Picky Eaters, the Waffle House Hurricane Index, and Fried Salsa: Eating & Reading

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

Go ahead, eat it.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• We saw this with “organic,” we saw it with “local,” so it doesn’t surprise me at all to learn that, in the world of processed foods, “gluten-free” is not always what it seems.: FDA Imposing Tough Regs on Gluten-Free Products.
• Yeah, lots of kids are picky eaters. But not like this: The kid doesn’t touch burgers of mac n cheese, but adores—adores!—pea shoots.: It’s Not You. It’s Them.

• An entire nation is about to scream bloody hell: Twinings—in an act of hubris oddly reminiscent of the abortive attempt to tweak the formula for Coke—is on the verge of altering its famed Earl Grey recipe after all these years.: Twinings is Changing Earl Grey—Man the Barricades.

• According to a new European study, it may be better to eat chocolate than to avoid it. Of course, as I always tell a good friend of mine—it’s the bitter, slightly acidic cocoa, not the sugar, that’s good for you.: Chocolate is Good For You, Declares Study (Well, Sort of).

Ann Limpert, food and wine editor:

• As part of New York’s intensely moving and smart and varied 9/11 Encyclopedia, Ruth Reichl looks back on Windows on the World, the restaurant that sat atop the World Trade Center, recalling it as “a temple of New York magic” that was “never about the food.”: Windows on the World.

• A waitress defends her profession—and her love of it (“it’s an ongoing chapter from Harriet the Spy”)—in the wake of Alan Richman’s service-industry takedown. But most interesting are the glimpses behind the scenes—memory games, linguistic dos and don’ts, and the importance of reading your customer.: The Waitressing Life.  

• New York gourmet mecca Zabar’s has a lame non-response to a reporter’s recent discovery that its lobster salad doesn’t contain any lobster: Zabar’s New Non-Lobster Z-Food.

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor:

• Beet, artichoke, and dandelion salad, anyone? This is a vital checklist for someone who drinks as much wine as I do.: Top 10 Detoxifying Foods.

• Ah, Texas. Where would the obesity pandemic be without you and your deep-fried salsa?: Calorie Countdown to State Fair of Texas.

• And because it’s officially September, everyone should read this (be warned, it contains more profanity than a professional soccer game).: It’s Decorative Gourd Season, Motherf–kers.

Anna Spiegel, food and wine intern:

• The Wall Street Journal investigates the “waffle house index” method of measuring hurricanes.: How to Measure a Hurricane’s Fury, One Breakfast at a Time.

Lapham’s Quarterly has an in-depth essay on poison foods: Death in the Pot.

• And because it’s the end of the week and you may be too brain dead to read after two natural disasters: 6 Animals Eating Pizza (if the video stimulation is too much, try this instead).

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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 Petworth.

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.

Senior editor

Andrew Beaujon joined Washingtonian in late 2014. He was previously with the Poynter Institute,, and Washington City Paper. He lives in Del Ray.