What We’re Reading: June 28, 2014

Our editors are as deep into their reading as they are into the summer.

How’d it get to be the end of June already? Beats us. This week, our editors are as deep into their reading as they are into the summer, studying up on the care and keeping of cast iron and how to build the perfect burger (and doing some pleasure reading, too.)

VIDEO: “Intermarché – ‘Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables’” by Marcel
A French supermarket chain launched an “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables” campaign, selling aesthetically nonconforming produce at a reduced price while showing consumers that the taste and utility of the “Unfortunate Clementine” and the “Disfigured Eggplant” are exactly the same as their photo-ready counterparts.

They reduced food waste, saw an increase in sales and educated their consumers about the farming process. Now if we could just get the U.S. on board…

Rachel Wharton: Chemistry of Cast Iron Seasoning: A Science-Based How-To — Sheryl’s Blog
A very lengthy (and informative) post with a science-based explanation of  why you should be seasoning your cast iron with organic linseed oil. It touches on everything from free radicals to the drying properties of fats to carcinogens in commercial bacon drippings to the higher omega-3 properties of the lard we ate in a previous era.

Eileen M. Duffy: Deconstructing the Perfect Burger — New York Times
If the food world is small, the burger world is even smaller. As it happens, hamburger expert George Motz is Edible Long Island editor, Betsy Davidson’s, cousin, and this week the New York Times sought him out for counseling on how to make the perfect burger. Motz was also featured in the summer issue of Edible Long Island. (Check out the story for the barbecue sauce recipe.) The secret, Motz says, is using a cast iron skillet so the meat cooks in its own grease. Yes, grease. Now I’m hungry.

Amy Zavatto: The Cook and the Gardener by Amanda Hesser
Now that I’m on a break from booze school (e.g., WSET Diploma — Unit 2 was a killer), I’ve got a little free time to read stuff other than my very dense textbook and the Periodic Table of Elements as it applies to wine. So this week I’m picking up a book I’ve been meaning to get to for some time — Amanda Hesser’s The Cook and the Gardener. Technically, I guess it’s a cookbook. Hesser spent a year at a Burgundy-based chateau cooking for the cookbook author and teacher Anne Willan, and during that time forged a lovely friendship with the home’s long-time gardener who supplied her with the vegetables, herbs, and fruits she’d use on a daily basis. Anything that makes me slow down and look around is a good thing, and I think this book has the potential to do just that. Also: I’m making my first trek to Burgundy in a few weeks, so a little pre-immersion is on the docket, too.

Caroline Lange: A Homemade Life by Molly Wizenberg
Molly Wizenberg, the writer behind the blog Orangette, wrote her first book, A Homemade Life, back in 2010, but I’m not getting to it until now—four years late to the party, and after the publication of her second book, Delancey. I’m starting with A Homemade Life first, which makes chronological and practical sense, since there are currently 34 holds on what seems to be a single copy of Delancey at the Brooklyn Public Library. Let that be an indication of how enjoyable Molly Wizenberg’s prose is. With a memory attached to each recipe, and the line between the recipe and memory smudgy more often than not, it’s really hitting the spot.

Feature photo: Flickr/sweetonveg

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