• Talk about mockery: Emily Nunn dives into the world of fake food — from imitation cockscomb in the 17th century to the fake-orange flavor in Tang to faux meat at Karyn’s. While she comes up with no conclusive reasons for faking what we’re making, there are enough food-related anecdotes here to fuel at least three months of dinner parties. (Our personal favorite example of mock food — or at least, food-related trickery — can be found here)
• Bill Daley takes us into the dark underbelly of TAPAS, a 78-member society dedicated to furthering the American opinion of tempranillo, the Spanish grape variety that dominates Rioja. This warm, bold, jammy grape is increasingly showing up domestically, but the jury’s out on whether American production is worth it — after all, Spain does a bang-up job at a very attractive price point.
• Mr. Daley again, wrapping up Chicago Gourmet — from the wine side. Bill takes a glass-half-full approach to the infamous disparity between available food and available wine: With so much amazing wine on offer, it’s a shame there wasn’t food to match.
• Eat This, Not That, the picture-heavy sort-of-diet-book that came out a few years ago, sparked a media frenzy when it revealed the calorie bombs packed by most chain-restaurant menu items. Now the authors deliver a companion volume targeted at kids, and Joe Gray has the scoop.
• The Trib’s section reorganization means that now JeanMarie Brownson will be contributing a biweekly column on cooking for families. This week: Guinness! That’s right, the beer, a brilliant addition to beef stew. (We made a very similar stew to this one about a dozen times last winter, we can totally attest to its deliciousness.)
A jerk “burger” at Karyn’s, via.