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Forgotten Foods: reviving weird old food and figuring out what should be brought back


Meg Favreau writes, "I thought you guys might be interested in this column I've been writing for the last year-ish -- I scour old cookbooks for once-popular recipes that have fallen out of favor, explore the (often weird) history of the food, and provide a recipe. Favorites include Welsh rarebit (the OG bachelor food, cooked in proto-microwave chafing dishes, and known for causing dreams so batshit that Little Nemo creator Winsor McCay did a long-running strip just about rarebit nightmares), beef tea (the chicken soup of its day, which tastes like hamburger water in the best way), and a Halloween about a booklet that juxtaposes candy recipes with testimonials about feminine ills (That ended up being posted on Table Matters' non-food sister site).

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Performance artist frosts and shares cake on NYC subway

Performance artist Bettina Banayan has conducted a number of interventions on the NYC subway, but this one, in which she frosts, decorates, and shares a cake with her fellow commuters, is my favorite. Unlike the other performances, which largely revolve around making people uncomfortable (or at least discomfited), the punchline of "Subway Cake Performance 02/11/14" is a subway car full of happy people whose life in the city has been made sweeter and friendlier.

Performance - Bettina Banayan (via Neatorama)

Butterflies rendered in pancake


I though making a banana slice and some raisins into a face was something. Pancake artiste Nathan Shields recreated nine of nature's most wondrous butterflies in batter, producing a carby, gluteny batterfly museum that puts my cookery to shame.

Butterflies (via Neatorama)

More Escher tessellated cookies


Fdecomite has revisited his tessellated Escher cookie-cutters, with a new set of cutters and some new baking that he's posted to the Boing Boing Flickr pool.

Yet another set of Escher cookie cutters

Tessellated Escher cookies


In the Boing Boing Flickr Pool the fractal-obsessed Fdecomite posts the latest iteration in a series of experiments with tessellated, Escher cookie-cutters. Bake-time expansion creates irregularities that lead to a chewy (literally) series of interlock-imperfections, which give old MC's classic a bio-organic air that rather invigorates it.

You can 3D print interlocking lizard cutters with a free model from Thingiverse. Fdecomite, if you're reading this, please post in the comments with a link to the cookie cutters you used here!

Update: From the comments, Fdecomite writes, "Hi, those are cookie cutters I made from aluminium foil.I also made some 3D printed Escher cookie cutters you can find in my Shapeways shop.

Escher Cookie Cutters - The Sequel

Kitchen hacks: a veggie spiralizer

I first got turned on to the Paderno plastic veggie spiralizer four years ago, during a raw vegan experimentation phase. One dish I enjoyed at restaurants and wanted to make at home: low-carb zucchini "noodles," which call for zucchini flesh to be cut into linguini-like strands, then "sweated" with salt to let go of excess water, then topped with raw marinara or pesto or whatever you dig. This plant pasta is great for your paleo pals, too.

I didn't own a food processor, and didn't feel like spending the money it would require to get a good one. But a frugal foodie friend suggested this particular spiralizer as a good place to start if I wasn't sure how serious I was about un-cooking. For 30-something bucks, it turned out to be a fine investment.

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Pink goop in Chicken McNuggets?

In 2010 I posted a photo of "pink goop," which Fooducate says is mechanically separated chicken. In the video above, McDonalds Canada visited the factory where Chicken McNuggets are made and showed the process. The ground chicken used in Chicken McNuggets is not nearly as pink or as goopy as the goop in the infamous photo.

Here's how McDonald's Chicken McNuggets are made

DIY candy D20s


Mel Li writes, "I made some candy D20's using a two-part silicone mold for my Magic: The Gathering playgroup. Colors indicate different flavors: Gold/multicolor: Butterscotch Black: Dark chocolate Green: Mint White: White chocolate Blue: Food coloring + white chocolate Mold is made from food-grade silicone molded around a Wizards of the Coast 'spindown' D20"

Mel's the person who made the DNA bread I posted earlier; as as before, she's included some photos of the build for after the jump. Check out her whole Flickr stream, she's amazing; there's cosplay, illustration and painting, toymodding, nerd baking, hardware hacking, and much more.

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DNA bread


Mel Li sends us "Images of the DIY DNA bread (and accompanying build process) I made for a labmate's qualifying exam referring to her research on DNA migration through paper for applications in small, affordable global health disease diagnostics.In this food, pretzels indicate base pairs, the color parts are candy fluorophores. Two kinds of fluorphores which bind to DNA are indicated: [1] intercalating dyes (Green), or [2] oligo probe (Red/Yellow/Green) & FRET quencher (Purple/Blue)."

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Severed bride-and-groom-heads wedding cake


Natalie is the proprietor of Austin's Side Serf Cakes. When she married Dave, they had a "Til Death Do Us Part"-themed wedding, whose centerpiece was this amazing cake that resembled their severed heads on a platter.

The Most Gruesome Wedding Cake Ever [Dmitry/Design You Trust] (via WTBW)

Behind the hashtag

The Great Velveeta Shortage story began when an editor at Ad Age couldn't make queso. Maggie 2

Food studio that makes edible fireworks, four-ton punchbowls, and floats a steamship in 55K litres of green jelly

Bompas and Parr are a London-based "food-nerd" studio that makes weird and amazing foodstuffs, including an edible fireworks display for New Years Eve that showered revelers with strawberry smoke, peach-flavored snow, orange bubbles and banana confetti. In a fascinating profile in Wired, they reveal something of their methodology and their portfolio, which sounds delicious and ambitious.

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Pow!, the fourth Rice Krispie elf… from space

Snap! Crackle! and Pop! are the embodiment of Rice Krispies cereal. They were born in 1928 when artist Vernon Grant was inspired by a Rice Krispies radio jingle describing how the puffed grains "merrily snap, crackle and pop in a bowl of milk," so he drew the three elves and sent them off to Kellogg's ad agency of record. But for a few short years in the 1950s, there was a fourth elf. A space elf! His name? Pow! If not for the Internet, Pow! would be lost to time. He appeared in two TV commercials. "Pow means power and power's nice! Rice Krispies power from whole grain rice!” said the announcer... "Now Pow doesn't say much...he just goes ahead and does things...like putting power into every...lightweight spoonful of Kellogg's Rice Krispies!"

Smithsonian has the full story: "The Untold Tale of Pow!, the Fourth Rice Krispies Elf."

Parfaitzilla: the dessert that ate Japan


Last year, Mochihead posted this image of a magnificent parfait from an unspecified Japanese restaurant. It leaves me with only one question: What are the rest of you having? (via Pipedreamdragon)

Look at this awful banana cake.

Just look at it.

Happy International Fetish Day, everyone! (Thanks, Sla29970!)