You know you have those days when you start idly trolling the Web and you think you're not going to find anything? Perhaps my coffee was a slow-starter, but this morning I thought I was going to have nothing for show and tell. Then, lo, a bounty of riches appeared:
Taste Test: Gum by Ben Mathis-Lilley (New York magazine): One hundred thirty-two types of gum. Two celebrity chefs (Wylie Dufresne and Alex Stupak of WD50). Some winners, some losers, and tasting notes the likes of which you've probably never seen. (Thanks to Serious Eats for the link.)
Can a Dairy Be Big and Organic? by Melissa Allison (Seattle Times): Watts Brothers, Washington's largest organic dairy farm, has more ethics than you might think, given that it supplies Horizon Dairy, which has been under attack for lax organic standards for months. Sadly, Allison wasn't given enough column space to explore all the issues embedded within this story. I particularly liked the possibilities contained in this intriguing tidbit: "The idea for Watts Brothers' organic dairy began three years ago, when Odegard realized its 22,000-acre vegetable farm could save money on manure if it produced its own."
Like a Taste That Tingles? by Bonnie Benwick (Washington Post): A new-to-us spice--the awfully misspelled Sechuan button, no relation to the Sichuan peppercorn--hits the East Coast, offering a thrill apparently equal to Pop Rocks. Carsberg? Galusha? Any interest?
The Allure of Cheap Wine by Jordan Mackay (Chow): Finally, some ammo from a wine writer with much more cred than me. Now I can say that the reason I rarely spend more than $20 on a bottle of wine isn't that the Weekly doesn't pay me enough, it's that I am crusading against the homogenization of wine. Vive la plonk! (Note: This does not apply to three-buck Chuck, which, despite what anyone argues, really does taste like a cheap-ass bottle of wine. Now I'm beholden by the code of wine writers to add not that that's a bad thing.)