Weekly Reading #1

Every Sunday, I’ll share the most interesting articles I’ve read on cooking, eating and food culture that week.

In my kitchen this week: the last few tomatoes from the garden that managed to evade Zool’s clutches.



  • The Serious Eats Guide to Food Photography. A serious (but not intimidating) guide to food photography from Serious Eats. Alright, maybe it’s a little intimidating. Just perhaps I spent the hour after I read it checking the price of stock photo services. But it’s packed with useful tips, so go read it.
  • The Food Lab: A New Way to Cook Pasta? J. Kenji López-Alt blows my mind, and sends Italian grandmothers spinning in their graves, by suggesting cooking pasta in a tiny amount of non-boiling water. Madness.
  • Pasta Bigoli over at Cook in Venice is a lovely rambling history of this pasta shape.  It covers everything from the etymology of the name to the fact that in pre-WWII Venice the strenuous task of turning the bigoli press usually fell to one of the household’s daughters.  (No surprise there.)
  • A Serious Bunburyist has one of these presses! He is making bigoli! (Apparently the press really is very hard work.)
  • Ciao Chow Linda has her mother’s bigoli press! It is called a torchio machine! (And she too confirms that yes,  they take a lot of muscle).

My Year at Leith’s: Accurate Measurement

  • The Little Glass Bowls I Can’t Cook Without. Falling firmly into the ‘measure ingredients before you start cooking’ camp is Joe Brown at Gizmodo. A self-confessed small glass bowl aficionado, he rhapsodises about Pyrex 10oz Rimmed Custard Cups as an ingredient organizational tool. He’s also a former chef, and might just know what he’s taking about.
  • How Salty Should Pasta Water Be? In my quest to follow Leith’s directive to measure accurately, I looked up what the pasta/water/salt ratio should be (disappointingly, it wasn’t “some, some, and some”). Daniel Gritzer at Serious Eats covers the issue in depth, complete with a table involving percentages to one decimal point.

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