Shostack + Friends Blog Archive


Kale Caesar

According to the CBC: “McDonald’s kale salad has more calories than a Double Big Mac” In a quest to reinvent its image, McDonald’s is on a health kick. But some of its nutrient-enhanced meals are actually comparable to junk food, say some health experts. One of new kale salads has more calories, fat and sodium […]


Chocolate Waffles

Too good not to share (inspired by: Chocolate-Hazelnut Waffles with Frangelico-Brown-Butter Syrup) Ingredients : 6 oz. (1-1/3 cups) fresh ground whole-wheat flour 2 oz. (2/3 cup) natural cocoa powder 1-1/2 tsp. baking powder 1/2 tsp. baking soda 1 tsp. kosher salt 3/4 cup granulated palm sugar 2 large eggs, at room temperature 3 oz. (6 […]


Sedgwick, Maine versus the Feds

“Maine Town Declares Food Sovereignty, Nullifies Conflicting Laws.” So reads the headline at the 10th Amendment center blog: The Maine town of Sedgwick took an interesting step that brings a new dynamic to the movement to maintain sovereignty: Town-level nullification. Last Friday, the town passed a proposed ordinance that would empower the local level to […]


Repeal Day Rant

Rachel Tayse over at Hounds In The Kitchen, has an awesome Repeal Day Rant on why repeal day isn’t as good as it sounds. Yet again I feel a lot less free.


Saturday Corn Baking

Well, following on Arthur’s post on baking bread, I wanted to follow up with “how to bake corn:” Please go read “Baked Buttered Corn” A way to bring some happiness to the end of summer is to take this corn and simply bake it with butter. It’s fabulous. The starchy corn juices create a virtual […]


Friday Bread Baking

A few folks have asked, so here’s my general bread recipe in bakers percentages. In bakers percentages everything is based on a ratio compared to the weight of the flour. The formula for my bread is: 100% Whole wheat flour (I’m a geek, I grind my own) 72% Water (or whey) 2% Salt 1% Yeast […]


This is what science is for

In “The Quest for French Fry Supremacy 2: Blanching Armageddon,” Dave Arnold of the French Culinary Institute writes: Blanching fries does a lot for you – such as: killing the enzymes that make the potatoes turn purpley-brown. Blanching is always necessary if the potatoes will be air-dried before frying. gelatinizing the starch. During frying, pre-cooked […]


76% Organic

The back does explain that it’s 76% organic petite sirah, and 24% non-organic grapes. I just thought it was a pretty funny thing to put on the front label, and wonder which consumers are going to be more likely to buy it, knowing that it’s 76% organic.


St. Cajetan's Revenge

For some time, I’ve watched the War on Bottled Water with amusement. I don’t disagree with figuring out how to reduce waste, and so on and so forth, but the railing against bottled water per se struck me as not thought out very well. The major reason for my thinking is that I never heard […]


Tabletop Science

Mordaxus emailed some of us and said “I hope this doesn’t mean MG has jumped the shark.” What was he talking about? Apparently, ThinkGeek now has a “Molecular Gastronomy Starter Kit.” For those of you who’ve been hiding in a Cheesecake Factory for the past few years, molecular gastronomy is the art of using science […]


Make the Smart Choice: Ignore This Label

He said the criteria used by the Smart Choices™ Program™ were seriously flawed, allowing less healthy products, like sweet cereals and heavily salted packaged meals, to win its seal of approval. “It’s a blatant failure of this system and it makes it, I’m afraid, not credible,” Mr. Willett said. […] Eileen T. Kennedy, president of […]


Umami, or why MSG tastes so good

It’s appetizing news for anyone who’s ever wanted the savory taste of meats and cheeses without actually having to eat them: chemists have identified molecular mechanisms underlying the sensation of umami, also known as the fifth taste. … The umami receptor’s shape is similar to that of sweetness receptors, he said, and his team’s research […]


Fake Fish and Security

There was a very interesting article in the New York Times, “Fish Tale has DNA Hook,” in which two high school students used DNA testing to discover that nearly 1/4 of the sushi they tested and identified was mis-labeled. The article only identifies one of the vendors: Dr. Stoeckle was willing to divulge the name […]


The Omnivore's Hundred

I find it interesting that security people and foodies are strongly correlated. Or at least are strongly correlated among the ones I know. Very Good Taste has a list of things called The Omnivore’s Hundred, a list of things worth trying, modulo this and that. You mark things you have tried, and mark things you […]


How about a little fire?

At WD-50 I saw something done to the potatoes that makes a cook scream, “yes!” A method of cooking the potatoes with an explanation using true understanding of the molecules inside the potatoes and the effects of heat on them. The potatoes are peeled, sliced, and cooked in a water bath at 65 degrees celsius […]


Food and Bacterial Risk Assessment

How clean is that piece of food that you dropped on the floor? Do you really want to eat it? Harold McGee explores the five-second rule in the New York Times. Personally, I always heard it as the thirty-second rule. I guess that it’s a good thing I have a strong immune system.


New Cookery: Emergent Chaos in the Kitchen

Ferran Adria, Heston Blumenthal, Thomas Keller and Harold McGee have issued a statement on the New Cookery: In the past, cooks and their dishes were constrained by many factors: the limited availability of ingredients and ways of transforming them, limited understanding of cooking processes, and the necessarily narrow definitions and expectations embodied in local tradition. […]


Live Poultry!

If you’ve ever lived in Cambridge, Mass, you’ve probably seen the sign. I recognized it instantly, seven years after I left Boston. It’s on Cambridge St, in East Cambridge. Boston’s Weekly Dig dug in: It’s one of the more puzzling quirks of the local cultural consciousness that Gould’s shop is almost universally known, yet few […]


Bacon of the Month Club

There are days when I wish I was Boingboing. No, really. Because if I were Boingboing, I could blog about friggin’ Bacon of the Month Clubs all day long, and have a everybody on the planet clicking on my ads while I sat in my hot tub dictating posts. But we’re not. We have self-respect, […]


Hamming it Up

(or “The New York Times Gets Self-Referentially Ironic“) … he recognizes that plenty of people must think that rounding up friends and family members to go in on a thousand-dollar ham that he envisions hanging in his living room is crazy. But food lovers like him understand, he says. And in the end, the elaborate […]


Judging Wines By Their Labels

Stefan Geens has an entertaining post about “how to judge a wine by its label:” Therein lies the secret as to why you really can judge wine by its label: Companies where the management has an atrocious taste in labels tend to be the old-school type, uncertain about innovation, parochial about marketing and under the […]


Minh: Great Vietnamese in Arlington, VA

I had lunch yesterday at Minh, at 2500 Wilson Blvd, Arlington, VA, and it was excellent. The spring rolls were crispy, tender, and not greasy. I had mint scallops as a main, and they were subtle and well prepped. The dessert, which I think was made offside was a hollowed out tangerine filled with tangerine […]


Evidence based…cooking

The curiosity that fueled the experiments in Mr. McGee’s first book is undiminished after 20 years, and his approach to cooking is still skeptical. He tries to take as little as possible for granted, asking at each step: Why am I doing this? Is there a better way? All this questioning has yielded conclusions, some […]