Link Buffet: Processing and progressing

Readers and friends! I’ve missed connecting with you on this platform. January has been an incredibly busy month for me, as I wrapped up  my responsibilities at the university press and started a new job at another Philadelphia nonprofit, while several writing deadlines loom like stormclouds. All good things–I’m very excited about the changes 2015 has already started to bring for me.

I’m in the mood for sweets and celebration and a little silliness, so this link roundup primarily focuses on treats with a twist–particularly on food processes and processed foods designed to stir thought as well as appetite.

Processed Views, a series by Barbara Ciurej & Lindsay Lochman:

Fruit Loops Landscape, 2013

“Processed Views interprets the frontier of industrial food production: the seductive and alarming intersection of nature and technology. As we move further away from the sources of our food, we head into uncharted territory replete with unintended consequences for the environment and for our health. . . . We built these views to examine consumption, progress and the changing landscape.”

NPR checks out some tasting rooms that offer wine and junk food pairings. One suggested pairing is popcorn with chardonnay, which I suppose has a kind of symmetry to it, since the same compound (diacetyl) is responsible for the buttery flavors of both commercial popcorn flavoring and chardonnay. Personally I prefer a tarter, crisper white wine with my infamous spicy popcorn, and of course Olivia Pope is here for your popcorn-and-rare-vintage-red pairings.

At The Toast, A Meat-Processing Professional Reviews Snowpiercer. Her review is not glowing. She approves of the gelatinous protein blocks, but finds literally everything else about food production and distribution on that train implausible. I am gratified by this take; I haven’t finished watching the movie, but I got as far as the discovery of what goes into the protein blocks, and I too am not sure what the big deal is.
Remember when the Meat-Processing Professional reviewed The Road? Don’t stop and never change, MPP.

At The Mary Sue: robots can learn to cook from watching YouTube videos! But they aren’t very good at it yet. Robots: they’re just like us!

Cool, you can check cake pans out of this Kansas library–you know, if you need a guitar-shaped cake and you don’t want to buy a special mold for it.

And to bring everything around full circle: chocolates from the Japanese design office Nendo, all the same size, all with the same ingredients, but they all supposedly taste different due to their radically different textures.




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