2014 was a good year for adventurous eaters, especially those who don’t snub offerings from fast food restaurants.
The fast food inventions created in 2014 were quite unique, with original hybrid tastes we've never seen before delivered to our tastebuds by cross branded creations worthy of waiting in that long drive thru line.
The potato came to Europe in the late 1500s, but it wasn’t met with a warm welcome. Disregarded by most, it was first used only to feed livestock. But Frederick the Great of Prussia saw the tuber’s potential. Sure, potatoes tasted bland, but they were versatile, cheaper than bread, and easy to stockpile. He introduced them to his army in 1744 and later freely distributed them to peasants during famine. The people weren’t convinced. In fact, the town of Kolberg was so put off that it responded in a letter: “The things have neither smell nor taste, not even the dogs will eat them, so what use are they to us?” To change public opinion, King Frederick employed some reverse psychology and established a royal potato field patrolled by soldiers. Soon, curious citizens were slinking around at night with stolen potatoes to plant in their gardens -exactly what Frederick wanted.
2. THE RICEMAN COMETH
Thomas Jefferson knew how important healthy farms were to his fledgling nation, and he didn’t mind getting his hands dirty to keep his country strong. By summer 1787, the American rice industry was starting to crumble. The rice was mostly grown in swamps, and the stagnant water was a breeding ground for mosquitoes that made nearby workers sick. During his tenure as minister to France, Jefferson found the farmers’ solution: a dry, upland variety of rice grown in Italy. There was just one problem: Italian law forbade “the exportation of rough rice on pain of death.” Jefferson, however, used his power to declare the rice independent, secretly filling his coat pockets with the unhusked varietel before making for the border.
To make the pizza, he melts together 94 different cheeses into one pot, which then cools. From this solid block of mixed cheese, he composes the cheese body of his pizza. Then Di Francesco adds portions of fior di latte, buffalo mozzarella, ricotta, raspadura, and goat cheese. It's so beautiful that I could cry.
At first it just sounded like wind in the trees, but beneath that there's the guttural whisper of an ancient voice saying "Into the kitchen with you, there's unspeakable baking to be done." Now my throat is sore from the endless chanting, my clothing and hair covered in flour, sugar, slime and soot (don't ask), and I can't remember the last time I slept through the night, but I wouldn't dare complain. The Great Old Ones demanded Cthulhumas cookies, so cookies I did make. So very many cookies.
The process of making these cookies is documented in an imgur gallery with plenty of pictures and hilariously Lovecraftian narration. The confluence of holiday cheer and despair, of delicious and dreadful, is irresistible.
Look at this amazing cake! It’s got multiple references to events that happened in the TV series The Walking Dead. This image has been passed around Pinterest and Twitter for months with no reference to the artist who created it, although they deserve a golden spatula. It’s just one of the many Walking Dead-themed cakes in a collection at Uproxx. Who knew there were so many ways to incorporate zombies into cakes?
Chef Thomas Keller owns the renowned Bouchon Bakery in Napa, California. Oliver Bernardino is a 23-year-old pastry cook in Vancouver who idolizes Keller and would love to work for him. Instead of sending a letter or a resume, Bernardino spent 70 hours baking and constructing an exact replica of the Bouchon Bakery out of gingerbread!
"I wanted to make something that I was truly inspired by, and would motivate me to bring out my best work," says Bernardino. So he meticulously studied the Bouchon Bakery cookbook, his own photos from the visit, and info on the Web to replicate the look, down to tiny details like a table stacked with Keller's signature TKOs, blue apron, and a roll of green painter's tape and a Sharpie, used in Keller's kitchens to mark containers. "It's a take on what I thought their version of a 'plate of cookies for Santa' would look like," he says. Other replica elements include a macaron tree, a stack of baguettes, and the bakery's signature yellow awnings. "I was also really happy with how the benches and garbage bins came out," he says.
Bernardino’s gingerbread bakery is now on display in an exhibit called Gingerbread Lane at the Vancouver Hyatt, to benefit the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Read more about it and see pictures from all angles at San Francisco Eater. -via Messy Nessy Chic
Vat19, who brought us the gummy peppers, offers a 26-pound gummy candy in the form of a python. The Gummy party Python measures 84 inches long and packs in 36,000 calories. Of course, you don’t want to eat it all yourself, do you? It’s said to contain over 300 servings, which is some party. It could make a good gift for the right person -the candyholic on your list. The Party Python comes in two flavors, but both are sold out right now (they expect more December 17th). You can see more pictures and a video at the product page. -via Geeks Are Sexy
In this video, Alton Brown demonstrates what he believes to be the perfect shape in which to cut raw potatoes prior to them being cooked and mashed. Of course, everyone should follow his advice. Because he's Alton Brown, and he sees all. -Via Laughing Squid
You may have heard the story of how chocolate chip cookies were invented: in the 1930s, Ruth Graves Wakefield chopped up chocolate and added the bits to cookie dough without melting them, mistakenly thinking the chocolate would spread in the oven and produce chocolate cookies. It’s an interesting story, but it’s just not true. Wakefield was a renowned and accomplished baker who would never make such a mistake, nor would she take a shortcut with her cookies.
Back in 1930 Ruth Wakefield and her husband Ken bought what would become the Toll House Inn, intending to open a restaurant. It was in a good location, on the road between Boston and Cape Cod. With Ruth Wakefield’s experience as a Home Economist and her skillful cooking, high standards, and favorite family recipes, they were successful their very first year. Former employees attribute that success to Ruth Wakefield’s strict attention to detail and insistence on providing excellent service in addition to delicious meals. She had rules about every little thing, including the exact distance from the edge of the table the silverware should be. (She has a whole chapter on setting the table in her book.) In countless interviews, former customers raved about her sticky pecan biscuits (recipe below) that were set on every table for guests to nibble on while they decided what to order. Famous food critic Duncan Hines (yes, the cake mix guy) was particularly fond of her Indian pudding. Joseph Kennedy Sr. was said to drop by frequently for Boston Cream Pie. The restaurant was such a family favorite that Rose Kennedy had the Toll House Inn send weekly care packages to her sons overseas during WWII (JFK was partial to their Mary Jane Gingerbread.) In numerous newspaper articles from the forties on, customers and employees interviewed praised the gracious service and the wonderful desserts (they had their own separate menu!) Does this sound like the kind of place run by a woman who didn’t know what she was doing in the kitchen?
There are other tales of how the Toll House cookie recipe was invented, before we could ever buy chocolate chips at a grocery, that belittle Wakefield’s skills or even shift the credit for the cookie to a man. But Wakefield knew what she was doing. You can read the whole story of how the Toll House cookie came about, and see plenty of recipes for the cookies, its later variations, and even instructions for making Wakefield’s sticky pecan biscuits, at The Toast. -via Metafilter
People started canning food a few hundred years ago as a method of preservation and a way to make food easy to transport, and they've been canning some really gross food products ever since. Nowadays consumers are less likely to buy a canned product if they can buy fresh for the same price, and yet companies keep on canning the gross stuff because somebody out there is buying it!
We present to you ten of the most disgusting food products you can buy in a can:
We’re starting out a little less gross and working our way up, so believe it or not powdered horse milk factors in as the tamest product on the list. The can claims Golden Horde is "The Khan's Choice", assuring us that anything that was good enough for Gengis is good enough for us. They had me sold at "100% Horse Milk- No Ponies".
It’s the disgustingly fishy snack that will most certainly bite back, now with more fangs! Seriously though, how hungry would you have to be to eagerly crack in to a can of Russian Herring knowing it's full of toothy bits?
It’s easy to see why people used to buy canned whole chicken, but unless you’re living in an extremely remote area without livestock, or you’re hiding out in a vault after the bombs have fallen, then chances are you'll be steering clear of this poultry nightmare.
This line of canned food products by Heinz might not taste all that bad, especially compared to the other foul food products on this list, but their unfortunate names make them sound rather unsavory...and naughty.
Chef David Varley outdid everyone with his Thanksgiving feast at Michael Mina's restaurant at Levi’s Stadium in San Francisco last month. The “Roast Beast” (or "Lambpigcow”) consisted of 24 quail, 12 chickens, eight ducks, six turkeys, two lambs, and a pig, rolled up in a side of beef and stuffed with chestnut-turkey sausage. It was roasted on the restaurant’s giant rotisserie and served to guests with access to a gravy fountain. Varley joked that after this holiday tailgate party, he might take a few years off from working on Thanksgiving. See plenty of pictures at San Francisco Eater. -via Fark
It's that time of year again. That's right, eggnog time! If you've been waiting all year to get your hands on the sweet, creamy, spicy treat then you won't want to settle for just drinking it from a glass. For another tasty eggnog option, try making your own deep fried eggnog squares complete with a sweet rum glaze. Best of all, it's easy and quick to make, so you don't even have to suffer patiently while your creation sits cooking.
Garfield the cat can now have a dessert to match his dinner. Robicelli’s Bakery in Brooklyn, an outfit ran by the innovative chef Allison Robicelli, is dedicated to pushing the boundaries of food design. Robicelli describes her lasagna as a combination of lasagna noodles, Nutella, cannoli custard, hazelnuts, chocolate, and marshmallows. At Christmas, Robicelli will sell full trays and half trays on sale.
This year marked a change in the Pillsbury Bake-Off Contest. For the first time in its 47-year history, the winner was determined in part by a vote via the Internet. Announced yesterday, the winner was Beth Royals of Richmond, Virginia. Royals was awarded the grand prize of one million dollars.
In November, 100 competitors were selected to submit recipes in four possible categories: Simply Sweet Treats, Savory Snacks and Sides, Amazing Doable Dinners and Weekend Breakfast Wows. One winner was chosen in every category, and those were the four finalists. Royals' prizewinning recipe, a photo of which is shown above, was from the category Simply Sweet Treats. Her recipe is called "Peanutty Pie Crust Clusters" and is listed below.
Ingredients 1 Pillsbury refrigerated pie crust, softened as directed on box
Instructions Heat oven to 450°F. Line 2 cookie sheets with wax paper.
Unroll pie crust on work surface. With pizza cutter or knife, cut into 16 rows by 16 rows to make small squares. Arrange squares in single layer on large ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 6 to 8 minutes or until light golden brown. Remove squares from pan to cooling rack. Cool completely, about 5 minutes.
In large microwavable bowl, microwave baking chips, shortening and peanut butter uncovered on High 1 minute to 1 minute 30 seconds, stirring once, until chips can be stirred smooth. Add pie crust squares, peanuts and toffee bits; stir gently until evenly coated. Immediately drop by heaping tablespoonfuls onto lined cookie sheets. (If mixture gets too thick, microwave on High 15 seconds; stir.) Refrigerate about 15 minutes or until set. Store covered.
The three recipe runners up were Cuban-style sandwich pockets, chocolate doughnut poppers (pictured below) and creamy corn-filled sweet peppers. Get those recipes here.
Londoner and Instagrammer Michael Zee, who uses the screen name SymmetryBreakfast, has been beautifully preparing and photographing breakfast for himself and his lucky boyfriend for about a year now. Even if, on some days, the feast is from a restaurant, it still gets the symmetrical treatment. The men certainly don't stick to basics for breakfast, eating meals traditional to countries all over the world. It's enough to inspire me to slice a banana into my Corn Flakes (if I even eat that morning)! Perhaps Michael will invite me over for breakfast some day? Of course, he'd have to let me bring a guest, or the symmetry would go right out the window!
You've never heard of the Millennium Falcon pie? It made the Kessel lunch line in less than 12 servings! And you can make you own by following the instructions of of Sweet & Geek. They're in Italian, but you can find an English translation here.
It's made like a calzone. So, appropriately, the crust is made of pizza dough. After you've prepared the dough, roll it out and cut slices for the top and bottom parts of the ship. Fill the interior with asiago cheese, cream cheese, and zucchinini. Or add some special modifications yourself.
Nowadays people feel more free to try out their own variations on the traditional pot luck fare at gatherings, and yet with all the new and cutting edge food creations it doesn’t appear anybody is in a hurry to explore the dishes some of our ancestors used to eat at these same functions.
Take standard Thanksgiving leftovers like mashed potatoes and cranberry sauce and transform them into fun and tasty new dishes with the recipes shown in this video. These are easy to make, so if you're tired of cooking after T-day, they will be perfect, quickly assembled snacks and meal solutions. -Via Laughing Squid
You might be busy preparing your turkey and dressing as you watch this, and you might make the best pumpkin pie eve, but if you learn these fascinating facts about Thanksgiving food, you’ll have something more to say besides “Thank you,” when your dinner guests compliment your cooking. John Green uses this week’s mental_floss List Show to share some trivia about turkeys, dressing/stuffing/filling, potatoes, corn, cranberries, and other traditional Thanksgiving dishes. -via mental_floss
I just bought celery and olives yesterday. I always buy them for Thanksgiving, but rarely any other time of the year. Olives are a special treat, and the adults in my family love them. I use celery in my cornbread dressing, and the rest of the stalk is served alone or stuffed. However, I did not know that the two were traditional on everyone’s Thanksgiving tables for almost a century, and then faded out in the 1970s. It all started when fresh produce began to be transported across the country to be enjoyed whatever the season.
The pairing of the two was both a result of the fact that they were introduced and made readily available around the same time and they served a similar purpose: both celery and olives were palate cleansers, and ones that didn’t require a servant.
“People were looking for a palate cleanser in between Thanksgiving’s richer courses,” explained [Rick] Rodgers. “At a family meal where you don’t have servants, the tray of celery and olives could be put on the table and you didn’t need a servant to serve a sorbet course.”
Behold the almighty tater tot- the best tasting food product shaped like a tiny barrel.
Whether they’re fried, baked or microwaved they always end up tasting like hot potato goodness, and the fact that they’re easy to pop in your mouth by the handful makes them a big hit with the snack packs.
Nowadays people are going all fancy feast with their tater tots, piling cheese and other delicious stuff on top to make totchos supreme, or laying them on top of a casserole to add the perfect amount of tot-ness to an already delicious dish.
Tell your Thanksgiving dinner guests you are thinking of serving Veg-All Pie Plate Salad, and you’ll either trim down your guest list or get someone to volunteer to bring a salad -or pie. It’s made of lemon gelatin and a can of Veg-All chopped vegetables, molded in a pie plate and cut in wedges, like a pie. Yum! Pie Plate Salad one of the many recipes that the makers of convenience foods like Miracle Whip, Jell-O, and Campbell’s Soup filled women’s magazines with in the ‘50s and ‘60s. There are a few recipes that survive from those dark days, but Pie Plate Salad is not one of them, for obvious reasons. This is from a list of 21 Truly Upsetting Vintage Food Advertisements at Buzzfeed.
In just a few days, we'll have one of the best holidays of the year: the Day after Thanksgiving. It's all of the good things about Thanksgiving (the food) with none of the bad things about the day (the workload and pressure).
You've got a lot of leftovers left over from the previous day's feasting. What are you going to do with them? Well, if you're like me, then you've already eaten an entire pumpkin pie while standing in front of the open refrigerator door at 6 AM before anyone else has woken up.
But Amy of the great good blog Oh, Bite It! is not like me. She wants a creative alternative to cold leftovers. So she took samples of some of the classic Thanksgiving foods, such as cranberry sauce, candied yams, turkey, green bean casserole, and stuffing. Amy placed these between 2 4-inch circles of canned crescent roll dough, then deep fried them. The result is a quick, hot meal that will increase your gravitational attraction.
As we’ve recently mentioned, Pepsi is currently testing an official version of this product. But Francis doesn’t want to wait until it’s on the open market. He’s making his own and, in this video, showing how you can, too.
The recipe is surprisingly simple. There are only two ingredients. I’ll let you guess what they are. Combine them in a blender. How does it taste? Francis says, “You know that’s going to be good when you see the chunks in it.”
I recommend watching the entire video. The verbal interaction with the woman holding the camera is very funny.
After making their shots, Romano and Vitto immediately consume them. So they become increasingly intoxicated through the video. Thus they follow a classical rule of videography: shoot drunk, edit sober.
Thanksgiving is great, but cooking a turkey takes hours. If you can't handle the wait time (or if you just can't get enough junk food), you can always try cooking a hot dog turkey, aka a Hot Durkey. Oscar Meyer created this crazy concoction that helps pack in all those holiday calories in a fraction of the time. Be sure to garnish it well to make the celebration feel complete.
Or if you're really lazy you can just grab a few bags of potato chips.
Guy Fieri is known for many things- his abrasive attitude, his kick ass cooking and his numerous TV appearances, but overall the guy is known for one main thing- his signature style.
(Image credit: Jeff Haynes/Reuters)
The spiked bleach blonde hair, the goatee, the flashy clothes and the multiple piercings are the features most people use to identify Guy, so what would happen to that FIeri flare if he no longer sported his signature style?
But how would this make-under affect his cooking? I'm thinking he'd finally start using quinoa in his recipes, and his signature dish would change from Cajun Chicken Alfredo to a fresh tofu and kale salad...
Head over to BuzzFeed if you wanna see the transformation happen right before your eyes via image slider, it's truly terrifying!
This week, humanity reached out and landed a probe on a comet. This was an unprecedented event brought about by great intellect, daring, and determination. In the same spirit and initiative that made the Philae lander possible, I offer to you the Rice Krispie treat pizza.