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The Best Long Reads of the Week, From Dim Sum to the Gluten-Free Myth

A roundup of worthy weekend reading material.

NYC dim sum palace Jing Fong.
NYC dim sum palace Jing Fong.
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Who Killed Tony the Tiger?
Bloomberg

For almost a century, Kellogg defined the American breakfast: a moment when people would be jolted out of their drowsiness—often with a stupendous serving of sugar. Breakfast was personified by Kellogg’s cartoon mascots like Frosted Flakes’ vigorous Tony the Tiger; Froot Loops’ pig Latin–spouting Toucan Sam; and Rice Krispies’ Snap, Crackle, and Pop, a trio of elves who mischievously splashed around in a milky bowl.

Feast Your Eyes On This
The American Scholar

In "The Food Wife," an especially witty episode of The Simpsons, Marge and the kids become bloggers, presenting themselves as The Three Mouthketeers and visiting a restaurant called El Chemistri, where they feast (or try to feast) on test tubes filled with "deconstructed Caesar salad," "pine needle sorbet," and "pork chops 100 ways." Homer, who prefers La Fridge, declares, "I don’t want to think about food, I want to like it." But can we truly "like it" without thinking about it?

Unraveling the Gluten-Free Trend
Eating Well

With all the illnesses and ailments associated with wheat and gluten, it leads one to wonder: Could the human race have been so wrong about this staple food for so long? Or are the health concerns a figment of over­active imagination, propelled by the gluten-free trend?

Kitchen Rhythm: A Year in a Parisian Patisserie
Longreads

Sound is so important in baking. White chocolate squares clink like Scrabble tiles. Properly tempered chocolate makes a slight crack when you bite through the shell to a yielding ganache, as all the molecules have been neatly lined up — a different guilty pleasure altogether from the cottony thunk of a cheap candy bar. There is a perfect word in Japanese for the thin chocolate sheets we use for decoration, pakipaki, the sound they make when snapped into shards.

Inside New York's Biggest Chinese Restaurant
Lucky Peach

A restaurant run by people with twenty-two years of dim sum service under their belt runs like it’s on rails, but it also evinces a looming threat: that the next generation of Chinese-Americans are not working in Chinese restaurants.

Can a Return to Winemaking Save Kentucky's Soul?
Eater

Wine was something new here. Even if you weren't a farmer, if you lived in that part of Kentucky, your life was tobacco. Growing up, I would drag thick stalks of the plant along the pavement from the back of a rusted out Chevy, tiny flames shooting up from the ground like a Fourth of July sparkler. By the time I was a teenager, my favorite English teacher (on whom I harbored a not-so-secret crush) was almost blinded by the tobacco juice that had dripped in his right eye while he was hanging some leaves to dry.

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