Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

History Says That Fork In Your Hand Actually Has Some Devilish Beginnings

AKA the Devil’s tool

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Weird thought of the day: people ate with their hands for the majority of human history. Alexander the Great, Louis XIV, and Queen Elizabeth I all would have sat down to formal dinners at tables full of aristocrats and dignitaries of the highest order, and everyone would have just shoveled it in with their bear paws.

And while eating utensils in general weren’t always super popular or accessible, it’s forks specifically that didn’t gain acceptance or popularity until the last few centuries. Many in the Middle Ages thought the three-pronged utensil was reminiscent of the Devil’s pitchfork and thus was an unholy and ungodly instrument. According to Eduardo Galeano’s Mirrors, “every time musician Claudio Monteverdi felt obliged to use a fork, he purchased three masses to pay for his sins.”

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Bronze forks made of iron during the 8th or 9th century, via Wikipedia

The fork didn’t really begin to catch on—at least among the aristocracy—until the 18th century in France, with several other cultures beginning to use them at least for the sake of appearances. Recounting a dinner party he attended in Turkey, a French military officer noted that, “I saw one woman throughout the dinner taking olives with her fingers and then impaling them on her fork in order to eat in them in the French manner.”

Forks became a more or less commonly-used item in Europe by the 19th century, especially with the rise of a growing middle-class who strove to emulate the aristocracy in all manners and customs. However, they still sometimes had a vaguely off-putting and “feminine aura,” with reports of sailors refusing to use them as late as 1897.

Written by: Toria Sheffield // Historybuff.com // Feature image via Wikimedia

Categories
News

France Is Banning Supermarkets From Throwing Away UNSOLD Foods, Must Be Given To Charities

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A new law in France will make sure supermarkets won’t be able to throw out unsold food, reports The Guardian. In a unanimous vote by the French national assembly, a legislation was passed to prevent grocers from throwing out or destroying unsold products.

Instead, they’ll be required by law to donate to charities.

Most packaged foods sport a “Best By” date somewhere on the product. While they’re still edible after that period, stores don’t tend to keep the ones past the printed dates stocked. These foods are usually what’s destroyed, even if they’re still perfectly safe to eat.

Supermarkets that fail to comply with this new law and purposely soil their foods will face fines up to €75,000 ($82,500 US) or two years of jail time.

France has been working to find a solution to its food waste issue and those struggling to eat in the country. The goal is to reduce food waste in half within the next decade. Because of this, the new law also introduces an education program dealing with food waste in schools and businesses.

 

Categories
Fast Food

A French Dip Thickburger Is in Testing Stages at Carl’s Jr.

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Looks like Carl’s Jr. is claiming a stake in the French Dip game. According to Brand Eating, a Carl’s Jr. location in Stevenson Ranch, Calif., is testing a new Thickburger dubbed the French Dip.

The French Dip Thickburger is made with roast beef that’s thinly sliced, a charbroiled 1/2 pound beef patty, horseradish sauce and a slice of Swiss cheese. It’s squeezed between two of Carl’s fresh-baked buns and served with an au jus dipping sauce. The French Dip will join the existing Memphis BBQ Burger and Philly Cheesesteak Burger if successful.

Carl’s aficionados may remember a similar French Dip item at Hardee’s back in 2009. It looks like the Carl’s variation may be a slightly updated version.

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H/T Brand Eating Picthx Eric Sunde

Categories
Hit-Or-Miss

French Supermarket Sells Ugly Fail Vegetables to Combat Food Waste

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As anyone who’s ever claimed to love artisan foods can attest to, “ugly” doesn’t necessarily mean “bad.” From sloppy carne asada fries to frill-free cups of coffee, sometimes the best foods aren’t exactly the most #foodporn worthy. Just take it from French supermarket chain Intermarché.

In Europe, a reported 300 million tons of ugly fruits and vegetables get tossed by distributors each year. So in honor of the EU’s designating 2014 as the European Year Against Food Waste, Intermarché launched a clever print, radio, and video campaign to sell these fail pieces of produce in stores.

Starring a Grotesque Apple, Disfigured Eggplant, Ridiculous Potato, Failed Lemon and more, the Inglorious campaign asked growers for their deformed harvest and sold them for 30% cheaper than their more airbrushed brethren. To convince shoppers the ugly produce tasted just as good, Intermarché even offered soups and juices made exclusively from the misshapen goods, which resulted in 1.2 tons average sale per store in the first two days, says the promotional video, below:

Moral of the story? Never judge a tuber by its growths.

H/T + PicThx Design Taxi

Categories
Sweets

This Adorable 100% Chocolate Easter Atelier Will run you $1200

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In case you were still looking for that perfect Easter centerpiece that’s not only crazy adorable but also completely edible, this Easter Atelier might be what you had in mind. Of course, what I mean by that is if you were hoping to spend $1200 on chocolate.

Handcrafted and painted by Nicolas Cloiseau, Master Chef of La Maison du Chocolat, along with his chocolatiers, this baker bunny studio scene is made up entirely of chocolate. From the floor tiles to the tiny desserts and even the baking tools literally everything in the scene is made up of white, milk, or dark chocolate.

The entire piece weighs 11 pounds and measures in at L 17.3 in x W 12.2 in x H 10.6 in, the perfect size to compliment your Easter dinner table. Unfortunately, supplies are extremely limited, as in there’s literally only one Easter Aterlier in the U.S.

H/T + PicThx Gothamist

Categories
Adventures

LA Bakery Serves Up ‘Cloud Cakes’ Covered in Meringue and Chocolate

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What’s a nuage cake you ask? It’s cool, I completely didn’t know until last week either. FOODBEAST was fortunate enough to get an invite the night before the grand opening of Bo Nuage in Los Angeles, California to come out and try some nuage cakes for the first time.

Popularized in France over the last few years, Nuage translates to “cloud cakes” in French. Made with whipped cream, it’s covered with meringue, another layer of whipped cream and dusted with flavored chocolate shavings. Different nuage flavors include: almond, caramel, chocolate, chocolate mint, coconut, coffee, hazelnut, lemon, mango, passion fruit, peanut butter, pistachio, red velvet and vanilla.

Super light, savory and  sweet. An average-sized nuage cake goes for $6 with larger cakes also available upon ordering. If you’re in the Los Angeles neighborhood, however, and you’re itching to try something new, this definitely could be worth it.

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Bo Nuage

8010 Melrose Ave

Los Angeles, CA 90046

Categories
Adventures

This OC Mexican Restaurant Serves Escargot, Frog Legs in Bacon Sauce & Plantain Foster [9 PHOTOS]

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It doesn’t happen too often, but every once in awhile in the midst of breaking national food and beverage news – our team finds something spectacular in our own backyard. The unveiling of new delicious foods and restaurants is always exciting, but can also be a bit embarrassing as one starts to understand their full scope of ignorance to the greatness that is.

To start, Antojitos Don Juan, is a mere 10 minute drive from our office in Santa Ana, CA, a Southern California city known for its high-density Hispanic population and therefore, some of the best Mexican food in the country. To have access to such brilliance is a blessing (have you tried Mexican food in states that don’t share a border?), but allows for an over-saturation of mediocre, even semi-decent food within the same city limits. Think tourist trap, but instead hundreds of taquerias, carts, trucks and sit-down restaurants boasting 90 percent of the same menu items – tacos, burritos, mariscos, etc.

So because eating at a different Mexican establishment everyday is a bit overwhelming (even for us), we tend to stick to the tried-and-true. The places we would mourn upon closing. Add Antojitos to that list.

Let me first warn you of a few mental obstacles that may lead you astray upon your visit to Antojitos Don Juan. The location isn’t specifically close to any freeway, and in what is most likely an impoverished neighborhood. The shopping center is nondescript, boasting a Panda Bowl, Hair Salon and King Water as its anchors. From the outside of the actual building, you will have no idea what you’re walking into. Even upon entering, you’ll still be a bit confused. Chalk menu specials. Assortment of tables and chairs. An outdoor patio that resembles a 1980s Taco Bell. This should not concern or deter you from greatness. Pay heed to the food.

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Meet Chris and his father Juan, two of the five-membered Garcia clan whose family is responsible for bringing an aggressive foray of French and Italian inspired Mexican cuisine, in addition to many of the Cali-Mexican classics. On the chalk-written specials, you’ll find a couple off-menu items that look like a mistake. Escargot. Frog Legs. No mistake, and if you’re an adventurer of food – you should trust them.

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Escargot – Garlic, Butter, Tomatillo, Shallot & Crisp Toast

 In a similar vein to many of us, Juan’s first impression of eating snails was a negative one. But as a chef for a popular French-Italian restaurant, he couldn’t help but notice the high quantity of orders for the delicacy. It wasn’t too long before he was eating an order every night and perfecting his own recipe with garlic, butter, tomatillo, and shallot. 

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Sauteed Frog Legs with Bacon Sauce

As much as frog legs can be compared to chicken, they’re still in a league of their own. Even when prepared at a high level (which these are) the texture and taste can still be too gamy for many palettes. But if you can appreciate the tenderness and taste of frog – this non-fried menu item is a must have. Oh, and it’s slathered in bacon sauce (or 3 additional from-scratch sauces).

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Chicken Cutlet

Taking on a similar consistency to Chicken Parmesan, of the multiple entrees we tried family style — this one got demolished first.

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Molcajete: Seasoned Chicken, Beef, Chorizo and Cactus

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Bacon-Wrapped Shrimp in Spicy Cream Sauce

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Carne Asada Fries: Seasoned Beef, Garlic Sauce, Cheese, Pico de Gallo, Sour Cream, Cilantro

The garlic sauce on top of the fries really makes this dish unique. However, here’s some advice: while the sauce adds a ton of flavor, it needs to be eaten with 5-10 minutes, otherwise, soggy city.

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Fresh Salmon in Cream Sauce

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Flaming Plantain Foster with Vanilla Ice Cream

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Antojitos Don Juan

1130 W. Warner Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92707

(714) 662-2035

Categories
Fast Food

French McDonald’s Gets New Look

Have you ever seen a McDonald’s this fancy? You can credit French designer Patrick Norguet. In an effort to make the store more family friendly and less of a place for teens to loiter, the Paris designer remodled a store in the Villefranche-de-Auragais, in France.

Soon enough these revamps might hit the states. Cause we all know how much extra enticing we need to eat more fast foods.

via: Los Angeles Times  Photos: FastCoDesign