This post originally appeared on April 30, 2019, in “Add to Cart” — the weekly newsletter for people who love shopping (almost) as much as they love eating. Subscribe now.
The cult of “the best” has overtaken shopping. As Vox.com’s The Goods put it, “There has never been more stuff to buy, and yet we as consumers only want one thing: the best. The best couch. The best sneakers. The best toothbrush. The best T-shirt.” It’s exhausting… at best.
The beauty of food, however, is that there’s no such thing as a singular “best,” thanks to that subjective thing called taste — and not just for food itself. The best wine glass? Depends which wine you tend to drink, not to mention what style of glass you like (long stems or stemless?). The best Dutch oven? Everyone will tell you Le Creuset, except for those who’d rather pay Lodge prices and seem to get pretty similar results. Case in point: Last week, we asked knife experts their preferred methods for at-home knife sharpening, many of which varied from one another… and all of which were different from the tools tested by Eater’s Kitchen Gadget Test Show.
That’s not to say all cooking tools are created equal, or that researching before you shop counts for nothing. But, when it comes to shopping and eating and cooking too, it really is a matter of personal taste.
Things to buy
- If your knife sharpening interest has been piqued, this honing steel comes recommended by Moriah Cowles, owner and bladesmith at Orchard Steel.
- The James Beard Foundation doled out its Media Awards on Friday, which included a nod for Feast: Food of the Islamic World, an exhaustive travelogue of a cookbook that was featured on Eater’s “hottest cookbooks” list last summer.
- On stage as a presenter at the Beard Awards was Samin Nosrat, whose potted plant-printed dress by Whit sparked immediate envy.
- More and more restaurants are throwing homey-looking rugs down in their dining rooms, a trend that’s easy enough to try yourself since, y’know, it’s your actual home. But what caught my eye more were the chairs on top of the rugs — specifically, this midcentury dining chair from West Elm. (Bonus: Seeing as midcentury dining chairs are trend that’s on the verge of being played out, it’s on sale! Don’t mind if I do.)
Things to know
- Those shoppable tags on clothing brands’ Instagram photos — you know, the ones that pop up if you tap the photo? Instagram announced today that it’s rolling out the tags to a small group of “creators” (think: artists and influencers), so individuals will be able to tag the various products in their photos, which users can then tap on to directly purchase those items within Instagram. God help all our wallets.
- If you’re based in LA, you can literally have breakfast at Tiffany’s this weekend: The jewelry icon is hosting a two-day pop-up called Tiffany Cafe at Beverly Hills on May 4 and 5 and may feel similar to the permanent Tiffany & Co. restaurant in NYC.
- This Strategist piece on vintage magazines as cocktail party icebreakers might be the most literally inspirational article I’ve read recently, in that I am now inspired to go buy old magazines from eBay (specifically, back issues of Gourmet… and also this copy of the first-ever Teen Vogue with Jessica Simpson and Nick Lachey on the cover, if I’m being perfectly honest).
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