Weekly News Bites (May 26-June 2): Back in the Day Brewing, Trickster 'Tasty' Vids and Chris Kimball's New Kitchen
Did you know the Chinese were brewing beer 5,000 years ago? Or that those viral cooking videos might be false advertising? Or that Chris Kimball is back with a brand new kitchen (and company)? Now you do!
What a week! Archaeologists unearthed an ancient party, a Bostonian home cook called some viral videos' bluff, and Chris Kimball is back to test the hell out of recipes. And more.
Beer geeks have been around longer than you think
NPR’s The Salt blog reported that archaeologists in China uncovered ancient 'beer-making tool kits' in underground rooms built between 3400 and 2900 B.C. The brewery-esque site, discovered in China’s Central Plain, points to ‘fairly advanced’ beer-making techniques — using specialized tools and fermenting millet and multiple types of barley — to produce different varieties.
So the Chinese were wayyyyy ahead of us on the whole craft beer trend.
Are 'Tasty' videos too good to be true?
Speaking of beer... ever made beer cheese pretzel bites? From one of those superfast gets-a-million-clicks ‘Tasty’ videos? Of course you haven’t — because people watch them to proscrastinate filing expense reports around 4 p.m. and to populate their Pinterest boards with aspirational activities — not because they actually intend to tie on an apron and cook.
Unless, of course, you are Christopher Muther, who hilariously chronicles his failed attempts at these viral video recipes in this week’s Globe food section.
Those beer cheese pretzel bites? Two of them, ‘looked as they should. The rest resembled a tray of infected cysts.’ And the recipe included steps like adding ‘baking soda to five cups of boiling water, which caused a Vesuvius - like reaction.' But seriously, you want to read (and watch) the whole hilarious rundown.
Fastidious home cooks are slow-clapping around the Commonwealth
You know the polar opposite of those faceless YOU WON’T BELIEVE HOW EASY THIS IS videos? Anything produced by Chris Kimball, who once told The New York Times Magazine, “I hate the idea that cooking should be a celebration or a party.”
This week, after much speculation on where the bow-tied, bespeckled culinarian would take his triple-tested brand of super-serious home cooking — following his split from America’s Test Kitchen — revealed his new venture, Milk Street Kitchen in another Times article, by Kim Severson.
Milk Street Kitchen’s home will be on the under-renovation ground flour of the Flour & Grain Exchange Building in the financial district and will include a new magazine, a PBS series and forthcoming books.
Severson writes “He’ll start a cooking school, and promote the whole enterprise at a dozen live road shows. He is even designing a chef’s knife to sell.’
You can take Kimball out of the (America’s Test) kitchen, but you can’t take the kitchen out of Kimball.