How to Make a Vegetarian-Friendly Oktoberfest Feast

It's true traditional Bavarian cuisine has not traditionally been the most vegetarian-friendly, but times change, and now that Oktoberfest shares the month with Vegetarian Awareness, we might as well incorporate some German-inspired vegetarian dishes so the animal loving/health conscious among us don't have to miss out.

Sauerkraut is one of the signature dishes for a traditional Oktoberfest feast, and it's already vegetarian all by itself. Not only is it delicious and nutritious -- thanks to its vitamin C content, sauerkraut prevented most of Europe from developing scurvy through long, dark winters -- but kraut is ridiculously easy to make at home. Just shred a head of unwashed organic cabbage and put it in a glass jar with plenty of sea salt. As the salt draws water from the cabbage, press the shreds down with your fist to keep it submerged. Throw a towel over it to keep the dust out, and two weeks later the brine and the bacteria combine to ferment the cabbage into kraut. You can liven things up a bit by using red cabbage or throwing in other sliced-up veggies. You can even add shredded apples to sweeten it.

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Food Trends That Annoy You This Week

Categories: Link Roundup
Seems lots of people are complaining about food and dining culture, primarily in terms of how it's served. Today's link roundup is dedicated to food trends that bug you.

1) We started the week with a gripe about Cheese Culture's cheese cakes from FQS9000:

Plastic flowers and waxy candles are equally stupid and are only attractive to those who think cute is more important than edible. Fools who lace food that other people will eat with inedible crap are utter jerks and should be made to consume the refuse.
I actually like the idea of a rustic cake that's made of cheese, since the textures, décor, sourcing, and flavors are more diverse (and interesting) than an actual cake. But I can see how some assert that moss does not belong on or near a plate, except at a picnic.

2) Another cheese complaint comes from Stefan Kamph's grilled cheese post in which he implores fans to grow up:

...the crass spread of the grilled cheese into winking haute menu item risks devaluing the deep currency of our childhoods by marketing this simple concoction until it's as overplayed as the burger and ripe for parody. Then we'll get bored and start filling our grilled cheeses with rutabaga or water chestnuts or whatever other bullshit keeps things interesting.
I'm with Stefan. With PB and J's on the horizon, next thing you know, we'll find it perfectly acceptable for servers to spoon-feed diners puréed parsnips and beets.

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Sought-After Squirrel; Arsenic and Old Rice; Obesity Holds Weight at Disney

Categories: Link Roundup
Habit Heroes.jpg
Habit Heroes Will Power and Callie Stenics have been forced into exile.
A trio of strange headlines to send your way at the day's end. Behold, Monday's food news.

The Economist reports that sales of squirrel meat have soared since it was introduced to North London grocery stores in 2010. Will the trend jump the pond?

With few regulations regarding arsenic in food, rice is the focus of concern. Brown rice syrup, a sugar substitute aimed at children, is the culprit, NPR reports.

No more Will Power and Callie Stenics. Lead Bottom and Snacker have won, for now. In Orlando, Epcot at Walt Disney World shuts down its childhood obesity exhibit, following complaints that it "reinforced stereotypes" and was insensitive. The exhibit had been open only since February.

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Shamrock Shakes, Burger Bash, and Beerfest

Categories: Link Roundup
Happy Friday on this stunning 80-degree day. It has been a food-filled week here and around the intranets.

This week, Tricia Woolfenden chronicled her obsession with McDonald's shamrock shakes and informed readers of the best bars for out-of-towners and the best vegetarian restaurants for Meatless Monday.

Laine Doss debriefed us on South Beach Food and Wine's Burger Bash and the ten strangest things at the festival. She also told us about the closing of Charcuterie Too!
and how West Palm is cracking down on food trucks.

During my first SoBeWFF experience, I chatted with Jean-Georges and chronicled a well-known chef's ditching a dinner he headlined. I've also been posting my eating around South Florida. If you have nominations for our 100 favorite dishes, please, drop a line in the comments.

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Edible Balloons, Burger Bash Menu, and Other Food News

Categories: Link Roundup

Happy Presidents' Day. We bring you today's list of occasional links.

1. An incredibly light dessert: the edible balloon. Mmm. Green apple air.

2. Food porn: a pizza cookbook shaped like a pizza.

3. This weekend's South Beach Wine and Food Festival's Burger Bash menu is unveiled, the $225 event hosted by Rachael Ray.

4. Beastie Boys' Mike D has a wine blog, says Grub Street. Check out this refined funk.

5. Trader Joe's signed a Fair Food Agreement with the Coalition of Immokalee Workers representing tomato pickers in southwest Florida. The agreement requires the grocery store to pay a penny more per pound of tomatoes and to ensure better working conditions for tomato workers.

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Dessert for Breakfast Helps Dieters Lose Weight, and Other Links

Categories: Link Roundup
Happy Monday! Read on for our occasional link roundup.

1) Eat carbs and throw in dessert to ensure cravings for sweets are squelched for the day, according to research at Tel Aviv University.

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Eating Chicken Wings, Squirrel, and Wu Tang Clams

Categories: Link Roundup
Happy day after Super Bowl. Yesterday, the country ate 1.25 million chicken wings. Today, it's wing sauce and blue cheese smoothies. Read on for today's food-related links.

1. The National Restaurant Association projects that restaurant sales will grow by 3.5 percent in 2012, with two out of five consumers reporting they're not going out to eat as often as they'd like.

2. The practice of eating squirrel is alive and well in the South.

More after the jump.

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The "Living With Balls" Super Bowl Drinking Game And Other Links

Categories: Link Roundup
It's nearly time for winter's Thanksgiving, also known as The Super Bowl. If you haven't broken your New Year's resolution about healthy eating, it's a good day to do so. Some links to rev up the appetite, or something:

1. Check out these amazing Superbowl meat platters found from sister website, Westword: meat versions of gingerbread houses, except they're meat stadiums. 

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A New Florida Tomato, Jose Andres' Food Truck, and Other Links

Categories: Link Roundup

The Whisky Water Trick from Casey Neistat on Vimeo.

Hope your weekend was delightful. First up for this morning's links, see above for a new bar trick brought to our attention from Yardbird. Practice up for the weekend, and read on for this morning's roundup.

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Undoing the Deep-Fried Life and Other Links

Categories: Link Roundup
Read on for today's link compilation.

Frank Bruni writes on how chefs who encourage dining decadence stay healthy behind the scenes. His piece in the New York Times is a thoughtful response to the "unsettling" revelation that Paula Deen has only now revealed her diabetes, three years after diagnosis.

The fragile but beautiful Temple oranges from here in Florida are now in season. Have you seen them yet, or are they all being shipped elsewhere? reports that Jose Andres is creating the "coolest food truck in America" back in D.C. for an "exclusive" Miami crowd. 

Michael Bauer from the San Francisco Chronicle addresses his dining pet peeves, among them, seating early diners at the worst table in the house. What are yours?

What you'll be eating at Coachella, including some "terrible vegan shit," a menu compiled from Food Is the New Rock.

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