What We’re Reading: December 1, 2014

Gabrielle LangholtzChina Is Getting a Taste for Craft Beers, but Not for Craft Brewing — PRI
I recently caught this PRI radio piece on the rise of craft beer in China and found it fascinating. (Be sure to click for the audio, IMHO much more interesting than the related blog post on the same page.) Turns out that, while China is the world’s leading beer producer, that’s mostly mass-produced and watery. But the last few years have seen a sudden spiking interest in importing the good stuff — including fine lager made right here at Brooklyn Brewery — and the country is now poised to become the next big global market for craft beer. Today local microbreweries are popping up all over China, using ingredients like purple rice, Tibetan barley, sweet potato and jasmine flowers. Hey China, welcome to the party.

Eleonore BuschingerThe United States of Thanksgiving — The New York Times
If I had to pick two things that describe me the best, it would be: my adoration for food and my endless curiosity. I travel through food and for food. So, when the New York Times compiled a piece before Thanksgiving featuring 50 recipes that evoke each of the 50 states, I was sold. It’s giving me enough work in the kitchen until Christmas. And enough places to dream of until I eventually pack my stuff and eat my way through the 50 different states.

Carrington Morris: Meat Companies Go Antibiotics-Free as More Consumers Demand It — The Wall Street Journal
Happy to see the Wall Street Journal’s recent reporting on U.S. meat-industry trending toward natural alternatives to antibiotics. In particular pre- and probiotics — like the yeast found in yogurt and other fermented foods that promotes healthy bacteria to fight off illness — and herbal extracts like oil of oregano, a purported antiviral among other properties. Seems the shift is largely in response to consumer demand for antibiotic-free meat. Raising a glass of kombucha in cheers to another win for voting with the fork and dollar. There’s a pay wall to the main article, but you can read the WSJ blog piece here and a bare-bones summary here.

Lauren WilsonOld Southern Apples by Creighton Lee Calhoun
Having a family farm can be both an opportunity and a burden. Just read Kristina Johnson’s Death of a Family Farm piece to get a realistic glimpse of how challenging maintaining the business through the generations can be. As my parents age, I’m frequently thinking about how my siblings and I will sustain our own North Carolina tract, even if none of us move back there full time. There’s still opportunity to experiment and we’ve recently considered growing heirloom apples for various uses. If establishing this healthy and productive orchard were as simple as sticking trees in the ground, though, then I would fly down and plant this weekend. However, it’s a complex equation requiring significant research and time. Thankfully we have books like Lee Calhoun’s Old Southern Apples to help guide our very place-based decision making (Nancie McDermott wrote about Lee in Edible Piedmont). In this 326-page tome, Calhoun details the histories and uses of  more than 1,600 apple varieties throughout the Southeast (yes, there were once over 1,600 apple varieties cultivated throughout the region). I still need to learn how to graft, but this book will at least help point me in the direction of the right kind of fruit.

No Comments Yet

Leave a Reply