Happy Pi Day!
You can celebrate it with charts and graphs, numerical festivities or all sorts of calculations. But we’d prefer to focus on the edible part of the day - the pies. If the photos above have your mouth watering, try one of the many pie recipes produces by the Times’ test kitchen.
For more Pi Day ideas, head here.
And of course, don’t forget the world’s greatest pie fiend - Agent Dale Cooper:
Photos: Bill Hogan/Chicago Tribune/MCT, Bob Chamberlin Ricardo DeAratanha, Francine Orr, Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times
What’s better than delicious, healthy food? More of it!
As more an more restaurant-goers become inclined to try organic food, even if it’s pricier, non-traditional organic restaurants have popped up. But each faces their own unique challenges, and for Chinese restaurants in particular, the organic label brings some rough opposition.
…the pricier meals are a tough sell in the heavily Asian American valley, where more than 500 Chinese restaurants are in a pitched battle to offer authentic dishes at ever lower prices.
Area restaurants wear B and C food-safety grades like badges of honor, and diners line up for cheap fried pork dumplings and dim sum at $2 a plate. Tam’s dumplings cost $7 and come steamed, with organic spinach wrappers.
Read more on the continued efforts of organic Chinese restaurants here.
Photos: Anne Cusack/ Los Angeles Times
Bad news for bacon lovers
Stow away that bacon and toss out your hot dogs - there’s a new study linking processed meat consumption and premature death, specifically at the hands of cardiovascular disease and cancer.
From Sabine Rohrmann of the University of Zurich:
“Overall, we estimate that 3% of premature deaths each year could be prevented if people ate less than 20 grams processed meat per day.”
Just to put those 20 grams in perspective, your average hot dog contains 50 to 70 grams depending on the brand. Yikes.
Read more on the study via Booster Shots.
Photo: Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images
Do you know what you’re eating?
You go to the store, you read some labels, you check out at the register, go home, cook it all up and eat it. That’s the routine - but how often do you wonder just what it is you’re eating?
The laws pertaining to genetically-modified ingredients are in their infancy, and there’s little precedent, but here’s the deal:
“People are usually surprised to learn that there is no legal right to know,” said Michael Rodemeyer, an expert on biotechnology policy at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville.
The FDA mandates that the ingredients, possible allergens, changes in composition etc be clearly labeled. But how your food came to be in the first place? You’re largely on your own.
Photo: Anita Hofschneider / Associated Press
Delis in crisis: Traditional Jewish delicatessens, once a mainstay in urban areas, are in a tailspin, facing a decline in customers and a changing culinary climate. In New York, where thousands of delis thrived following World War II, now just a few dozen remain. And the delis in the Big Apple aren’t alone in their struggles:
Demographic shifts in Los Angeles in the last few decades — along with the arrival of brands such as Langer’s in MacArthur Park, Canter’s on Fairfax and the Brent’s chain — sparked hope of a Jewish deli revival in the Southland.
Lately, however, the region has suffered the same troubles bedeviling delis in the east.
Read more on the decline of the Jewish deli, just know that the read is best accompanied by pastrami on rye.
Forget the films, what about the food? Master chef Wolfgang Puck will once again take up kitchen duty for the Academy Awards this year, taking responsibility for the post-Oscars Governors Ball. If serving a multi-course meal to 1,600 guests doesn’t sound like a tough assignment, consider this:
The kitchen staff will have to wrap 2,750 dates in bacon, boil 6,000 chestnut tortellini, de-vein 7,500 shrimp and shuck 1,300 farmed oysters. And that’s just for a handful of the nearly four dozen separate dishes that Puck’s chefs will hand off to the waiters.
DIY Valentine’s Day! There’s no need to break the bank for the one you love today - take a peek at some L.A. Times-approved deserts that you can make at home.
Featured above, from the top down, are:
- Hazelnut chocolate Linzer cookies
- Stuffed crepes with caramelized bananas
- Hazelnut-chocolate swirl ice cream
- Homemade hazelnut spread
- Pineapple souffle
(Photos via Robert Gauthier, Stephen Osman and Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times)
Hold the salt, please: A half-million premature deaths could be prevented over the next decade in America alone, if only the decision was made to steadily reduce our intake of salt.
The findings come courtesy of researchers from UC San Francisco, Harvard University’s School of Public Health and Simon Fraser University in Canada, whose independent studies on salt intake came to similar conclusions, published Tuesday in the American Heart Assn.’s journal Hypertension.
But that’s not all:
A more abrupt reduction to 2,200 milligrams per day—a 40% drop from current levels—could boost the tally of lives saved over 10 years to 850,000, researchers have projected.
Read more why even moderate cutbacks in salt can produce long-term health benefits on Booster Shots.
(Photo via Anacleto Rapping / Los Angeles Times)
This is entirely real: Mountain Dew has announced “Kickstart,” a breakfast energy drink that Pepsico hopes will find a following amid the previously-anointed best parts of waking up: Coffee, tea and orange juice.
Said Mountain Dew spokesperson Elisa Baker:
Our consumers told us they were looking for an alternative to traditional morning beverages.
Read more via the Money & Co. blog.
(Photo via Pepsico)
Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate! Test your coca knowledge with a quiz from restaurant critic extraordinaire Jonathan Gold, and perhaps if you get a high enough score, reward yourself with something sweet.
Photos: Gary Friedman, Ricardo DeAratanha, Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times
Ramen, ramen everywhere: Resident restaurant critic Jonathan Gold takes a look at his favorite spots to stop in for a delicious bowl of ramen.
Los Angeles, it is fair to say, is still in the throes of its ramen frenzy, a swelling orgy of bamboo shoots, tree-ear mushrooms and soft-boiled eggs; noodles manufactured with precise attention paid to tactility; prime Kurobuta pork bones boiled until they collapse into wet mountains of calcium.
Take a look at the full list, complete with more mouth-watering testaments to the noodle-filled dish, here.
Photos: Gary Friedman / Los Angeles Times
A team of researchers thinks that science may someday be able to create gluten-free wheat plants.
Photo: Los Angeles Times
A federal bankruptcy judge has approved Hostess’ plan for an “orderly wind-down,” clearing the way for the company to start selling off the rights to products like Twinkies, Wonder Bread and Ding-Dongs. 15,000 layoffs are expected.
Photo: Justin Sullivan / Getty Images