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The Week's Best Long Reads, From America's Lobster Boom to Defining Israeli Cuisine

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

The exterior of the Gorbals, Brooklyn.
The exterior of the Gorbals, Brooklyn.
Brenna Houck is a Cities Manager for the Eater network. She previously edited Eater Detroit and reported for Eater. You can follow her on the internet at @brennahouck.

McDonald's Breakfast Menu, Ranked


As you order breakfast at McDonald's, an employee ties up a trash bag. A dour manager hears out a stressed-out employee. Cashiers shout, "Can I help who's next?" Someone mops the floor. A machine starts beeping. A guy walks in and starts hawking bus tours. No one stops him. A second set of beeps, this one more staccato, starts ringing out from a separate machine. The kitchen now sounds like the ICU at a local trauma center. You see workers assemble things, move things, and wrap things. You do not see anyone cook things.

Why Big-Name Chefs Are Opening Restaurants Inside Urban Outfitters


Given that food pairs well with retail, and that Urban is focused on opening more "lifestyle centers," it makes sense Urban would continue to open restaurants. But instead of hiring chefs to open restaurants in-house — Urban can more than afford to do this — they are insistent upon bringing in well-known chefs. So why are chefs like Symon and Vetri, both of whom have large restaurant empires, signing on?

What is Natural Coffee?


Let's start with a basic fact: coffee begins life as a fruit, and the sequence of events this fruit goes through before reaching its final roasted product is impactful. Coffee processing doesn't often make it into over-the-counter discussions about coffee sourcing, but it's a very important part of the flavor profile of your cup. Like anything—wine, music, or falling in love—once you know how it's done, you appreciate the finished product more.

The Enigma Behind America's Freak, 20-Year Lobster Boom


Drizzled in butter or slathered in mayo—or heaped atop 100% all-natural Angus beef, perhaps? The question of how you like your lobster roll is no longer the sole province of foodies, coastal New Englanders, and people who summer in Maine. American lobster has gone mainstream, launching food trucks from Georgia to Oregon, and debuting on menus at McDonald's and Shake Shack.

Michael Solomonov's 'Zahav' Explores What It Means for Food to Be Israeli


But in the pages of Zahav, whose 150 or so recipes share nearly equal space with anecdotes, backstory, and an engagingly sprawling personal and familial history, Solomonov shrugs off the usual restaurant-cookbook narrative of a modestly unfocused chef eventually finding beauty and fulfillment within the formalist constraints of culinary rigor and a nearly academic pursuit of perfection. Instead, there's an intense honesty, a reckoning not only of self but also of family and culture and country.

When Soda Companies Target Minorities, Is It Exploitation?

The Washington Post

Some members of these communities once viewed this targeted marketing as a testament to their rising economic and social status within American society. While some continue to prize the efforts of soda companies to advertise in their publications and support their organizations, the rising prevalence of obesity in their communities led others to view such relationships as exploitative. To some community leaders, soda companies echo the actions of tobacco companies in the ways they market to groups most vulnerable to the harm caused by their products.