The Unlikely Resilience of the Calcutta Chop

The Bengali chop might be the perfect metaphor for the British colonial era. The British forged an Empire that sought to impress its culture upon India, but was so heavily influenced by the colonized that a hybrid new form emerged. The chop traveled fr…

The Bengali chop might be the perfect metaphor for the British colonial era. The British forged an Empire that sought to impress its culture upon India, but was so heavily influenced by the colonized that a hybrid new form emerged. The chop traveled from English kitchens to Indian ones gathering spice, egg wash, mince, breadcrumbs, and chickpea flour until it had only the faintest resonance with its original. Along the way, it paused at that most British of institutions—the Club—which was crucial in disseminating it through Bengal.

Once the British subjugated India, they began prospecting for a simulacrum of home for the "preponderance of single British men, or married men living singly in India, especially in the early decades of colonial rule," writes Mrinalini Sinha in her essay, “Britishness, Clubbability, and the Colonial Public Sphere.” Clubs fulfilled this purpose splendidly, banding together to form a community. Unsurprisingly, these mirror kingdoms of Britishness functioned on exclusion and racial homogeneity. Club members—largely upper class, male, white European colonials—cupped the power of the country firmly in their hands; it was at these old seats of power that deals were brokered, policy was decided, and social connections were started or scuppered.

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I Chopped 75 Pounds of Onions a Day—Here’s How I Learned to Stop Crying

For some people, working in a restaurant means the chance to put their hard-earned culinary degree to use. For me, it meant lots and lots of crying. After I graduated from a fancy liberal arts college and failed to get a salaried office job with a busi…

For some people, working in a restaurant means the chance to put their hard-earned culinary degree to use. For me, it meant lots and lots of crying. After I graduated from a fancy liberal arts college and failed to get a salaried office job with a business casual dress code and summer Fridays, I decided to take a different path in order to get my dream job working as a food writer. I met with the chef at a French restaurant in suburban Connecticut and said I loved the Barefoot Contessa and cooking and wanted a job. He looked me up and down and didn’t think I had what it took to work in a restaurant but felt I deserved a chance (I only know this because months later, I asked him point-blank “why in the world did you ever hire someone like me?”).

On my first day as a stage (aka an unpaid cooking intern), I arrived 15 minutes early, sat in the maroon and cream French bistro chairs on the sidewalk patio in front of the restaurant for 25 minutes, waiting for someone to walk by and open the front door, because I didn’t realize there was a back entrance. It took lots of wandering and several embarrassing stares from dog walkers and young mothers walking their babies in overpriced strollers for me to discover the “employee entrance.” After I found my way in, I was promptly yelled at by the sous chef for not tying my apron properly, not bringing my own set of knives (why would I spend money on knives? Shouldn’t they be provided?), and not putting a wet towel under my cutting board to prevent it from slipping and sliding on the metal table (this is a genius trick and one that everyone should try).

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The Swirly, Brain-Freezing Origins of the Frozen Margarita Machine

From the outset, Mariano Martinez’s restaurant, the place that put frozen margaritas on the map, was an experience. Then called Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine, the original was located in Dallas’ Old Town shopping center, a 5-minute ride from Southern Metho…

From the outset, Mariano Martinez’s restaurant, the place that put frozen margaritas on the map, was an experience. Then called Mariano’s Mexican Cuisine, the original was located in Dallas’ Old Town shopping center, a 5-minute ride from Southern Methodist University. Inside, Mexican music piped through the dining room and blue lighting simulated moonlight. Sorority sisters wearing skirts and gaucho hats worked as greeters. The floor was covered with inexpensive shag carpeting, and at the end of service, employees used yard rakes to clean up fallen tortilla chips. The house specialty was the margarita.

It was 1971—the same year that a coffeehouse called Starbucks opened its doors in Seattle and just a year after Texas passed a constitutional amendment making liquor by the drink legal. Prior to that, it was a “brown bag state,” meaning customers could bring a bottle of alcohol to a restaurant as long as they kept it in the bag, off the table. As Mariano explains on a recent phone call, people would order a “setup,” like Coke over ice with a lime, and pour their liquor of choice—usually whiskey or rum—into the mix.

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31 Best Trader Joe’s Fall Snacks to Stuff in Your Basket ASAP

Deep breath: We’re entering fall, y’all! The chaotic, exciting, autumnal frenzy where we throw gourds onto everything, wrap ourselves in sweaters, and dash between football fields and apple orchards and maybe a haunted house or two. To keep up your spi…

Deep breath: We’re entering fall, y’all! The chaotic, exciting, autumnal frenzy where we throw gourds onto everything, wrap ourselves in sweaters, and dash between football fields and apple orchards and maybe a haunted house or two. To keep up your spirits (and your energy), you’ll need snacks. Lots of them.

And no one knows how to celebrate the harvest like fan-favorite Trader Joe’s. Their latest Fearless Flyer boasts a cornucopia of pumpkin-everything, apples galore, and warm caramel creations—all in bite-size, speedy-sustenance form. We’ve gathered our favorite season’s eatings below:

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Where to Go Apple Picking in New York, According to Our Hudson Valley Correspondent

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52’s very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.

Did you know? New York State’s official state fruit—and, who knew, state muffin—is the apple. Appropriately, …

Every month, Melina Hammer, Food52's very own Hudson Valley correspondent, is serving up all the bounty that upstate New York has to offer.


Did you know? New York State’s official state fruit—and, who knew, state muffin—is the apple. Appropriately, apple picking heralds in the fall in the Hudson Valley. From August through October, the crisp, sweet air is just right for orchard day trips.

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Why Does Organic Mayo Taste Funny?

On the whole, I support buying organic foods whenever available and affordable. I welcome the occasional critter on the inner lettuce leaves; it’s his land, too. The sole, willful exception I make when buying organic is mayonnaise, because it tastes, w…

On the whole, I support buying organic foods whenever available and affordable. I welcome the occasional critter on the inner lettuce leaves; it’s his land, too. The sole, willful exception I make when buying organic is mayonnaise, because it tastes, well, weird—usually like stale nuts offset by an assertive tang.

I consider mayonnaise to be one of life’s great little flourishes, the condiment equivalent of a ruffle on a sleeve or dab of glitter on the corner of each eye. I’m also a Hellmann’s and Duke’s mayo lifer. I count on these products’ unfailing balance of creaminess, salt and tang to lend swipes of richness to turkey, ham, or tomato sandwiches, and subtle roundness to tuna salads and vinaigrettes.

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Kale Is the Latest Food to Be Recalled Due to Listeria

In bitter produce news, Baker Farms has announced a recall of its one-pound plastic bags of kale due to possible listeria contamination. The bags of kale were distributed to Kroger and SEG Grocers across 11 different states including Alabama, Arkansas,…

In bitter produce news, Baker Farms has announced a recall of its one-pound plastic bags of kale due to possible listeria contamination. The bags of kale were distributed to Kroger and SEG Grocers across 11 different states including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, New York, and Virginia. The affected product was distributed to grocery stores between August 30th and September 1st and has a best-by date of September 18, 2021. The product has tested positive for listeria but no illnesses have been reported at this time. So how does listeria compare to other forms of foodborne bacteria like salmonella or E.coli? “While most of the food-related bacteria grow better in warm to moderate temperatures and do not grow at all or only extremely slowly at cold temperatures, listeria is the exception and is able to also grow at low temperatures, such as in refrigerators,” says Dr. Kang Zhou, a food safety officer for the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

Wondering if your bag of kale is part of the recall? Check the UPC code! Baker Farms Kale has a UPC code that reads 8 13098 02001 6; Kroger Kale has a UPC code that reads 0 11110 18170 1; and SEG Grocers Kale has a UPC code that reads 0 38259 11482 7.

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This Company Is Turning Scraps into Flours

“Dregs” is such an unappealing word. But the dregs are exactly what Renewal Mill prizes. This Oakland, California–based business is all about upcycling and repurposing food by-products from waste streams; a rescue mission, if you will, that starts with…

“Dregs” is such an unappealing word. But the dregs are exactly what Renewal Mill prizes. This Oakland, California–based business is all about upcycling and repurposing food by-products from waste streams; a rescue mission, if you will, that starts with the smallest scrap of food not going into the garbage.

One and a half billion tons of food waste are generated globally annually, enough to feed more than 2 billion people each year. But when Claire Schlemme co-founded Boston’s first organic juice company, Mother Juice, in 2012, this fact wasn’t even on her radar. Schlemme, who studied environmental management at Yale, swiftly found herself face-to-face with mountains of fruit and vegetable pulp. “Nutrition was going to waste in all of that pulp—we did our best to repurpose into muffins, and even sold the scraps to different outlets, but it was outside the core of what we were building,” she says.

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Our Community’s Top 5 Recipes With Summer Fruit

Here are the top 5 recipes from our community starring beautiful summer fruit!
In our latest recipe contest, we asked our community members to share their best recipes starring summer fruit. The entries were thoughtful and creative, ranging from sweet…

Here are the top 5 recipes from our community starring beautiful summer fruit!

In our latest recipe contest, we asked our community members to share their best recipes starring summer fruit. The entries were thoughtful and creative, ranging from sweet fruit pies to savory salsas and salads. (And thank you for remembering that cucumbers and tomatoes are fruits, too!) It was a tough process—not really, we love summer fruit—but we narrowed the field down to five recipes you're going to want to try as you pick up the last of summer's sweet bounty.

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What the Heck Is ‘Boom Boom Lemon Drink’?

If you’ve been cooling off with Netflix recently, you may have come across the recently-released film Kate, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the titular assassin with 24 hours to live, and an unquenchable thirst for revenge—and Boom Boom Lemon drink…

If you’ve been cooling off with Netflix recently, you may have come across the recently-released film Kate, starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead as the titular assassin with 24 hours to live, and an unquenchable thirst for revenge—and Boom Boom Lemon drink. The thirst-quenching citrus beverage naturally proves difficult for Kate to find, but it does manage to inspire an unlikely friendship between her and Ani (Miku Martineau), who just want to get their hands on their favorite soda.

If you found yourself watching Kate and fantasizing about a sip of the lemon soda yourself, you’re definitely not alone. Twitter was abuzz with fans not only rooting for Winstead to take a sip before the credits rolled, but also hoping to score some Boom Boom Lemon drink themselves. Unfortunately for viewers, Boom Boom Lemon is not—at least for now—a real product. The good news is that there at least seems to be a Japanese equivalent that’s close enough. That would be C.C. Lemon, which parent company Suntory (who you may recall from Lost In Translation) describes as “the No.1 lemon-flavoured carbonated drink in Japan for over 20 years.” Its popularity may or may not have something to do with the fact that characters from The Simpsons have appeared in quite a few of C.C. Lemon commercials over the years, arguably making them more recognizable in Japan from the ads than the show itself.

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