Category Archives: Cuisine

June 18, 2019

How Capicola Became Gabagool: The Italian New Jersey Accent, Explained

If you were to go to southern Italy, you wouldn’t find people saying “gabagool.” But some of the old quirks of the old languages survived into the accents of Standard Italian used there. In Sicily or Calabria, you might indeed find someone ordering “mutzadell.” In their own weird way, Jersey (and New York and Rhode Island and Philadelphia) Italians are keeping the flame of their languages alive even better than Italian-Italians. There’s something both a little silly and a little wonderful about someone who doesn’t even speak the language putting on an antiquated accent for a dead sub-language to order some cheese.

June 24, 2016

Magic out of mould: inside the world’s wildest restaurant

Magnus Nilsson, the 32-year-old chef at Fäviken, Sweden’s premier fine-dining restaurant, is not fond of repeating himself, but there is one sentence he repeats with such frequency and resolute force that it takes on the quality of a koan: “Do it once, perfectly.”

January 16, 2016
November 8, 2015

My Furikake recipe

I’m a huge fan of noodles and rice; they are pretty much the staples of my diet. Both can be enhanced with Furikake, a traditional Japanese seasoning. I only discovered it a couple of years ago, and now, I swear by it. For me, it’s the gastronomic equivalent of crack.

(Image credit: Food. Booze. Internet. Japan.)

Furikake typically contains salt, sesame seeds, nori (seaweed) and dried fish flakes (bonito). I like to add some sugar for sweetness.


  • 1 cup of sesame seeds.
  • 1 tsp of sugar. This is entirely optional.
  • 2 tablespoons of salt. I use black lava salt, but that’s mostly for presentation purposes.
  • Nori, about 5 sheets.
  • 5 tablespoons of bonito flakes. You can add a bit more, but since these are fish flakes, they are somewhat of an acquired taste.


  • In a hot non-stick pan, dry roast the sesame seeds. Make sure not to burn them; toss and shake until they are slightly coloured and fragrant.
  • Transfer the seeds to a clean bowl and add the salt and optional sugar. Shake and allow to cool.
  • Cut the nori into flakes. The size is completely up to you; I prefer to to make the flakes no longer than half a centimetre since Furikake is meant to be sprinkled with your fingers.
  • Add the nori and bonito flakes to the bowl and mix thoroughly.
  • Store in an airtight jar.

That’s it, dead simple. The whole process takes less than ten minutes, and it’s well worth it. Furikake works well as a condiment on rice, noodles, meat, fish and even soups.

May 4, 2015

Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson

In Cognitive Cooking with Chef Watson, IBM’s unprecedented technology and ICE’s culinary experts present more than 65 original recipes exploding with irresistible new flavors. Together, they have carefully crafted, evaluated and perfected each of these dishes for “pleasantness” (superb taste), “surprise” (innovativeness) and a “synergy” of mouthwatering ingredients that will delight any food lover.

Haven’t read this, but I definitely will.

May 1, 2015