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Category — periodicals I read

Listen to Pollan

I’ve been paying attention to food more or less since I moved to DC. Throughout grad school, I didn’t really take the time to cook or think about food (except at Thanksgiving). I’ve had a latent interest in cooking since college, but never had done much about it. I started cooking more frequently living in DC, and I made enough money to eat, occasionally, at nice restaurants, and I discovered Cooks Illustrated magazine, and my wife and some of our friends were also interested in food, and the Washington Post has a better food section than the Ithaca Journal, and we had the opportunity to join a CSA and shop at farmers’ markets, so everything sort of fell into place.

Without a doubt, Cooks Illustrated has been the most influential component of the “how can I make good food” question. For the “what role do our food choices have in our relationship with the natural world” question, though, the most influential voice has been that of Michael Pollan.

He’s written two books about food: The Omnivore’s Dilemma and In Defense of Food. I’ve only read the first–it’s a lucid, alarming, deeply thoughtful, hopeful, yet non-judgemental examination of American food systems, structured by tracing the sources of the components of four meals that Pollan prepares. (See a review here.) Pollan has been one of the leading voices in the nascent revolution in food awareness, drumming up orders of magnitude more interest from non-farming states in the Farm Bill than ever before, and inspiring websites like The Ethicurean.

With that, I present and recommend two recent interviews in which he talks about In Defense of Food.

Interview on CBC’s The Current radio program.

Segment on Sierra Club radio.

February 6, 2008   No Comments

Dutched out

I trust Cook’s Illustrated far more than any other cooking resource. Before I discovered Cook’s, I would rarely try a recipe and serve it to guests without having (successfully) made it for myself first, but recipes from Cook’s are generally so reliable that I will experiment like that. So when Cook’s Illustrated finds that Dutch-processed cocoa works better than natural cocoa in most recipes, I’m willing to believe them.

But finding Dutch-processed cocoa! We’ve been unsuccessful looking in: The local natural food coop, the local organic store that serves as our neighborhood’s grocery store, two Safeway stores, one Giant supermarket, a Trader Joe’s, a Korean grocery store, and finally, a Whole Foods, where I had thought I had previously been able to buy Droste brand Dutched cocoa.

What’s really irritating about trying to find Dutched cocoa at Whole Foods is that can make shelf space for, from one brand: All natural unsweetened cocoa, all natural hot chocolate, new world drinking chocolate, old world hot chocolate, traditional hot chocolate, Aztec spicy hot chocolate, and mocha hot chocolate. But no Dutched cocoa!

December 9, 2007   1 Comment