Boing Boing 

Kitchens were political in the Soviet Union

Communal kitchens (in communal apartments that had once belonged to wealthy families) were a major feature of early Soviet life. NPR has a neat story about the role food and cooking played in everyday politics.

Candy balls made with ghost peppers

Thinkgeek's Ghost Pepper Super Hot Candy Balls ($10 for about 44 balls) are red-hot candy balls dusted and infused with powdered Bhut Jolokia (ghost pepper) and Trinidad Scorpion Pepper, coming in at about one million Scovilles. Also, they may contain peanuts, so there's that.

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Tisha Cherry turns food into tributes to classic art


Food artist Tisha Cherry transforms everyday edibles into tributes to iconic works of art; as she explains, her motivations are a combination of an affinity for bad puns and a desire to turn "the mundane into the magical from palette to palate."

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Nudibranch pancakes


Every week, a new delight from Pancake Master Nathan "Saipancakes" Shields: this week, An assortment of Pacific coast nudibranchs. (previously)

Miraculin is a protein that makes sour things taste like sugar

A taste-modifying molecule discovered 50 years ago, Miraculin is found in the berries of Synsepalum dulcificum. Why isn't it used as a sweetener? [The Atlantic]

Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino: a $55 Starbucks drink


The Sexagintuple Vanilla Bean Mocha Frappuccino now holds the record for most expensive on-menu Starbucks beverage, coming in at a whopping $54; the 128 oz drink had 55 shots of espresso, with an estimated caffeine dose of 4.5g. Its owner, Andrew Chifari, spent about five days consuming it. He ordered it as his free bonus drink on the Starbucks loyalty card scheme, which gets him one free drink for every 12 (my own joke about this, worn as thin as onion-paper, goes like this: every tenth drink, I ask the folks at Giddy Up to give me "one of everything in a bucket with a piece of banana bread stuck in the top"). Andrew set out to break previous most-expensive-Starbucks-beverage record by enlisting the assistance of the baristas, as he explained to Consumerist:

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This Ohio cricket farm is first in US to raise 'chirps' for human consumption

YUCK2What has six legs and is a totally delicious superfood? Crickets, if you can stomach the latest nerd cuisine trend. To meet new demand for edible bugs, an abandoned warehouse in Youngstown, Ohio has been transformed into a cricket farm for startup SixFoods. The crickets will be raised to maturity, then slaughtered (imagine their high-pitched screams), then ground into nutritious high-protein "flour" and baked into cookies and chips for people other than me to eat.

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Slug pancakes


Pancake virtuosos Nathan "Saipancakes" Shields (previously) showcases his latest carbo-parental masterpiece: a set of slugs produced with his kids in tribute to their garden invaders (there's also a bonus Jabba!).

Slugs

Salami cultured from celebrity muscle tissue

Bitelabs wants you to tweet your favorite celeb and ask them to submit to a biopsy so that they can culture salami from their muscle tissue, allowing you to experience celebs in a way you never have before. "The Franco salami must be smoky, sexy, and smooth... The Franco salami’s taste will be arrogant, distinctive, and completely undeniable." Nutritional information: "coming soon."

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One weird trick for making easy-to-peel boiled eggs


"Lower your eggs straight from the fridge into already-boiling water, or place them in a steamer insert in a covered pot steaming at full blast on the stovetop."

Cephalopod pancakes


More gorgeous pancakes from Nathan "Saipancakes" Shields: this week, it's cephalopod flapjacks. Dig that chambered nautilus!



Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator

Nomiku Immersion Circulator

I love my Nomiku Sous Vide Immersion Circulator! This Kickstarted kitchen tool quickly turns a standard pot or bucket into a sous vide cooker.

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How to make 'Sizzler' cheese toast

If you are a fan of the cheezy crispy-on-one side, light-n-fluffy on the other style bread served at restaurant chain Sizzler, this video will be helpful. Even if you're not, cooking host Greg is fun and enthusiastic. [HT: Ruben Bolling]

Deliciously creamy cheese blended with charcoal

"It's a mature cheddar but it's completely black inside where it's mixed with the charcoal but it tastes really creamy." (Image: Manor Farm Shops)

The world's weirdest fruits

fcOSUr1Some thoughtful internet person dumped a bunch of photos of exotic fruits on imgur. I suppose if you live in a tropical climate where there's a wide variety of such fruits, there's nothing weird about them. I've eaten like half of these! I love traveling to new places and seeing others on this list I've never seen before. The world is so diverse and delicious. [via reddit]

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Cookies for Breakfast (Recipe)

In his never-ending quest to legitimize cookies as a breakfast food, Matt Maranian has reimagined the dough from a gluten-free chocolate chip cookie recipe into a nutritious breakfast biscuit.Read the rest

Down on the bird's nest soup farm

How do you produce enough hardened bird-spit structures to feed a growing demand for one of the most expensive dishes in the world? Rowan Hooper visits the bird's nest soup farm.

Has a tech entrepreneur come up with a product to replace our meals?

soylent-greenThe New Yorker says, "I thought you would be interested in Lizzie Widdicombe's piece in this week's issue of The New Yorker, in which she meets the founder of Soylent, a synthetic meal replacement, and—in part, by subsisting on it herself—looks at how it could someday revolutionize humanity’s approach to food."

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How to make insects appetizing to Americans

Cricket flour is made from slow roasted milled Gryllidae, reports Meryl Natow, and the result is a delicious, light brown flour that resembles brown sugar.Read the rest

Designing the packaging for cricket protein bars


How do you package a protein bar made from cricket flour? Here's how. Exo raised $54.9K on Kickstarter last summer, as a pair of Brown roommates took their senior year project to the next level, trying to come up with a sustainable protein source, along with help from molecular gastronomy superstar Heston Blumenthal. The packaging was designed by New York's Tag Collective.

Possible food poisoning at Food Safety Summit

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More than 100 people reportedly fell ill with food poisoning while attending a high-profile Food Safety Summit in Baltimore, Maryland. The 1,300 attendees included representatives from the Food and Drug Administation, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Tyson, McDonald's, and many more agencies and food companies. (NBC News)

Obesity driven by overconsumption of protein-mimicking carbs and fats


In an editorial for Nature, Stephen J. Simpson (academic director of University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre) and David Raubenheimer (Leonard P. Ullman chair in nutritional ecology and nutrition theme leader at the Charles Perkins Centre) argue that the obesity epidemic isn't caused by sedentary lifestyles, but by overconsumption, because our appetite control systems are "fooled or subverted" by carbohydrates and fats that mimic proteins.

The ersatz proteins are much cheaper than the real thing, and have also made their way into the feed of livestock and pets. The authors state that "the range of processed food becoming available is evolving faster than our appetite control systems," and argue that the historic shortage of sugars caused us to evolve appetite systems that are bad at judging when we've had enough of them.

These arguments echo many of those raised in The End of Overeating (recently featured in a This Day in Blogging History post), in which former FDA commissioner and MD David A Kessler tries to understand how industrial food science has produced food that is exquisitely engineered to cause overeating and constant cravings.

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PWNMEAL: Cards Against Humanity's epic Pax East prank


Every year, Cards Against Humanity gives away a limited edition "PAX Pack" to attendees at PAX East, making the giveaway as surprisingly awesome as they can. This year, they outdid themselves with an epic prank that involved created an elaborate, fake "extreme oatmeal" brand called "PWNMEAL" (complete with a long-running, perfectly obnoxious marketing campaign), producing three tons' worth of FDA-approved instant oatmeal packs, and hiding the PAX Packs inside these packets and waiting for the attendees to discover the truth.

Max Temkin's lavishly illustrated, gleeful recounting of the prank might just be the most triumphant story of a business doing what is most awesome because doing awesome things is awesome that you will read all year.

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Edible cookbook embossed upon lasagne noodles


Korefe presents "The Real Cookbook," a book whose leaves are large lasagne noodles, impressed with a recipe for lasagne. As you read the recipe, you peel off each page and slather it with sauce and cheese, building up the dish described in its pages, leaving behind no trace save for your satisfied appetite and a slight propensity to insulin resistance.

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Scientifically kinda-accurate Earth cake, with molten core of raspberry jam

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Behold the splendid "Earth Cake" baked and decorated by Redditor Clatence. "The cake is a mixture of chocolate and red velvet cake mixes," Clatence explains. The core is raspberry jam. Nicely done!

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Star Wars creature pancakes


Amazing pancake artist Nathan Shields and his kids (previously) love commemorating their lives' milestones with artful carbs. Most recently, six-year-old Gryphon Shields got to enjoy Star Wars: A New Hope for the first time, and Nathan memorialized the occasion with these gorgeous Star Wars creature pancakes.

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HOWTO make turtle-shaped Koopa Troopa Mario burgers


Christy writes, "I made an amazing, horrible, wonderful thing: behold, the Koopa Troopa Bacon Turtle Burger, complete with animated gif. It had to be done, for the good of humanity. Side note: I was appalled to discover that turtle-shaped burgers are irresistible to small children: my 4 year old was so excited about turtle-shaped food that she ate an entire burger in one go."

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Japanese game-show asks celebs to eat household objects that may or may not be chocolates


Celeste writes, "Japanese sokkuri ('look alike') sweets are desserts designed to look like other, everyday things. This Japanese TV show showed contestants a room full of seemingly ordinary objects, and then had them guess which ones were sokkuri sweets by biting into them."

PETA unable to make cannibal Dahmer's home a vegan restaurant

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Unfortunately, PETA is not able to turn noted cannibal Jeffrey Dahmer's childhood home in Bath, Ohio into a vegan restaurant. The plan was to call the restaurant "Eat for Life: Home Cooking" but zoning laws stood in their way.

"It was also suggested that we consider converting it into a vegan bed and breakfast, but we're not optimistic that many people would want to make the trip to spend a night in the house.," PETA Media Director Moira Colley said.

Of course, the whole idea could easily have just been a PETA publicity stunt. In any case, the home is still up for sale. (WKYC, thanks Gil Kaufman!)