Food

77 articles
Avatar_57x57

The Art of French Cooking

A woman bonds with her terminally ill sister over food, memories, and shaky lives.

"When Ava won the middle school election, there was peach cobbler with a filling so warm it burnt my tongue. When I failed chemistry, she silently let me lock myself in my room, but I came down for dinner to lasagna with short ribs that fell apart at the slightest nudge. Mom would only speak to us seriously once our mouths were full; with blueberry-banana pancakes the morning of the SATs, chicken-stuffed bell peppers after soccer games, and over spaghetti carbonara for high school heartaches. We came to interpret her innermost thoughts in meticulous meals culled from Julia Child and the Rombauers. It was like she needed something to distract us when she was fully there."

Avatar_57x57

American Fare

A prison cook reflects on her daughter as she prepares a prisoner's last meal.

"See what I mean? Fussiness knows no bounds. Not even for inmates. We don’t serve shit-on-a-shingle, but sometimes you’d never believe it. Last week Brenda and me whipped up fifteen pans of German chocolate cake and don’t you know some idiot come up to Brenda complaining about the “presentation,” said his mama always made German chocolate cake in two layers, not in a sheet pan. Everybody’s a critic."

Avatar_57x57

Rise of the Sea Urchin

From Norwegian waters to European plates.

Avatar_57x57

Hunger

An overweight teenager's psychological test with an unhappy neighbor.

"Mrs. Butler never commented on my weight. I wanted to believe she didn’t see my layers of fat or hear how my breathing quickened if I exerted much physical effort. My neighbor wasn’t gorgeous like a supermodel, but she moved her long graceful limbs with an elegance I could only envy."

Avatar_57x57

Dumpling Night

Comic miscues ensue at a private family dinner.

"Also, I’m a pretty big guy, so I often find myself appointed the unofficial bouncer on these sorts of occasions. It was Dumpling Night. I know that because when I walked past the steam table, a teenage girl was there with tongs and she said, 'Dumpling?'"

Avatar_57x57

The Octopus That Almost Ate Seattle

The Giant Pacific Octopus is, in the words of a Seattle conservationist, a “glamour animal.” It is also tasty. Therein lies the conflict.

Avatar_57x57

To Live, the Oyster Must Die

The fight to save a “delicious gold mine.”

Avatar_57x57

Wet Meat

A woman enters a casual relationship with a butcher.

"He was lazy about it. He told me he couldn’t that night but could he give me a call? It was two weeks and one — almost two — skipped Five Dollar Fridays later that he called and demanded why I had not come in yet. I arrived at a quarter to nine. He grinned and dug his knife into pork liver. Then a plucked duck. I ate the spinach rolls he set out for me and watched him slice away. Finally I told him I was starving and he looked up from his bloodied counter and grinned some more. He put his meat in the giant freezer behind him, hung his apron and walked out to me. It was the first time, I realized, that I’d seen his legs. I could tell they were brawny behind his jeans. In fact he looked like a hockey player and I wished he did that instead of dismembering dead animals all day."

Avatar_57x57

Deep Inside Taco Bell's Doritos Locos Taco

Creation of a fast food phenomenon.

Avatar_57x57

The Ghost of Berries

A boy roams a bleak dystopia, seeking fruit.

"The boy had never tasted fruit in his whole life. When his mother grew too sick to work, he tied a bandanna around his head and waited in the slog farm lines. He was underage but passed through the checkpoint with her ID and no one looked."

Avatar_57x57

Farewell Tour

For New Year's Eve, a Times Square encounter chronicled by the author of Open City.

"Low and I stood under the cold blazing lights of Times Square, smoking, and I asked him what he had eaten. Oysters, he said, the pleasure coming back into his voice, in a row on a ridge of ice, eager to be eaten. Fluke, caviar, octopus, some champagne but not a lot."

Avatar_57x57

Twelve Easy Pieces

On a business that sells packaged pre-sliced apples as snack food.

Avatar_57x57

Toques from Underground

Los Angeles’ Wolvesmouth and the unlicensed dining industry.

Avatar_57x57

The Plot to Destroy America's Beer

The future of beer behemoth AB InBev.

Avatar_57x57

Death of a Giant

Stalking bluefin tuna, the most valuable wild animal in the world.

Avatar_57x57

A Fish Story

Trying to fix the Atlantic Ocean’s food chain.

Avatar_57x57

"You Have to Talk About Salt"

An interview with Pulitzer-winning food critic Jonathan Gold.

Avatar_57x57

Manufacturing Taste

The history of Kraft Dinner, Canada’s “de facto national dish.”

Avatar_57x57

Chicken of the Trees

“The squirrels may take my tomatoes and spit them back, but they would not go unanswered. The time had come to close the circle of life.”

Avatar_57x57

The Million-Dollar Nose

A profile of wine critic Robert Parker.

Avatar_57x57

The Long History of the Espresso Machine

“Good espresso depends on the fourM’sMacchina, the espresso machine; Macinazione, the proper grinding of a beans; Miscela, the coffee blend and the roast, and Mano is the skilled hand of the barista, because even with the finest beans and the most advanced equipment, the shot depends on the touch and style of the barista.”

Avatar_57x57

Local Bounty

Visiting his daughter in San Francisco, the author longs for food delivery in Manhattan.

Avatar_57x57

A Vintage Crime

The man who made millions selling counterfeit wines.

Avatar_57x57

French Women Worry About Getting Fat, Too

On Jenny Craig’s European expansion and how dieting differs in France and the States.

Avatar_57x57
Avatar_57x57

Of Meat and Men

The story behind “the best brisket you’ll ever eat.”

Avatar_57x57

Château Sucker

The world of high-end wine gets conned.

Avatar_57x57

Empire of the Bun

How one man made millions with a fancy hamburger.

Avatar_57x57

Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch

“That learning to cook could lead an American woman to success of any kind would have seemed utterly implausible in 1949; that it is so thoroughly plausible 60 years later owes everything to Julia Child’s legacy.”

Avatar_57x57

KFC's Big Game of Chicken

How KFC brought fried chicken to China and Africa as U.S. sales slumped.

Avatar_57x57

Can Wine Become an American Habit?

One man’s dream to turn America into a post-prohibition wine utopia.

Avatar_57x57
Avatar_57x57

In Which We Don't Do Coke in the Bathroom of the Restaurant

“My name is Jackie and I am addicted to waitressing.” An essay on waiting tables.

Avatar_57x57

How Now, Mr Chow? The Sweet ’n Sour Saga Behind the City’s Epic Food Fight

Inside a restaurant lawsuit.

Michael Chow’s complaint, which sought $21 million in damages, alleged that the team behind Philippe, including chef Philippe Chau, restaurateur Stratis Morfogen (also behind the well-received Ciano) and several codefendants, appropriated the Satay recipe and 11 other Mr Chow standbys, the “modern” decor of Mr Chow’s restaurants and even the name Chow—thereby engaging in deceptive trade practices, swiping trade secrets and infringing on the Mr Chow trademark.

Avatar_57x57

Gone Fishing

A profile of New York chef and fisherman David Pasternack.

Avatar_57x57

The Mystery Monk Making Billions With 5-Hour Energy

On Manoj Bhargava, who says he’s “probably the wealthiest Indian in America,” and his ubiquitous product.

Avatar_57x57

The Taming of the Chef

A profile of Gordon Ramsay.

Avatar_57x57

Atomic Bread Baking at Home

The history of “‘50s-era market-tested USDA White Pan Loaf No. 1.”

Avatar_57x57

The Gloucester Fish War

Law enforcement vs. local fishermen in Massachusetts.

Avatar_57x57

The End of Cheap Coffee

The case for why a cup of joe is about to become a luxury item.

Avatar_57x57

A Conspiracy of Hogs: The McRib as Arbitrage

The absurd scale of McDonald’s’ economics suggests a company more like a commodity trader than a chain of restaurants.

At this volume, and with the impermanence of the sandwich, it only makes sense for McDonald’s to treat the sandwich as a sort of arbitrage strategy: at both ends of the product pipeline, you have a good being traded at such large volume that we might as well forget that one end of the pipeline is hogs and corn and the other end is a sandwich. McDonald’s likely doesn’t think in these terms, and neither should you.

Avatar_57x57

Long Day's Journey

Two weeks spent walking across Provence.

There is something about entering an ancient town on foot that's radically different from entering the same place by car. Keep in mind that these old French towns were all designed by people on foot for people on foot. So when you walk in, you're approaching the place as it was intended to be approached—slowly and naturally, the way Dorothy came upon Oz (spires rising in the distance, a sense of mounting mystery: What kind of city will this be?).

Avatar_57x57

Heart of Dark Chocolate

You know this one: German guy heads into tribal jungle deep upriver, sends the company crazy reports full of radical ideas—and then goes totally rogue. Only this time it's not ivory he's after. It's a secret lost for centuries: the finest cacao on earth.
Avatar_57x57

Enchanted Aisles

The history of Trader Joe’s.

Avatar_57x57

Hecho en América

On the life of illegal immigrant fruit pickers.

Without 1 million people on the ground, on ladders, in bushes—armies of pickers swooping in like bees—all the tilling, planting, and fertilizing of America's $144 billion horticultural production is for naught. The fruit falls to the ground and rots.

Avatar_57x57

My obsession with a New York cup of coffee and a doughnut

When a writer’s daily routine gets out of control.

One morning, as I gobbled my doughnut and slurped my coffee, thinking to myself, "What a fantastic doughnut, what an amazing coffee," I realised that I had not just thought this but was actually saying aloud, "What a fantastic doughnut! What a totally fantastic experience!", and that this was attracting the attention of the other customers, one of whom turned to me and said, "You like the doughnuts, huh?"

Avatar_57x57

The Zankou Chicken Murders

The creator of the California-based food chain kills his mother, sister and, finally, himself:

From Hollywood to Anaheim, he had opened a chain of fast-food rotisserie chicken restaurants that dazzled the food critics and turned customers into a cult. Poets wrote about his Zankou chicken. Musicians sang about his Zankou chicken. Now that he was dying, his dream of building an empire, 100 Zankous across the land, a Zankou in every major city, would be his four sons’ to pursue. In the days before, he had pulled them aside one by one -- Dikran, Steve, Ara, Vartkes -- and told them he had no regrets. He was 56 years old, that was true, but life had not cheated him. He did not tell them he had just one more piece of business left to do.

Avatar_57x57

A Last Whiff of Fulton's Fish, Bringing a Tear

On the closing of New York's Fulton Fish Market.
It smells of truck exhaust and fish guts. Of glistening skipjacks and smoldering cigarettes; fluke, salmon and Joe Tuna's cigar. Of Canada, Florida, and the squid-ink East River. Of funny fish-talk riffs that end with profanities spat onto the mucky pavement, there to mix with coffee spills, beer blessings, and the flowing melt of sea-scented ice. This fragrance of fish and man pinpoints one place in the New York vastness: a small stretch of South Street where peddlers have sung the song of the catch since at least 1831, while all around them, change. They were hawking fish here when an ale house called McSorley's opened up; when a presidential aspirant named Lincoln spoke at Cooper Union; when the building of a bridge to Brooklyn ruined their upriver view.
Avatar_57x57

Vodka Nation

How the spirit became a billion-dollar business.

Michael Roper, owner of Chicago’s Hopleaf bar and restaurant, recalls what bartending was like in the early seventies. While Smirnoff was considered top shelf, he remembers lesser varieties such as Nikolai, Arrow, Wolfschmidt, and another brand that was then ubiquitous called Mohawk. “Mohawk was cheap, cheap, cheap,” Roper remembers. “Mohawk had a factory just outside Detroit along the expressway and .  .  . all their products were made there. It’s almost like they turned a switch—whiskey, vodka, gin. And it was all junk.” Still, by 1976, vodka had surpassed bourbon and whiskey as the most popular spirit in America. Roper attributes vodka’s rise partially to women, who started drinking more spirits and ordering them on their own: “Women were not going to like Scotch—that was for cigar-smoking burly men,” he speculates. “And .  .  . it was unladylike to drink Kentucky whiskey. But it was considered somewhat ladylike to have a fancy cocktail with an olive in it.” He also remembers when a salesman first brought Miller Lite into his bar, explaining “it’s for women.” In a similar vein, Roper considers vodka a low-calorie option with “a less challenging flavor.”

Avatar_57x57

Danny Meyer Is on a Roll

On the restauranteur behind New York’s Gramercy Tavern and Shake Shack.

Avatar_57x57

Balanced Diets

On the history and study of pica:

Indeed, we have long defined ourselves and others by what we do and do not eat, from kashrut dietary restrictions described in Leviticus to the naming of Comanche bands (Kotsoteka—buffalo eaters, Penateka—honey eaters, Tekapwai—no meat) to insults—French frogs, English limeys, German krauts. But poya seemed to beg a different question: what was one to make of people who ate food that wasn’t food at all?

Avatar_57x57

A Patriot's Guide to the Hot Dog Eating Contest

A primer on competitive eating’s premier event, the Hot Dog Eating Contest, which airs today at noon EST:

1: During the allotted period of time, contestants eat as many hot dogs and buns (called "HDBs") as they can. 2: They're allowed to use a beverage of their choice to wash things down. 3: They must stay in full view of their own, personal "Bunnette" scorekeeper. 4: Condiments may be used, but are not required. 5: HDBs that are still in the mouth at the end of the contest only count if they are eventually swallowed. 6: Puking up the hot dogs before the end of the contest (called "a reversal") will result in a disqualification, unless you do something horrific to make up for it (more on this later.)

Avatar_57x57

The Spam Factory's Dirty Secret

First Hormel gutted the union. Then it sped up the line. And when the pig-brain machine made workers sick, they got canned.

Avatar_57x57

My Mom Couldn't Cook

A personal essay about family through the lens of mashed potatoes.

Avatar_57x57

The Assassin in the Vineyard

Who would poison the vines of La Romanée-Conti, the tiny, centuries-old vineyard that produces what most agree is Burgundy’s finest, rarest, and most expensive wine?

Avatar_57x57

Jay-Z’s Great Champagne Robbery

Reposted after it was pulled by The Atlantic:
How the little known $50/bottle champagne Antique Gold became the $300/bottle Armand de Brignac that Jay-Z "happened upon in a wine shop" and then featured in a video.
Avatar_57x57

The Serfs of Arkansas

Immigrant farmers are flocking to the poultry industry -- only to become 21st-century sharecroppers for companies like Tyson.
Avatar_57x57

Restaurant Rebel

If you hit a bar or restaurant in South Miami, there’s a good chance Eddie Santana has waited tables there. And then sued. Sometimes after only a single day on the job.

Avatar_57x57

Microsoft’s Former CTO Takes On Modernist Cuisine

Tackling the science of cooking, one perfect french fry at a time.

Avatar_57x57

A Cocktail Party In The Street

An interview with Alan Stillman, who in 1965 founded T.G.I. Friday’s, the first singles bar in America.

Avatar_57x57

Interview: Francis Ford Coppola

“As we enter into a new age, maybe art will be free. Maybe the students are right. They should be able to download music and movies. I’m going to be shot for saying this. But who said art has to cost money?”

Avatar_57x57

The Real American Pie

Mince pie was once more American than the apple variety. It was also blamed for “bad health, murderous dreams, the downfall of Prohibition, and the decline of the white race,” among other things. Then it disappeared.

Avatar_57x57

The Guiltless Pleasure

An ode to mayonnaise.

Avatar_57x57

If You Knew Sushi

A stroll through Tokyo’s Tsukiji, the world’s largest seafood market, and the mecca of the global sushi trade.

Avatar_57x57

Burger Queen

A profile of April Bloomfield, chef at The Spotted Pig.

Avatar_57x57

Keeping It Kosher

A rare co-mingling between Hasidic Jews and their Crown Heights neighbors within Brooklyn’s ‘Basil Pizza & Wine Bar.’

Avatar_57x57

The 36-Hour Dinner Party

A one fire, one goat, many cooks experiment.

Avatar_57x57

It Was Delicious While It Lasted

The world’s most renowned chef, Ferran Adrià, says that the only way he can push forward the art form of cooking is to close his own restaurant.

Avatar_57x57

Inside D.C.’s Food-Truck Wars

This isn’t truck-on-truck violence. It’s the taxpaying owners of brick-and-mortar restaurants—along with a host of other powerful District players—who are waging the attack.

Avatar_57x57

Chef on the Edge

David Chang’s manic quest for a flawless restaurant.

Avatar_57x57

Pocketful of Dough

If you walk into New York’s best restaurants without a reservation, what does it take to get a table?

Avatar_57x57

The Pot and How to Use It

On the elegance and utility of the rice cooker.

Avatar_57x57

The Taste Makers

Where does Strawberry-Kiwi Snapple come from? Givaudan is part of a tiny, secretive industry that produces new flavors.

Avatar_57x57

Consider the Lobster

A trip to a lobster festival leads to an examination of the culinary and ethical dimensions of cooking a live, possibly sentient, creature.

Avatar_57x57

Some Things Never Die

Race relations at the gigantic and soul-crushing Smithfield slaughterhouse, where annual turnover is 100 percent: 5,000 people are hired, 5,000 quit.

Avatar_57x57

Why McDonald’s Fries Taste So Good

Mysterious, man-made “natural flavor” explains why most fast food—indeed, most of the food Americans eat—tastes the way it does. An early excerpt from Fast Food Nation.

Avatar_57x57

Drink Up

Fred Franzia makes a lot of money selling really cheap wine.