As recently reported in The Washington Post, al-Yamama, a Palestinian delivery company, has been sneaking Kentucky Fried Chicken into the Gaza Strip from Egypt: a three-hour journey and an extra $20-30 for cold chicken, which admittedly can be good. Of course, if Colonel Sanders knew that the red-and-white boxes which bear his likeness were being smuggled under blockades in a conflict-torn part of the world, he'd probably be horrified.
Pressure fryer innovator and marketing genius, the Colonel did not like how his recipes evolved as KFC grew. The story of his involvement in the development and branding of KFC's products could consume even this short piece. Suffice it to say that, in interviews, Sanders once characterized the gravy as "pure wallpaper paste" and extra-crispy as "a damn fried dough ball stuck on some chicken." He would most likely be distraught to see that people were risking their lives, taking arduous journeys and paying substantially inflated sums of money for products he disparaged.
Thankfully, in the opinion of this former Kentuckian, there are Kentucky products far superior to cold chicken irrigated with wallpaper paste. It is our recommendation (though we can't speak for the Colonel) that smugglers wishing to import something from the commonwealth look elsewhere. Turn the page for a few suggestions.
LONDON -- Game on for eating well during the Olympics, which begins today, July 27, and run through Aug. 12. Already one of the best dining cities in the world, London has been spiffed mightily up for the Olympic Games. Billions have been spent on new athletic venues; streets have been reconfigured so athletes and dignitaries can speed to competitions via designated Olympics lanes. And along with the 36 sports in competition and 302 medals at stake, a slew of grand pop-up hospitality centers hosted by various countries are open. Who wouldn't want to kick back and nosh on some bitterballen at the Holland Heineken House?
Yes, it will be the Olympics of international eating: From Copenhagen's Noma residency at Claridge's, to a pop-up Japanese sake bar overlooking the River Thames, to the world's largest McDonald's seating 1,500, to an elegant pre-game tailgate-style menu at Bar Boulud, no one is going to go hungry or thirsty during the 2012 London Games. However, they might go broke.
Getting the right people to run things in a new restaurant or hotel is key. And when you've got a world-famous director running things, you can bet he's gonna get his casting right the first time around.
Francis Ford Coppola is no newbie to the hotel biz. His exotic resorts in Belize, Guatemala and Argentina are justifiably well loved. But his latest foray takes him back to his family's roots, in Basilicata, Italy. He's taken over the grandest palazzo in the small town of Bernalda and transformed it into a five-star luxury oasis.
It's not often that a horrific problem can be fought with a simple tool. But that is what's happening in the refugee camps of Chad, where solar cookers are helping to protect women and girls from rape and other violence. Now in its sixth year, the Solar Cooker Project of L.A.-based Jewish World Watch (JWW) offers hope to black African families who have fled the genocide from government forces and Arab militias in the Darfur region of Sudan.
"Early on we realized that the women who had survived had been subjected to cruel and inhumane attacks," says Rachel Andres, director of the Solar Cooker Project. "When we started to look into what we could do to help them, we realized that, in fact, even though they were in a refugee camp, they weren't safe."
Andres explains that in the refugee camps, women and young girls must perform the dangerous job of collecting firewood for cooking. This requires them to leave the camps and walk for hours, making them vulnerable to attack.
In case the world needed another reason to hate us, the Jersey Shore kids have been deported (okay, not exactly, but we wish) to Italy to film the fourth season of their hit MTV reality show. The Guidos and Guidettes, some of whom aren't even Italian, will be roaming the streets of Florence, leaving a trail of hair grease, and spreading the love of fist-pumping. But of course it won't be all fun and games. They have to earn a living, right? Right. So MTV has put the cast to work slinging pizza.
The AP painted a lovely picture of pizzeria life this morning:
When you write about food, you read a lot of press releases. Regardless of the level of journalistic integrity your gig requires and your willingness to write about what you're asked to write about, you'll receive enough p.r. emails to strain your wireless connection. Frequently, the emails read like movie trailer voice-overs. You're compelled to believe that each new opening will shake up the scene, when, like most movies, most restaurants retread familiar terrain. The most absurd release we have ever received arrived this week. We're hoping it's a fake. The subject line is a good start: "The most long-awaited restaurant of all time is getting ready to open its doors."
-- Royal wedding sparks fruitcake boom in U.S. [Fox News]
-- Dunkin' Donuts rolls out the Royal Wedding doughnut. No pun intended. [Orlando Sentinel]
-- Where to Watch the Royal Wedding in Los Angeles. [The Feast LA]
-- Coronation prawn vol-au-vents (a recipe). [BBC]
-- Watch The Royal Wedding In LA: Viewing Parties And Celebrations. [Huffington Post]
-- Throw a Royal Wedding Viewing Party. [Good Food]
-- The Kate Middleton English Rose Cocktail. [Des Moines Register]
-- Royal wedding cake designs revealed. [The Telegraph]
-- Toast The Royal Wedding With... Viagra Beer? [OC Weekly]
-- The Funny Foods Inspired By Royal Wedding Mania. [The Daily Meal]
-- Throw your own royal wedding party: 22 canape recipes from the L.A. Times Test Kitchen. [Daily Dish]
-- The royal wedding in numbers (2 wedding cakes, 1,700 rich tea biscuits). [Digital Spy]
South Korean officials are desperately trying to stop a recent outbreak of foot-and-mouth disease, killing over a million infected animals and vaccinating millions more.
Despite its innocuous name, foot-and-mouth isn't a social faux pas, it's a devastating virus that infects cloven-hoofed animals. Symptoms include a high fever followed by blisters inside the mouth and on the feet, which if they rupture can cause lameness. (Transmission to humans is rare, but they can spread the disease if they've had contact with contaminated farm equipment, clothing and feed.)
Since the outbreak that began in late November, nearly 1.7 million farm animals have been slaughtered, some of which were buried alive when euthanasia drugs ran out, reports Time magazine.