This week in notable food-centric links:
◊ Old Masters meets Tech: Paulette Tavormina's digital still life photos capture the essence of food in the style of familiar historical paintings, framing color and playing with light. She sat down with Bon Appetit to talk technique, week-old oysters, and the Jello-O molds she made for Patrick Swayze.
◊ Hometown Pride: Also on Bon App's blog, local culinary hero (and Belarus native) Vitaly Paley shares his family's Soviet-era recipe for gefilte fish, made with bread, not matzoh.
◊ Hometown Shame: Who Would Steal from A Girl Scout? An Oregonian, apparently. A troop in Portland was tricked into believing they'd landed a 6,000-box corporate cookie order, only to be left with $24,000 of Thin Mints and Do-si-dos.
◊ Please Pass the Eyeballs: The New York Times Diner's Journal shares photos and flavors from a rare dinner party at the Waldorf Astoria, offering hissing cockroaches on sticks, goats-eye martinis garnished with a goat penis, and barbecued beaver.
◊ Gluten Revolution: TIME talks celiac sufferers, food faddists, and everyone in between. The real question: What is the cost of a gluten-free America?
◊ In Beer We Trust: Jeffrey Khan explores the role beer may have planned in the creative development of early man. Think of it as social lubrication that allowed early tribes to relax strict social structures and take risks that pushed civilization ahead (and maybe mix up the gene pool with that cutie from the neighboring cave).
◊ Twinkies are Baaaaaack!: Or at least they will be, come summertime. That's "thanks" to the $410 million bid for the famously failed Hostess empire, which went bankrupt in November. Metropoulos & Co, the company that purchased the Twinkie brand, has experience reviving flailing products: you can blame them for the resurgence of PBR, as well. True public servants...