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What We’re Reading This Week: The Best Food Writing From Around The Web

While your stomach is probably still full from a Thanksgiving feast, your mind can still be satiated. Enjoy this week’s roundup of good food reads, from veteran chef advice to the immigrant stories of common ingredients.

+Bon Appetit delves into the curious substance that is dry ice: how it’s made, how to use it, and why it makes that awesome fog. 

+America’s oldest tofu shop is in Portland, Oregon.

For Ota Tofu Company, the process of making tofu hasn’t changed significantly in more than a century. The beans are rinsed and ground to pulp before cooking and flushing the soy milk from the slurry through a cloth bag. Today, the nigari salt is purchased from a supply company instead of made from evaporated sea water, but it still turns creamy soy milk into chubby curds. Instead of cobblestones set upon planks, stainless steel hydraulics gently press the water from the tofu; the process still converts the loose coagulum into cottony, semi-solid bricks, and these delicate bricks are still carefully cut and packaged by hand.

+Serious Eats shares their game-changing technique for cleaning used oil…so you can keep deep-frying everything in sight.

+Daniel Humm, chef and co-owner of Eleven Madison Park, doles out his advice for food beginners. 

+The immigrant story isn’t just limited to people. Explore the roving tales of some favorite ingredients.

Many plant species and ingredients that we’ve come to identify with certain regions have similar stories. Like humans who spread out to all corners of the earth, plants have traveled far and wide from their origins, diversifying themselves and the global food supply along the way. Knowing the migration stories of the things you eat could change your whole outlook on consumption.

+Ever wonder how The Cheesecake Factory got its over-the-top decor? Here’s the design story behind America’s #1 casual-dining chain. 

+A British nativity scene caused an emotional grease fire when a bakery replaced the baby Jesus with a sausage roll…that had a bite taken out of it.

+The future of fast food just might be vegan. Check out how one SoCal dining concept is disrupting the drive-thru. 

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