This Is the Number 1 Sign of High Intelligence, According to Jeff Bezos

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos sits atop one of the most successful companies of our time, not to mention a personal fortune of some $150 billion. I think we can all agree that by any meaningful definition the guy is pretty smart. It’s also obvious he has a talent for surrounding himself with other smart people who can help make his vision reality.

How does he find them? It’s a question he addressed when he stopped by the Basecamp offices a few years ago, the company’s founder, Jason Fried, reports on the Basecamp blog. And the answer Bezos gave was the exact opposite of what most folks would expect.

Read more here.

20 Excellent Asian Desserts to Try in NYC

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In most East Asian and Southeast Asian countries, traditional dessert is not the decadent, butter-and-cream affair that it is in Western cuisine. Often times, the last course of the meal is refreshing and cooling, employing flavors like green tea, taro root, and tropical fruit to help cleanse the palate.

But with so many shades of Asian restaurants popping up across town in the last decade — from hyper-traditional to distinctly Asian-American — New York’s best Asian desserts have come to comprise new trends from the Asian continent as well as genre-defying creations that marry classic flavors with pastry technique. From the staples of Chinatown and Flushing to the new-school cakes and cones that have taken over Instagram, these are the Asian desserts to track down in NYC.

 

1. Kulu Desserts

Sago, or tapioca pudding, is a popular dessert in the Philippines and other parts of Southeast Asia. At Kulu Desserts, which has locations in Brooklyn, Elmhurst, and Flushing, these tiny tapioca balls appear in various puddings and cold desserts with fresh fruit, but it’s the warmed taro sago — thickened with sweet coconut milk — that rises above. Served in a bowl like a hot soup, it’s a soul-warming sweet treat ideal for a chilly day.

 

2. Soy Bean Chan Flower & Gift Shop

In Asia, bean curd is a versatile ingredient to be used in dishes both savory and sweet, and indeed that’s how it’s served as this flower shop-meets-tofu joint in Flushing. While the salty version of the dish, called dou fu hua, comes with dried shrimp and pickled mustard greens, its sweet counterpart soaks the silky curd with the traditional sweet ginger syrup. It’s a crazy affordable option — each cup costs just $1.75.

 

Read more here.

13 Exemplary Chinese Soup Dumplings in NYC

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“Soup dumplings, also known by their Chinese name of xiao long bao (or XLB for short), were first popularized in New York City over 20 years ago by Joe’s Shanghai. But these soup-filled purses with a tiny pork meatball inside, and sometimes a wad of crabmeat on top, have a far longer history. They originated in the Shanghai suburb of Nanxiang around 1875, and quickly took their place among Shanghai’s other dumpling styles. The secret: a gelatin-laced filling that turns liquid during steaming.

In fact, the best ones usually arrive in a bamboo steamer, and eating them requires some skill: Gingerly lift the dumpling onto your spoon by its topknot with the tongs provided or with chopsticks, nip off the knot with your teeth, suck out the gravy, pour in the black vinegar-and-ginger sauce if you like, then eat the remainder. Just let them cool first — trust me.”

  1.  Nan Xiang Xiao Long Bao

    For a decade, the lines have stretched out the door at this modest Flushing dumpling house, which was once said to have the best XLB in town. They’re offered in the usual two varieties alongside rice cakes, noodles, and breakfast specialties. The juicy buns are indeed thin-skinned and wonderfully wobbly, with the crab variation featuring a good quantity of crustacean inside the filling and on top — though the palm has passed to other providers as far as first-place soup dumplings goes.

     

  2. Kung Fu Xiao Long Bao

    This delightful spot with plenty of blonde wood chairs is one of a small collection of Taiwanese restaurants just north of the Long Island Expressway. The XLB here are carefully made with a particularly rich gravy, and don’t be deterred that only one of the crab versions of the dumplings has a wad on top: The rest have a generous quantity mixed inside with the pork.

     

Read more here.

FSMA Status Update: Compliance Requirements and Upcoming Deadlines

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“One of the most notable pieces of federal legislation addressing food safety in the past century, the FDA Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA), was enacted on Jan. 4, 2011 — amending section 415 of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FD&C Act). Companies that manufacture, process, pack, or store food, including coffee, must comply.

The FSMA requires companies in the United States with these food facilities to submit additional registration information to the FDA. It also requires companies to renew the registration on a biennial basis, providing the FDA with authority to suspend the registration of a food facility in certain circumstances.”

View more here.

Union Square’s Iconic Diner Coffee Shop Will Close in October

“After 28 years of serving diner food to celebrities, tourists, and fashiony New Yorkers, Union Square’s iconic restaurant the Coffee Shop at 29 Union Square West will close.
The diner is one of the last remaining non-chain, sit-down restaurants left in Union Square, which has suffered a spate of high-profile closures like Union Square Cafe and Republic. Blue Water Grill remains open, but it’s fate is still uncertain.”

Read more here.

Queens Night Market Might Be the New Yorkiest Food Fair of All

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“Queens Night Market is midway through its fourth season behind the New York Hall of Science in Flushing Meadows–Corona Park. When you first arrive a little before the gates open at 6 p.m., the alfresco food bazaar seems, with its concrete lot and frenzied vendors bracing for the mob, much like any other. But as the evening progresses, you start to notice the distinctions: the diverse crowd, both in ethnicity and age; unexpected amenities like portable sinks and a curtained ATM; the calm and patient geniality of the vendors, happy to explain their food and culture; the aromas permeating the lot, uniting farflung points on the globe in one gloriously multicultural cookout.”

Read the full article here.

View more details about the event here.

Inspired Indoor-Outdoor Bar in Williamsburg

“The Woods Team Expands With ’80s Surfer-Inspired Indoor-Outdoor Bar in Williamsburg. Right under the BQE at 307 Meeker Ave. at Frost Street, the Breakers fills 2,500 square feet with neon signs, saturated colors, and skateboards and surfboards. The style pulls from ’80s surfing and skateboarding looks, with a little dose of disco in the mix, Rosen says. An elaborate mural on the floor, for instance, is inspired by skateboard design.

For drinks, the Breakers goes hard on tiki-inspired draft cocktails. The bar stocks 15 of them, including a zombie, rum punch, and ginger mai tai. All cost $10, with the exception of a Sex on the Beach, which will always be $5.”

To read more go here.