Kitchen Library – What I Read on New Year’s Break


I caught up on a lot of reading over the holidays, so I’m going to do a separate post on what I cooked and ate.

In this edition of Kitchen Library: cupcakes in Tokyo, craft brewing designations, a review of one of Kirin’s “low-malt” drinks, cherpumple, and more!

Ella Jean & Shana Graves. “Tokyo Cupcake Review.” Love. Hate. Bake. 4 Jan. 2013.
LHB kicks off a series reviewing cupcakes in Tokyo.

Tom Baker. “Self-Portrait with Akebia Fruit.” Tokyo Tom Baker. 30 Dec. 2012.
Japan: home of weird produce, including the akebi.

Makiko Itoh. The Return of Iron Chef Japan, Part 1.” Just Hungry. 18 Dec. 2012.
Itoh recaps and reviews the revival of (Japan’s) Iron Chef (アイアン・シェフ), now hosted by Chiaki-sempai (Tamaki Hiroshi).

Hiroyuki. “Sun Fuji Apples Simmered with Sugar/サンふじりんごの砂糖煮.” Hiroyuki’s Blog on Japanese Cooking. 4 Dec. 2012. [bilingual]
Hiroyuki writes about mitsu in apples and cultural perceptions thereof.


I Drink Beer, Dammit.” Beerbecue. 20 Dec. 2012.
The Brewers’ Association attempts to define “craft beer,” leaving some producers and consumers out in the cold. “And what do you think the purpose of the Brewer’s Association cockamamie definition of craft is (which actually seems simultaneously over-inclusive (Sam Adams Light) and under-inclusive (August Schell Brewing))? It’s about inventing a term to solidify a market niche and to gain and protect market share to the exclusion of others. Gasp!”

John Cochran. “Craft vs. Crafty?” John Cochran at Terrapin Beer Co. 18 Dec. 2012.
Speaking of which, Brewers’ Association member John Cochran writes about his take on the matter: “‘By the way Mr. Consumer, here is a list of breweries that we have decided can not be members of the BA. These non members are “faux” craft brewers. Don’t support them; they are not “true” craft brewers.’ In my opinion, this was a huge mistake.”

麦酒男・タカバシ (Bakushu Takabashi). 「キリンビール スパークリングホップ」 (“Kirin Beer Sparkling Hop”).
『生ビールブログ』(Draft Beer Blog). 6 Dec. 2012. [Japanese]
This review is short and sweet but had us in stitches.「ただ、スッキリとしすぎているので、お酒を飲むというシチュエーションで考えるとちょっとパンチが弱い気もするんですよね… 以前は夏を中心に販売し、氷を入れてホップが香る、という感じで訴求していたと思うのですが、今回は冬の販売ということで、そういった提案もなく、ポジションがわからないかも…」
“However, because it’s overly ‘refreshing,’ you don’t really get the sense you’re actually drinking alcohol. This used to be sold in the summer. I thought the appeal was that the scent of the hops was like shaved ice, but [Kirin Sparkling Hop] sold in the winter wouldn’t give the customer that mental image, so I’m not sure what exactly the company was thinking.”


Mary Kelly. “Microwave Gourmet.” Awful Library Books. 12 Dec. 2012.
Awful Library Books weeds a copy of Madame Benoit’s Microwave Cook Book.

Frances Largeman-Roth. “Our Predictions: 2013 Food Trends.” Cooking Light. Jan. 2013.
Cooking Light predicts more chia and “ancient grains,” then proceeds to use a picture of Korean instant noodles to illustrate a point about “Japanese ramen.” Bravo. Not only can you not distinguish between Asian languages, you may not have even gotten the trend right. It’s for fresh ramen from restaurants, not just new flavors of instant noodles, even if that’s “raw” noodles with premade broth.

you tried

Doug Barry. “Many Kids With Food Allergies Are Bullied Because of Their Swollen Esophagi.” Jezebel. 24 Dec. 2012.
I occasionally see distressed parents complaining that they need a soy-free, gluten-free, peanut-free, dairy-free, egg-free individually wrapped snack for their child’s preschool class festivities who then accuse some of the kids or parents for faking it. As someone who has had latex-fruit syndrome at a time when it was much less common, I have no sympathy for those who complain about the allergies of others. Little Susie’s severe peanut allergy means your kid can’t have PB&J in the cafeteria? Deal with it.

“Cherpumple.” Pintester. 24 Dec. 2012.
I have a love-hate relationship with Pinterest. I like the visual organizational method but I really, really don’t fit in with the rest of the target demographic, which often leads me to feel uncomfortable on the site. However, Pintester is one of my favorite new blogs. Got a weird-looking craft or recipe from Pinterest? Pintester will test it for you, which sometimes results in triumph but more often in hilarity. Her attempt at the Cherpumple, three pies baked into three cakes in a dessert tribute to the turducken, is spot-on.

What did you read over New Year’s?


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Shana says:

    Thanks for mentioning us. I hope our cupcake will be better than the last one.

    Looking forward to reading your posts this year.

    1. Leah says:

      No problem! I think it’s a great project. We only have two places in Kanazawa with cupcakes, both of which are excellent and both of which I should review. Looking forward to reading more of yours!

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