Food in the News/ by Shelley Lance, Blog Editor

1. John T. Edge, regular contributor to the NYT dining pages with a column called “United Tastes,” writes about Tostilocos.  Tostilocos, created about 10 years ago probably in Tijuana, is a food trend gaining popularity in stateside communities such as Escondido, CA.  One version is a paper boat of slasa-verde flavored Tostitos corn chips topped with shaved jicama, pickled pig skins, and tamarind candies, but the possibilities are endless including other types of chips such as Cheetos and a dizzying array of  toppings such as soy coated peanuts, chopped cucumbers, hot sauces, and lime juice.  Is this just a crazy new version of Frito pie, that beloved regional oddity of Texas and New Mexico where hot chili is ladled into an open Fritos bag?  Edge says  another view of Tostilocos is that they  are  “a product of Mexican cultural and culinary reclamation efforts.”  A big plus for cash strapped vendors- start up costs are low and since Tostilocos don’t need a heat source, “vendors stock up for the night with 24-packs of snack chips and $10 worth of vegetables and condiments.”

2. Seems like you can’t swing a cat without hitting an article about Rene Redzepi (chef of Noma, called the best restaurant in the world by the San Pellegrino restaurant awards), including a cover story in Time Magazine, or about other chefs and restaurants practicing the Nordic approach to wild foods cuisine, but this smart article by Josh Ozersky questions whether “chefs are taking Nordic nature worship too far,”…. “skirting the distinction between gastronomy and religion,” and “foraging for the night’s ingredients, tramping through the forest primeval like Ewoks or the last of the Mohicans.”  Ozersky thoughtfully points out that once Redzepi plucks his ingredients from out of the ground or off the sea rocks, “it enters our culinary world- taking a name, being prepared, getting served, sticking to the Velcro of social context- it stops being part of nature. It becomes an expression of human nature.”

3. Starbucks new Evolution Juice, as sold in retail stores,  gets a pretty good tasting-review in Serious Eats, especially for the green and vegetable juices.

March 21st, 2012

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