Friday Favorites

Friday Favorites this week are from Jess Daniel!

oktoberfestA shoutout to Oktoberfest 2009: When I was sixteen, I spent a summer in a tiny town in Bavaria, just South of Munich. It was a summer of many firsts: first kiss, first schnitzel, first glimpse of H&M, and perhaps most importantly, my introduction to the joy of German beer. Ever since, I’ve had a special place in my heart for a heavy Stein, a lusty Fraulein, and long nights of loud singing and jumping on tables. For those of us who can’t hop a flight to Munich in the next 48 hours, consider checking out this guy’s reviews of Oktoberfest style beers.

oustandinginthefieldMy new dream job is to work as a coordinator for Outstanding in the Field. This traveling team sets up its table in all sorts of unexpected places, often in farms or gardens, and hosts magical dinner parties that feature local farmers and food artisans at the center of the dining experience. From what I hear, the food is exquisite and the feeling in keeping with the purpose of the event: there’s often a tour of the farm or ranch where the event is hosted, each person brings her own plate, everyone eats “family style.” My thoughts of graduate school fly out the window as I imagine traveling from place to place opening a magic bag of food joy wherever I land.

restaurantofthefutureTrouble choosing when you’re out for dinner? Imagine the added pressure if you knew someone was watching carefully to record whether you chose the green beans or gratin. At the Restaurant of the Future at Wageningen University in Holland, not only do they keep track of what you choose, but they also weigh you at the register, register your facial expressions while you’re eating, check out who you eat with, and how much you leave on your plate. All in the name of food science!

oliveoilSlightly less scientific, but perhaps less creepy more useful to us everyday folks was this awesome run down of cheap olive oil options.

The folks over at Serious Eats did a great job categorizing nine different options. I was so psyched to hear that I’m not the only one who bought Trader Joe’s Spanish for the “pretty tree artwork,” and even happier to hear that it actually ended up stacking up well against the contenders.


On Tuesday, my box of goodies arrived for the official kick-off Scharffen Berger Chocolate Adventure Contest and in it was a little metal container of dried red thing-a-ma-bobbers. So I stuck one in my mouth and whoosh lemony fruity clove-y goodness. Super tasty — turns out, they were dried sumac seeds, renowned for adding their zesty goodness to Middle Eastern dishes. As a kid, I’d learned about sumac by another name: lemonade berries — after the tart drink that Native Americans would make from the fresh berries.

By the way, do you want to enter the Chocolate Adventure Contest? First place is $10K!

chocolatemuseumWith chocolate on the mind, I have to mention one of my favorite places in Bar-the-lona, the chocolate museum. The history of cacao plus replicas in chocolate of Michaelangelo’s Pieta, and the Sagrada Familia church in Barcelona. Need I say more?