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Mr Chicken: the genius who paints London's fried-chicken signs


London's fried chicken restaurants are a bizarre and wonderful institution -- generally, they have American-ish names (Dixy Fried Chicken, Southern Fried Chicken, Carolina Fried Chicken) and KFC-ish logos, all carefully titrated to be just far enough from the KFC version to keep the Colonel's savage attack-lawyers at bay. I photograph these places semi-compulsively, but I never knew (until today) that all their signs were designed by a single virtuoso fried-chicken sign-painter named Morris "Mr Chicken" Cassanova, who warrants his own chapter in Siâron Hughes's 2009 book Chicken: Low Art, High Calorie. A post on Creative Review excerpts Hughes's interview with Mr Chicken:

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Why sugar-free Gummy bears give you the runs

Lycasin. [The Atlantic] Rob 11

Pizza reheatable in skillet, sources say

Tom Scocca: "Just put a slice or two of pizza in the skillet, turn on the burner, and wait. How will you know when it's done? Get this: The cheese will start to melt. That's it. Crisp, hot, leftover pizza." I am going to order a pizza today exclusively to verify this allegation. Rob 59

Amazing sushi-roll art


Takayo "Tama-cha" Kiyota is a Japanese chef who specializes in makizushi art: artistic sushi-rolls that use cunningly arranged food to create illustrations in the rolls' cross-sections. Her work is improbably amazing. Here's a great article in Japanese on her methodology, and here's a good English summary.

She's even done a sushi dick pic, complete with pubes [NSFW].

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Edible sugar 3D printer at CES

3D Systems' display at this year's CES included the ChefJet 3D printer, whose output medium is flavored (chocolate, vanilla, mint, sour apple, cherry and watermelon) sugar (it's softened with water and set with alcohol). The monochrome version is less than $5,000, and a full-color version will ship later this year at less than $10K. It's marketed at the food industry, and comes with simple modelling software. The technology's come a long way since the Evil Mad Scientists came up with the CandyFab five years ago. (via Singlarity Hub)

Woman eats 4.5lb steak in less than 3 min

Hats off to Canadian Molly Schuyler, who undertook a record-breaking 72-oz steak consumption on a whim at Sayler's of Portland, OR. Schuyler polished off the 4.5lb slab of meat in less than three minutes. The world record time this feat stood at 6:48. It's not clear whether Schuyler's record has official standing, though: record-setting conditions appear to stipulate that challengers use a knife and fork, not their hands. Nevertheless, Schuyler has done something amazing.

Molly Schuyler Vs. Sayler's 72 oz Steak Record - New World Record (via Neatorama)

Produce an anti-corruption photo and win a year's supply of Ben and Jerry's


I've posted before about Ben "Ben and Jerry's" Cohen's Stamp Stampede project: Cohen is calling on enemies of corruption to stamp messages opposing the Citizens United Supreme Court decision on dollar bills. Citizens United allows for unlimited political spending, on the grounds that money is speech and corporations are people.

Cohen's running a competition to produce the best Stamp Stampede promotional photo: grand prize is a year's supply (52 pints) of Ben and Jerry's ice-cream.

The 2nd Annual Stampede Photo Contest is currently underway and will end on January 18.

Irate baker delivers poo-like cake to customer

A lesson in classy customer service, New Zealand style.

A sign with the cake read: "Eat shit!". After it was picked up, [Oh Cakes owner] Mrs McDonald posted on Facebook: "Your (sic) left with a $30 voucher and you want a cake still?? ok cool - give me some ideas?? oh wait you have none apart from wanting chocolate. I have a brilliant idea for your cake!!! - so here it is, your turd cake! Hope you learn your lesson."

Nasty cake 'joke' leaves bad taste (Via Arbroath)

Dolphin-safe tuna is a danger to other animals

In an older post that I hadn't seen before, David Shiffman of the Southern Fried Science explains how the ostensible success of "dolphin-safe tuna" has actually led to tuna fishing methods that are a much bigger threat to ocean wildlife — from tuna, themselves, to endangered sea turtles and sharks. Maggie 11

Gingerbread Optimus Prime

Caroline Eriksson's gingerbread Optimus Prime was constructed for Norway's Gingerbread Gallery contest. It really is the standout of the competition, though this ramshackle house Stave Church from Runar Solbern is pretty impressive.

Science of the perfect chocolate-chip cookie


J. Kenji Lopez-Alt, chief creative officer for Serious Eats, delved very, very deep into the science of making the perfect chocolate chip cookie. He's got a very specific definition of "perfect" ("...Barely crisp around the edges with a buttery, toffee-like crunch that transitions into a chewy, moist center that bends like caramel, rich with butter and big pockets of melted chocolate... with crackly, craggy tops and the complex aroma of butterscotch...that elusive perfect balance between sweet and salty").

But the food science in his piece is deep and fascinating, and provides a kind of road-map for any definition of cookie-perfection. If you've ever wondered about the chemistry of eggs, sugars, flours, rising agents and butter, and how they interact with mixing, cooking, "resting" and cooling, this is pretty much the ultimate, definitive guide thereto. I also defy you to read this without developing a craving for chocolate chip cookies.

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Don't be scared of the vampire squid

The name Vampyroteuthis infernalis means "Vampire squid from hell". And vampire squid are freaky looking creatures — red with cloudy eyes that can appear blue or blood red, depending on how the light hits them. But appearances can be deceiving. Turns out, the squid from hell has eating habits more in line with those of Bunnicula. The squids' entire diet is made of "marine snow" — floaty little bits of algae, poop, and bacteria.

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Alternatives to Sriracha during the Great Shortage

As Xeni posted yesterday, there is a serious shortage of Sriracha sauce a-brewing. Jason Kottke suggests some of his favorite alternative brands of the red stuff, singling out Shark Brand ($7/bottle).

Not that this stuff affects me. I'm happy so long as my pockets are stuffed with tiny catering-sized sachets of Tobasco, which I import the UK by the grosslot. Best thing about these: the TSA doesn't register them as liquids on their scanners, so you can go through airport security without worrying about digging them out, packing them into a moisture-terror baggie, and then restoring them.

What are your Sriracha alternatives for the Great Shortage?

What to do about The Great Sriracha Shortage of Early 2014 

Global Sriracha shortage threatens all life on earth, tastiness of all of the foods


A magnificent shoop by vietworldkitchen.com: "You have to carry the fire." Source: Dimension Films; Huy Fong Foods.

Andrea Nguyen writes about how a recent battle in Southern California over smelly fumes from the Huy Fong Sriracha plant has led to a worldwide shortage of the beloved "cock sauce." It even has its own hashtag: #Srirachapocalypse. Her post offers a revealing look into the food biz, and includes some tasty alternatives to get you through the red sauce drought. For those following the foodie drama, "The outflow of details on the company, hot sauce industry, and immigrant business entrepreneurship is fascinating." [Via Pim Té]

Boing Boing Wake Up Cake, revisited


Photo: Stefan E. Jones

Boing Boing reader Stefan Jones shares a photo of the "Boing Boing Wake Up Cake" recipe from "internet chef" Tyler Capps.

"There's no better way to start the work week than a chocolate/coffee cheesecake with chocolate covered coffee beans on top," Stefan says. "I followed the 'Wakeup Cake' recipe from Boing Boing to make six of them for my co-workers."

Woohoo! We aren't kidding about the Boing Boing part.