Weekend Reading: A World of Meatballs, Coming Around on Cilantro, and More

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

Dennis Jarvis/Flickr

• With his delicate yet savory recipe for boulettes (North African meatballs). David Tanis reminds us in the New York Times that meatballs are not just an Italian specialty, but a world-wide comfort food.—Cory Baldwin

• On Gilt Taste, Luisa Weiss explains the trial-and-error process (both material and emotional) of starting a food blog, an excerpt from her new book My Berlin Kitchen. —Helen Rosner

• I have yet to meet a person who feels ambivalent about cilantro; whether they love it or hate it, each is firm in their conviction. This week, the folks at The Salt shed some light on the contentious debate. Exactly how much do genetic factors account for the divide? For cilantro haters, it may be time to give this herb a second chance. —Niki Achitoff-Gray

• For writer Paul Greenberg, who lives near the World Trade Center site, September 11th this year was marked by cooking a complete meal with ingredients grown in his apartment garden, subsequently chronicled on The Grist. —Anna Stockwell

• Any home pizza maker can tell you that the difference between a good pie and a great one is a well-heated pizza stone. But what about a pizza steel? Serious Eats' Food Lab tries out this Kickstarter-funded tool. —Helen Rosner

• The intriguingly-named "Intestinal Pretzel" at Houston restaurant Feast is exactly what it sounds like, and not for the squeamish: stuffed pork intestine arranged in a pretzel shape. And according to Eating Our Words, it's worth going back for again and again. —Helen Rosner

• Elizabeth Field's new cookbook Marmalade is a celebration of a preserve she hated as a child, and finally came around to. In the Wall Street Journal, Ralph Gardner Jr. shares his own eventual appreciation of the condiment. —Anna Stockwell

Pictured: A farmer in Vietnam, via Dennis Jarvis/Flickr