Global Warming is Changing the Wine Business

By on Thursday, August 8th, 2013

We often think about climate change as something that will increase the intensity of storms and raise sea levels, but it will also have an impact on wine production and other agriculture. It’s not hard to imagine since hotter summers and shifting weather will change growing conditions in some of the most prestigious regions for wine growing, including Bordeaux and Rhône Valleys in France and Tuscany in Italy. A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, examined how the changing climate will alter how wine cultivators will need to adapt their irrigation and even planting seasons to maintain production as the environment becomes more challenging. Businessweek explains the complications further.

NoWait Restaurant App Revolutionizes Dining Out

By on Thursday, July 25th, 2013

No Wait iPad App

Banner photo © Jasperdo/flickr. Product photos © NoWait

Developer: NoWait, Inc.
Runs on: iPhone, iPad
Cost: Free (premium services available)
Version: 1.0.2

Whether a restaurant offers reserved seating or simply places you on a waiting list for first come, first served seating, neither option has scratched the surface of understanding the all-important patron. What does a plastic hockey-puck-looking device that lights up and buzzes know about the person holding it? The field was wide open for a sophisticated communication app that provides vital dining information to the customer, the host and most importantly, the restaurateur. Two decades after the plastic buzzer came along, that app has arrived.

That Cheeseburger Will Require 90 Minutes of Exercise

By on Friday, July 5th, 2013

Anyone watching their weight will choose a 500-calorie item over a 950-calorie item listed on a restaurant menu. But what does that really mean?

A group of public health experts think a better way to influence the public would be to recommend “sweat equivalents,” as in, that ice cream sundae will require 45 minutes of jogging to burn off. The idea was published in the New England Journal of Medicine and explained further in this article from the Chicago Tribune.

The King of Salumi is Coming to the U.S.

By on Wednesday, June 5th, 2013

Have you ever heard of Culatello? Don’t worry, most Americans haven’t; and that’s because it hasn’t been allowed into the U.S. from Italy. Well, a few weeks back the USDA decided it was time to clear six Italian provinces for export of pork products, including Lombardy, Emilia-Romagna, Venice, Piedmont, Trento and Bolzano. That means we’re about to finally get culatello also referred to as the king of salumi, which the LA Times says is the “heart” of a prosciutto ham, removed and cured separately and has a silky texture and profound pork flavor. Is it lunch time yet?

Food App Review of the Week: Clinq

By on Thursday, May 16th, 2013

Arnold & Pearn
Cost: $0.99
Runs on:
Version: 1.0

It always amazes me how creative apps can be. I’m sure there are 1,000 cocktail apps that can show you how to make a Manhattan, but I have yet to see one that informs the way Clinq does. In short, imagine a how-to cocktail guide created by highly skilled designers, not mixologists or even cookbook writers. That’s the way Clinq felt as I used it. No big descriptions, no complicated navigation, and with the exception of some glassware silhouettes no real imagery. Doesn’t sound like it leaves you much, but the design team at Arnold & Pearn have created their own concoction worthy of the $0.99 tab.My first sip of love for this app appears on the opening screen. It’s a white background with five large, bold words: gin, vodka, whisky, bourbon and rum. I know when I’m sifting through my liquor cabinet that’s the way my brain works (Ooh, I have a little vodka left, what should I make with that?). Of course, there are other really great cocktail apps out there that allow for this same type of filtering, such as FOOD & WINE Cocktails or the 2012  app award winner for Best Spirits, Mixology (formerly Mixologist). But unlike those other apps, the simplicity of the design strips away all the bells and whistles so you can get straight to the point, the same way has done with their plain-Jane search box page.

Food App Review of the Week: Better Bacon: Chef Recipes & How to Make Your Own

By on Wednesday, May 1st, 2013

Better Bacon: Chef Recipes & How to Make Your Own
Open Air Publishing
Runs on:
Version: 3.2.1

It was bound to happen: an app dedicated to that cured slab of pork belly that we all love. This is less of the traditional app that I typically review and more of an interactive book. The app developer, Open Air Publishing, has also created a few other digital books, such as Wine Simplified and Speakeasy Cocktails.

So what do you get with Better Bacon? First, you get sharp writing and contributions from journalist Rob Wiley, specialty foods entrepreneur Ari Weinzweig and butcher shop owner Tom Mylan. You also get bacon basics, how-to information, and 31 interactive recipes. From how to build your own smoker to mixing your own bacon & eggs cocktail, this app brings the swine. This app doesn’t just focus on the bacon you buy in the plastic wrap either, this gives love to pancetta, Canadian bacon, guanciale and others.

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