The Times Magazine’s annual examination of “big ideas” brings news of some culinary innovations such as a food-processing technique that helps farmed fish taste more like wild fish (encouraging fast-food companies to make the switch to the former) and packaging that will allow us to tell whether supermarket meat is rotten, which is of no consequence to those in another article who practice “vegansexuality” by forgoing liaisons with carnivores. The most curious item, though, explores French Culinary Institute head Dave Arnold’s ingenious method of combining two of our favorite things booze and pickles by pickling cucumbers with a martini’s worth of gin and vermouth. Watch the video and you’ll see the dapper Arnold use a vacuum machine to turn the cucumber opaque while gin rushes into its air holes easily the hottest thing in mixology since the “hard shake.”
The Edible CocktailTell-Tale Food WrappingVegansexualityFish-Flavored Fish [NYT]
How does one celebrate the purchase of a $330,000 truffle? How about with the “World’s Most Expensive Organic Martini,” preposterously priced at $665 (because $666 would be evil). It’s now on the menu at vegetarian hangout Counter, and the ingredient of note is iridium, an element that the menu tells us is “believed to have powered the Ark of the Covenant” (and also “may cause irritation of the digestive tract”!) Actually, it only contains a couple of drops of the stuff, for shits and giggles (you can’t taste it; we tried). So why, then, is the drink so damned expensive?
The Beard Foundation, in the spotlight as Monday’s awards approach, is still on shaky ground financially, and questions still linger about the way it spends its money. [NYT]
Restaurants are lobbying customers to vote for them in the Zagat survey, a trend nobody likes, but which few in the business can stop or resist. [NYP]
The days of the fat chef seem to have been passed, leaving mostly whippet-slim cooks to inherit the world’s kitchens. [Waitrose via Serious Eats]