Mariani’s Top 15, Teens on “The Biggest Loser,” Steak—Cure for Colds?: Eating & Reading

Our tasty guide to the best stuff we’re reading this week.

By: Todd Kliman, Ann Limpert, Tanya Pai, Jessica Voelker, Sophie Gilbert

End-of-Year Musings

John Mariani shares his top 15 of 2012—dishes, cookbooks, bottlings, and more. Spoiler alert: no Roberto Donna. [Esquire]—Todd Kliman

Everyone loves a little controversy, especially the restaurant industry. In case you missed it, here are 11 of the biggest chef/critic feuds of the year (including two local). [Eater National]—Anna Spiegel

The 23 best Internet food videos of 2012 (yes, there are babies tasting lemons, in case you were wondering). [BuzzFeed]—AS

BuzzFeed also picks the 31 “awesomest” fast food inventions of 2012. Get ready to be horrified. [BuzzFeed] —Tanya Pai

And in more signs of the coming apocalypse, a Denny’s chapel has opened in Vegas, in case you like your waffles with a side of wedded bliss. [Huffington Post] —TP


Culinary Controversies

Hey, “Jeff:” When you’re trafficking in fried food and gut-generating quaffables, referring to customers as “fat girls” is not just obnoxious, it’s also bad business. [Eater National]—Jessica Voelker

Jezebel’s Laura Beck weighs in (fun with puns!) on The Biggest Loser’s polarizing decision to start subjecting teens to its giant scales and treadmill torture sessions this season. [Jezebel]—JV

Grub Street and noted Hot Pocket enthusiast Jim Gaffigan discuss whether gender would be an issue when it comes to cannibalism. [Grub Street] —TP

Has Guy Fieri’s Times Square behemoth gotten any better in the wake of Pete Wells’s glorious New York Times takedown? A Bloomberg Business Week writer checks it out and finds cocktails that remind her of Capri Sun, a waiter who says he’s going to “hang out” with the table, and—perhaps least surprisingly—lots of New Yorkers dining there for irony’s sake. [Bloomberg Business Week]—Ann Limpert

Edible Science

Eating a handful of strawberries (packed with vitamin C) and grass-fed steaks and oysters (full of zinc) are probably better for you than popping pills when you’re coming down with something. Says Details. But still. [Details]—TK

Obesity and climate change: two apparently disparate­ crises that could be connected. Grist examines a series of letters that speculate about the unhealthy food choices people make when they don’t know where their next meal is coming from (i.e., when they’ve just seen their homes swallowed up in a hurricane). [Grist]—JV

A world without mac and cheese and cacio e pepe? I can’t even go there. [Daily Beast]—AL


Global Goodies

The Japanese are re-discovering koji—a centuries-old seasoning of fermented rice that looks like an especially wet sticky rice—as an alternative to soy, and this piece really makes me want to get my hands on a package. [Japan Times] —TK

I came by this late, but Ian Fisher has a great mini history of pasta carbonara, plus a delicious-sounding recipe from Andrew Carmellini (whose recipes are generally failproof). [New York Times]—AS


Seasons Eatings

The White House has released the recipes for a few of their holiday treats, including honey/green-tea lollipops made with candied celery, fennel, and beets. Sounds about as festive as bags of carrots on Halloween. [Obama Foodorama]—AL