Hooters Wars, Digital Julia Child, and Mac and Cheese: Eating & Reading

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

The latest entry in the “Is this the new cupcake?” category: petit fours.

Sophie Gilbert, assistant editor:

• Paging Paula Deen! Denmark, one of the slimmest countries in Europe, is adding a new tax on butter and oil to “discourage poor eating habits.” One nugget in this story—the UK is now the third fattest nation in the world, after the US and Mexico.: Denmark Taxes Butter and Fat, but Will It Work?.

• This is heartbreaking: Sesame Street’s newest character, Lily, was created to address the growing issue of child hunger, or “food insecurity” as it’s also known. Lily, a bright pink seven-year-old puppet, confesses to Elmo in an hour-long PBS special that she doesn’t always know where her next meal is coming from.: Meet Lily, a Muppet Facing Growing Concern: National Hunger.

• The Guardian has this delightful ode to mac and cheese, but be warned, the measurements are all in British. Lovely pictures though.: How to Cook Perfect Macaroni and Cheese.

• And file this one under “duh”: A curry-eating contest for charity in Scotland sent two people, including one American to the hospital. Luckily healthcare is free over there and all, so it probably didn’t negate the £1000 the event raised.: Curry-Eating Contest at Edinburgh Restaurant Kismot Sends 2 to Hospital.

Todd Kliman, food and wine editor:

• The “breastaurant” wars are getting serious. Well, as serious as sheer silliness gets.: Twin Peaks CEO Calls Hooters’ Suit ‘Frivolous,’ ‘Baseless.’

• Palate Press has a look at the future for wine in India. I’m intrigued by these developments, though I confess I read pieces about the emergence of wine in the world’s largest democracy with a certain amusement. The more wines I try to pair with curry, the more I crave a good ol’ Kingfisher.: Wine in the World’s Largest Democracy.

• The e-book is getting more interesting: Knopf is releasing the digital edition of Julia Child’s famous cookbook, Mastering the Art of French Cooking. I think Julia would have been delighted to see her book carry on in a new format, and probably would have elected to celebrate with a glass of sherry. Or two or three or four.: Adapting Julia Child for E-Readers.

Anna Spiegel, assistant food and wine editor:

• Eater’s item on vegetarian Yelpers downgrading nose-to-tail restaurants isn’t a lengthy read, but it’s worth checking out (and the comments are pretty darn funny). Should vegans/vegetarians stick to their own genres when criticizing?: Vegetarian Yelper Drops Two-Stars on the Salty Pig.

• First pie was the new cupcake. And then it wasn’t, which was good news for some. Now the Wall Street Journal posits that petit fours, those tiny iced tea-time treats, may be the next cupcake contender. Here’s hoping!: Tiny Reasons for Hope.

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.