Best of the Web – Gooseberry Fool: Foodie links for 10 August

Food and travel

Vegetarian travel. Top 10 countries to be vegetarian in, according to Expatify.

Maltese delicacy. Nanette, the self-styled Ms Gourmet of Gourmet Worrier, writes about ġbejniet – individual cheeselettes formed in little plastic baskets made from fresh goat or sheep milk. The picture of her little girl with a bag of ġbejniet is adorable!

Spanish snouts. Jeanne from Soultravelers3 shares a pic of some of the more unusual meat products on sale in the food markets of San Sebastian in the Basque country of Spain. Pig snouts anyone?

Frog legs. It is one of the archetypal French dishes but did you know frog legs could be on the way out because the frogs are endangered? I’ve never actually tasted frog legs but judging from Jon Henley from Word of Mouth‘s description, I needn’t bother – he says “the meat is white, wet and insipid, with the texture of soft rubber”.

Summer trouble. Summer holidays can sometimes mean sharing a kitchen with friends. I’m pretty easy going myself but for Julia Moskin at the New York Timeshell is other people in the kitchen“. She shares a few tips – for example, to draw up a roster and stick to it, and to never share a house with people you can’t comfortably carve up a restaurant bill with. Meanwhile, Julia’s colleague Jhumpa Lahiri contends that a cast-iron skillet is the only essential for a holiday kitchen.

Indian sweets. Krista from Londonelicious pays a trip out to Southall (just out of London) for Indian sweets.

Gourmet London. Krista is also offering foodie tours of London for any visiting gourmands.

English cherries. A Forkful of Spaghetti reminds me that I’m missing the fleeting English cherry season right now.

Latino chocolate. Cate from Caffeinated Traveller writes about Venezuelan chocolate with Japanese influences near Miami. Confused? Me too, but it sounds tasty! Meanwhile, Sarah writes about organic chocolate in Ecuador for Intelligent Travel.

Airline food. Tim from Word of Mouth asks his readers about the best and worst airline meals they’ve ever had.

Conscious eating. Ideas on how to eat sustainably on vacation from Amber at Re-Nest. (Bear in mind though that local seafood might not be sustainable at all).

Vegetarianism. Tanya at Expatify lists the 10 best countries to be vegetarian in. (I think Australia is a glaring omission – we might be the land of barbeques but the quality of produce is high and there is usually a few nice dishes on restaurant menus. However, the fact that she doesn’t list any countries outside the United Kingdom is spot on).

Recipes – savoury

Taco night! Rebecca from Ezra Pound Cake has a fab recipe for
chipotle-lime glazed shrimp tacos with roasted chile and avocado salsa. I’m hungry just thinking about this! Plus Luanne at EcoSalon has five more ideas of how to serve tacos.

Pie! This beef and guinness pot pie from Myamii at For the Love of Food sounds incredible – and you can make it in a tag team!

Summer salad. Antonia at Food Glorious Food! has a recipe for summer squash and sweet corn salad that sounds healthy and delicious. It uses cute little pattipan squashes. There is lovely white sweet corn in season here in California right now so I might just have to try this one.

Chinese food. Lizzie at Hollow Legs shares how to make braised beef noodle soup. Yum! And Helen at World Foodie Guide has this recipe for Chinese morning glory with fermented bean curd.

Sake. Lydia from The Perfect Pantry explains why Japanese sake deserves a space on your kitchen shelves and shares a recipe for salmon teriyaki.

Greek feast. Howard from eatshow&tell and his friends cooked up a feast of Greek food – it’s not just souvlaki and tzatziki either. They had baby octopus, beef kofta, prawn saganaki, a chocolate pistachio cigar and loads more. Lots of pics to drool over and plenty of links to the actual recipes.

Cheesy snack. If you’re in the mood for a bit of savoury baking, the Purple Foodie has a recipe for garlicky herb twists.

Potato bundles. The Pioneer Woman Cooks… potato bundles in foil. I’ve never thought to do this but it looks simple, fairly quick and tasty.

Pizza. One of my favourite pieces of kitchen equipment is my $20 pizza stone – it makes the underside of the pizza lovely and crisp, just like from a pizza restaurant. Lindsay and Taylor from Love and Olive Oil have just bought a pizza stone as well and they tested it out with this recipe for margherita pizza, a trusty vegetarian classic. If you fancy something more exciting, why not try pesto pizza with mushroom, jalapeno and feta from Meghan at Mustard & Sage?

Nutty goodness. Nanette from Gourmet Worrier has a recipe for walnut pesto and orecchiette. I’ve never really ventured far into the world of pesto, beyond the basic basil and pine nut version, so maybe it’s time I tried.

Recipes – sweet

Cookie cake. I’ve never heard of a cookie cake before but I have to admit it sounds pretty good. Myamii from For the Love of Food shares the recipe she used for her dad’s birthday.

Brownies. I’m not sure I can resist these dulce de leche brownies from Susan at chocolatesuze. Yum!

Chocolate cookies. Though Michelle from Brown Eyed Baker reckons these chocolate cookies are even better than brownies. Some research might be needed – this could be dangerous!

Pound cake. Angie from Seasaltwithfood has a recipe for pound cake with blueberries.

Lemon goodness. Jen at Jenius on lemonade scones and lemon meringue tarts for a Sydneyside Christmas in July celebration.

Caramel. Julia from A Slice of Cherry Pie reveals the five golden (ha, ha, see what she did there?) rules of making caramel. Definitely one to bookmark for later.

Peachy keen. John at Food Wishes has a video recipe for fresh peach tartlet – very “now” since a) peaches are in season here in the US and b) it’s a Julia Child recipe. Meanwhile, I fancy a crack at this fresh peach cobbler from an Edna Lewis recipe, served up by Rebecca at Ezra Pound Cake. Man, that’s a lot of butter though!

Chocolate truffle pie. Drew from Cook like Your Grandmother has a wonderful sounding recipe for frozen chocolate truffle pie. (Link via Cut Out + Keep).

Brie delights. Deborah at Taste and Tell has a great recipe for brie and raspberry pastry bites. She uses crescent rolls (I think she means croissants) as the starting point for the dough.

Summer cantaloupe boats. For a summer sweet treat that is healthy too, try cantaloupe boats from Susan at Food Blogga. These are cantaloupe (rockmelon) filled with yogurt and other fruit. Melon and yogurt is a great combination but I’ve never thought to use the melon half as the bowl before! I tried this over the weekend with honeydew (green) melon, vanilla yogurt and blueberries and it was fab!


Frugal dining. Fiona from The Frugal Cook shares tips on how to cut your restaurant bill – something all of us should know in these difficult economic times. She also has a book out, boldly called The Ultimate Student Cookbook.

Launceston Place in London. Helen at World Foodie Guide reviews Launceston Place in London. It was always on my wish list when I lived there but I never quite made it. Sounds like it was good though – Helen gives it 9 out of 10 – and the set menu is a steal at £18.

Sepia in Sydney. Howard at eatshow&tell tries the degustation menu at Sepia in Sydney, which sounds like a winner with dishes such as ‘Queensland Spanner Crab and Buckwheat Risotto, Mustard Butter, Shellfish Essence’. The photos are lovely too.

Little Tibet in Toronto. Jen from travel blog Folie à Deux paid a trip to a Tibetan restaurant in Toronto called Little Tibet, bringing back memories of childhood excursions with her Chinese Buddhist grandmother.

Brooklyn dining. Kate at Intelligent Travel shares her recommendations for restaurants in Brooklyn – she was mainly based in north Brooklyn and I have a few to add from south Brooklyn where I spent the Christmas before last.

Asmara in London. Lizzie from Hollow Legs tried Eritrean food at Asmara in London – similar to Ethiopian from the sounds of it.

Late-night SF. Where can you get a bite to eat in late night San Francisco? The San Francisco Chronicle has the answers.

Kastoori in London. Jonathan and Cowie from Around Britain With a Paunch test out Kastoori, a vegetarian Indian restaurant in Tooting in south London.


Bay Area fish. The San Francisco Chronicle has a guide to buying fresh fish at the docks in the Bay Area.

Artisanal Italian produce. Michael from Word of Mouth reveals how you can order artisanal Italian produce via the web – and this could be its saviour, since crappy processed food is depressingly taking hold in Italy.

Frugal shopping. Karawynn writes a guest post for personal finance blog Get Rich Slowly on her experience with shopping for food at the salvage store.

Pick-your-own. One of the best value – and fun – ways to buy food is at a pick-your-own farm. Jessica from FushMush has written about her excursion to Grove Farm north of London to pick strawberries and other goodies. I was there but I’m yet to write about it – that’s me in the turquoise top and denim skirt picking blackberries.

Stove buying. Regina Schrambling at Slate recommends buying a vintage stove – manufactured just after World War Two – rather than a new one.

Food news & issues

NYT reviewer. Sam Sifton is named restaurant critic for the New York Times but will he be able to review anonymously? He’s already well-known in Manhattan and The Eater has his pic online.

TV chefs. Michael Pollan has penned a piece for the New York Times on how American cooking became a spectator sport and what we lost along the way.

Last drinks. Apparently British pubs are closing at the rate of the rate of 52 a week. Landlords blame the smoking ban but Simon at Word of Mouth reckons it’s because a lot of the pubs just aren’t very good. What do you think? The Brits may have invented the pub, but I definitely think Australian pubs are better – they serve better food, most of them have beer gardens (and it’s warm enough to sit in them) and they tend to be independently owned. Many pubs in Britain are chains and the food tends to be something horrible out of the deep freeze and then slung in the microwave. Some pubs serve good food but it’s so exceptional the Brits had to invent a special word for it – they call the “gastropubs” (which always makes me think of gastroenteritus).

Coffee fix. Someone asked me recently if I’d rather give up alcohol or coffee and although I like a drink, I’d definitely rather give up booze before coffee. (And in fact I did for the entire month of July to raise money for charity and it’s not too late to sponsor me!). I love a good cup of coffee but I also like to know a bit about where it’s come from. Sarah at EcoSalon has posted some links to triple-certified coffee – organic, fair trade and shade-grown. And Nathan Heller at Slate compares the drip coffee and cappuccino at Starbucks, McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.

French honours. France has given Alice Waters, she of Chez Panisse in the San Francisco Bay Area and mother of the California foodie renaissance, the Legion of Honour, reports the SFist.

Boiling water. A quick tip to save money and the environment from The Good Human – apparently boiling water with a lid on the saucepan uses less power. (I believe boiling in an electric kettle first is even more efficient).

Naughty nymphs. Sometimes being banned somewhere can be a marketing boon – Cycles Gladiator wine has been banned in Alabama because of a nude nymph on the label, something that the vintner is hoping will help sales in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reports.

Misleading marketing. Kathryn at Limes & Lycopene dissects this cynical piece branding – Bird’s Eye frozen vegetables in the supermarket, labelled as Farmer’s Market. (Yes, with the apostrophe in the wrong place too).

Bottled water. Marion Nestle, a nutrition academic who blogs at Food Politics, writes about the poor regulation of bottled water, both the water itself and the plastics used to contain it.

Protein for health. Vanessa at EcoSalon asks how much protein does a body need and what are the best sources for your health and the environment. And Jess Halliday at FoodNavigator imagines a world where we eat less meat (all we are saying is give peas a chance).

Fishy business. Michelin-starred chef Raymond Blanc takes endangered fish off the menu at his restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, reports The Independent in the UK.

Food Inc. Joshua at the Ethicurian on the book and movie Food Inc, a documentary about modern industrial food production.

And finally…
Only for the brave … WebEcoist‘s list of 10 deadly delicacies to die for. I’m usually pretty game, but all the same, I think I’ll pass.

Nature’s Pleasure. I laughed my head off at Meemalee from Meemalee’s Kitchen’s  dissection of this misguided Kellogg’s advertising campaign for a muesli called “Nature’s Pleasure”.


I am doing a weekly “best of the web” post, curating the best content across blogs and mainstream media. I alternate each week between food (Gooseberry Fool) and travel (Roaming Tales), though there is plenty of crossover. I do this as a service to my readers but also to help build community with other food and travel bloggers. Please consider commenting or paying it forward to link to, or stumble/digg/tweet another writer’s content.


  1. Since I’m on a newfound cooking kick, I bookmarked like all of the recipes =)

  2. OH DEAR there goes my productivity for this morning. Everything looks so good!
    .-= shauna´s last blog ..Changes to WNP RSS feed =-.

  3. Caitlin, thanks again for the love!! Japanese flavoured choccies made by a Venezulan is unusal but the chocolate is good. I’m for trying the wasabi and honey next time I visit.