Refugee restaurant seeks to win Spanish hearts

by Diego URDANETA Agence France-Presse MADRID, Spain (AFP) — Hala and Alex learned to cook with their mothers, Yoli learnt while preparing meals for her large family. The trio, who were forced to flee Syria, Sudan and Venezuela respectively, are now the chefs at a unique Madrid restaurant that aims to change the lives of refugees and alter how people see them, at a time when the arrival of large numbers of migrants fleeing poverty […]

Astronauts bake first cookies in space

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Astronauts on the International Space Station have baked the first cookies in space, but they took far longer than on Earth. The space station’s Italian commander Luca Parmitano acted as baker aided by NASA astronaut Christina Koch for the chocolate-chip cookie experiment. Cookies take around 15-20 minutes to bake on Earth but the astronauts discovered that their most successful efforts required at least two hours in the oven in space. […]

UK fishermen angling for big catch post Brexit

NORTH SHIELDS, United Kingdom (AFP) – Roland JACKSON / William EDWARDS Just before dawn, the Good Fellowship trawler casts its nets deep into the North Sea’s cold swirling waters, fishing for prawns off England’s northeast coast. Britain finally departs the European Union on Friday but remains bound by the bloc’s Common Fisheries Policy (CFP) until the end of a transition period on December 31. The Good Fellowship’s captain, David Shiel, is cautiously hopeful that Brexit […]

Sweet! Indian bakers make world’s ‘longest’ cake

THRISSUR, India (AFP) — It was a record-baking effort. Hundreds of bakers and chefs in southern India came together Wednesday to create what they said is the world’s longest cake — about 6.5 kilometers (four miles). They spread chocolate ganache on the serpentine desert stretched out on thousands of tables and desks at a festival ground and adjoining roads in the coastal state of Kerala’s Thrissur city. The vanilla cake, four inches (10 centimeters) wide […]

Shelling out: Japan crab fetches record $46,000 at auction

TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A Japanese bidder may be feeling the pinch after forking out $46,000 at auction for a snow crab — a price that “probably set a new world record”, local officials said Thursday. The winter seafood delicacy is in season from this week in the western Tottori region, where the crustacean was snapped up for a final price of five million yen. In Japan, buyers often pay eye-watering sums to secure a […]

The pirarucu: the giant prized fish of the Amazon

by Maira RENOU RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (AFP) — Its white flesh is tender and tasty, it can measure up to three meters long and weigh more than 200 kilograms: meet the pirarucu, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish, and native to the Amazon. The enormous animal once threatened with extinction, is now on dinner plates in Rio de Janeiro’s fanciest restaurants, thanks to a number of chefs who have championed the delicacy, and […]

Artificial meat is now made in space, coming to a supermarket near you

  by Juliette MICHEL Agence France Presse NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — Creating meat from cells is no longer the realm of science fiction: a Russian cosmonaut did it aboard the International Space Station, and it is just a matter of time before these products arrive in supermarkets. Tests carried out in space in September led to the production of beef, rabbit and fish tissue using a 3D printer. This new technology “could make […]

Red meat unhealthy? Maybe not, after all

by Ivan Couronne Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Cutting back on red meat is standard medical advice to prevent cancer and heart disease — but a review of dozens of studies has concluded that the potential risk is low and evidence uncertain. In new guidelines published on Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, a panel of researchers from seven countries suggested that “adults continue current unprocessed red meat consumption.” The advice […]

China says pork production recovering as swine fever cases decline

BEIJING, China (AFP) — New cases of African swine fever have declined and pork production is returning to normal, Chinese officials said Thursday, after millions of pigs were culled because of the deadly disease. The virus — fatal to wild boar and pigs but harmless to humans — has cut a swathe through Mongolia, Vietnam, North Korea and China. The world’s top pork producer and consumer has seen prices and imports continue to rise since […]

Despite culls, import bans, swine fever to hit pork market for years

  by Jenny VAUGHAN Agence France Presse HANOI, Vietnam (AFP) — Millions of pigs have been culled as African Swine Fever cuts through China and beyond, devastating global food chains, with pork prices expected to soar from the food markets of Hong Kong to American dinner tables. Outbreaks have been reported in Vietnam, Mongolia, Cambodia, Hong Kong and China — the world’s biggest pork producer and consumer. Experts warn it could take years to contain […]

Emperor burger: Tokyo chef whips up $900 monster for new monarch

by Alastair HIMMER TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — A Tokyo restaurant is honoring the crowning of the new Japanese emperor next month with a football-sized wagyu beef hamburger served between gold-dusted buns — at an eye-watering cost of $900. The juicy three-kilogram (six-pound) whopper, painstakingly prepared by chefs at the swanky Oak Door steakhouse in Tokyo’s Roppongi district went on sale Monday. It measures 25 centimeters (10 inches) in diameter and is topped with foie gras, […]

World’s largest Nutella factory reopens after ‘quality defect’

CAEN, France (AFP) — The world’s largest Nutella factory restarted production on Monday after it stopped work for five days as a precautionary measure over a “quality defect”, owner Ferrero’s French branch said. The factory in Normandy, France stopped making the chocolate-and-hazelnut spread due to a “suspected quality defect strictly limited to the production stage,” Ferrero France’s communications service told AFP. It added that the problem was “very early in the process, at the stage […]