Top Of The Food Chain: Tri-Tip

Sirloin

Illustration by Laura Williams

Welcome to Top Of The Food Chain, a column from Eat Me Daily's meatiest columnist, Ryan Adams. Every week we'll attempt to demystify the options available in your supermarket, breaking animals down piece by piece so that the next time you find yourself staring at endless Styrofoam containers, you'll be able to make an informed purchase. This week: Tri-Tip.

When I was in grade school, the cafeteria introduced me to the "wonders" of low-budget eats, by which I mean I learned to deal with the slop that was put in front of me at lunch. There was, however, one standout meal that I could get excited about: beef tri-tip with gravy on toast. It was easily one of the best meals we were given during the week, beating out the anemic "pizza" easily. Even now, the thought of preparing tri-tip takes me back to those school days and the good times associated with them. Make some happy memories for yourself with this surprisingly flavorful cut.

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Natural History of the Kitchen: Chef Boyardee

chefboyardee1

Photograph: Diana Schnuth

Welcome to Natural History of the Kitchen, by EMD's Stephanie Butler. Each week, Stephanie explores the background of an appliance, gadget or product that helped to make cooking what it is today. This week: Chef Boyardee.

Let's talk about guilty pleasures. What self-professed gourmand doesn't love a bag of Doritos now and again? Is there a foodie out there so devoted to the cause that they can't appreciate a bag of M&M's and popcorn at the movies? I, for one, have a deep love for Chef Boyardee beef ravioli. Not spaghetti and meatballs, not cheese ravioli, not dinosaurs or Dora the Explorer shapes in sauce — just plain beef ravioli, cooked on the stovetop (never microwaved).

You'll need a can opener for this installment of Natural History of the Kitchen.

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Wine, Spilled: Cava

cavabottles

Photograph: estrelas

Welcome to Wine, Spilled, a weekly column in which EMD's Justine Sterling shares the myths, legends, tall tales, and short stories of the wine world, and recommends a couple bottles that won't break the bank. Today's wine: Cava

Everyone has a cause: some people fight for animal rights, others are trying to save the icecaps. Me? I try to get people to drink sparkling wine on a daily basis. It may not be as noble as other causes, but believe me, it’s worthwhile. How is sparkling wine different than other carbonated beverages? We drink beer or soda or mineral water daily and we don’t bat an eye; no one asks someone who pops open a bottle of Pellegrino what they're celebrating, and so it should be with sparkling wine. But, you say, I’m not made of money. I can’t afford Champagne every day of the week. Well, my friend, I didn’t say Champagne. I said sparkling wine, and there are many tasty, affordable bottles of it available.

On this quest to make the world a more sparkling place, let’s start in Spain, which means Cava.

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Zoom and Pan: Freddy Got Fingered

Freddy2

Photograph: gamespot.com

Welcome to Zoom and Pan, Eat Me Daily's food n' film column. Each week, Soleil Ho of Heavy Table tears apart a food-centric movie scene and, with luck, decipher the meaning behind all the food porn. This week: Freddy Got Fingered

The American 1900s had the Bowery boys; the 1920s, the Bohemians; the 1940s, the zoot suits. Every generation has birthed a subculture of bad boys, with distinctive styles, dialects, and ideologies. The bad boy of the late 1990s, the subject of today's Zoom & Pan, is the mook. Specifically, Tom Green in Freddy Got Fingered (buy it).

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Queen Given World's Largest Cheesehead

cheesecrownHow can you make cheddar cheese more British than it already is? How about carving 1000 pounds of it into a crown and giving it to the Queen on the 48th anniversary of her coronation? British "cheese wedding cake expert" Tanys Pullin is awaiting verification that her cheese crown holds the new Guinness World Record for biggest cheese sculpture, although by her calculations she beats the previous record holder by about 450 pounds. The sculpture, which is made from Farmhouse Cheddar and took 90 hours to shape, will be unveiled today at the Royal Bath and West Show. No word on whether it will be accompanied by a giant throne made of crackers. Additional pictures below. [Photograph: Apex]

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Top Of The Food Chain: Hanger Steak

Hanger Steak

Artwork by Laura Williams

Welcome to Top Of The Food Chain, a column from Eat Me Daily's meatiest columnist, Ryan Adams. Every week we'll attempt to demystify the options available in your supermarket, breaking animals down piece by piece so that the next time you find yourself staring at endless Styrofoam containers, you'll be able to make an informed purchase. This week: Hanger Steak.

Butchers are an interesting lot: there's the slightly morbid nature of their work, their penchant for razor sharp tools, their odd history of keeping certain cuts of ultra tasty meat to themselves. In my mind, I imagine butchers huddled behind closed doors, swapping secret butchering information. If you'd like to feel like part of this clandestine brotherhood the next time you find yourself talking to your butcher, make sure no one is watching, then ask for something they've been keeping under wraps: hanger steak.

Complicated secret handshakes may be required.

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Natural History of the Kitchen: Food Processor

foodprocessor1

Photograph: Indiana Public Media

Welcome to Natural History of the Kitchen, by EMD's Stephanie Butler. Each week, Stephanie explores the background of an appliance, gadget or product that helped to make cooking what it is today. This week: the Food Processor.

Making salsa for a crowd? Need a pie crust in a jiffy? If you've had to do either of these things by hand, chances are you've longed for a food processor. A kitchen tool that genuinely changed how home-cooks prepare food, it chops, slices, dices, and blends in half the time. But this reliable instrument wasn't always a busy home-cook's best friend — food processors started life as restaurant-only appliances in the 60s. This week's Natural History of the Kitchen looks at the food processor and its journey from Parisian restaurant kitchens to the American home.

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The EMD Guide To The 1960s: Commercials

Frito Bandito

Photograph: scoop.diamondgalleries.com

The 1960s were a time of huge cultural upheaval in America. From the Civil Rights movement to the counterculture of the late 60s and the Summer of Love, the times, they were a-changin'. Unfortunately, this wasn't reflected heavily in the commercials of the time. Advertising tropes from the 50s were still reflected in the commercials of the next decade, such as black and white ads and longer commercials, but there were still some interesting changes.

Advertising aimed at children became prevalent, and characters were created for brands specifically to appeal to the younger set, such as the Frito Bandito (pictured above). Commercials were also becoming more colorful (literally), and, unsurprisingly, space was a big theme in 60s advertising. Below, some of our favorite commercials from the era.

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