Paula Deen’s Face on Whole-Chicken Labels and the Dalai Lama Judges MasterChef: Eating & Reading

Every week, we'll let you know what the Washingtonian food staff is reading in the blogosphere and off the bookshelves.

Did fries originate in France or Belgium? Find out in Lapham’s Quarterly’s Food Fight article.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• Any list that has Massaman curry in the top spot—seriously, Massaman curry over Montreal smoked meat, Peking duck, and Parma ham?—is flawed in the extreme, but whatever. A good way to kill four minutes: World's 50 Most Delicious Foods.

• A neat little charticle at Lapham's Quarterly puts to rest some age-old debates about where and how some of our favorite foods originated. The sandwich? Not the creation of the Earl of Sandwich, but of first century biblical commentator Hillel, who slid a piece of lamb between two sheets of matzo: Food Fight: Contentions Surrounding the Origins of Foods.

• The Dalai Lama does a guest turn as a judge on Australia's MasterChef. What's next? Joshie Berger makes a pilgrimage to Mecca? Dalai Lama: 'MasterChef' Guest Judge (Video).

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor:

• Bad news for anyone going to Nats games. What I'm unclear on is whether hot dogs are actually worse than say, organic sliced turkey or gourmet sausages. What's so specifically terrible about a weiner? Doctors Group Says Hot Dogs as Dangerous as Cigarettes.

• The Post has the scoop on food-safety issues at local farmers markets. Key quote: "Salmonella . . . doesn't discriminate." D.C. Farmers Markets Highlight an Array of Food Safety Issues.

• An oldie but a goodie: the New York Times reprints Mark Bittman's exhaustive list of quick, warm-weather-friendly dinners: Summer Express.

• The Chris Martin exhibition currently on display at the Corcoran has paintings made of artichoke leaves, Wonder Bread, and other foodstuffs. But while Martin paints big, another artist thinks small—like, Oreo-cookie small: Artist Judith Klausner Creates Art Out of Food in 'From Scratch' Series.

Anna Spiegel, dining intern:

• It ain't pretty, but Gawker has details on the unfolding Whole Foods scandal where employees dish on unfair treatment and far worse (i.e. rats, undesirables in the hot bar): The Whole Foods Experience, Part Two.

• Paula Deen isn't just riding things—now you can find her in a "bloody meat case" near you: This Just In: Paula Deen's Face Is Now on Whole Chickens.

• The Atlantic takes a look at the pros and cons of the Paleo, a.k.a. "caveman", Diet. Turns out it's not just for Brooklyn hipsters anymore: The New Age Caveman and the City.

Kate Nerenberg, associate food and wine editor:

• Writer J.J. Goode gives us thoughts on breaking up the culinary world's longest marriage, salt and pepper: The Great Pepper Conspiracy.

• Chicago magazine restaurant critic Jeff Ruby gives a short take on the Thai menu at Next, Alinea chef Grant Achatz's newest project where the cuisine changes every few months. Considering the wait lists to get in are epic, this is the closest most of us will get to that hot-and-sour broth with pork belly: The Thai Menu at Next Is a Party.

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor:

• Can you spot the real El Bulli dish among the fakes? Slate has a quiz, which is alarmingly difficult. Candy floss paper with mock tartufo? Real. Peanut pomade with honey toast? Real! I think I did as well on this as I did in ninth-grade algebra, which is to say, yay 40 percent: Acid Honey: The El Bulli Dish-Name Generator.

• Pigearators, carbon diapers, and other glimpses into the world of Virginia's Polyface Farm: Inside Polyface Farm, Mecca of Sustainable Agriculture.

• Food52 gathers some offbeat grilling ideas, including Brussels sprouts, minted peaches, and a delicious-sounding Korean kalbi: 13 New Things to Grill.

Subscribe to Washingtonian
Follow Washingtonian on Twitter

Follow the Best Bites Bloggers on Twitter

More>> Best Bites Blog | Food & Dining | Restaurant Finder

Ann Limpert
Executive Food Editor/Critic

Ann Limpert joined Washingtonian in late 2003. She was previously an editorial assistant at Entertainment Weekly and a cook in New York restaurant kitchens, and she is a graduate of the Institute of Culinary Education. She lives in Logan Circle.

Food Editor

Anna Spiegel covers the dining and drinking scene in her native DC. Prior to joining Washingtonian in 2010, she attended the French Culinary Institute and Columbia University’s MFA program in New York, and held various cooking and writing positions in NYC and in St. John, US Virgin Islands.