A blog about what the world eats, when and where it eats it, and why
it matters to us all. Only much less ambitious than that sounds and
with more excruciating puns.
Phil Lees grew up in rural Victoria, the first generation in his family to not have lived on the farm and thereby not slaughter their own meat.
In 2005 he moved to Cambodia and started the nation’s first food blog, Phnomenon.com, named after the best pun that he has ever made. It turns out that Cambodian food is delicious and unlike the warnings in most guidebooks, is not likely to kill you with any immediacy. Gridskipper called him a “national treasure”. Lonely Planet’s Greater Mekong guide called him “the unofficial pimp of Cambodian cuisine”. The New York Times laughed at a funny hotdog he saw.
Phil makes a mean sausage, a hoppy pale ale, a modest laksa. He owns three barbecues and is in the market for a fourth.
The rise of two divergent food trends: foraging and dude food.
According to the Los Angeles Times, we’re in nothing less than a mass-processed meat renaissance.
The taste of fresh raspberries picked straight from their canes is incomparable to those from a supermarket punnet. When fully ripe, the berries are almost tender enough to collapse under their own negligible weight. They fall from their canes at the touch and burst sweet-sour on the tongue. When properly ripe, they’re impossible to store for more than a day or two.
Of all the varieties of beer that exist, lager is probably the most maligned by craft beer aficionados
Can you make a fish sauce based cocktail? Last week was Guacamole Day; there is no prescribed way to celebrate it apart from heed to the avocado marketers various wonts. I’m almost certain that it is not a real day but can’t find advice to the contrary.
Is it the most important cookbook in modern history?
What drives someone to buy a $600 cookbook?
Love. A point that author Nathan Myhrvold hammers in early in Modernist Cuisine is that the word amateur comes from the Latin root amare, meaning love. The five volume, fifteen hundred recipe tome encased in a Perspex box is a work for amateurs in the original sense of the word. The professional chef will save the cover price simply for the tables detailing cooking times for sous vide, but there will be no point in doing so if they don’t love it.
Eating well makes you happy. We can argue endlessly about what defines "well" from ethically-sourced local legumes to deep-fried industrial bacon.
It has only taken three years, but I think that I've finally hit an equilibrium point with my winter garden. Two years ago, it was awash with cabbage. Last year, it looked good, insofar as it resembled a fecund, colourful cottage garden.
I was given an entire styrofoam case of scotch bonnet chillies, a variety of chilli that is close to the hottest on earth. They lend earthiness and complex stone fruit flavours to dishes, if it is possible for you to get past the sensation of drinking lava. The only sensible approach to cooking an entire crate of these hot capsicums is either drying and slowly chipping away at piles of chilli powder and flakes, or making chilli sauce.