Of pasta and patents

According to the Encyclopedia of Pasta, there are hundreds of pasta shapes. At Smithsonian, Elizabeth Chu and D. Lawrence Tarazano of the US Patent Office look at relatively recent machinery to crank out the floury forms. From Smithsonian:

The various shapes can be categorized based on the means by which they are formed: by hand, rolled into sheets, or extruded. For each pasta making method, there have been a number of inventions to ease and mechanize the process.

Pastas formed by hand have been the most difficult to replicate by machine because of the complexity of the actions done by hand. Cavatelli, gnocchi and orecchiette, for example, are made by rolling pasta dough by hand into a long snake shape, cutting it into equal sized dough pieces, and dragging the dough to form a cup like shape. With cavatelli and gnocchi, the dough is dragged against a fork or grooved surface with a thumb to form a curled dough piece in the shape of a hot dog bun; the only real difference between the two is the dough. Gnocchi is made from a dough containing eggs, flour and cooked potatoes, whereas cavatelli are typically made from an eggless semolina wheat dough. Orecchiette, Italian for “little ear,” are made by dragging the dough pieces against a flat surface using a small spatula or knife, followed by a little hand shaping to round it out.

Italian inventors Franco Annicchiarico and Adima Pilari, who received U.S. patent no. 4,822,271 on April 18, 1989 for “an improved machine for manufacturing short cut varieties of Italian pasta (orecchiette, etc.),” developed a machine for making these cupped pastas.

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Celebrity chef attempts DIY Pringles

Pringles are my favorite chip. In this Bon Appétit video, chef Claire Saffitz attempts to make them herself. Even if she nailed the form and the flavor, I don't think her technique would scale in my household. Admittedly, once I pop, I can't stop. Read the rest

Epicurious has a video explainer on brownies that takes the cake and delivers the fudge

I wanted to make fudgy brownies. Read the rest

Holy fudge is there conflicting information online about inducing brownie 'cakeyness'

I want fudgy brownies. Read the rest

Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving Turkey

Do you like Flaming Hot Cheetos? Well, heck. Why not enjoy a Flaming Hot Cheetos Thanksgiving turkey dinner with the whole family this year. Read the rest

How to cook Brussels sprouts, restaurant style

Poorly roasted Brussels sprouts are awful, nearly as bad as boiled ones. In this video, you'll learn how to cook them the right way -- "charred, dark, and with maximum crunch."

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Baking Skullzones, skull-shaped calzones, for Halloween or any time

Awesome baking project for Halloween. Read the rest

How to cook and eat a gourmet meal in Antarctica

Very quickly. Before it, and you, freeze.

On Cyprien Verseux's Twitter account, wonderful snapshots of fun with food on the bleak, frozen ice sheets of Antarctica. Read the rest

Pastry chef tries to make Oreos from scratch

After attempting Lucky Charms and Skittles, Claire Saffitz is back with an attempt to make gourmet Oreos, which she says was the most fun of all these sorts of challenges. Read the rest

I kinda think this tater tot cookbook defines my generation

Tots!: 50 Tot-ally Awesome Recipes from Totchos to Sweet Po-tot-o Pie is the tater tot recipe book to rule them all. Read the rest

Making your own pasta is stupid easy

Given that I started a keto diet last weekend, I couldn;t have stumbled across this video at a worse time (farewell, carbs. I knew thee well.)

But just because I can only stare at this video longingly doesn't mean that you can't partake. Read the rest

Jeff Goldblum can't cook, hosts cooking show anyway

I am a sucker for anything with Jeff Goldblum in it. That lovable weirdo schtick of his works for me (and, bonus, we learn he doesn't believe in astrology). Who makes a series about cooking if they can't cook? Jeff Goldblum does, of course. Here's the second episode of "Cooking with Jeff." Last time Jonathan Gold was his special mystery guest. This time it's Bryce Dallas Howard... who also doesn't cook. Read the rest

Italian Chefs watch in horror as YouTube ruins Spaghetti Carbonara

In this video, three reputable Italian chefs are subjected to severe moral injury by being forced to watch the top five 'how to cook carbonara' videos on YouTube. Their emotions range between outrage, disappointment, dour amusement and absolute horror in under 13 minutes. Be sure to turn subtitles on for this one before settling in.

The most interesting thing for me was how disappointed they were in the final video that they watched, which features Jamie Oliver showing off his carbonara chops. According to the chefs, they ain't great. Their chief complaint was that he failed to show the meat being properly sanitized before chopping it up and throwing it in a hot pan to fry. I'm sure the pig processing poop adds flavor, but Yuck.

Image via Wikipedia

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Watch how to find and eat giant puffball mushrooms

Tim Farmer found a giant puffball mushroom in the woods, a fall delicacy that requires a little good luck and timing to enjoy. They are a lot safer than picking other wild mushrooms because they are pretty easy to identify. Read the rest

Jeff Goldblum Jeff Goldblums a special Jeff Goldblum meal for you

Jeff Goldblum admits that he can't cook. But that won't keep Jeff Goldblum from cooking. In this video Jeff Goldblum Jeff Goldblums the shit out of a pot of soup. Product plugs abound, but hey: Jeff Goldblum.

It's not as good as Cooking with Chrisopher Walken, but I'll take it. Read the rest

Watch this guy make chocolate bars from scratch with cacao beans he grew

Gabe at H.I.S Survival demonstrates the fascinating process of making chocolate from bean to bar. He also describes some of the many kids of cacao pods and has plenty of tips on how to improve the yields from each batch. Read the rest

"Secret family recipes" mostly plagiarised

Perhaps mom still has a twinkle in her eye when she makes pancakes with that special ingredient, coyly hidden from you since early childhood, a ritual that speaks to a parent's enduring love, the small things that return us to the best moments of our youth and reify the bonds of family.

Perhaps dad still talks in hushed terms about the family ragu, passed down from generation to generation since the days of the old country, a secret to be earned, cementing centuries of careful experimentation in tomato and wine, drawing one's soul back into the collective warmth of an ethnic milieu often forgotten in the relentless yet blandly anglosaxon routines of American life.

Fuckin' liars got it from a cookbook.

In response to our call, 174 readers wrote in with stories of plagiarized family recipes. Hailing from New York to Nicaragua, from Auckland, New Zealand, to Baghpat, India, they prove that this is a global phenomenon. The majority of readers described devastating discoveries: They found supposedly secret recipes in the pages of famous cookbooks, and heard confessions from parents whose legendary dessert recipes came from the side of Karo Syrup bottles.

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