eater's digest: a short and useful history of restaurant reviews

"When choosing a restaurant, whose opinion do you typically trust? A personal friend? Reviews by strangers on Yelp? The opinions of individual critics in newspapers, magazines or digital publications? Perhaps you use a combination of these mediums, or even all of them. But it’s likely you’ve never thought about where the tradition of reviewing restaurants originated, or how the logistics behind this practice shapes the way we think about food.

 PHOTO BY ANTONIO DIAZ

PHOTO BY ANTONIO DIAZ

I’ve worked on-the-ground with restaurateurs and seen the effects of reviews in-action; yet most diners don’t have a sense of how this all plays out from a thirty-thousand-foot view. This abbreviated guide to the history of culinary criticism—from the 1800s to current times—may provide some interesting perspective in navigating the different channels of choosing a restaurant in our digital age."

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how "natural" is changing the wine industry

"Throughout history, numerous experts and critics have attempted to codify the mysterious world of wine, developing rating systems to guide novice drinkers in forming opinions about what constitutes a good or a bad bottle. In turn, readers shared these opinions with friends and family, reinforcing the notion that there was a right and a wrong way to drink and think about wine.

 PHOTO BY CASEY FEEHAN

PHOTO BY CASEY FEEHAN

Yet in recent years, more sommeliers and winemakers are challenging this status quo. Their personal opinions may (or may not) adhere to traditional codes of what a “good” wine tastes like, and in fact, a greater diversity of opinion is exactly what they are trying to cultivate. Yet the most radical idea these professionals present isn’t that casual drinkers should trust their own sense of taste; it’s that customers should know—and care—about what is actually in the bottle."

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native son: jeremiah langhorne’s search for mid-atlantic flavor

"Championed by such writers and cookbook authors as James Beard and Edna Lewis, the recognition of American heritage cuisine largely began in the South and continues today under the guise of such chefs as Sean Brock and Vivian Howard. Yet beyond biscuits and collard greens, catfish and pecan pie, a new generation of chefs is applying this Southern-born curiosity to other regions of the United States. Among them is Jeremiah Langhorne, a D.C.-native credited with conjuring the Mid-Atlantic cuisine of our forefathers at The Dabney in Washington D.C."

 Image Compliments of La Colombe Coffee Roasters

Image Compliments of La Colombe Coffee Roasters