Here's something for those of you—but not me, of course—trying to eat less in the new year: a food-free food column.
It's not surprising that our area—rich with farmers, chefs and food artisans—also has quite a few folks who want to write, photograph and just plain talk about food. So here are some blogs, tweets and photos you can access with your mouse instead of your mouth. (A deep bow of thanks to Eat at Joe's, jhv.blogs.com/eatatjoes, the original Durham food blog.)
First up is The Gourmez (www.thegourmez.com) by Becca Gomez Farrell, a writer who lives in Durham. Farrell began her blog to track her journey toward becoming a true gourmet "without bothering about things like tannins and foie gras." The Gourmez takes on cocktails, cafés and restaurants in the Triangle and grades them with a unique rating system based on foods Farrell loathes (mushrooms) and loves (avocados).
Like Farrell, Mandy Steinhardt is eating out and writing about her experiences. She dedicates her blog, De Mandy (demandy.com), to "finding the hidden local food gems in Raleigh." She also links to and references other online reviews. She's recently written about a good breakfast at O'Malley's Tavern (5228 Hollyridge Drive, Raleigh, 787-1234).
UNC doctoral student Jacob Kramer-Duffield writes about food and drink at the academically named Piedmont Review of Food (piedmontreview.blogspot.com), subtitled "Food, beer, &c. from Carrboro, North Carolina." He began in 2007 with these words: "This blog will be about food, which is to say it'll be about a lot of things," and he's kept faithful to that vision, sharing recipes with annotations and verdicts, a review of a brown ale and a discussion of stevia that begins "What on earth is that stuff??!"
Durham's Jonathan Bloom is writing a book on wasted food in America, and in the meantime he posts his latest findings and thoughts on the subject at Wasted Food (www.wastedfood.com). According to Bloom, "Americans waste more than 40 percent of the food we produce for consumption. That comes at an annual cost of more than $100 billion. At the same time, food prices and the number of Americans without enough to eat continues to rise." Calling his site "part blog, part call to action," Bloom offers links to food recovery and hunger organizations, tips for reducing your own wasted food and other ways to get involved. He also documents the three months he spent working in the produce department of a national grocery chain in order to get an upfront view of how much food supermarkets throw away.
And finally, if I—I mean you, of course—can't eat cupcakes, doesn't it make me (oops, you) happy just to look at them? Good thing the gals at A Cupcake Bar, the Cary-based custom cupcake bakery, have a Flickr feed (linked on www.acupcakebar.com). Scroll through different birthday interpretations, holiday specials and (hello, lovah!) their winter special, a ruby beauty: dark chocolate cupcake with raspberry-infused wine buttercream and a raspberry drizzle.
Have a food event or restaurant news? E-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Correction (Jan. 7, 2010): The print version of this story incorrectly identified the author of the Piedmont Review of Food blog. That paragraph has been corrected here. See also comment below.