The Legendary Story of Thangam Philip: Food Scientist, Nutritionist, Chef & Mentor

Thangam Philip has crosshatched my life in the most curious ways. My uncle studied catering under her (very) stern supervision. My mother once took a class at the Dadar Catering College, where Philip reigned as principal—in fact, we still have a stack …

Thangam Philip has crosshatched my life in the most curious ways. My uncle studied catering under her (very) stern supervision. My mother once took a class at the Dadar Catering College, where Philip reigned as principal—in fact, we still have a stack of her recipes, typed on sheaves of yellowed, raspy pages, all carefully filed away in a blue plastic folder. As for me: I own newer, glossier, books on baking, but it is The Thangam Philip Book of Baking, with its infallible madeleine and sponge recipes, that I unfailingly turn to.

Whichever way you spin it, Philip was a food legend.

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Nonalcoholic Drinks Finally Taste Great—Here Are 12 of Our Faves

For too long, the options in the nonalcoholic section of restaurant menus or liquor stores were cloying “mocktails” and syrupy fruit sodas, or maybe a dusty bottle of barely-hoppy 0 percent ABV beer. Not the case these days. As sobriety, “dry” months, …

For too long, the options in the nonalcoholic section of restaurant menus or liquor stores were cloying “mocktails” and syrupy fruit sodas, or maybe a dusty bottle of barely-hoppy 0 percent ABV beer. Not the case these days. As sobriety, “dry” months, or even just saying “I’m not drinking tonight” become more socially acceptable than ever before, the beverages had to catch up.

“Serendipitously, I removed alcohol from my life right around the time that alcohol-free mixed drinks were starting to be taken more seriously,” says Julia Bainbridge, author of the book Good Drinks, noting that over the past few years, bartenders have looked beyond the mocktail (“ick!”), and that people—whether they were sober or not—were interested in the results. “I knew I wouldn’t be writing the first book on nonalcoholic drinks, but I also knew my work could capitalize on this newfound acceptance and energy.” Good Drinks is a collection of nonalcoholic recipes that aren’t just cocktails minus the liquor, but rather a celebration of, ahem, good drinks.

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Can a Computer Write the Internet’s Best Cake Recipe? Google Thinks So.

Some think AI—artificial intelligence—could take over the world. Others fear that machine learning, a nascent technology that feeds data to computers and then allows it to customize and make its own decisions, could steal jobs, rob us of our humanity a…

Some think AI—artificial intelligence—could take over the world. Others fear that machine learning, a nascent technology that feeds data to computers and then allows it to customize and make its own decisions, could steal jobs, rob us of our humanity and render us useless. Sure, all of that could happen. In the meantime, Google is programming AI to bake cakes

Building off the popularity of baking during quarantine, the team at Google put together a machine learning model to get to the bottom of baking science.

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You Think 2020 Was the Year of Sourdough? Look Back to the Gold Rush

When the discovery of gold near Coloma, Calif., in 1848 ignited a massive influx of prospectors to the area from other regions of the United States, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia, many arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs. …

When the discovery of gold near Coloma, Calif., in 1848 ignited a massive influx of prospectors to the area from other regions of the United States, as well as Europe, Asia, and Australia, many arrived with little more than the clothes on their backs. Among the few prized possessions brought along for the journey were jars of sourdough starter—the mixture of fermented flour and water used to make bread without commercial yeast—that held the promise of a full belly. To thousands of hopeful (and hungry) miners who risked it all in pursuit of striking it rich, those jars of cultivated wild yeast represented a semblance of stability and a taste of home, even amid backbreaking work and an uncertain future. Legend has it that the miners even hugged their starters at night to keep the cultures warm and help them survive.

Sourdough starter served as a lifeline to which the miners literally clung. Due to the sudden population explosion, farms couldn’t keep up with the surge in demand, rendering affordable food an elusive commodity in many parts of the state. Moreover, the discovery of gold excited locals, too: As California’s farm workers left their agricultural jobs to pan for gold, farms that had once supported the state's economy sat abandoned. Local food merchants, smelling opportunity as droves of miners rushed the goldfields, inflated prices on everything from fruit to flour: A single egg could command as much as $3 (more than $80 per egg in today’s dollars). Suffice it to say, many merchants struck more riches than gold miners; after traveling thousands of arduous miles to stake their claim to wealth, most hopefuls in the mining camps ultimately made little money. Faced with limited funds and resources, the miners could extend a small amount of purchased flour by mixing it with sourdough starter—a more affordable solution than buying a fresh loaf of bread.

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The TikTok Tortilla Hack the Internet Is Flipping Out About

Every once in a while, the wheel is reinvented. If we’re lucky, smart, or even particularly ingenious, we find new ways to do old things. These novel approaches can flip convention completely on its head, or ever so slightly tweak a well-known formula….

Every once in a while, the wheel is reinvented. If we’re lucky, smart, or even particularly ingenious, we find new ways to do old things. These novel approaches can flip convention completely on its head, or ever so slightly tweak a well-known formula. The latter is precisely the case with a recent internet hack that’s been sweeping the internet.

It all started on TikTok (duh, where else?), when, on December 29th, user crystalscookingfun took a flour tortilla, cut a slit along its radius, placed a single ingredient into each of the circle's quadrants, folded accordingly, and griddled the whole affair to crisp perfection in a panini press. Her folded wrap included a sliced chicken cutlet, spring mix, tomatoes, and grated cheese. Here's the general formula:

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12 Coming-Soon Cookbooks We Can’t Wait to Read

There are lots of things to anticipate in 2021. Me, I’m (hopefully!) looking forward to the world opening up again to the extent where it’s safe to have friends over for dinner, dare I say inside, and close together. But one thing I do know is that eve…

There are lots of things to anticipate in 2021. Me, I'm (hopefully!) looking forward to the world opening up again to the extent where it's safe to have friends over for dinner, dare I say inside, and close together. But one thing I do know is that even if we have to keep eating over virtual hangouts, the food is going to be awesome—because the soon-to-be-published 2021 cookbook lineup is looking pretty darn great. From a deep-dive into European cheese, wine, and bread to mastering the art of South Carolinian barbecue to a new take on Jewish classics—to call out just a few—if we can say anything definitively about this year, it's that thanks to 2021's line up of cookbooks, we will eat well.

Here are 12 cookbooks coming out in 2021 we can't wait to crack open, recommended by some of Food52's contributors and staff. Note: this is only the beginning! Stay tuned for more 2021 cookbook coverage.

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Joanna Gaines Has a New Cooking Show: Here’s What We Know

Joanna Gaines, queen of shiplap, Waco and HGTV, has added a jewel to the crown that is her ever increasing lifestyle empire. Just last weekend, her new cooking television show, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, premiered on the Food Network.

The seri…

Joanna Gaines, queen of shiplap, Waco and HGTV, has added a jewel to the crown that is her ever increasing lifestyle empire. Just last weekend, her new cooking television show, Magnolia Table with Joanna Gaines, premiered on the Food Network.

The series features Gaines anchored behind the counter of her immaculately decorated and sun-drenched kitchen, cooking and explaining her way through a repertoire of favorite recipes. According to her website, spending time in the kitchen has been a boon to Gaines during stressful times. “Nothing about the way I cook is fancy or complicated, but over the years the kitchen has become such an important space for me, so it’s an honor to cook alongside you as we make some of my favorite recipes,” she writes.

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The Big Community Book-Off is Back & We Need Your Help!

What’s your favorite cookbook? Whatever your answer, we’d venture to guess it’s not the same as your best friend’s, partner’s, or even your own had we asked last year. Much as you love your dog-eared copy of a decades-old renowned cookbook, perhaps one…

What’s your favorite cookbook? Whatever your answer, we’d venture to guess it's not the same as your best friend’s, partner’s, or even your own had we asked last year. Much as you love your dog-eared copy of a decades-old renowned cookbook, perhaps one published just a few months ago has earned a special place in your heart (and on your dinner table.)

Here at Food52, we’re on a mission to find the best cookbooks, which is why last year we launched the Big Community Book-Off, a series of thoughtful cookbook reviews—considered, tested, and written by none other than you, our Food52 community.

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32 Aldi Groceries We’re Loading Into Our Shopping Carts

Photo by ALDI

Here at Food52, grocery stores play an invaluable role in all of our lives. We can’t seem to stop talking about them, whether it be the biggest Indian gro…

Photo by ALDI

Here at Food52, grocery stores play an invaluable role in all of our lives. We can't seem to stop talking about them, whether it be the biggest Indian grocery store in America, Trader Joe's snacks we could polish off in one sitting, or Costco products we're mildly—OK, strongly—obsessed with. The comments sections on those stories go on for pages and pages—which is why this time we wanted to include you, the community.

I've collected the things we love to get at ALDI, the German discount supermarket chain that just seems to have it all. Especially affordable prices, the main reason we can't stop raving about the grocery store (which has multiple locations scattered across the United States and the world).

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A Few Quick Cakes to Start 2021 Right – Your Best Snacking Cake Contest Finalists

Our Top Two Snacking Cakes – Plus an Honorable Mention

Before everyone dives into their food-related New Year’s resolutions (a la juice cleanses or Whole 30) to pare down that holiday (or quarantine) weight, we offer you our two lovely finalists in ou…

Our Top Two Snacking Cakes - Plus an Honorable Mention

Before everyone dives into their food-related New Year's resolutions (a la juice cleanses or Whole 30) to pare down that holiday (or quarantine) weight, we offer you our two lovely finalists in our latest Contest. We asked our community members for their simple but delicious cake recipes that were one layer and came together in one bowl. If frosting was included, it had to have less than five ingredients and also come together in one bowl. Our community delivered.

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