Monday, November 26, 2007


I thought I would do something slightly different today and write a feature-ette about other food blogs / sites that I read and that I frequent. This just goes to prove that we are equal opportunity bloggers (or something) and would never consider claiming all the glory for ourselves.

There are more food related sites on the interwebby than you could shake a crispy baguette at, some good and some like the curate’s egg.

I am going to start off with food sites, then move to blogs and then to sites that feature predominately recipes.

First off is a site called 'All About French Cheeses’ which, incredibly, is all about French cheeses. There is some truth in advertising sometimes. I love cheese, no I adore cheese, and would never hesitate to choose a cheese finale over a sweet dessert. And I think it is fair to say that the French, in spite of their shameless self promotion, are probably the best cheese producing nation on earth. Though this does seem to have serious and negative impact on their nation for as De Gaulle said “how can you be expected to govern a country that has 246 varieties of cheese?”

No feature on food sites would be complete without recourse to perhaps the most hallowed and revered of tomes the 'Guide Michelin'. Whilst many strongly disapprove of their three star ratings and the pressure on restaurants to conform to a formula to win one of the guide’s much coveted awards it still retains its place as THE guide. Andy Hayler’s site is a great one on the 3 Star wonder-restaurants and is well worth a look.

I love chillis and have tried to grow them on many occasions with varying degrees of luck. The Chilli Galore site is full of useful information, varieties, growing tips and facts and figures. A great read for the chilli nerd.

The Cook’s Thesaurus is exactly what it says. Stuck on knowing what certain ingredients are, what a particular cooking method or phrase means, well worry no more!

Before I travel anywhere new one of the first sites I check out is the Chowhound Boards. I have watched this site grow from a very amateur production to a pretty sophisticated forum and database and it is a fantastic resource for top eating tips in a staggering variety of places and towns. I try and help out with any questions on Dubai (and previously Hong Kong) and so do feel that I do my bit to keep the database growing. You should do your bit too.

One of the very best all round food related sites is Epicurious. In fact if you only have one food site saved in your favourites folder it should be this one. Epicurious has a huge recipe database that has a fantastically useful search facility that can narrow down your recipe hunt with keywords, ingredients, cooking method, festivals, believe me it is brilliant. But that is not all, oh no, not by a long way. The site also has an excellent forum board called Kitchen Counsel where the most incredible array of questions and answers get posted. I have resorted to it myself on many occasions and have always had some very helpful and knowledgeable person help me out.

But wait, there is more. The site also boasts a brilliant food dictionary section which is very useful indeed. There is a massive wine dictionary, useful conversion tables to get from imperial into metric and from those pesky American measurements of cups and wossinames to something a Brit might be able to understand.

And my last site in this section is The Great British Kitchen. This is what it says it is. British Seasonal food at its best and it showcases the best producers and the best cooks flying the flag.

Next up are blogs and by some distance my favourite site is the incredibly talented Pim Techamuanvivat. Her blog has been at the forefront of foodie blogs for an absolute age and perhaps has set the standards to which others aspire. If you don’t believe me check out her entry for that Thai staple ‘Pad Thai’ . If it doesn’t make you rush into the kitchen and get busy then you are in the wrong place.

For the brave and/or stupid amongst you a great site is Deep End Dining. Three nutters, including the rather lovely and winsome Megan McCormick (she of Globe Traveller fame), set out to eat the weirdest, most revolting things they can find. And boy do they find some. If you are of a strong constitution have a look at this post.

Next up is the brilliantly named Chubby Hubby. His blog I suppose is rather like this one with recipes, a bit of travel blurb, restaurant reviews and features. Obviously ours is MUCH better but go and check him out anyway.

An American living in France and trying his hand at almost anything keeps rather a fun and light hearted blog called Garlic Breath.

As a signed up chillihead I have a huge number of saved sites devoted to all things hot but my absolute favourite is The Hot Sauce Blog. These guys are mad, seriously mad, they do taste reviews of the hottest and baddest sauces out there and occasionally live to tell the tale. Their blind tasting reviews are hilarious and how could you not enjoy a blog that contains comments like this:

Constantly wiping my eyes and nose, which are running uncontrollably. Serious mouth damage, to the point that I take sips of hot water in an attempt to release the oils. Extremities tingling, heartburn. I’m starting to worry that I’m at home alone, tasting this “bottled death”. 30 minutes later, my mouth is still numb. 5 hours later, my lips are still burning. 15 hours later, I am awakened out of a sound sleep by an endorphin rush. 24 hours later, well…suffice to say that I danced with the devil and the devil came to collect the next day. 10+/10

Another wonderful, beautifully illustrated blog is Smitten Kitchen, great pictures, excellent recipes and really worth a read.

Enough of that little love-in onto the recipes.

Well obviously Epicurious should be your first port of call but what about these:

Aunties Great Recipes
Cooks dot com
The incomparable Delia Online
The awfully camp but most excellent Ken Hom
And for the Paddies everywhere

If you can’t find what you are looking for in amongst this lot I am sorry but I probably can’t help you.

Stay well.


Andy said...

Thanks for the kind words. You have a nice site; happy future expat eating. If you coming to London let me know, as I can steer you somewhere rather better than the Gaucho :)

halfmanhalfbeer said...

Andy; thanks for stopping by and you are welcome. What do yuo think of the news about Claire Smyth taking over the kitchn at Ramseys?!

And I'll take you up on the offer of top tips, Gaucho's was awful!

In the summer I did eat at Chez Bruce though and that was fab.