Weekend Reading: Crystallized Cocktail Prints and Chefs Against Fracking

What we’re reading, cooking, and clicking this week.

BevShots is a business that prints images of crystallized cocktails (enhanced via polarizing light microscopy) onto scarves and more. The Smithsonian magazine gets into how it's done—and why the margarita and the martini produce the most gorgeous images. [The Smithsonian] —Karen Shimizu, senior editor, @karemizu

After spending last week cooking in Louisiana, I've grown quite fond of the rice cooker as kitchen appliance. Writer Pableaux Johnson obviously agrees: He sang its praises in the Times this week, and when Kim Severson embarked on a quest to make the perfect pot of rice, his advice was simply, "Sweetie, buy a rice cooker." [The New York Times] —Farideh Sadeghin, associate test kitchen director, @sadeghin

The World Cup may be over but Five Thirty Eight couldn't resist pitting the participating countries against one another in a different type of competition—not about footwork but about food. Polling over one thousand Americans, they embarked on an international culinary bracket to search for America's favorite cuisine. Before you view the results, can you guess which country won? [Five Thirty Eight] —Michellina Jones, project manager and digital producer, @michellinajones

Laila El-Haddad and Maggie Schmitt, the authors of The Gaza Kitchen: A Palestinian Culinary Journey, wrote a moving article this week for Al Jazeera America about the Palestinian women who must still find a way to feed their families even as bombs fall and rations run short. As they put it, "Gaza's women are infinitely elastic, stretching to cover whatever is not otherwise covered: compensating for losses, caring for the old and young, conjuring a dinner out of scraps." It's both inspiring and heartbreaking. [Al Jazeera America] —Felicia Campbell, associate editor, @hungryfi

My favorite new food-focused organization? Chefs for the Marcellus, a group of farmers, food pros, and chefs like Mario Batali, Sarah Jenkins, and Anito Lo who all oppose fracking in New York State because the dirty process of natural gas extraction threatens the health and viability of local farms, wineries, and the water so crucial to our food supply. I will definitely be at this awesome event, Fracktail Night, on August 11 at Back Forty to sip some cocktails and learn more. [Chefs for the Marcellus] —Betsy Andrews, executive editor, @betsyandrews

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