books and media

Kinou Nani Tabeta? A manga about food and life, plus: Caramel Stewed Apples

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[Update] As of March 2014, Kinou Nani Tabeta?, re-titled What Did You Eat Yesterday? is now being released in English by Vertical! Volume 1 is available now. I am re-featuring this review that I wrote in December 2010 to commemorate this happy news. ^^

Kinou Nani Tabeta? (What did you eat yesterday?) is a wonderful manga series that features lots of delicious recipes. One of them is a supremely simple recipe for stewed caramel apples. continue reading...

An article about Kyoto in Asia Eater, a brand new magazine about food

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I have an article about Kyoto in a brand new food magazine. continue reading...

A scandalous incident on a TV food show. No, not that one.

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By now you have probably at least heard about the brouhaha over the owners of a restaurant/bakery that appeared on Gordon Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares show (U.S. version). If not, you can read about it here and many, many other places.

There was a big to-do surrounding a TV food show here in France too. The show in question: Top Chef. (Yes there’s one of those in France.) continue reading...

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Japanese cuisine the most popular foreign cuisine..? What's your favorite?

This bit of news crossed my path today via Twitter, and it has me scratching my head a bit. In December 2012, the Japan External Trade Organization (JETRO) conducted a web based survey in 7 countries - China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, South Korea, France, the United States and Italy. continue reading...

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It looks like the revival of Iron Chef Japan has been cancelled

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Iron Chef Japan has been cancelled already, according to reports in Japan. :( continue reading...

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Pondering two food documentaries: Jiro Dreams of Sushi and Kings of Pastry

Two documentary films that show the importance of sushi, and pastry, in their respective cultures. continue reading...

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The Return of Iron Chef Japan, Part 2

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On Friday October 26, 2012 after 13 years, Ryouri no Tetsujin returned to the airwaves on Fuji TV. Does it live up to the legendary original? continue reading...

The Return of Iron Chef Japan, Part 1

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A long time ago, when I used to live in New York, there was a 2 hour long block of Japanese programming every morning from 7 to 9 on UHF channel 31 (I’ve forgotten what station that was). The programming originated from Fuji Sankei TV. The first hour was taken up by the news and such. The second hour was devoted to entertainment programming. One of the shows they aired was called Ryouri no Tetsujin (料理の鉄人). This was the original Iron Chef. continue reading...

My father's favorite Tampopo scene

How my late father related to a particular scene in the movie Tampopo. continue reading...

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A full review of Supermarket Woman by Juzo Itami

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Looking in-depth at an old favorite. continue reading...

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MasterChef deja vu

A mini-rant of sorts, about MasterChef, the show I used to love. continue reading...

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Book review: The Mish-Mash Dictionary of Marmite

Long time readers of this blog may know that I have an obsessive interest in certain foods. Near the top of the list of these is Marmite, the viscous, salty, dark brown yeast spread from Britain. Heck, I even have a category for it. Here’s my review of a fun book of Marmite facts. continue reading...

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Julie and Julia: An overly long and very late review

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Last night I finally got to see Julie and Julia. Here is my very long and otaku-ish take on it. continue reading...

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Book review and giveaway: Izakaya, the Japanese Pub Cookbook

izakaya.pngWhen a Japanese person dreams of quitting his or her rat-race job and opening a restaurant, the type of restaurant they usually envision is either a kissaten or kafe (a café-restaurant) or an izakaya. An Izakaya (居酒屋)is a small traditional pub that serves food, rather like a Spanish tapas bar. Many are quite tiny, with just the counter and maybe a few tables. The best ones are run with a lot of passion and love, and have fiercely loyal customers.

Izakaya, the Japanese Pub Cookbook conveys the atmosphere and love of food and good sake that are hallmarks of good izakaya perfectly. Written by Mark Robinson, an Australian journalist who fell in love with izakaya establishments in Tokyo, with gorgeous photography in both color and black and white by Masashi Kuma, it is part cookbook and part ode to the cult of the izakaya. You don’t just get recipes here, even though it’s called a cookbook. There are profiles of izakaya masters, useful advice on izakaya etiquette, notes on sake types, anecdotes and a lot more. I think it can reside as happily on a bedside table as in the kitchen - a quality I look for when I buy cookbooks. continue reading...

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Book review: The Enlightened Kitchen, shōjin ryōri (shoujin ryouri) for the home

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A review of The Enlightened Kitchen: Fresh Vegetable Dishes from the Temples of Japan by Mari Fujii, a beautifully presented, easy introduction to the world of shojin ryori (or shoujin ryouri 精進料理), the highly refined vegan cuisine developed by Buddhist monks in Japan. One copy of this great book is up for grabs! continue reading...

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Savings Techniques for Women Who Can't Save

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This article about my favorite Japanese personal finance book is part of Frugal Food Month. While it’s not directly about food, I hope it’s of interest to Just Hungry readers anyway! continue reading...

MasterChef 2009, the best and worst of food TV in 2008, and upcoming

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My favorite food TV show MasterChef is back for another round of competitive cooking fun! The hosts are John Torode and Gregg Wallace again, or Pasty and Toad as they are affectionately (or not) known in MasterChef fan circles. (I can’t remember who is Pasty and who is Toad though.) See my thoughts on the 2008 MasterChef finals and you’ll see why I love this show. I hope that 2009 will reveal equally exciting talents. continue reading...

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Oh noes, dashi is trendy now

In the past few years, the popularity of Japanese food has exploded, with sushi leading the way. You might think that as the owner of a blog that is mainly dedicated to Japanese cooking, I’d be ecstatic about that.

I am happy, sure. It’s gratifying to gradually see the cuisine of my birthplace being recognized as something special. But on the other hand, I’m more than a bit skeptical. I wonder if, in a few years, hipster ‘foodies’ are going to turn their noses up at Japanese cuisine. “That was so naughties” they might be saying sometime in 2015, as they tuck into the latest craze for - I don’t know what. continue reading...

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From the $1500 dinner to Russell Baker's Francs and Beans

Being pleasantly reminded of a classic piece of food writing. continue reading...

Update on the book situation and ruminating on cookbooks

A month ago, I asked how I should get rid of cookbooks and craft books. There were lots of great suggestions in the comments - thank you! Here’s an update…plus some ruminations on cookbooks.

I posed that question a month ago, when I was just starting the packing-and-purging process. At that time I thought I’d just have say, one box of books to get rid of. But as we went through the zillion books that have accumulated, we realized that there were far, far more. continue reading...

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In Shojo Beat Magazine

I was interviewed recently for Shojo Beat Magazine, an English magazine published in the U.S. dedicated to shojo manga (manga for girls), and the results of whatever I said are in the most recent issue. Unfortunately the articles isn’t online, so I haven’t had a chance to read it yet, but the whole issue is dedicated to Japanese food and manga - sounds like fun!

Update: Here is the link to the article (an excerpt I think). (Thanks heatherbug!) continue reading...

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Alimentum Summer 2008

alimentum_summer2008.gifThe Summer 2008 issue of Alimentum is out. This quarterly journal of food writing which includes non-fiction, short stories and poetry, is one of my favorite magazines of any genre, let alone food. In my current purge-decluttering mood, it’s one of the few magazines that I am keeping all issues of. See my first review of it here. The summer issue is as wonderful as usual. Did I mention that the illustrations (proper illustrations, no photography) are as great as the writing?

If you’re in the New York area, they are having an issue launch party this Sunday, June 29th. There will be a reading, wine, cupcakes(!) and maybe even omelettes. Details here. (This kind of event makes me almost with I still lived in New York, except for the July weather…)

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Going Out For An English, the greatest restaurant sketch ever

Oh no, two YouTube posts in a row! Well on Saturday we went to an Indian restaurant in town, and invariably our favorite restaurant related video was brought up. Goodness Gracious Me (Wikipedia entry) was a half hour comedy sketch show that ran on BBC One and Two from 1998 to 2001. In case you have never heard of it and you’re in the U.S., it was a little bit like the ’90s comedy show In Living Color, except that the cast in GGM was almost all Asian (as in South Asian, or Indian), who also wrote all the sketches. It poked fun at many British and British-Asian things. One of the best routines was one that made fun of a typical outing to an Indian restaurant. This sketch is called Going Out for an English. I don’t think you have to be Asian (as in South Asian) or British to find it funny…it’s how a lot of people still behave, at any ‘ethnic’ restaurant!

“What is the Blandest Thing you have on the menu?”

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Pondering the new Delia Smith, plus acceptable cooking shortcuts

While I was mostly lounging around for the past week, I did get to catch up on a lot of TV. One of the shows I’ve cleared from my DVR is the new one from Delia Smith on BBC Two. continue reading...

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The winner of MasterChef 2008 is....

The three finalists of the BBC’s MasterChef 2008 wait anxiously for the winner to be proclaimed…

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Japanese pan-roasted and marinated duck breast (Kamo ro-su)

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I had to make this beautifully easy duck breast dish three times over within a span of two weeks. The first two attempts disppeared before I could take a photo. continue reading...

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Kill It, Cook It, Eat It is back too

I just realised that Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, the BBC Three show that brings you into a real working abattoir, is also back for another series (season) starting tonight at 10:30PM BT/11:30PM CET (also repeated at 12:45AM/1:45AM). I mentioned it yesterday as one of my top food TV shows of last year. It will be shown every night for this week, and the lineup looks interesting, to say the least. They are going for the baby animals…

  • Monday (today): Suckling Pig
  • Tuesday: Kid Goat
  • Wednesday: Veal
  • Thursday: Milk Fed Lamb
  • Friday: Omnibus (recap of the week I guess)

For more information, see the BBC Three site.

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The return of MasterChef, plus the best food TV shows of 2007

My favorite food tv show is back! Plus, a look back at the best and worst of food television in 2007. continue reading...

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Nourishing food writing and music

Some time ago, I realized that I was often using food to deal with anxiety and stress. I can’t say I’ve gotten out of that habit totally, but I know the symptoms now and can deal with them a bit better. One way is to read about food instead. I’m sure I’m not the only one who takes cookbooks to read in bed. continue reading...

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Do you have cook's hands?

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At the moment I am reading a book called The Kitchen. It’s been reissued with another book by the same author, Nicolas Freeling, as The Kitchen and The Cook, both of which were written in the post-World War II period. I’m reading it as slowly as I can, because it is a book to savor.

One of the early passages in The Kitchen caught my eye, where the author describes the hands of a cook. continue reading...

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House & Garden archives

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Many people who are interested in cooking and food are probably interested in the whole ‘shelter’ area - home design, architecture, crafts, gardening, and all kinds of domestic subjects. At least, I am. So it was very sad news indeed to hear that House & Garden will cease publication as of the December 2007 issue - even though I haven’t picked up an issue for longer than I can remember. (I guess there were lots of people like me in that respect, which is a reason why they did fold.) The web site is still up, though there’s no indication of how long it will be there. For people interested in the past history of this venerable publication, The Online Books Page has a list of links to archived editions from 1911 to 1922. Browsing through those old pages makes for some fascinating reading. continue reading...

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A belated review of Ratatouille

ratatouille-movie.jpgYesterday, we finally got to see Ratatouille (the movie that is, not the dish), when it opened in western or French-speaking Switzerland. The movie theater in Lausanne was only sparsely filled, though since the weather was so glorious, and it was Swiss National Day (sort of like Independence Day in the U.S. in terms of the way in which people celebrate it, with barbeques and fireworks) I guess that was sort of understandable. Anyway, my review, with many spoilers, follows after the jump. continue reading...

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Summer 2007 issue of Alimentum

While I was away, the new Summer 2007 issue of Alimentum arrived in my mailbox. I’ve written about this little quarterly journal previously; it’s dedicated to “The Literature Of Food”, and it’s a pure delight for anyone who is interested in reading and food, especially when they go together. The web site has some samples from the current and past issues - be sure to check them out.

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The Edwardians and their food on BBC Four

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BBC Four is running a series of program(me)s about the Edwardians, and two of those are about the food of the era. They have already aired but will be repeated several times as most BBC Four shows are. Both are well worth watching for anyone interested in food and history.

Edwardian Supersize Me is the showier of the two. Giles Coren, food critic for The Times, and TV presenter Sue Perkins lived the life of well-off Edwardians for a week, and ate like the Edwardians of the upper-middle class did - in Sue’s case while wearing a corset. Their in-house meals were cooked by famed food writer Sophie Grigson, from an Edwardian housekeeping book, and they also ate out frequently since this was the era when restaurant dining became popular in England. continue reading...

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Onigiri in the movies: Kamome Diner (Seagull Diner) and Supermarket Woman

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Whenever I am feeling blue, one of the foods that I crave is onigiri. You could just chalk that up to the fact that it’s mostly rice = carbs and I’m just craving a carb fix. But it really goes beyond that. It’s tied to memories of my aunts making row upon row of perfectly shaped onigiri for a family gathering, and the salty tinge on my lips from the giant onigiri my mother made for me for a school outing.

Two of the most popular articles here on Just Hungry are the ones about onigiri. It’s great to see so many people from around the world enjoying this quintessential Japanese comfort food.

There are two very interesting Japanese movies where onigiri play a starring role, in quite different ways; Kamome Diner (Kamome Shokudoh) and Supermarket Woman (Suupaa no Onna). Although neither seems to be available on DVD in English speaking countries yet, I thought I’d talk about them a bit. continue reading...

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The Winner of Masterchef 2007 is...

[Update: Steven has a very gracious post about his win on his blog.]

The winner of Masterchef 2007 is Steven Wallis, a trend analyst from London. Here’s how he looked when he was proclaimed the victor.

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As with previous seasons the final three-course original menu test was the one deciding factor for determining the winner. While both Ben and Hannah tripped up a bit on at least one of their courses, Steven really excelled with all three of his dishes.

Unlike last season, where the perceived failings of eventual winner Peter in tasks leading up to that final three-course test lead to some dissatisfaction about his being declared the winner over crowd favorite (and hottie) Dean, this season’s finalists were fairly even in the tasks during the final week. For me at least there was no clear favorite going into the final episode. continue reading...

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A Taste Of My Life is yet another great BBC food show

A Taste Of My Life, currently airing daily at 19:30 CET / 18:30 BT on BBC Two and repeated the next afternoon, is a show that’s almost perfect. The show ran originally on BBC One last year, but I missed most of it since it aired on Saturday afternoons, not a good time slot for any TV program.

Hosted by well known food writer Nigel Slater, A Taste Of My Life is a warm, comforting show with lots of food porn, that traces the life of a featured celebrity through his or her relationship with food. continue reading...

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Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, Part 4: Traditional butchery in Spain, and chickens

In the fourth and final episode of Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, they reviewed and summarized the previous 3 episodes, visited a small poultry ‘processing’ plant, and showed how a pig is butchered in the traditional way - no stun guns - in Spain.

(Warning: potentially disturbing details follow) continue reading...

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Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, Part 3: Pigs

Last night I finally watched the third episode of Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, as it aired instead of recording it for later viewing, fast-forward button at the ready. (My reviews of Part 1 and Part 2.) In this episode, it was the turn of pigs to be slaughtered. (Warning: some gory details follow…warning put here since a reader complained about a previous entry. When animals get slaughtered, it is gory.) continue reading...

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Kill It, Cook It, Eat It, Part 2: Lamb

I’ve just watched the second episode of Kill It, Cook It, Eat It. If anything it was more intense than the first. I just couldn’t watch it live, just in case I needed to fast-forward some spots, so I recorded it on my DVR and watched it a bit later. As it happens I didn’t fast forward anything, though I was very tempted to at times. I made myself sit still and watch. continue reading...

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Kill It, Cook it, Eat It: a BBC series that shows exactly how meat gets to our plates

Last night the first episode of a TV series called Kill It, Cook It, Eat It aired on BBC Three. The premise of the program(me) is to show exactly how meat gets to our plates.

The first episode jumped right in, by showing, in an actual working abattoir, the slaughter and butchering of real live cows. This was witnessed by several members of the public through glass windows in a special observation area built around the abatoir. Later on, the same people ate meat cut from the cows they had just witnessed being slaughtered and prepared on the spot by a chef. continue reading...

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Yakitate!! Japan

yakitatejapanbig.sidebar.jpgYakitate!! Japan is a popular manga series. So popular in fact that it’s one of the few manga that’s available (legitimately) in English. There was also an anime series, which so far is only (legally) available in Japan. It sort of belongs to a genre of manga called Gourmet (gurume) Manga, manga whose main theme is food-related. The Wikipedia Japan page for Gourmet Manga lists more than 100 titles in this genre, though as far as I know only Yakitate!! is available in English at the moment. (I’ll be talking about other gourmet manga eventually.)

The Yakitate part of the title means “freshly baked”. The Japan part is a pun of sorts: pan is the Japanese word for bread (the word was imported from Portuguese most likely), and the goal of the main character is to find the ultimate JaPan, or Japanese bread. The title sequence of the anime says that “There’s furansu pan (French bread), igirisu pan (English bread), doitsu pan (German bread) but no bread to represent Japan”. The story unfolds in the form of several big Iron Chef style baking competitions, where the main character Kazuma Azuma and others vie with each other for fame and glory. A running gag is that the bread creations are so delicious that they make the eaters, especially main judge Kuroyanagi, have extreme reactions like dying and going to heaven, or (from another judge) sprouting a live peacock out of his head. continue reading...

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Japanese cookbooks in English by a great teacher

book image: Everyday Japanese Cooking

I don’t know how this escaped me until now, but there are actually two cookbooks available in English by one of the best teachers of traditional washoku or Japanese cooking, Tokiko Suzuki. Japanese Homestyle Cooking, published in 2000, is the more recent one, and The Essentials of Japanese Cooking is the other, published in 1995. continue reading...

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Tips for shopping for Japanese books and magazines

Since there seems to be interest in Japanese cookbook reviews, I will be posting some here periodically!

The question is, where is the best place to shop for Japanese books, magazines, DVDs and such? If you have a Japanese bookstore near you, that’s the best place. One tip for buying magazines: the most recent issue of any magazine has been airmailed to the store, so the price you’ll be charged is for the cost of the magazine plus that airmail cost. However, if there are any issues left after a month, the stores may sell them for a discount. (Kinokuniya in New York and San Francisco both do this.) Since most food magazines are not that timely, this works out well.

If you don’t have a Japanese bookstore near you, the two biggest and most user-friendly online bookstores for Japanese language material are Yes Asia and Amazon Japan. I’ve bought stuff from both, and in terms of customer service and so on both are pretty good. continue reading...

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Shopping @ Just Hungry

When you shop via the Just Hungry affiliate stores, you help to support the site while getting stuff you want! It’s a win-win situation! continue reading...

Non-English cookbook reviews?

Recently, I haven’t been reading a lot of English cookbooks - I haven’t really been inspired by any new ones for some reason. Instead, I have been reading a lot of Japanese cookbooks and food magazines. I’ve discovered a few that are new to me, and re-discovered some old favorites.

I’m not sure if it’s worthwhile to talk about them here since…well, they are Japanese. So I guess I will ask - would you like to read about cookbooks and magazines that aren’t in English? If there’s interest I’ll talk about some of my favorites from time to time.

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Video in the kitchen: a critique of video food sites

Recently I’ve been getting several P.R. type emails from new sites that feature videos that they think appeal to food lovers. I do take a look at them, and with very few exceptions I must say that most of them are not worth my time.

I think the people who run all-video sites need to really understand two things before anything else. First is the difference between passive video viewing, i.e. on TV the way many of us still watch TV, and voluntary video viewing. Voluntary viewing means stuff that I must make a conscious effort to choose to view. DVDs fall into this category, as does online video. When I go to YouTube for instance, I need to search, click and then wait a bit to download the video. If the video is crap then I will never view it again, and chances are I’ll try to avoid anything uploaded by that user if I remember to. continue reading...

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Why is health quackery alive and well?

Unless you live in the UK, you probably don’t know who Gillian McKeith is. I didn’t know much about her even though I do watch British television, since she has a show on Channel 4, which I don’t get here. Apparently she is famous as the host of a diet show called “You Are What You Eat”, bestselling author of diet books, and hawker of herbal pills. She puts a Doctor in front of her name, and she’s regarded as a Health Authority. Yet, she is not a medical doctor or even a properly trained and certified nutritionist. Her only health related degree may or may not come via a correspondence course from a non-accredited American college. continue reading...

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The Great Natto Diet turns into the Great Natto Scandal

Following up on the Great Natto Diet story: continue reading...

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MasterChef Goes Large 2007 (Season 3) starts today

Update: The season is over and the winner is announced.

masterchef_presenters_300x193.jpgMasterChef Goes Large, the best competitive cooking show on television today*, starts its third round today. If you live in the U.K. continue reading...

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Reading in brief: Mindless Eating, plus Black Dresses

Mindless Eating: Why We Eat More Than We Think (book site) is a scholary yet very entertaining look at why we eat the way we do. I've already incorporated a few ideas from the Mindless Eating book into my plan, such as using smaller plates and cutting down on desktop dining, a major problem for me. We'll see how it works... continue reading...

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The first 100 days

Happy New Year! continue reading...

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TV: Heston Blumenthal: In Search of Perfection

heston1.jpgHeston Blumenthal makes aerated chocolate with a vacuum cleaner, among other things continue reading...

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Yahoo! Food launches

I am on ten gazillion mailing lists about food, and one of those that drifted in this past week was about the launch of Yahoo! Food. My first impression is that it looks great - clean design, not cluttered with moving bits like the Food TV site. It's similar to BBC Food, my current favorite non-blog food site. I particularly like the huge search box on the Yahoo! page, as well as the food related quotes. continue reading...

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TV: Fear of Fanny - resurrecting Fanny Cradock

Mark Gatiss as Johnnie and Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock on Fear of Fanny

Fear of Fanny is the second in a series of biopics being aired by BBC Four this month. This time, the subject is Fanny Cradock, who ruled as a TV chef in the U.K. in the '60s to the '70s. continue reading...

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TV: The Secret Life of Mrs. Beeton

mrsbeeton.jpg Mrs. Beeton attempts to hack off the head of a turtle, one of the skills required of a homemaker in Victorian times, as her maid looks on anxiously. (don't worry, she couldn't go through with it) continue reading...

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A week of foodie inserts in The Guardian

If you live in the U.K., (or elsewhere where they sell U.K. newspapers complete with inserts) get ready for a week of food-related inserts starting tomorrow in The Guardian.

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Isabella Beeton, Fanny Cradock, and Elizabeth David on the BBC

fannycradock_bbc.jpg Julia Davis as Fanny Cradock in Fear of Fanny continue reading...

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Reading: Heat

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Heat book coverIt has actually been a while since I last put down Heat - or to give its full title, Heat: An Amateur's Adventures as Kitchen Slave, Line Cook, Pasta-Maker, and Apprentice to a Dante-Quoting Butcher in Tuscany.

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Food and being green on the BBC

I am eternally grateful that the BBC broadcasts free-to-air on satellite, and that I live within reception range. I feel a bit guilty that I don't have to pay anything to view the Beeb as UK residents do, and believe me if they started to bill me something I'd pay it without question. The BBC has the best programming, bar none, of any network I've ever seen in any country. (I'm even a closet East Enders watcher, but don't tell anyone.) continue reading...

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Review: ThisNext

thisnextlogo.gifThisNext is a brand new social shopping site that just officially opened last week. I have been using it for a little while now - it powers the Japanese Snacks feature you see on the sidebar of this site. continue reading...

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Why Hell's Kitchen is not a real food show

It's a lazy Sunday afternoon (mainly because I'm avoiding the task of Defrosting the Freezer...more about that later) and I'm sitting here contemplating TV Reality Cooking Shows.

Someone who had read my rather detailed reviews of Top Chef, as well as my adventures following the BBC Masterchef challenges, asked me recently why I didn't do similar reviews of Hell's Kitchen. continue reading...

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A Celebration of Life's Simple Pleasures at the 92nd Street Y

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This evening I went to a panel discussion about food writing at the 92nd Street Y on the Upper East Side of New York. The title of the program was "A Celebration of Life's Simple Pleasures: Good Food and Good Writing".

The Vienna Vegetable Orchestra

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Veggies are good for you. They are also pretty to look at. But did you know you can also listen to them?

The First Vienna Vegetable Orchestra (Das Erste Wiener Gemüseorchester) is an Austrian group that makes music with vegetables. continue reading...

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Do you care what "celebrities" cook?

I am still buried in work and I haven’t surfaced yet. But anyway! It seems that there is yet another cooking show starting tonight in the U.S. on NBC, called Celebrity Cooking Showdown. It features your usual array of D-list “celebrities”, working with some of your usual gang of Chefs That Like To Appear On TV.

I ask the question though…do you care at to see “celebrities” cooking? Do you care if they can even cook or not? I don’t, in the slightest. continue reading...

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2006 James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award Nominees

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The James Beard Foundation Cookbook Award nominee list is out now. I've only read a couple of these, but can recommend them highly. The first, Hungry Planet, is not a cookbook, but rather a fascinating book about food and the way people around the world consume it and buy it. I wrote an in-depth review of it previously.

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The Swiss Spaghetti Harvest

spaghetti_harvest1.jpg Today is April Fool's Day of course. Every year this day rolls around I remember the best food-related April Fool's hoax ever: the Swiss Spaghetti Harvest documentary broadcast by the BBC. continue reading...

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Closing thoughts on my MasterChef challenge

Seven weeks ago, when the second season of the UK food contest show MasterChef Goes Large started, I set myself a personal challenge: to play along and make a dish (or for the last week, 2 dishes) with the list of ingredients provided in the Invention Test that was the first part of the preliminary rounds. I've made 26 different dishes, based on 23 different ingredient lists (I skipped one day). continue reading...

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Cookbook meme (months late)

Talk about being behind. I was offline for much of June and July, and didn't even realize I had been tagged by Helen of Grab Your Fork for this way back then, until I was looking up something and stumbled on it. If someone else tagged me also I apologize. I have been tagged for other memes but being perpetually behind on my reading, I've decided to give most of them a miss. This one I couldn't pass up though.

So here we go: continue reading...

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Reading: Hungry Planet

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Reading: Michelin Red Guide New York

The Michelin Red Guides are considered to be bibles for dining and hotels throughout many European countries - France in particular of course, but also in the U.K., Germany, and other places. Their first North American edition is out now, for - where else - New York City. I picked it up a couple of weeks ago when I was in New York, and I've had a chance finally to peruse it thoroughly.

I have to say I'm quite disappointed. continue reading...

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The expanding crêpe waistline

Brnstwm

Ever since my last posting about crêpes, I have been sadly overindulging on the round, flat buttery goodness of them. My downfall was when I found a frozen stack of them tucked away in the corner of the freezer. Crêpes do freeze well (heavily wrapped to protect them against the dreaded effects of frostbite) and heat up nicely in a dry pan or, if you are in a hurry, the microwave. continue reading...

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Reading: Feast and Toast

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I've recently re-read two books about food, that are not cookbooks. One of them is a book that I must have picked up some years ago, probably during one of my bargain bin raids at Barnes & Noble or a similar store. It's called Feast Here Awhile: Adventures in American Eating, by Jo Brans.

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Reading: M.F.K. Fisher, the greatest of them all

Quite a few people have pointed out that the title (and the subheading) of this site are quotes from M.F.K. Fisher, one of my favorite authors period, not limited to just food-genre writing. I've neglected to give her the proper attributions however. Here they are, finally:

The title "I was just really very hungry" is taken from the title of one of her travel essays, "I Was Really Very Hungry", which is included in As They Were. continue reading...

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