Bogus Trend of the Week: Raising Backyard Chickens (Jack Shafer, Slate): The country's grumpiest media critic calls bullshit on all the newspaper articles describing the backyard chicken fad. Although I agree with Shafer that the "fad" isn't as widespread as the newspapers are reporting, I know far too many people on the West Coast who've adopted layers in the past five years to dismiss it, either. Typical East Coast-centrism.
New Cake in the Cupcake Royale by Rebekah Denn (Eat All About It): Sue McCown, one of Seattle's few celebrity pastry chefs, chronicles the 20 million recipes she tested to improve the Cupcake Royale master cake recipe. Now I'm curious to try it.
Restaurants Lacking Appetite for Expensive Equipment (CNN): One reason panini presses have become ubiquitous -- everything else has become too pricey (does that mean immersion circulators are not the next food processor?). Now that I'm seeing more panini, for once and for all, it's not "paninis." "Panini" is the plural of "panino" -- I know it's simply a matter of changing English usage, and within 10 years "paninis" will be listed as a valid plural in Merriam-Webster, but let's stem the tide as long as we can, shall we?
A Chili Sauce to Crow About (John T. Edge, NY Times): The fascinating origins of Sriracha sauce, the pan-Asian, all-American hot sauce.
Let the Games Begin (Gail Shepard, Broward/Palm Beach New Times): Florida's best critic describes the perils of sitting at a sushi bar for the first time, and gives sensible rules that will help you get the best fish.