Lunch Room Chatter: Pre-Christian pastries

The latest in food news, ideas and philosophy, just in time for your lunch break.

* Bartender as sex therapist, mentalist and Chinese herbalist. (NY Times)

* Who needs preservatives? A 2,000-year-old pastry that’s good enough to eat. (Philadelphia Inquirer)

* “Modernist Cuisine” excerpt: “Chefs, cookbook authors, and public health officials often make dogmatic statements that food cooked to a standard is ‘safe,’ but food cooked less than the standard is ‘unsafe.’ That can never be literally true. No matter what the standard is, if the food is highly contaminated, it might still be unsafe (especially owing to cross-contamination). And on the other hand, if the food is not contaminated, then eating it raw won’t hurt you.” (Scientific American)

* Gotham gastronomic giants are dying in droves. (New York Post)

* How can the ice cube tray not be on this list? (The Daily Meal)

* Chefs are no longer tongue-tied. (HuffPo Food)

* Catfish shortage to end soon. Did you even miss them? Huh, did you? (Dallas Observer)

* Hospital food that won’t make you sick. (SlashFood)

* Things apparently aren’t so dire in Jamie Oliver’s West Virginia. (LA Weekly)

Tim Carman serves as the full-time writer for the Post's Food section and as the $20 Diner for the Weekend section, a double duty that requires he ingest more calories than a draft horse.

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