I love food writing. I hate recipes. About the only books I still buy are food books (not cookbooks). Despite the vastness of cyberspace, when it comes to food, I find it to be more of the World’s Largest Cookbook than a useful repository of information about food.
They had me at the March 9 article on nixtamalization. Time to make torillas.
A friend (thanks Charlene!) sent me a link tonight that is among the coolest things I’ve seen in a while: enter your recipe, and it spits out a nutritional analysis. The site is at http://caloriecount.about.com/ , and while I’ve seen software like this before, this one actually seems to have a comprehensive database of ingredients (beaver, anyone?), some of which is actually useful. It’s also good with natural language entry of ingredients, i.e., it doesn’t care if I enter 2 cups flour, 2 c flour, 250 grams flour, 250 g flour, it gives the correct answer.
It’s interesting to use for recipe development – seemingly small substitutions can yield big changes in nutritional facts. Personally, I am going to be shooting for lower saturated fats, not by going with low-fat inputs, but by more carefully measuring fats, using enough to achieve the desired result, but not more. Increasing vitamins and minerals is a good goal for me, too.
How would you use this type of analysis?
As a recent convert to iPhone, I’ve been on a bit of a trial-and-error binge at The App Store, downloading many apps to find ones I like. One of the apps I did find useful is OpenTable, a web-based restaurant reservation system. I’ve found myself using it more and more lately, and uncharacteristically, I didn’t give it a second thought.
Until last week. When I came across an incredibly open, thoughtful essay by Chris Cosentino, executive chef at Incanto in the Bay area (what did we do before Twitter?). Chris explains in great detail, and exquisite prose, why Incanto has opted out of the OpenTable monopoly on online reservations, and why he thinks OpenTable may be damaging to restaurants. If you make reservations through OpenTable, please read the essay.
Immediately after reading the article, I deleted my OpenTable app. Then I decided that wasn’t quite right, it was an over-reaction. I decided I will use OpenTable in the way they pitch themselves to restaurateurs – as a way of finding new (to me) restaurants, and making a first reservation. An “incremental” reservation. Any future reservations at restaurants I know will be made by phone. This way, everyone gets what they bargained for.
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One of my friends started a new blog on balanced, healthy living. She calls it, cleverly, What Would Betty Do?. The name is in honor of her grandmother, who by all accounts was a regular renaissance woman, as were so many women of that generation.
You can also follow her on Twitter @LivingLikeBetty.
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