appropriation. Sometimes the recipe developers or writers will push back on the criticism, but others use the gaffe as a learning experience. That seems to be what Food & Wine Magazine is doing following a styling miscue in their January issue.… read more

Food news antipasto

With restaurants remaining shuttered in London as the city deals with the another coronavirus surge, it's back to the kitchen - and into cookbooks - for restaurant critic Jay Rayner. He is planning a new weekly column in which he will explore a classic cookbook from his own collection. Says Rayner: "I’ll celebrate its recipes. I’ll explore its influence on… read more

It’s not too late to celebrate National Pie Day!

Once again, National Pie Day has snuck up on me. This 'official' national food holiday allows me to celebrate Pie Day twice each year, because I will always believe the logical choice for the day is 3.14. Although the day is touted as a 'national' event in the US, I have noticed that people from around the world have joined in… read more

The ‘moist’ controversy

If you have an aversion to the word 'moist' as a food descriptor (or just in general), you are far from alone. It comes with negative connotations that once learned are difficult to remove from one's mind. But have you considered the alternatives? Emily Heil has, and she says that we should all learn to love moist because the words… read more

What’s your favorite spice?

Normal people do not have two drawers chock full of herbs and spices - at least that is what my friends tell me. In this respect, if not several others, I am happily abnormal. Baking and cooking are my main hobbies and passions, things I do when I have time and think about doing when I don't have time. This… read more

The difference between raisins, sultanas, and currants

When it comes to dried fruit, raisins are king. Although humble in appearance, they are found in a variety of savory and sweet recipes in almost every food culture in the world. Have you ever wondered about the difference between raisins and sultanas (aka golden raisins)? And did you know there is another dried grape product that goes by another… read more

Food news antipasto

Over a year ago, we received news that a new scripted series about the life of Julia Child would be coming to HBO Max. At the time of the last announcement, Joan Cusack was slated to be in the starring role. We've finally received an update on this project. Filming has begun, but two-time BAFTA (British Academy of Film &… read more

When AI makes recipes

Artificial intelligence has been used to solve intractable mathematical problems, create eerie deep-fake videos, and make dancing robots. Now we can add recipe developer to the long list of AI achievements, thanks to Google. Researchers at Google Cloud, inspired by the surge in baking searches during the pandemic, "decided to dive a little deeper into the trend and try to… read more

Google’s top recipe searches of 2020

After cooking morning, noon, and night, who among us wasn't desperate to find new recipes last year? Most readers here likely opted to use the EYB Library to search for what to cook for the next meal, but of course worldwide, Google is the top English-language search engine. Naturally they have kept track of what people searched for in 2020,… read more

Why is 350 degrees such a common oven temperature?

Arguably the most common oven temperature for baked goods like cookies, cakes, and enriched breads is 350°F (~180°C). For most of us, it's the default setting on our oven's control panel. How did bakers land on this as the 'magic number' for so many items? Speaking with Vox, award-wining Pastry Chef Michael Laiskonis provides the answers. The key criteria for… read more

Sticking to a ‘dry January’ has never been easier

Following the indulgence and excess that can happen during the end-of-year holiday season, people frequently cut back on both food and drink when the new year rolls around. Some take a 'dry January' pledge, opting not to drink any alcoholic beverages during the entire month. In the past this meant a rather boring drink selection, but not these days. Increasing… read more

Food new antipasto

Tales of kitchen disasters never fail to entertain me, perhaps because I have had so many of them in my own kitchen. From charcoal caramel to accidentally pouring out long-simmering stock, messes and mix-ups are part of everyone's culinary journey. For your amusement, here's a small gallery of kitchen disasters to make you feel better about your own mishaps. Le… read more

The case for following the recipe exactly

Normally when the calendar turns over to January I write a post about New Year's food resolutions. I think all of us have enough pressure on us this year without adding to it, so I skipped the resolution post. However, some of you might have made one anyway, like the The New York Times' Genevieve Ko did. Her resolution is… read more

Nathalie Dupree’s downsizing auction boasts many treasures

Beloved Southern cookbook author Nathalie Dupree and her husband Jack Bass have retired and moved from Charleston, South Carolina to be closer to family. As part of the downsizing for their new home, they are having an estate sale, and the treasures to be found there are amazing. Nathalie not only wrote cookbooks, but was a featured culinary writer for the… read more

Pioneering chef Albert Roux has died

We have sad news to report: Albert Roux, a chef who helped revolutionize fine dining in London, has died at the age of 85. Along with his brother Michel, Albert founded Britain's first Michelin-starred restaurant, Le Gavroche. That pioneering restaurant helped launch the careers of many of the UK's best known chefs, including Gordon Ramsay and Marco Pierre White. Food… read more

The grocery shopping blues

I enter the supermarket like an MI6 agent on a mission: furtive glances to identify maskless patrons, determined movements as I methodically toss items into the cart, and brisk steps to the next aisle because time is of the essence. This is not the way I shopped in January 2020. In those halcyon days, my shopping trips were leisurely and… read more

Food news antipasto

With 2020 in the rearview mirror, we can take a look back at the year and find the few bright spots. For many people, those happy moments involved food. The Guardian asked its readers to tell them which new ingredient discoveries they made in 2020, and the results are fascinating, ranging from the comforting to the exotic. Croissant dough keeps… read more

Two women, 8000 cookbooks

Cookbooks continue to buck the trend of faltering sales in the publishing industry. Last year, London's fastest selling nonfiction book since records began was a cookbook. For cookbook lovers, few things bring us as much joy as cracking open a new volume to explore the world within its pages, or thumbing through a well-worn copy of a favorite book. That… read more

Lucky foods for the new year

Eating traditional foods that are thought to bring good luck seems more necessary than ever today as the world rings in 2021. Which foods are considered lucky varies from country to country and even from region to region. Grapes play an important role in Spain, where revelers consume 12 grapes just as the clock strikes midnight, each grape representing a… read more

Food in fiction

While I enjoy little else more than cracking open a cookbook and devouring it like a novel - especially books that immerse themselves in a particular culture - it's fun to read other types of books where food is a prominent feature. Some books skillfully weave both recipes and prose, such as In Winter's Kitchen by Beth Dooley, which I… read more

The bucatini shortage of 2020

Among the items that were in short supply this year, pasta ranked near the top of the list. In March, I was shocked to see a huge swath of completely bare shelves where once sat myriad boxes of Barilla, Colavita, Rummo, and bevy of store brands. The only items that remained were a couple of sad whole wheat pasta products… read more

Food news antipasto

Have a refrigerator full of Christmas leftovers? Find ideas for how to use them with Yotam Ottolenghi's Boxing Day (and beyond) recipes that make use of turkey, Christmas pudding, cranberry sauce, and more. If that isn't enough inspiration, try Tim Dowling's 17 ways with leftover turkey or Diana Henry's ideas for leftover ham, turkey, stuffing, and sprouts. This week's news… read more

Best selling foods of 2020

Grocery stores had their busiest year ever in 2020 and it had a lot of drama: toilet paper hoarding, yeast and flour flying off the shelves, delays in producing and shipping, putting up plexiglass partitions in the checkout lanes, and more. Grocery store workers were on the front lines of this pandemic, and our hats are off to them as… read more

The food trends of 2020 that helped us cope

Even those of us who love to be in the kitchen were pushed to our limits this year, churning out meal after meal. When we felt drained of creativity, we turned to cookbooks and the internet to find inspiration to make it through another day of cooking. Some of us turned to baking as a respite, and it's probably fair… read more

Crafting a smaller holiday dinner

Like so many others, my husband and I are going to be alone for the holidays for the first time in many years. Even though we rarely travelled to celebrate with family, we always invited other 'orphan' friends to our home or would go to the neighbors for Christmas Eve or Christmas - and in some years, to celebrate the… read more
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