The Juicy Bits
Have you noticed beef prices climbing up and up? This article explains why. And this one examines how Joe Biden's latest executive action may help keep US beef prices in check, or at least help cattle ranchers keep their fair share of the profits. Meanwhile in Nashville, chef Nick Guidry just wants to keep grilling his 18-ounce, 35-day dry aged steaks over an open fire. Check out this video to see how Guidry does primitive live-fire barbecue. Or for a roundup of all the best new barbecue joints in the South, see this smart Southern Living article by barbecue historian Robert Moss. If you're more into eating plants, here's a review of world-class NYC restaurant Eleven Madison Park's new all-vegan menu. Spoiler alert: food critic Ryan Sutton was not impressed. Maybe EMP should bring on one of Food & Wine's newly minted "Best New Chefs 2021" as a culinary consultant. Or maybe EMP just needs to round out the menu with some great tasting water. Yes, water can taste exceptionally good and professional water judges assemble every year at the Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting to evaluate the world's top tap, bottled, sparkling and still waters. Here's one judge's reflection on the 31st annual H2O gathering.
VIDEO: How A Nashville Chef Uses Open Fire To Create Modern Barbecue
Image Source: Eater
There's something primal about cooking with little more than a wood-burning hearth. It forces you to pay attention -- much more than when you just stick something in a closed, temperature-regulated oven. Here's how chef Nick Guidry does it at Pelican & Pig in Nashville. No, he's not the first chef to cook this way. But watching Nick manage fire, food, and time reveals the elements of good cooking.
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Barbecue Historian Lists The Best New Barbecue Joints In The South
Image Source: Robert Moss
Robert Moss is Southern Living magazine's Barbecue Editor and a scholar of live-fire culinary history. He knows good 'cue as well as the challenge of opening a restaurant during a pandemic. Despite the odds of survival, six new BBQ restaurants are still standing across the south from North Carolina to Texas to Maryland (yes, Maryland!), impressing Moss enough to include them in this roundup.
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French Wine Production Drops 29% This Year, A New Low
Image Source: Regis Duvignau/Reuters
Spring frosts and grapevine diseases have cut this year's total output of French wine down 29% from last year, according to the French farm ministry. This year's production numbers are even lower than the country's previous worst years of 1991 and 2017. The Burgundy-Beaujolais region has suffered the most losses, but there is a sliver lining: experts predict zero impact on the wine supply in the marketplace thanks to reserves from previous years.
Why Biden Wants To Break Up The Powerful US Beef Industry
Image Source: Angus Mordant/Bloomberg/Getty
Over the past 18 months, beef prices have risen steadily, yet cattle rancher profits have dropped by more than 25%. Meatpackers are taking the lion's share, and the four biggest multinational conglomerates--Tyson, JBS USA, Cargill and National Beef--control more than 80% of the US beef supply. That's a bit too much consolidation according to Joe Biden, who recently signed an executive action aimed at diversifying and strengthening the US meat supply by increasing competition in the beef industry.
Drought Shrinks Bee Colonies, Threatening Apple And Almond Crops
Image Source: Dan Koeck/Reuters
Midwestern states like Iowa and North Dakota are suffering their worst droughts in decades. Local honey cooperative Sioux Honey, which produces nearly 25% of U.S. honey under the Sue Bee brand, says that honey production is down nearly 40% this year. Those losses also impact agricultural crops because farmers rely on strong bee colonies for crop pollination. According to more than a dozen leading bee experts, economists, farmers, and industry groups, the Midwest shortage of strong bee colonies is putting West Coast crops like apples, almonds, cherries, and peaches at risk.
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Flabby, Flinty, Wet Band-Aid: Tasting Notes From The "Olympics Of Water Judging"
Image Source: Stephanie Kalina-Metzger
Believe it or not, water has flavor. Hard water tastes minerally and municipal water can taste like chlorine. For 31 years, judges at the annual Berkeley Springs International Water Tasting have evaluated and ranked bottled, tap, sparkling and still waters from more than a dozen countries. Each water is rated on appearance, mouthfeel, aroma, flavor, and aftertaste. A few exceptional waters topped the list again this year, including Svalbardi Polar Iceberg Water from Norway, which retails for $116.99 for a 750-ml bottle. Here's one judge's take on this curious annual event.
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