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Linky Friday, Food Symposium Edition

For the ongoing food symposium, I’ve assembled a collection of links mostly extracted from one of my Flipboard magazines, Playing With Your Food.

 

People:

[P1]  Some bosses give away free food. Does it really help?

[P2]  Some bosses are dicks. And then, there’s this guy. Then again, some patrons of restaurants are dicks, too. My advice is to follow Wheaton’s Law.

[P3]  Boy George likes it raw.

[P4]  Meet the honey dude.

[P5]  He will not stop until he has replicated everything in the Alinea cookbook.

[P6]  This brave woman drank nothing but camel’s milk for a month.

[P7]  One of the happy geniuses that keep Trader Joe’s fun.

[P8]  These women are shaping the future of beer. So are these women.

 

Locations:

[L1]  Portland, Oregon: gastrodestination and zymurgy heaven.

[L2]  Florida’s panhandle: I don’t think the grits were deep-fried, but everything else was.

[L3]  New Zealand’s moa must have been pretty durned tasty.

[L4]  Britain outdoes the USA in food porn.

 

Alcohol:

[A1]  Salt in your beer. No, really, it can be good. As long as you don’t let it get skunky.

[A2]  Nothing goes better with minestrone and Bistecca alla Fiorentina than a good Tuscan microbrew.

[A3]  Can the Long Island Iced Tea possibly be redeemed as somehow still socially acceptable in this day and age?

[A4]  George and Martha got a little bit boozy around the holidays, it turns out.

[A5]  Kickstarting your savoir de vin français.

[A6]  As they used to say in some other place on the Internets, this article is relevant to my interests.

 

Ingredients:

[I1]  Using your grocery store intelligently. And preparing your charcuterie board intelligently.

[I2]  Persimmons: the last sweet treat from a tree before winter kicks in. And you have to switch to butternut squash.

[I3]  Specialty cheese: here comes the science. Also, the history of string cheese.

[I4]  One day I will be chided for throwing away my pistachio shells. And chided more for eating almonds at all.

[I5]  Tail to snout — a persistent ethic for abattoirs. Although there’s one part about which you may prefer to preserve your ignorance.

[I6]  You survived the Great Lime Shortage of 2014. Now, how will you survive the Great Olive Shortage of 2015? And worse, the Great Chocolate Shortage of 2015?

[I6]  Sustainable salmon farming in West Virginia.

[I7]  The depressingly small portions that each amount to 200 calories.

[I8]  You’ll never look at a strawberry the same way again.

[I9]  Mmm. Vat beef.

 

Holidays:

[H1]  Try your turkey in mole! And brine it first! If you’re going to fry it, holy crap you’re going to kill yourself. Then, if you survive, put some booties on it!

[H2]  Or, you could do what TV celeb-chef and super-snappy dresser Marcus Samuelsson is going to do in Harlem.

[H3]  Or, do what I’m going to do with my turkey.

[H4]  What to do with a surplus of cranberries?

[H5]  Accommodating Thanksgiving guests with food intolerances. But hopefully they like some Bourbon in their gluten-free pumpkin pie because Bourbon is just awesome in sweet food.

[H6]  A bit too late for this year, but really, is it ever too late to celebrate Samhain?

 

Fast Food:

[F1]  In Haiti, the elite eat Domino’s Pizza.

[F2]  Pizza Hut draws all sorts of skepticism for its new heterodox menu. IIRC, CPK had its initial detractors, too.

[F3]  Drinking ten cans of Coca-Cola a day. You know, for science.

[F4]  The two big chains turn out to be favorites … almost nowhere in the country.

[F5]  Overcoming the dreadful inconvenience of salad.

[F6]  The KFC Cafe. Almost certain to be disappointing. But perhaps that is unlike its sister chain.

[F7]  What, you mean traditional Chinese cooks didn’t make cream cheese rangoons?

[F8]  Dunkin’ Donuts attempts to corner the cronut market. They have the infrastructure to do it!

[F9]  I guarantee you that no one asked for this ever anywhere.

 

Recipes:

[R1]  Savory apple pie? I’m curiously intrigued…

[R2]  …but a sweet pie sounds better.

[R3]  Salty, wrinkly, crispy roasted potatoes.

[R4]  Slow cooker. Brown sugar. Pulled pork. Happy bellies.

[R5]  What Italians eat on Thursday.

[R6]  Homemade Cheez-Its.

[R7]  Whoever thought of this I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!  (Cheesecakey photo of bikini model used as a frame for the recipe, as though sex were needed to sell bacon-wrapped cheesy tots.)

 

Image source: Wikimedia commons.

Burt LikkoBurt Likko is the pseudonym of an attorney in Southern California. His interests include Constitutional law with a special interest in law relating to the concept of separation of church and state, cooking, good wine, and bad science fiction movies. Follow his sporadic Tweets at @burtlikko, and his Flipboard at Burt Likko.

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17 thoughts on “Linky Friday, Food Symposium Edition

  1. P1: Semi-OT, the big issue I have with all these types of stories is that they chronicle really big and insanely profitable companies that can afford do to all sorts of perks (also hip and new companies where the average employee age seems to be under 40). Most people will not work for such companies. My experience in law is that it really depends on the firm. The Big Corporate firms in Manhattan have or had subsidized cafeterias (I did freelance proofreading during the subprime boom), I worked at a firm that had free soft drinks, coffee, tea, and snacks. Smaller firms have had less so. Not every place or even most places can be a tech 2.0 company in terms of perks.

    My favorite story is that during my legal proofreading days I heard that it was a big deal to be sent to the printers because “they feed you.” I thought this meant pizza or cheap Chinese food. It turns out that feeds you means giving you a whole menu of options and going carte blanche. I got Lobster Tail, Steak and Asparagus. I imagine that these days are over post-boom.

    P2: The guy is a jerk and I think I would be turned off as a customer if a server asked for my e-mail address.

    L1: Tis a very good beer city. This is true.

    A4: That sounds boozy.

    H1: Turkey Mole is very very good.

    F2: Some people are still skeptical of CPK.

    F7: Chicken with Brocolli and Sesame Chicken are two of my favorite Chinese fast foods.

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    • The CEO of the first startup I worked for had a great argument with the CFO over how much money they were spending on takeout for dinner for the engineers. The CEO said, “If you can figure out a cheaper way to get engineers to put in an extra couple of hours than $15 worth of raw fish, I’m all ears. As far as I know, only sea lions work for that rate.” We were definitely not a big and wealthy operation.

      Flash forward a few years and a couple of acquisitions. They were maintaining freezers with frozen dinners in them to keep you fed when you were working really late, but it caused too much of a stir with the East coast offices that didn’t get the perk. The cultures were very different–ours was long hours and lots of late nights and theirs was a very regimented 9-5, but the idea that we were sometimes eating a frozen box of frozen ziti on the company dime caused enough friction that they had to cut it out. Definitely cultural.

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      • Why do you think the East Coast was more 9-5 and the West Coast was more long hours? I think the working culture for lawyers is the same on either coast. The working culture for lawyers tends to be based on type of law and payment structure over anything else, not geography.

        The problem with perks is that once they are given, they are very hard to take away without doing a serious blow to morale. Sometimes even switching jobs is hard if you know your old job had a perk that most in the industry don’t offer.

        I think the West Coast tech companies are rather extreme in their perkage and I am usually a bit shocked about these perks. One engineer told me that his company had services come to clean the apartments of engineers so they could work more. I found this one to be really shocking for some reason.

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      • The North East and Mid-West had much more unionization than the West Coast even during the hey day of unionization or even now. The culture of unionization probably led to a stricter nine to five schedule in many non-unionized industries as well.

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      • Our other offices were all definitely more 9-5 operations than our California offices, partially because they were much larger companies when we merged. They had things like administrators and middle management to fill out the ranks and we just had engineers who worked 7 days a week the way they did when we knew the boss had his mortgage on the line. I don’t want to make a value judgment about the employees in either office because the difference was simply one of culture and maturity and honestly, we were basically doing charity work with the extra hours because the work was interesting. I’m not doing nearly as much charity work these days. Tech company execs don’t need my charity.

        But our office was an old cable company office with leaky toilets and theirs was a swanky floor of a highrise with nobody answering the phone after 5:30, so there were noticeable differences in management style and priorities. Not sure about the other office, but our crew was paid less than market for the SF Bay area, so the work had to be interesting and having something to eat after 10pm kept you going.

        In any case, $15 for 2 hours of extra engineer work is a pretty sweet deal, and most of us are analytical enough to know the difference between an extra $5-10K in salary and a ping pong table and ice cream on Fridays. The main deal with the food is that if people have to leave the building to eat dinner after a long day at work, they’re not coming back. If they can have a quick meal and stay at their desks, some of them will stay till midnight to wrap things up. I don’t think lunch is nearly as good as an investment. Lunch is an hour tops, and it’s usually spent eating with colleagues and talking about work whether it happens on or off campus.

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      • I used to work for the provincial government in IT, in a building with some Justice ministry people including lawyers (it was across the street from a courthouse), and some folks from what amounted to the ministry of all the boring stuff (IT, payroll, contract management, etc. for other ministries, very little service direct to citizens).

        In our area it was apparently unthinkable to have the employer buy some cans of cheap coffee for the break room, lest the taxpayers realize they had spent a slim fraction of a penny on fancy perks for fat-cat civil servants, and overthrow the government. On the odd occasion when I’d go over to the Justice ministry floors to discuss something with someone there, there were very nicely furnished break rooms with free and quite good tea, coffee, and snacks…

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      • I don’t think lunch is nearly as good as an investment. Lunch is an hour tops, and it’s usually spent eating with colleagues and talking about work whether it happens on or off campus.

        That reminds me of something that’s even a little more off topic than this sub-thread is. When I was a teller, we were so short staffed that on really busy days we were bribed/ordered/voluntold to skip our lunch break in exchange for pizza, paid for by the bank, which we were to eat at our teller stations. I remember secretly preferring to take my real lunch break instead of having pizza, especially because it’s awkward to eat pizza on the teller line and it’s nice to have a half-hour to sit down, regenerate, and maybe read a little. And besides, it strikes me as a little rude to eat in front of customers.

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      • Saul,
        there’s a reason video games always end their credits with thanking people who brought the food. People live at the office for the last month or two before deadline. As in, they don’t see sunlight, not as in “we put in 12 hour days”

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  2. [P1] Years ago I washed dishes in the cafeteria of a huge insurance company. Every employee, in a campus of maybe four largish buildings, got a free lunch. (It was a huge industrial operation – they had vinegar delivered by a tanker truck; the big dishwasher took about 10 people to operate when it was running at full steam).

    The first order of business for the kitchen staff was breakfast. We were on the clock, so there was no choice but to be there, but there was just a breakfast buffet and no work going on for 20 or 30 minutes. Between that, the lunch buffet leftovers that we officially totally didn’t take home in containers, and the amazing showers, it was the perfect summer job given that my living situation at the time was an overcrowded campground.

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