We often debate which foods we think are delicious and which foods we dodge. As passionate as some feel about foods like cilantro or cheese in a good way, others cannot stand their flavor, texture, or smell. I love the scene from Sex and the City when Carrie lies to the waiter about being allergic to cilantro in order to avoid even the smallest leaf from touching the plate. It's silly and might be extreme, but it raises the question: which of these 25 foods do you love, and which do you avoid like the plague?
While I'm sure each one of us has a grave hatred of some ingredient or another, it occurred to me that these three condemned foods all have something in common. They're famously controversial, all of 'em: you either like mayonnaise/coconut/celery or you don't! On top of those, I'd add raw onions, Bloody Marys, and of course, cilantro. What foods would you add to the list?
Source: Flickr User peterme
Let's face it: dining out is a totally subjective experience, and I've often wished there were hard and fast rules in place for issues like splitting the bill or whether coat checks should be mandatory. The question du jour? Whether it's OK to bring a birthday cake to a restaurant.
I've just turned 30, and I'm celebrating by having dinner with a dozen friends at a small, family-owned ethnic restaurant. It feels apropos to have a cake for the occasion, but since the event takes place at a restaurant, I worry that the whole cake-and-candles thing could not only be disruptive, but also put a strain on the restaurant.
Guidelines on birthday cake etiquette seem to vary. Some restaurants are happy to do it; some request a call ahead; many other high-end establishments charge an (often pricey) cake-cutting fee. Still, others think it's a practice that should be cut out entirely. "I'm always baffled by people bringing their own cake. Do you bring your own steak?" one commenter asked rhetorically on a discussion board about the topic.
I want to hear what you think: if a restaurant doesn't focus on dessert, is it OK to bring your own birthday cake, candles, and lighter to dinner? What do you think of a per-person plating fee? Please weigh in below.
For more than 40 years, Sesame Street has been nearly synonymous with childhood, but that doesn't mean the beloved program has been controversy free. New puppet Lily is the latest character to get tongues wagging about the appropriateness of certain topics for tots, but she's far from the first. Since its inception, Sesame Street has pushed boundaries and tackled tough topics, some of which critics deem too tough for tots.
Keep reading for some Sesame Street characters, storylines, and guest stars who've had people talking about way more than ABCs and 123s.
Although purportedly no one has gotten sick in the two-and-a-half years that the item's been offered on his menu, "the city is worried people will get sick," La Oaxaquena owner Harry Persaud told the San Francisco Chronicle. In Persaud's native Oaxaca, grasshoppers are par for the food course; here in the US, there isn't a single domestic grasshopper purveyor with federal approval.
While there are agricultural health and safety issues at hand, food bans like this open the floodgates to prohibit other cultural delicacies (turtle, pigeon, and snails, anyone?), something that I worry may undermine our country's vast array of ethnic food options. Do you believe this will set a precedent for other food bans?
Source: Flickr User william.neuheisel
The latest company to fall under attack is candy company Cadbury, which has come under fire for a new advertisement comparing supermodel Naomi Campbell to one of its latest products. The ad's tagline reads: "Move over Naomi, there's a new diva in town," with an image of its Bliss chocolate bar.
An infuriated Campbell fired back, "I am shocked. It's upsetting to be described as chocolate, not just for me, but for all black women and black people. I do not find any humour in this. It is insulting and hurtful." Members of the civil rights community have asked Cadbury to apologize, and Campbell is reviewing her options against the company. Meanwhile, Cadbury has countered with an insistence that their campaign was "a light-hearted take on the social pretensions of Cadbury Dairy Milk Bliss," although they've stopped circulating the ad.
In today's socially conscious culture, It's hard to believe that this classless campaign made it all the way to consumers. Cadbury: do the right thing, and issue an apology, otherwise you're almost sure to face a consumer boycott.
Studies and survey documents from private national universities to state regulation agencies show escolar masking as white tuna, tilapia sold as red snapper, and emperor fillets marketed as grouper in staggering numbers, by both food distributors and dining establishments.
Suppose that steamed red snapper sashimi you're reveling over is merely your garden-variety tilapia. Would you want to know the truth about its mislabeling — or, since you're enjoying it anyway, would you prefer to turn a blind eye?
San Pellegrino announced its short list for its first-ever Best Female Chef award, and much of Manhattan's top talent has signed on to participate in a female chef dinner series, designed to "showcase and celebrate the talented women in the hospitality industry."
It's great to see women getting wider acknowledgment for their contributions to the restaurant industry, but I can't help but wonder if singling them out will only emphasize the divide between male and female chefs. Are female-specific industry acknowledgments helping to further women in whites — or simply perpetuating the differences between guys and gals in the kitchen?
Burger King spokespeople countered that the statement was merely a "humorous anecdote to connect with his audience," but the gaffe has British gastronomes up in arms. Some of the country's culinary authorities have spoken out against the statement, including Michelin-starred Marcus Wareing, who remarked that the CEO's comments were "an insult to British gastronomy."
From a marketing perspective, it never seems wise for restaurants to voice controversial opinions. Still, for the first time ever, British food and drink exports topped more than £10 billion. Looks like England is enjoying the last laugh.
In less than four months, the state of Hawaii will be shark fin-free, and soon, the same could happen in California. The golden state is currently deliberating a piece of legislation that would ban the sale and possession of shark fins, too.
Proponents of the ban don't just cite the inhumane practice of cutting fins off live sharks, but the staggering drop in ocean shark populations as well: 73 million sharks are killed every year, and populations are just 10 percent of what they used to be. And, argues one San Francisco food critic, there are plenty of viable (and innocuous) substitutes for shark's fin.
But not everyone feels this way. "The practice of shark's fin soup has been in our culture for thousands of years. There ought to be a way to find a balance between the environment and preserving culture and heritage," California state Sen. Leland Yee maintained.
"While we're at it, I'd also ban Caspian caviar and bluefin tuna until their fisheries recover. No doubt, that would raise an uproar in certain other cultural communities," Chinese-American chef Jonathan Wu retorted. Tell me what you think: is banning shark's fin environmentally conscious, or culturally insensitive?
Source: Flickr User closari