Fugetsu-Do Confectionery / Food Insider

Fugetsu-Do Confectionery first opened in 1903. It is now considered the oldest shop in LA’s Little Tokyo, and the oldest Japanese-American business in the country. The family-owned bakery is famous for one thing above all: mochi. Making this Japanese confection has been a long tradition for the Kito family, one that started over a century ago, when original owner Seiichi Kito first immigrated to the US from Japan. The art of making mochi is no easy feat, according to current owner Brian Kito, who says it took him 10 years to learn how to master the process. Crystal Lee visited Fugetsu-Do’s original location in Los Angeles to see how they make their famous rainbow dango (bite-sized pieces of rainbow mochi), and how this family business has survived 117 years — via Youtube


MSG and Umami / David Chang

But as is often the case with the winds of food trends, the direction appears to be changing. Thanks in large part to chefs like David Chang, who have worked to rewrite the narrative around Asian cuisine being considered cheap food, MSG is no longer the universal food ingredient pariah it once was — via Youtube

Art, Food

Gingerbread Xenomorph / Caroline Eriksson

Norwegian artist Caroline Eriksson just finished an epic sculpture of the xenomorph queen from Alien, made of gingerbread. The sculpture is built over an iron structure, held together with sugar syrup. The gingerbread is baked and then bent over curved surfaces while still warm to achieve the proper shape for each piece. The finished product is quite edible, but if not eaten, it will retain its shape for months — via Neatorama


Library Cake / Kathy Knaus

The combination of a good book and a slice of cake are arguably the height of decadence, as this amazing Library Cake by Kathy Knaus clearly illustrates. Featuring both the exterior entrance to the library and the book-filled interior, the cake functions as a surprisingly accurate diorama of a beautiful library — via Make:


Guerrilla grafters / Collectively Awakening

The Guerrilla Grafters are a group of San Franciscans who believe urban trees are a precious thing to waste on simple flowers. Their goal is to graft — albeit illegally — fruit bearing branches onto non-fruit bearing fruit trees, in hopes that over time the cities ornamental trees can provide food for residents free of charge — via Youtube

Business, Food

Vegemite bought by Bega from US food giant Mondelez International

Vegemite is set to return to Australian ownership after dairy company Bega announced it would buy most of Mondelez International’s Australia and New Zealand grocery and cheese business.

Bega, in a note to the Australian Stock Exchange, said it would use bank debt to fund the $460 million acquisition.

The deal does not include Philadelphia products but will see Australian ownership of Kraft-branded products, including peanut butter, cheeses and mayonnaise — via


Ribbon Candy / Lofty Pursuits

Public displays of Confection use a very old ribbon candy machine to finally make some nice ribbon candy just before Christmas 2016. This batch was cherry, but they’ve made tutti frutti, and peppermint too. Lofty Pursuits makes candy on equipment made from the late 1800’s until the modern day. They concentrate on finding and restoring old candy equipment and re-learning the dying art of hard candy making — via Youtube

Food, Technology

Sundrop Farms pioneering solar-powered greenhouse to grow food without fresh water

A groundbreaking greenhouse that relies on sunlight and seawater to grow tomatoes officially opens next week, 300 kilometres north of Adelaide.

The company Sundrop Farms spent several years developing the idea at a pilot plant on the outskirts of Port Augusta, before building a commercial facility that is 100 times larger.

This is a very special project, head grower Adrian Simkins said.

The 20-hectare futuristic-looking facility includes a field of more than 23,000 mirrors that capture the sunlight and direct it to a central receiver at the top of a 127-metre power tower.

At its peak it produces 39 megawatts of thermal energy, which is used for electricity, heating and making water.

All the water used for irrigating the crops is piped from the Spencer Gulf and converted into fresh water using a thermal desalination unit.

Mr Simkins has spent more than two decades running tomato greenhouses in Europe and North America and says the desalinated water is first-class.

It’s almost the perfect water, he said.

You’re taking all the salt out of it, there’s no disease aspects, it’s very pure and then we’re able to enhance it with the nutrition that the plants require — via


How to make Chinese traditional Nanshan noodles

The kind of Chinese noodles exists for more than 300 years, but only 300 people know the process for how to make it. The character who still keep making this kind of noodles for 30 years, that become the master of Nanshan noodles — via Youtube


Pounding Mochi with the Fastest Mochi Maker in Japan / Great Big Story

Mitsuo Nakatani is a mochi master, and to watch him do his work is a genuine thrill. Turning sticky rice into Japan’s traditional soft and chewy treat requires pounding, flipping and smashing the glutinous rice at high speeds in perfect coordination with a team. While visitors come to Nakatani’s mochi shop to taste the best, they stay to watch him make it — via Youtube


Rainbow Roll Cake / Spoon University

The rainbow craze is crazy, but this recipe is amazing. With only two drops of quality dye, vibrant rainbow colours in yummy moist white cake can make anyone happy — via Youtube

Food, Wildlife

Candy Cats Dozing under a Candy Kotatsu / Caroline Ingalls

A kotatsu is a piece of furniture from Japan. It’s a table with a heater under the bottom and a blanket along the edges. You can sit at the table to warm yourself during chilly winter.

That’s what these cats doing. Caroline, a maker of candy cats, made these adorable and edible kittens — via Neatorama


Candy Canes / How It’s Made

Candy canes are delicious holiday treats that comes in all shapes and sizes. See the carefully choreographed production process in this How It’s Made video — via Youtube

Food, Wildlife

Honey Fences

Edible Geography readers have perhaps heard of pollinator pathways, an initiative to thread together isolated pockets of green space into nectar-filled corridors, in order to give butterflies and bees easier passage across otherwise unfriendly urban expanses of concrete and asphalt. A recent article in British Airways’ High Life magazine about efforts to save Kenya’s last remaining elephants introduced me to an interesting twist on the concept of bee-based landscape design: honey fences.

Although the main threat to the elephants’ survival is ivory-market driven poaching, a significant number are also killed each year following altercations with local villagers. As Angela Carr-Hartley, director of the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust, politely put it, These communities have mixed feelings about an elephant coming into their smallholdings overnight, as they can wreak havoc eating the crops.

Zoologist Lucy King came up with the honey fence solution, which takes advantage of the fact that elephants are terrified by the sound of bees. (The delicate skin inside their trunks is apparently particularly vulnerable to being stung.) King had read that elephants tend to avoid acacia trees, usually a favourite food, if bees have built a hive in the branches. Based on that initial insight, and after several years of behavioral experiments, including playing elephants the sound of disturbed bees from a hidden loudspeaker and filming their reaction, King developed the honey fence system: a series of hives, suspended at ten-metre intervals from a single wire threaded around wooden fence posts. If an elephant touches either a hive or the wire, all the bees along the fence line feel the disturbance and swarm out of their hives in an angry, buzzing cloud — via


Paddy’s Brewery + Kegs + Cones / Red Wolf

Paddy’s Brewery, Coopers Brewery Kegs, Coopers Brewery Kegs and Traffic Cones originally uploaded by Red Wolf


Cooking on Konapun / AAAjoken

The Japanese toy line Konapun includes scale model kitchens that people can use to make food. In the past, the food has been fake. But the company also manufactures a stove so realistic that you can cook a proper, albeit very small, meal on it.

In this video, YouTube member AAAjoken prepares scrambled eggs, sausage, and coffee using Konapun utensils and a stove. He serves them on two plates and cups on a tiny kotatsu — via Youtube

Entertainment, Food, Wildlife

Cthulhumas Cookies 2014 / Maika Keuben

It goes without saying that I’ve tried these cookies myself, which was both reckless and prudent because I learned that I needed to include a warning with the boxes I’ve been sending to people. While eating them, one sometimes hears ancient voices speaking in alien tongues and notices cats, birds and/or trees casting multiple shadows. However these are merely signs of a strictly temporary lunacy that does eventually pass. All essential rites were observed and incantations uttered by me throughout the preparation process. And what’s a little madness and abject terror if it means I’m able to put a smile (however demented) on the face of a friend? Cthulhu fhtagn — Imgur

Food, Wildlife

Blue-ringed Octopus Cake / cakecrumbs

This is a cake I was commissioned to do by one of my Uni friends. We did both our Zoology degrees together: I was on the terrestrial side of it, where she was marine biology focused. So I shouldn’t have been surprised when she asked me for a marine-themed cake — via deviantART

Food, Science

Snake oil Superfoods? / Information Is Beautiful

The team at Information is Beautiful have visualised the scientific evidence — or lack thereof — behind what they dub Snake Oil Superfoods, breaking down hard data in an infinitely clickable format. Each of the coloured bubbles on the page corresponds to a specific food, but also a specific claim; so, some edibles make multiple appearances on way opposite ends of the spectrum — via Gizmodo

Design, Food

Air France Cutlery / Eugeni Quitllet

Designer Eugeni Quitllet was hired by Air France to redesign the airline’s in-flight cutlery and tableware. And as part of the new line, he went above and beyond the call of duty with a set of cutlery designed just for kids that transforms into a small airline of their own — via Gizmodo Australia

Crowdfunded cups and straws quickly detect invisible date rape drugs

The odorless and tasteless nature of date rape drugs can make them impossible for victims to detect before it’s too late. But soon your drinking glass may able to warn you if dangerous chemicals have been slipped into your cocktail. Next month, DrinkSavvy will begin shipping plastic cups and straws that change colour if a drink contains GHB, Rohypnol or Ketamine, three drugs commonly used for spiking purposes. The effort began with a successful $50,000 Indiegogo campaign led by company founder Michael Abramson — who himself was once unknowingly “roofied” during a night out with friend — via

Watermelon Swiss Roll / Hankerie

Watermelon Swiss Roll / Hankerie

Hankerie came out of this idea — watermelon swiss roll. I will name it as cakemelon. This creative idea inspired from the Australia Melon that I’ve seen in supermarket here. Most of the Australia watermelon melon are more pinkish, but surprisingly they’re sweeter than what we have in Malaysia — red flesh watermelon — via Hankerie

Japan Suspends Some Imports of US Wheat

Japan has suspended some imports of wheat from the United States after genetically engineered wheat was found on an Oregon farm.

The Agriculture Department announced the discovery on Wednesday. No genetically engineered wheat has been approved for American farming.

Japan is one of the largest export markets for American wheat growers. Katsuhiro Saka, a counsellor at the Japanese Embassy in Washington, said Thursday that Japan had cancelled orders of western white wheat from the Pacific Northwest and also of some feed-grade wheat.

In most countries the unapproved genetically modified wheat would be a target of concern, Mr Saka said. The Japanese people have similar kinds of concerns.

In addition, the European Union said it would test incoming American shipments and block any containing genetically modified wheat — via

Soylent Corporation prepares to defeat food

Credulous geeks have poured over $130,000 into a fantastic food replacement named Soylent, a substance whose creators aim to free your body from the need to eat solids ever again.

The ludicrously ambitious and suspiciously under-skilled Soylent Corporation announced its crowdfunding campaign on Tuesday and within hours had apparently taken in over a hundred thousand dollars worth of pre-orders for its magical default meal gunge.

Soylent’s inventor Rob Rhinehart claims in a promotional video for the nutrient goo that he’s been living off of Soylent for the past three months and has never been healthier.

The company hopes that its green beige slop will help spark a food revolution that will see people eat non-gloopy food for pleasure rather than need — via

Chilli bucket emptied over alleged takeaway robber

A man has been left red-faced after being doused with chilli while allegedly trying to rob a takeaway in Sydney’s south.

Police say the 24-year-old man had a bucket of chilli poured over his head when a female employee tried to stop him stealing money from the till at Rosebery last night.

Officers found the man lying on the floor suffering burns to his face — via