Umami Mart Sake


- This has been a depressing week and our country's collective waist-lines are worse for the wear. A Google search for "stress eating election" came up with tons of articles about eating and drinking (in some cases, drowning) our emotions, from coping mechanisms to deal with emotional eating to healthy-ish foods we should've been stuffing into our mouths to dull the anxiety to weight-loss support groups commiserating about all the weight gained over the last few days, weeks, and months. Here's one thing to remember (that I'm reminding myself every few minutes), we need to be strong if we're going to fight back and we need to be healthy and take care of ourselves in order to take care of our country. But we deserve a few chocolate chip cookies this week. We really do.

- You might've been too distracted by the results of the presidential election to catch up with the all the props and measures that were passed on Tuesday. In three Bay Area cities – Oakland, San Francisco, and Albany, the soda tax was overwhelmingly approved, meaning that sodas and other sugary beverages will be taxed a "penny-per-ounce." Diet sodas and naturally sweetened drinks do not apply. Progressive Berkeley had pioneered the soda tax in the Bay Area, passing the measure in 2014. (CBS Local)

- Remember last week on Facebook, when all your friends were posting about Standing Rock (or "Randing Stock")? If you're not familiar, environmental activists have been protesting the Dakota Access Pipeline, which would transport crude oil from North Dakota to Illinois. The problem? The pipeline would be built underneath the Missouri River, which is the primary source of drinking water for the Standing Rock Sioux. And we all know what happens when oil gets into water... Well, the Trump presidency pretty much means that the Dakota Access Pipeline will be given the go-ahead, along with the Keystone XL Pipeline. He also wants to "tackle" the Clean Water Act, which protects our streams, rivers, and wetlands. Apparently, Trump hates clean water. But he loves him some Diet Coke. (Time)

- OK, you might need a break from politics, so here's an interesting food-related read that's not so politicized: San Francisco bakery Tartine got some love from the New York Times. The recent article about Tartine co-founder Elisabeth Prueitt talks about her gluten-intolerance (who knew?) and the empire that she and husband, Chad Robertson have been building, which now includes Tartine Manufactory, a 5,000-square-foot bread factory/pastry shop/restaurant in the Mission. (The New York Times)

- With all the new Japanese restaurants opening these days, you may have noticed the word omakase coming up a lot lately. Omakase is a coursed meal consisting of whatever the chef chooses, based on freshness of ingredients and seasonality. In the U.S., omakase often refers to a meal of sushi that the chef meticulously prepares and serves, one piece at a time. Jeffrey Steingarten recently wrote an in-depth article about the rise of omakase menus in New York over the past decade, including why these meals are so expensive and the issues of seafood sustainability. Interesting food for thought. (Vogue)

[caption id="attachment_27832" align="alignnone" width="640"]Photo via Vice Munchies Photo via Vice Munchies[/caption]

- If you've ever traveled internationally and felt homesick for American food, you may have found yourself extremely disappointed when trying foreign versions of our comfort foods. Atlas Obscura looks at how other places imagine American food, from nachos in Prague made with Cool Ranch Doritos and ketchup to a pizza in Moscow topped with M&Ms and marshmallows. But perhaps the worst foreign rendition of an iconic American food is found while flying on North Korea’s national airline, Air Koryo. Vice Munchies writes about the Koryo Burger, which "has earned a global cult following for its alleged repulsiveness and the unknown origins of its meat." Writer Jamie Fullerton didn't find the Koryo Burger as gross as its reputation would make you believe, but his description of it doesn't sound very appetizing either: "The meat was inoffensively dull and ... even tougher to identify than it was to chew. I guessed that it just got over the “chicken” line. Just. Meager shreds of purple cabbage, a stale bun and a processed cheese slice did little to complement the meat. An equally mysterious thin red sauce, which appeared when the meat was squeezed but was thankfully far too watery to be blood, added to the sense of confusion that was intensified by the bizarre war-themed propaganda films on the TV screens. The burger was served fridge-cold: a sharp, unwelcome sensation for a mouth more used to the reliably comforting microwave-warmth of a Big Mac." (Atlas Obscura/Vice Munchies)




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