Caroline bakes a Gingerbread Smaug.

swedish-3d-artist-bakes-the-legendary-smaug-from-the-hobbit-out-of-gingerbread__880Viktorija G.
For this holiday season, Swedish 3D artist Caroline Eriksson decided to make an impressive present for ‘The Hobbit’ fans.
She created this amazing gingerbread sculpture of legendary Smaug – a fictional fearless and greedy dragon from J.R.R. Tolkien’s trilogy. The gingerbread masterpiece took her many hours to bake and construct.
Making the dragon was not an easy task – the artist had to add loads of syrup and flour to the dough to make the material thick and support the whole structure of the massive sculpture.
According to Afftonbladed, Eriksson plans to keep the dragon till it collapses by itself – it would be too cruel to eat her two weeks worth of work.
The Smaug is not the first of Eriksson’s gingerbread sculptures.
Last year, she won the first prize in the 2013 Mill Gingerbread Competition in Norway with her wonderful Optimus Prime from ‘The Transformers.’
More info: carolinedenise.com, Facebook (h/t: laughingsquid, aftonbladet)
via Swedish Artist Bakes Dragon The Smaug From ‘The Hobbit’ Out Of Gingerbread | Bored Panda.

Americans love ancient grains.

_79749404_quinoa_afp624by Joanna Jolly
Would you like to taste the health-giving grain found in the tomb of King Tutankhamun? Or feast on the unprocessed kernels said to have been stored on the ark by Noah? Or how about a vodka made from traditionally farmed Bolivian quinoa? If any of this whets your appetite, you are not alone.
In the past five years there has been an explosion in popularity of so-called “ancient grains” in the American food market.
There is no comprehensive list of “ancient” grains, but the category is generally agreed to include amaranth, barley, bulgur, buckwheat, kamut, millet, spelt, teff and quinoa.
Many of these grains – Bolivian quinoa and Ethiopian teff, for example – have been planted and harvested in the same way for thousands of years.
“It’s been a positive perfect storm for these ancient grains,” says Cynthia Harriman, director of food and nutritional strategies at the non-profit organisation, the Whole Grain Council.
“They fit with our desire to look for a super-food, a magic bullet we should be eating,” she says.
Ancient grains are perceived as the opposite of modern wheat, which is the descendant of three ancient strains of wheat – spelt, einkorn and emmer – and often heavily refined.
They are seen as more healthy, more natural and better for us, providing more vitamins, minerals, fibre and protein than modern wheat – partly because they are rarely eaten in processed form.
Continue reading via BBC News – Why do Americans love ancient grains?.

In 1938 the NY Times first wrote about the Cheeseburger.

42-54246485.jpg__800x600_q85_cropToday, it’s easy to order a chunk of animal flesh seared with black stripes on the outside and still bloody on the inside, garnished with a bit of coagulated milk protein now melted by heat — a cheeseburger, if it must be labeled. But apparently, such a dish was just odd when it first came out.
At The New York Times, Mark Bulik looks back in the paper’s archives at the first mentions of a cheeseburger.
A 1938 article puzzles over the “whimsy” of California eateries, which not only include buildings in the shape of windmills, lemons, oranges and shoes, but also serve strange foodstuffs.
While hotdogs and hamburgers are already “American national dishes,” variations like the “nutburger, cheeseburger, porkburger” and “turkeyburger” are “typical of California.” Reporter Elizabeth Forman was probably shaking her head in disbelief as she wrote it.
Fully credible adoption of the cheeseburger took time. Bulik writes:
Nine years later, the newspaper was taking the phenomenon a bit more seriously, though it still admitted that the very notion seemed preposterous.
“At first, the combination of beef with cheese and tomatoes, which sometimes are used, may seem bizarre,” The Times intoned on May 3, 1947. “If you reflect a bit, you’ll understand the combination is sound gastronomically.”
The article includes a helpful picture as if to assure the reader that cheeseburgers and tomato accompaniment are indeed a thing.
Of course, as a paper of record, The Times makes an effort to cover and even predict societal trends. Though — as the satirical Twitter account “The Times is On It” points out, the effort can occasionally seem a little behind the trend’s peak.
And when the topic includes a little bit of the famous New York City, Los Angeles rivalry, things can be amusing for both sides.
via In 1938, the NY Times Wrote About a Weird New Food: The Cheeseburger | Smart News | Smithsonian.

“Awesome” Pancakes.

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When a creative dad has fun creating some amazing illustrations with pancakes for his son, with a little food coloring and a lot of talent.
Some beautiful culinary creations in line with “Jim’s Pancakes“!
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via The awesome pancakes of a creative dad! | Ufunk.net.

Johnny, a World Pizza Champion.

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When the winner of the Campionato Mondiale Della Pizza (Pizza World Championship) in Parma, Italy was announced, a few years back it wasn’t a local chef who was crowned champion — it was a pizza maker from Down Under.
Johnny Di Francesco competed against 600 chefs from 35 countries and was able to emerge as World Pizza Champion thanks to his margherita pizza.
The winning pie from “Mr. Pizza” was made from ingredients including peeled tomatoes, cheese, garlic, olive oil and salt.
“It’s exciting to win a world pizza competition in Italy, the home of pizza. Amazing,” Di Francesco told the Herald Sun Confidential. “I was up against the best pizza makers in the world and I did everything right on the day.
My dough was perfect, the ingredients were the same I use in my restaurant every day. I didn’t do anything extraordinary. I did what I do in Brunswick every day.”
Di Francesco used Italian-imported flour, buffalo mozzarella and fresh basil on the prize-winning pizza.
“It’s great to put Australia on the map. You don’t have to go to Europe or Italy to get quality pizza.
We make world class products right here,” Di Francesco said. “My struggle has been trying to educate the Australian public about pizza. I want to keep it traditional.”
via Australian man Johnny Di Francesco crowned World Pizza champ UPI.com.

The Pie Floater.

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I guess most people realise that Australia was first populated by the Aboriginal people.
Then in the late eighteenth century the British our Imperial Overlords rocked up with their ships, diseases and rabbits.
“I say what an ‘orrible place this is, let’s populate it with the garbage from Britain”. “The poor, the Irish, union men and women, orphans, workhouse people and oh yes, some criminals”.
But not in South Australia, we are the State of the very poor free settlers that they wanted to get rid of anyway.
We came here in 1836 and started eating pie floaters soon afterwards.
What is a Pie Floater?
Some claim it is indigenous to South Australia, but I’m not so sure of that.
It is an Aussie Meat Pie, submerged in a sea of green pea soup, with the peas quite visible and topped with lashings of “dead horse” (tomato sauce) and vinegar if you so wish.
Sounds disgusting, yes, but wonderful to eat after a night on the piss in Adelaide, the city of churches.
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Where did you get it? For many years Cowley’s Bakery, based at Cross Road, South Plympton would park their pie cart outside of the Adelaide General Post Office in the City at night and dispense pie floaters late into the night for drunks, shift workers, unsuspecting tourists and coppers.
THE RESULTS:
A shortlived general feeling of wellbeing and happiness, perhaps a gentle vomit or two and for many hours afterwards a series of foul smelling, arse tearing, bowel burning pie floater farts.
They were Wonderful!