Over-the-Top Barbecuing: A Gold-Plated Grill for $155,000: Gold-plated grills are not just for rappers and Ryan Lochte anymore. The Australian grill company BeefEater recently covered one of their Series 6 Burner LS4000s in 24-carat gold to make the most expensive grill in the world. Unfortunately for those who think this sounds like the perfect Father’s Day gift, only one was produced, and it’s not for sale.
The Many Different Types of People Who Drink Iced Coffee: Are you The Stoic, The Temporary Abstainer, or The Existentialist when it comes to your iced coffee preferences? Do you freeze coffee into ice cubes to ensure you don’t water down your brew? Do you turn it into dessert due to the amount of sugar and cream you add? Take a look at this list of every possible incarnation of the cold-brew drinker to find out into which camp you fall.
Name That Food: 9 Abstract Photos of Common Items: The photographs that Ajay Malghan takes look like images of supernovas or strange, deep-sea creatures. But all of them are actually of common foods such as carrots, strawberries, and shrimp. Malghan makes these pictures by shining colored lights through thin slices of food onto light-sensitive paper, a method which captures the ethereal image of the item’s shadow.
Cook’s Illustrated test cook Dan Cellucci doses a Dutch oven full of warmed goat’s milk with a dilute solution of liquid rennet to kick off the process of making feta cheese, a recipe for which will appear in an upcoming special issue. Rennet, a complex of enzymes with a storied place in the cheese-making tradition, is the agent that will coagulate the milk, helping it solidify into the final delicious product. See more behind-the-scenes photos at: http://bit.ly/o0qi36
McSweeney’s Reviews New Foods, Including Blue Icing: Wondering about the lastest foods to hit grocery stores and restaurants? No? You will be after you read McSweeney’s eleventh batch of “Reviews of New Food,” including Covered Bridge’s Homestyle Ketchup Chips; Betty Crocker Decorating Cookie Icing, Blue; and Trader Joe’s Inner Peas.
Your Brain on Coffee: It’s Not Bad News: Good news for coffee drinkers: Recent research suggests that your caffeine habit is actually good for you. Drinking coffee has been shown to prevent the onset of Alzheimer’s and reduce the risk of certain cancers. It could also potentially extend lives (and, of course, keep you more alert during yours).
Wasted Food Means Wasted Water, Too: Aside from just being wasteful, sending food to landfills increases greenhouse gas emissions. But it also wastes a lot of water, according to the World Resources Institute, an environmental think tank. Throwing away 1.3 billion tons of food every year, the global rate, means that 45 trillion gallons of water are also wasted (24% of all water used for agriculture).
Bees Produce Green and Blue Honey After Eating M&Ms: Beekeepers in northeastern France found themselves with a sticky, colorful problem when bees in the region started producing honey in shades of green and blue. An investigation found the cause of the problem to be that bees were feeding on remains of colored M&M candy shells that were being processed by a biogas plant about 2.5 miles away. Unfortunately, the bright honey cannot be sold: It doesn’t meet France’s standards of honey colors, which must be on the spectrum of nearly colorless to dark brown.
Test kitchen intern Andrew Pugh puts the final cheesy touches on a batch of bean enchiladas while preparing a taste test of five variations on the classic Mexican dish as part of recipe development for an upcoming issue of Cook’s Illustrated. See more behind-the-scenes photos at: http://bit.ly/o0qi36
Is “Mixologist” A Pretentious Term or Historical Word?: While “mixologist” may sound like a modern, more pretentious word for bartender, it has roots that go much farther back than the hipster invasion of Brooklyn. The word can be found on a menu from 1975 with the words “tropical mixology from the islands” to describe tiki drinks. But the oldest reference one writer could find was in a 1891 book called Cocktail Boothby’s American Bartender: The Only Practical Treatise On The Art of Mixology Published. Perhaps this modern pretention is really historical pretention.
Summer Trend Alert: Artisanal Popsicles: In the words of Brooklyn chef Rob Newton, “I’ve never seen anyone eat a popsicle and not smile. That’s a good way to end a meal.” Restaurants around the country seem to agree, as many are offering the cool treat in flavors as diverse as Hamburger Mac N Cheese at The Anthem in Chicago to the Caramel Palm Sugar offering at Newton’s Nightingale 9. We’d like to try the Dream Pop, a fruit popsicle served in a glass of champagne at New York City’s Ava Lounge.
The Cronut Craze: Do It Yourself: Cronuts, the pastry made of croissant dough, shaped into a donut, fried in oil, and topped or stuffed with icing, have taken the baking world by storm. The brainchild of the Dominique Ansel Bakery in NYC, these super healthy (sarcasm, folks) treats were only unveiled three weeks ago, but they’ve already gained a huge following. So much so that there’s already a recipe available for the ambitious home cook.
The Largest Pizzas Money Can Buy: The world’s biggest pizzas make the standard large at your local joint look like pizza for ants. From a 54 by 54-inch pizza at Big Mama’s and Papa’s Pizzeria in LA to the aptly named Colossus pizza available at Il Colosseo in Sydney, Australia, these pies would give you leftovers for weeks. And don’t worry if you’re more into weight than diameter, because Big Lou’s in San Antonio should hit the spot: Diners can enjoy a pizza that weighs in around 30 pounds.