Summary of “Why do foods get named after places”

The basic recipe: a breaded, deep-fried chicken cutlet stuffed with seasoned butter.
The chicken recipe gained popularity in early 20th-century Russia.
Now, visitors can chomp the chicken recipe as a handheld snack at the city’s Rebra & Kotlety or a version dressed up with foie gras and cauliflower foam at Vogue Café in the glitzy Fairmont Grand Hotel Kyiv.
Crab Rangoon was created a couple of oceans away by midcentury California restaurateur Victor J. Bergeron, whose tiki-themed Trader Vic’s restaurants appropriated South Pacific decor and misappropriated a range of Asian and Polynesian foods on its menus.
While baked Alaska sprang forth in New York City, much like chicken Kiev, it eventually wandered homeward.
Sometimes a Peking duck is just, well, a Beijing bird, cooked and eaten in the city where the recipe first took flight.
A Peking duck first appeared in print in Hu Sihui’s Complete Recipes for Dishes and Beverages, published in 1330.
Bianyifang, the first restaurant specializing in Peking duck, opened in 1416 in current-day Beijing.

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Summary of “The Coronavirus: How to Get Food Safely”

Even if the person preparing it is sick, he told me via email, “Cooked foods are unlikely to be a concern unless they get contaminated after cooking.” He granted that “a salad, if someone sneezes on it, might possibly be some risk,” but as long as the food is handled properly, he said, “There should be very little risk.” Now might be a good time to familiarize yourself with what your local health department thinks of the food-handling practices of your favorite restaurants.
The danger of the delivery interaction depends on how it’s orchestrated.
For the food’s recipient, the risk is relatively low, Morse said: “There can be transmission through contaminated inanimate objects, but we think the most important route of transmission is respiratory droplets,” which spread when someone coughs, sneezes, or even breathes in close proximity to others.
Morse said the risk can be reduced for both parties if recipients ask that food be left outside the door-or, ideally, if restaurants mandate this practice to protect their employees.
In Wuhan, China, where the coronavirus outbreak began a few months ago, many delivery drivers wore protective suits and masks, and carried employer-provided hand sanitizer.
“It’s the responsibility of the person ordering food to try as best they can to get a grip on that,” May wrote to me in an email.
The restaurant delivery person interacts with fewer people, lessening his or her individual risk, and the money you pay for the food goes toward keeping a restaurant’s staff employed through a crisis.
In Wuhan, local delivery drivers were the city’s lifeline during a lockdown that made venturing out for fresh food difficult.

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Summary of “How Much Does It Cost to Run a Restaurant?”

“I have always thought to myself that the version of Top Chef that I would want to watch would be chef-owners plunging a toilet, cleaning an overflowing grease trap, balancing a balance sheet, and running payroll as fast as they could – a decathlon of all the administrative bullshit,” says Irene Li, the chef and owner of Mei Mei, a Chinese-American restaurant in Boston.
Today, every single staff member, from the dishwasher to the line cook, can interpret and speak to the restaurant’s entire profit-and-loss statement because, for two years now, Mei Mei has been opening its books to its staff.
In the middle of the restaurant, as the Friday dinner crowd was beginning to pick up, we sat down to review the full profit-and-loss statement for Mei Mei for 2019 – something that any diner will soon be able to do.
At Mei Mei, the catering line item includes traditional drop-off catering, weddings, staff-led cooking classes, and restaurant buy-outs.
Remember, restaurants are aiming for 20 percent here, and as Mei Mei focuses on high-quality ingredients, Li’s proud of where they’re at.
“Salary plus 90-hour work weeks are a pretty common way that restaurant employers exploit their most valuable staff, and I’ve seen how negative the impacts are,” says Li. On the health insurance front, Mei Mei contributes half the cost of health insurance for full-time staff.
Staff members have access to a grocery program where they can order what’s used by the restaurant at Mei Mei’s rate.
For Mei Mei, that includes a dishwasher and an ice machine – so yes, it can cost over $6,000 a year just to clean some dishes and to have a reliable source for ice cubes.

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Summary of “The Best Pasta in Rome, According to Top Chefs”

Her food tours have attracted a major following among chefs.
“The city continues to lead the world’s pasta game,” says James Beard-winning chef Sarah Grueneberg, of Chicago’s Monteverde, who picked an uber-traditional rigatoni.
Chefs Davide Lombardi and Valerio Chicchierini of Cento Gourmet dispense with the homespun cliches most Roman trattorias lean on.
Chefs Valerio Chiacchierini and Davide Lombardi in action in their semiopen kitchen.
Massimo Bottura, chef and owner of Osteria Francescana, the No. 1 restaurant on the World’s 50 Best list shouts out the cacio e pepe as his favorite in the city.
Before opening his classic Italian restaurant Maialino in 2009, Manhattan restaurateur Danny Meyer spent weeks in Rome with chef Nick Anderer.
Colline Emiliane chefs, owners, and sisters Anna and Paola Latini are pasta specialists.
“I now have a new technique when I make carbonara as my late-night snack.” Rather than adding ingredients to the cooked pasta separately, he ensures that they coat the pasta evenly by mixing the pecorino and the eggs together, with a little hot pasta water to emulsify it.

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Summary of “The Surprising Story of Moscow’s Food Revolution”

Alyonka sits on handsome Nikolskaya Street, which I barely recognize; it’s been pedestrianized and outfitted with benches and flowerpots as part of Mayor Sergei Sobyanin’s ambitious Moscow beautification program.
Zhivago is yet another vessel riding the wave of Soviet Nostalgia that keeps washing over Moscow and now, to my utter surprise, seems to be cresting.
The Stalinist Empire-style colonnades of restored pavilions gleam in the June sun under a fresh coat of that New Moscow whiteness.
To escape Sobyanin’s apocalyptic beautification-in-progress, Barry and I take the metro out to VDNKh in northeastern Moscow.
Now, with Putin’s personal blessing, VDNKh is getting a makeover by the same savvy team that turned the derelict Gorky Park, another Stalinist relic, into a multimillion-dollar hipster arcadia featuring the Rem Koolhaas-designed Garage Museum of Contemporary Art.As a Moscow kid I was mesmerized by VDNKh’s “People’s Friendship” fountain: a gilded 1950s extravaganza of 16 monumental maidens in the national garbs of the Soviet republics encircling a vast sheaf of wheat.
The Kremlin’s truce with the Republic of Georgia assured the return of sun-kissed Georgian food imports to Moscow.
On our last day in Moscow, Barry and I share enameled metal bowls of pelmeni, Siberian dumplings, around the wooden communal table of a “Dumpling boutique” called Lepim i Varim, or “Shape and Boil.” This sweet lokavorosky spot run by three young dudes, two of whom are hosts at Moscow’s Comedy Radio, aims to hook Muscovites on Russian fast food.
Outside, the peeping Moscow sun glints on the pedestrianized Stoleshnikov Lane, where 19th-century facades preen in new coats of buttercream and pistachio.

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Summary of “‘Parasite’ Has a Hidden Backstory of Middle-Class Collapse”

The number of fried chicken joints in South Korea tripled in the decade between 2003 and 2013-and then more than doubled again from 2013 to 2019.
Quick-serve restaurants, including fried chicken joints, offered one seeming solution.
Fried chicken joints remain the most popular form of these mom-and-pop restaurants.
Veterans of fried chicken joints grimly joke that the secret of Korean fried chicken’s flavor is the sophisticated workforce that fries those birds, as laid-off engineers with master’s degrees are known to exercise particular care for the precise time and temperature for marinating and cooking the chickens.
The surge of fried chicken joints quickly saturated the market, to a point that the Korean government tried to slow the growth in these restaurants by, for example, banning franchise restaurants from opening two outlets within half a mile of each other.
With a couple of words, Bong implied an entire backstory for his basement dwellers: The patriarch once had a decent job and then started a chicken joint after being laid off.
If running a fried chicken joint in Korea is akin to day trading, running a king castella joint is like day trading on margins: same meager returns but with double or triple the risk.
At the time, the fad, which came from Taiwan, seemed like an opportunity for those looking to open a small business: same level of low input as a fried chicken joint but with shorter hours and higher margins.

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Summary of “Seven Things You’re Paying Too Much for in a Restaurant”

Here’s a list of things he would never order from a restaurant menu.
Oftentimes, the restaurant breaks even when they sell them-but that’s to your benefit.
With something like steak frites, or what’s called the ‘bar steak’, restaurants don’t always specify the cut of meat.
It’s not the same meat I’m serving at Bowery Meat Company, I’ll tell you that much.
So if I’m going out for a steak, I go for a prime, possibly dry-aged steak that I know I’m really going to enjoy and not a questionable cut.
A $76 Dover Sole A fish like Dover sole-often sold as Sole Meunière-is a high ticket item.
Let’s say you’re a group of six people out to dinner, and the captain comes over and says, “The scampi is so good. Why don’t we order this for the table?” There’s nothing wrong with saying to him, “You know what? That’s great, but can we do those scampi for five people?” This strategy for ordering less than your group size goes for anything from bread to sides to a raw bar to steak, because there’s always someone who won’t eat as much as the others.
Mystery Maki Rolls At my restaurant Lure, all of the chopped fish in our spicy tuna and yellowtail scallion rolls come from fresh fish delivered to us every day.

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Summary of “How Fast Food Reveals Secrets of the Economy”

Knowing the price of pizza in New York or the cost of a Big Mac in Beirut can tell market-watchers how the world’s cogs are turning.
In 1980, a New Yorker called Eric Bram noticed that the price of a slice of pizza had matched the cost of a subway ride in the city for nearly 20 years.
More recently, commentators have noticed that as the cost of pizza goes up, transit fares often follow.
The price of a Big Mac says a lot about “Purchasing power parity” – whether exchange rates mean that a product costs the same in different countries.
How much will a Big Mac cost you in Lima? Or Abu Dhabi? The answers can tell you a lot about “Purchasing power parity” – whether exchange rates mean that a product costs the same in different countries.
By measuring the cost of things in Mars Bars, Colechester noted how graduate salaries had improved slightly in 40 years.
When financial experts are trying to determine whether an economy is generally in good health, they often look to food products.
If customers are being offered a limited menu, food supplies at the restaurant may be low and it might only have generator power.

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Summary of “The tricky economics of all-you-can-eat buffets”

We analyzed the prices of 30 all-you-can-eat buffets across the country, taking into account a variety of factors: Geographic region, size of the buffet, time of day, day of the week, and age.
All considered, our analysis yielded an average buffet price of ~$20. Like most restaurants, buffets operate on extremely thin margins: For every $20 in revenue, $19 might go toward overhead, leaving $1 in net profit.
Buffets often break even on food and eke out a profit by minimizing the cost of labor.
Because margins are so slim, buffets rely on high foot traffic: At Golden Corral, a buffet chain with 498 locations in 42 states, dining floors are 5k-square-feet and seat 475 people.
While the buffet might lose money on a small number of meat gluttons, it handily makes it back on those who under-consume or only eat the cheaper foods.
Buffets don’t stop there: Many beef up their margins by selling soft drinks separately.
“There are people who go to a buffet and eat for 3 or 4 hours straight,” says Anna Hebal, owner of the Red Apple Buffet in Chicago.
According to the market research firm NPD Group, the number of buffets in America has fallen by 26% since 1998 – even as the total number of all restaurants in America has risen by 22%. In the past 20 years, more than 1.3k buffets have shut their doors.

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Summary of “This Sunny Island Is Denmark’s Best-Kept Secret”

Few outside of Denmark know about the island of Bornholm, located just south of Sweden and north of Poland.
Eating There Two friends from Bornholm-chef Nicolai Nørregaard and his partner Rasmus Kofoed-kick-started the local food scene and put the 227 square-mile rural island on the map 10 years ago with the opening of Kadeau, a beachside restaurant crafting new Nordic cuisine using only local and foraged ingredients.
News of the dreamy island has traveled across the Danish capital thanks to these restaurants, as well as Bornholmer Butikken, a shop in the Torvehallerne food market peddling island-made delicacies, such as Johan Bülow licorice, Høstet sea buckthorn products, beer and chocolate from the village of Svaneke, and Bornholms Mosteri juice pressed from rhubarb, elderflowers, gooseberries, and red currants.
Historically, Bornholm was a fishing village, and the island is still dotted with pyramid-shaped herring smokehouses.
Be sure to try Sol Over Gudhjem, an island specialty made from smoked herring, radishes, chives, and raw egg yolk on Danish rugbrød-and best enjoyed at Gudhjem Røgeri, where it originated.
Visit farm café Hallegaard for a taste of the Old World-style sausages that butcher Jørgen Christensen crafts, using recipes inherited from island matrons, and smokes over beechwood.
The island’s best beaches are found at the southern tip of the island, where the white sands of Dueodde are so soft and fine, they are said to have been used for Europe’s hourglass industry.
Visit the stunning Bornholm Art Museum to become acquainted with some of the local talent, and pick up one of the studio guides printed by the Arts and Crafts Association of Bornholm.

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