As Smithsonian staffers rush to close our July issue, here are a few helpful links to get you through your day:
– The Internet Food Association, written by a coterie of D.C. think tank policy nerds who moonlight as foodies, directs us to a great new blog, Trader Joe's Wine Compendium, which I highly recommend you check out before playing Russian roulette with the grocery store's wide-ranging wine selection.
– My favorite hot sauce, Sriracha Chili Sauce, gets a lengthy treatment in Tuesday's New York Times. Who knew it was not Thai or Vietnamese, but actually Californian? I remember being rather excited when I saw one of the Iron Chefs use it on Iron Chef America, but now that Applebee's and P.F. Chang's use it in their recipes, some of the allure has worn off. It's still delicious for pretty much everything, however. Reporter John T. Edge also provides a nation-wide list of restaurants where chefs use David Tran's sriracha.
– Also from the Times comes this obituary of the namesake behind Dannon yogurt, Daniel Carasso. Learn the history of the company, which was started by Carasso's father in response to what he found to be the disturbing prevalence of intestinal disorders in Spain. From the article: "Early on, Danone was marketed as a health food and sold by prescription through pharmacies. Gradually it found favor as a milk product that did not spoil in the heat.
– And lastly, the New Orleans Audubon Insectarium opened recently and is entertaining kids of all ages with crickets, spiders, and more. But what you can't get there is a cooking demonstration using crickets.