Wine, Spilled: Pinotage


Photograph: Gagen Indra

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: Pinotage

For the most part, grapes are old things. Sure, there have been innovations in cultivation and processing, but on the whole most varietals have been around for a long time; long enough to have ancestors who were consumed by Roman emperors or Vikings. But that’s not to say all grapes are old. There’s one notable newbie: the baby of the bunch at only 85 years old, Pinotage.

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Zoom and Pan: Babe: Pig in the City

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: Babe: Pig in the City

More than ten years ago, Babe: Pig in the City (buy it) came and went, and we barely acknowledged its passing. There may be, lodged deep in your memory, an image of a bull terrier grunting, "Whatever the pig says, goes!" You may have had a chance encounter with this film via its televised trailers, but odds are, you haven't seen it. Despite the fact that Gene Siskel famously proclaimed it to be the best film of 1998, the film continues to brood in obscurity.

Though this week's Zoom & Pan discusses a scene from a talking pig movie, it doesn't concern bacon or ham or a slow-roasted, wine-basted barnyard animal. No, my friends, this week we will ponder jellybeans.

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Carl Newman of The New Pornographers Loves To Tap It


Photograph: Carl Newman via New York Times

Reading about how to make your own maple syrup, courtesy of Carl Newman of indie-rock band The New Pornographers, kind of makes me want to buy a bucket and start drilling some trees. Newman moved from Brooklyn to an artist's colony in upstate New York last year, and decided to try his hand at tapping maple trees for their sweet sap a couple of months ago. Making your own maple syrup seems to take a lot of time and effort, such as buying special covered buckets, boiling the syrup down to its essence over a wood fire and straining the syrup through a coffee filter. Maybe I'll just stick to Aunt Jemima's. [via The Daily Swarm]

Rachael Oehring

Top of the Food Chain: Brisket


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: Brisket. Ryan is taking this week off; in his stead, please welcome guest blogger Matt Davidson.

Brisket can conjure the smell of a billowing smoker, the warmth of friends and family at Passover, or a disappointing cut of tough, blackened meat. It holds a firm place in varied traditions, largely because it is a large and economical cut. While often a fickle piece of meat to cook, with enough patience and a solid technique you can produce a voluminous amount of tender meat on the cheap.

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Soccer Ball Ice Cube Maker


Photograph: Cool Hunting

Even if you don't care about the World Cup, or are steadfast in your belief that the only real football is an oblong brown one, this soccer ball-shaped ice cube mold is pretty cool. The mold uses heat from warm water and pressure to transform chunks of ice into 40 perfect soccer-shaped spheres an hour. Because spheres of ice melt more slowly than cubes, your drink won't get watered down while you watch Real Madrid kick around on the pitch. Or while you watch Real Housewives of New Jersey. Watch a kicky video of how the mold works after the jump:

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Memphis in May: The Ultimate Meat and Greet


Photograph: Robyn Medlin / Eat Me Daily

As you walk down the steep hill to Tom Lee Park on the banks of the Mississippi River, a thick, invisible cloud of smoke reaches your nose and pulls you inside the biggest barbecue competition there is: Memphis in May’s World Championship Barbecue Cooking Contest. Representatives from Tums shower you with packets of antacid as you clear the gates, letting you know this is a competition unlike any other.

My backyard-BBQ-warrior Dad and I had the opportunity of a lifetime to compete on a real Memphis in May (MIM) BBQ team, making this a father-daughter pilgrimage of sorts. Our fearless leaders of the SwineBucks BBQ team — whose slogan is “Too Sauced To Pork” — welcomed us with open arms into this food culture that is often invite only; while vendors sell BBQ to festival attendees, the real action is inside the tent.

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Natural History of the Kitchen: Stoves


Photograph: stevendepolo

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: Stoves.

If you're like most Americans, you probably don't think about your stove much. Sure, you know the difference between gas and electric, and you might have even passed a few stray minutes staring into the window of a fancy kitchen store, imagining yourself at a professional-grade range complete with flattop and water feature. You'd have a very different attitude if you had to hunch over a fireplace at five in the morning, or light an antique gas range before your morning coffee. This week we're taking a look at the history of the stove, from wood burning to electric.

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The EMD Guide to the 1960s: Timeline


Photograph: Roadsidepictures

If the 1950s were a time of making food simpler and more convenient, the 1960s were about exploring the complexities food has to offer. Julia Child is responsible for much of this; Mastering the Art of French Cooking came out in 1961 was followed shortly thereafter by her television series on WGBH Boston, and both stimulated an American interest in French cooking. Suddenly, working in the kitchen was no longer a chore to be tolerated, but an art to be practiced and perfected.

Exploration was the culinary theme of the decade, and the number of places we could eat increased as barriers were broken, both social (the Woolworth's lunch counter sit-ins of the civil rights movement) and technological (space food!). New foods became available as the Granny Smith apple and kiwis were introduced to Americans, and modern convenience foods like Doritos and Gatorade were invented. It was a time of upheaval in all aspects of American life, and food was no exception; after the 1960s, the American food landscape was changed forever. Below, we've collected important events from the era that helped shape this eventful decade.

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