Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Mechanics of Terroir, AoE 82

I have a piece in the upcoming Art of Eating about the science behind terroir. I skipped past the vague hand-waviness of winemakers and marketing and went straight to the scientific papers that have been written on the subject to try and answer the question: How exactly does terroir feature X translate into wine feature Y?

I spent a lot of time at the UC Berkeley library reading through articles from the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry, the American Journal of Enology and Viticulture, and many others. And then I translated the scientific results into English. You can think of it as a literature review aimed at consumers.

Call now, and order a copy. Or, better yet, subscribe to the magazine. As I've often said, it is the best English-language food magazine, and it may be the best one, period.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mise En Place 1.1

I'll revert back to food posts again soon, I promise.

I'm pleased to announce that Mise En Place 1.1 is out on the App Store. If you've already bought a copy of Mise En Place 1.0, the update should appear in your App Store application. If you haven't bought a copy, now would be a good time, since 1.1 adds some nice features and fixes a few 1.0 bugs.

Mise En Place 1.1 adds the ability to "favorite" a dish. Take an existing dish, tap on the star icon, and it will become a favorite. Then, when you want to make it again, tap Copy from Favorite when you create a dish, choose the favorite, pick a date and time, and all the prep tasks and shopping list items you attached to the favorite will be entered for you. You can freely edit a favorite at any time, changing or adding prep tasks and shopping list items, and the changes will be applied the next time you use it as a template. I have granola as a favorite, and the favorite includes every ingredient in the recipe. When I schedule granola for the week, I copy from the template and then delete the ingredients I already have on hand.

The other major new feature is a better system for scheduling tasks. First, you can define tasks in relative terms instead of absolute terms. If you want to grate cheese 20 minutes before serving pasta, you can define the task that way rather than saying 7:10 pm. Second, you can schedule a task relative to the dish or to another task — "20 minutes before cooking the roast, preheat the oven," for instance. Reschedule the "parent" task, and all the children will reschedule as well.

I fixed one of the more annoying bugs in Mise En Place 1.0, the inability to use diacritical characters. You can now make soufflés, sauté onions, and buy crème fraîche.

If you're using the app, I'd love to hear your thoughts about it. If you like it, it would mean a lot if you wrote a review.

I'd love to say that major updates will always come out every two weeks, as this one seems to have, but this was a bit of fluke. Mise En Place 1.0 sat on the App Store, unavailable, for three months while I dealt with some bureaucracy at work about releasing it. However, I've already started on 1.2, and I'd love to hear your thoughts about what it should do.

If you're a Mise En Place Lite user, your update should show up in about 9 days. I've submitted the build to the App Store, but they're a bit sluggish with approvals at the moment.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Mise En Place Lite

Mise En Place is now back to its normal price of $2.99.

However, some of you have asked about a "Lite" version, and I'm happy to announce that I've released Mise En Place Lite. This version will only allow you to enter three dishes. That way, you can give it a whirl and, if you think it will work for you, you can buy the full version. As further incentive to download the full version, Lite versions will always trail their full kindred by at least a week.