Weekend Reading: Bonding with Cooking Tools, Seasonal Beers, and More

Todd Coleman

• Why do I love my wooden spoons and spurn my teflon spatula? In an essay for the September/October issue of Intelligent Life, culinary historian Bee Wilson explores why we bond with some kitchen implements and never hit it off with others. I've also been reading Wilson's new book, Consider the Fork: A History of How We Cook and Eat, a wonderful overview of the evolution of kitchens and cookware. —Karen Shimizu

• Few meals are as transcendently enjoyable as a beautifully-executed tasting menu; few are as profoundly unpleasant as an interminable and unexciting one. New York Times critic Pete Wells explores the differences between those that succeed and those that fall flat, and urges chefs (and diners) to be judicious in choosing to go for the zillion-course option. —Helen Rosner

• Complex magazine has just launched its food site, First We Feast. And I have to say, it is smart, edgy, and relates to important and relevant matters in food (the anatomy of the "foodgasm," an investigation of whether cloth-bound cheddar is worth the price hike on your burger) in a fresh way. I mean, they call Jacques Pepin and Julia Child the "OGs" of food TV. Who can argue with that? 'Nuff said. —Gabriella Gershenson

• I've been enjoying Michael Agnew's column on Serious Eats, featuring seasonal beer pairings. His latest post details which foods are best enjoyed with different brown ale brews, including a recommendation for one of my personal favorites: Dogfish Head Indian Brown Ale with an aged gouda. —Niki Achitoff-Gray

• In celebration of the 300th birthday of King Frederick II of Prussia, Christoph Niemann tells the legend of how Old Fritz introduced potatoes to the local cuisine with fun animated potato prints in The New York Times Magazine's annual Food Issue. —Anna Stockwell