The growing swarm of cockroach farms in China
You may think of them as a nasty pest, but in China, raising cockroaches has become an increasingly popular industry. Our own Barbara Demick talked to some of the nation’s most successful roach ranchers to find out what’s behind the bug industry boom.
So where’s the demand for roaches?
At least five pharmaceutical companies are using cockroaches for traditional Chinese medicine. Research is underway in China (and South Korea) on the use of pulverized cockroaches for treating baldness, AIDS and cancer and as a vitamin supplement.
South Korea’s Jeonnam Province Agricultural Research Institute and China’s Dali University College of Pharmacy have published papers on the anti-carcinogenic properties of the cockroach.
Plus, there’s the fact that cockroaches are technically edible:
Many farmers are hoping to boost demand by promoting cockroaches in fish and animal feed and as a delicacy for humans.
Chinese aren’t quite as squeamish as most Westerners about insects — after all, people here still keep crickets as pets.
Photos: Wang Xuhua / For the Times
There’s something very satisfying about a warm, hearty meal to start your day off right, especially if you ended your evening on a particularly boozy note. In Los Angeles, that can often mean one thing: breakfast burritos.
Breakfast burritos are a divisive topic. Some folks can’t even agree on the essential ingredients for a breakfast burrito — egg, tortilla, maybe breakfast meat, maybe potato, maybe cheese — let alone where to find the finest version. Luckily, Angelenos are spoiled for choice, so a decent breakfast burrito of some kind is never far away.
But what about the great breakfast burritos? The one you see when your eyelids close for the night; the one your mouth waters for when you wake up. Here are ten of the best — from Atwater Village to Reseda — that will make you a true believer in the greasy, eggy, deliciously mystical ways of breakfast burritos.
[LA Weekly | farley elliott]
Start your day right, L.A.
test reblogged from tumblangeles
It’s Friday. It’s National Ice Cream Sandwich Day. Treat yourself.
As put by food blogger Tessa Arias, author of “Cookies & Cream: Hundreds of Ways to Make the Perfect Ice Cream Sandwich” in an interview with our own Rene Lynch:
"It’s kind of like the ultimate indulgence. It reminds you of childhood memories and summertime.
I think that a lot of people have memories of being outdoors and hearing that noise of the ice cream truck coming around. It’s such a simple pleasure.”
Read more about the frozen treat over at the Daily Dish, if you haven’t already run out to nab one for yourself.
As we pored over the pages, we thought, “How fun would it be to make some of these old recipes?”
test reblogged from latimespast
Meet Martin Riese, water sommelier
You read that correctly. L.A.’s Patina Group of Restaurants has its own water expert, who takes his clear beverages as seriously as wine enthusiasts take their own drink of choice.
For just a hint of how straight-faced Riese is about something that, admittedly, seems a bit ridiculous:
He pours a glass of Fiji water and swirls it like a glass of wine. He then takes a sip, puckers his lips and chews on the water for a bit before swallowing. He then pours a glass of Voss water and follows the same tasting procedure.
"Fiji is more in the smooth area and very light when I’m tasting it," said Riese. "Voss has more of a bitter taste to it. Right away I’m getting it on my palate when I drink the Voss. But Fiji, I don’t have that."
And don’t even try to offer him standard-issue H2O:
"Smell this tap water. It smells like chlorine," said Riese with a look of disgust. "As a restaurant person here in L.A., I can say I would never drink that water. When you have good food, good wine and good spirits, you don’t want to contaminate that with this water."
Read more, including why a single bottle of water can cost $20, over at the Daily Dish.
Photo: Jenn Harris / Los Angeles Times
Is Michelle Obama’s health campaign doing all it can?
First lady Obama has long been an advocate for healthy food and exercise during her stint in the White House, headlining the “Let’s Move” campaign and hosting frequent events in her garden to highlight the benefits of quality food.
But when it comes to the marketing of sugary treats and syrupy sodas to children, did she do enough to try and save failed federal guidelines she had previously praised?
…when food and media companies — including many that supported her anti-obesity campaign — mounted a fierce lobbying battle against the guidelines in 2011, the first lady went silent.
It wasn’t until earlier this year, after the guidelines had been blocked, that Obama resumed her call for more responsible food marketing.
And despite her victories in the fight against obesity, Obama is not without her critics:
…some who see themselves as Obama’s allies in the fight against obesity believe her desire to create partnerships with industry kept her quiet when her voice would have counted most. Fourteen companies that back Obama’s anti-obesity campaign helped kill the voluntary advertising guidelines, lobbying reports and other records show.
"The White House got cold feet," said Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), who had championed the guidelines. "It sort of undermines everything that the first lady was doing."
Photo: Olivier Douliery / Abaca Press/MCT
This is real: A functional Sriracha fountain as seen at last night’s launch party for The Veggie-Lover’s Sriracha Cookbook by Randy Clemens.
Guests at the Golden Road Brewery in L.A.’s Atwater Village freely dipped into the deliciousness (Tip: Soft pretzel bites doused with Sriracha are a very good thing).
They also had the opportunity to sample recipes from the book — Jackfruit “Pulled Pork” Sammiches with Pickled Red Onion; Beer Battered Fried Avocado Tacos with Sriracha Curtido — prepared by Golden Road Executive Chef Adam Levoe.
But the fountain of sauce was the event’s hottest topic; even David Tran, the man who introduced Sriracha to the American masses, stopped to take an iPhone photo.
If you are unfamiliar with the history behind the “Rooster sauce” phenomenon, Peter Hong’s 1997 profile is the origin story.
More recently, Frank Shyong caught up with Tran as he prepared to move the family business into a huge new factory in Irwindale, Calif.
The money quote: “Hot sauce must be hot. If you don’t like it hot, use less,” Tran said. “We don’t make mayonnaise here.”
Is it summer yet?
The only way to celebrate the first day of summer.
test reblogged from cheatsheet
Whether you’re a vegetarian or still a fan of meat, this video will end up warming your heart. (With a hat tip to Laughing Squid.)
A toast to a rising beverage underdog: Tea
Domestic tea sales in restaurants, grocery stores and shops hit $15.7 billion last year, a 32% jump from 2007.
So where is all of this new demand coming from?
The tea-drinking demographic is widening. Aging baby boomers and Redbull-swigging youngsters are expected to buy more tea. Asians, long a key revenue source, form the fastest-growing racial group in the country. Rising interest in ethnic cuisines is drawing foodies to Japanese matcha, Indian Darjeeling and African Rooibos teas.
And some of the downsides to coffee are helping tea ascend up the beverage ladder. That hangover-like daze that follows a spree of over-caffeinated brews and the rising cost of a cup of Joe are pushing more people to consider coffee’s less-potent competition.
But it will still be a while before tea is able to completely overtake coffee:
Last year, the American tea industry pulled in $987 million in revenue at the wholesale level, a tenth of the $9.6 billion for coffee manufacturers…
Photos: Anne Cusack/Los Angeles Times
Jonathan Gold’s best Los Angeles restaurants revealed!
Pultizer Prize-winning critic Jonathan Gold has finally lifted the curtain on where he thinks the best places in L.A. to grab a bite to eat, a luxurious meal or just a huge upgrade to your workday lunch.
The full list is behind our paywall, but the top 20 spots are nonetheless open for everyone to take a peek.
Gold’s top pick, by the way, is Providence, a restaurant that has already been met with widespread acclaim. Though far from a bargain, the Mid-Wilshire establishment is, at least in Gold’s opinion, worth the expense.
Photos: Christina House / For The Times
How to solve world hunger with pizza
The idea of a universal food synthesizer sounds like something straight out of the Jetsons or Star Trek, but thanks to a $125,000 grant from NASA, a 3-D food printer may become a reality.
Anjan Contractor, a senior mechanical engineer at Systems and Materials Research Corporation, is already working on bringing the idea to fruition.
NASA’s interested because storing the various ingredients as a power greatly extends their shelf life for lengthy travel through space, but Contractor wants to keep all of the recipes open source, so the general public could eventually benefit as well.
So how will the pizza be made?
Pizza will be one of the first items printed because of its natural layers of ingredients. First, a layer of dough will be printed and baked at the same time using a heated plate at the bottom of the printer. A layer of tomato base will follow — made of powder, water and oil — then a protein layer will top the pizza.
Read more over at the Daily Dish.
Photo: Cheryl A. Guerrero / Glendale News Press