Weekend Reading: Cotton Candy Fashion Photography, Ocean-Aged Wine, and More

A look at what we're reading, cooking, and clicking this week

Isabelle Chapuis

• Cotton candy has become so firmly associated in my mind with garish carnival parks and chemical dyes that I barely see its magic anymore, but this sticky-sweet cloud of soft pink, melting like snow in your mouth—it's the stuff dreams are made of. French fashion photographer Isabelle Chapuis playfully captures the surreality of Barbapapa in an enchanting photo series [pictured] that shows cotton candy with as much style as whimsy. —Camille Bromley

• As far as savory breakfasts go, there's nothing I like more than congee—the Chinese rice porridge that comes topped with scallions and herbs, and any of a near-infinite array of fish and meat preparations. As much affection as I might have for the dish, though, writer Tallis Eng might love it more: he writes movingly for The Paris Review about sharing bowls with his father, about coming of age as a New Yorker with congee-laden meals, and using a date to his preferred congee stop Hing Huang as a way to test the mettle of potential romantic interests. —Helen Rosner

• On occasion, I'll email blast my friends with articles that mention cute animals. When I came across this video earlier this week, which features a new breed of baby piglet, I sent it to almost everyone I knew. The basic premise is that an Iowa-based pig farmer is trying to breed the perfect pig. Fatty, smooth, perfectly marbled. In other words, pork is no longer "the other white meat." Entirely interesting. Plus piglets are involved. —Sophie Brickman

• Though there are European winemakers who've been doing it for some time now, the first experiment in ocean-aged wine has just launched in the United States. Napa's Mira Winery sunk cases in the Charleston harbor to see what the water pressure, temperature, and current action would do to their 2009 cab after three months in Davy Jones' locker. Seems wacky, but then again, you figure all those galleons sunk by all those pirate ships over all those years of trade to and from the Americas left a lot of vino at the bottom of sea... —Betsy Andrews

• I'm a huge fan of Studio Ghibli, the Japanese animation studio that's produced such wonderful, smart, beautifully drawn movies as My Neighbor Totoro and Princess Mononoke. Tofugu.com has created this guide to the food of Spirited Away, which uses the film as a primer on the history of much-loved Japanese foods as onigiri (rice balls) and ishi yaki-mo (roasted sweet potatoes). —Karen Shimizu

• Now that I've moved to New York, I relish my daily commute so I can listen to my back stock of Dave Arnold's Cooking Issues podcasts, which always offer fascinating, pragmatic explanations and enthusiastic commentary. I was more than pleased to see this recent post on the preservation of herbal color and taste in Booker+Dax's Bangkok Daiquiri on the Cooking Issues blog. In usual form, Arnold explicates an exotic technique—cryomuddling—while also providing a more workable approach and a recipe. —Anna Perling

• The very word "pizza" refers to such a multivarious collection of stuff-on-top-of-crust foods that designating a single place "the best pizza town in America" is, at best, questionable. But it cannot be denied that pizza culture varies wildly from city to city, and so it is that this hilarious, argumentative, whip-smart dialogue on Chicago versus New York pies, with Time Out Chicago dining editor David Tamarkin and FoodRepublic.com editor Matt Rodbard in opposing corners, is actually an illuminating and useful breakdown of how two great pizza towns approach their pies. —Helen Rosner

• Leave it to a fellow cat lover to clue me in to possibly the most amazing thing on the internet: cats morphing into croissants. It's so uncanny, so perfect, you'll never look at croissants (or cats) the same way again. —Gabriella Gershenson