Video: People Reacting to Eating Hot Peppers at the NYC Hot Sauce Expo

Categories: Weekend Diary

The second annual NYC Hot Sauce Expo went off at the Penn Plaza Pavilions over the weekend, and over the course of two days, pepper fiends tasted their way through tongue-tickling, sweat-inducing bottlings, some so fearsomely hot, they caused eaters to have intensely dramatic reactions (we watched more than one person crouch in a corner and put their head between their knees after braving a drop of some brands; they'd stand up pale, sweaty, and dizzy-looking).

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Killer Picnics for Brooklyn Beaches at Brighton Bazaar

Who can argue with bacon-wrapped bone-in chicken parts as perfect picnic fare?

The first picnic of the spring season is pending. I recommend the Brooklyn beaches, as laid-back as they ever get, including plenty of places to hunker down and dine with a surreptitious bottle of wine, with sand or without. Located in Brighton Beach right off of Coney Island Avenue, midway between Coney Island Beach and Manhattan Beach, Brighton Bazaar is a Russian supermarket with just about the best carryout you've ever seen.

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Epic Meal Time Whips Up an All-Chocolate Breakfast

Epic Meal Time is a direct-to-YouTube Canadian comedy troupe that delights in pulling your chain by creating recipes that contain massive amounts of things that might not be too good for you in huge quantities, including chocolate, booze, and, especially, bacon. Dig in, it's only 8,724 calories.

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Malaysian Artist Hong Yi Plays With Her Food

31 days of creativity with food by hong yi (red)/
Cucumber Landscape

Malaysian artist and architect Hong Yi sometimes goes by the name Red. She's been all over the internet lately with her amazing, plate-bounded, edible food landscapes. You can see them - some is sequential story form - on her design blog, oh i see red, but 31 days of her work has also been showcased on the blog Design Boom, from which these images are taken.

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What to Do With a Wild Pheasant

Here's what the wild pheasant looked like after I yanked it from the freezer this morning.

State laws prohibit restaurants from serving real wild game, and all the avians and other animals that masquerade as such in restaurants are usually farm-raised. Oxymoronic, isn't it? That wild boar ragu on the menu is made with tame wild boar, and that roast quail wasn't shot by some hunter in the Catskills. Real game is, well, gamy, and tough. It's been been working out--using its muscles to search for food and evade predators.

So when I recently had a chance to get a real, field-shot wild pheasant, I jumped at the chance.

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Angry Birds: You've Played the Game, Now Eat the Cake

Three very Angry Birds. Can you name them?

The wildly popular video game Angry Birds--invented by Finns, and said to have undergone over one billion downloads across the world universe in all formats--has gone analog!

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Mini Hot Dogs Hit Manhattan

Yes, after 90 years, the mini hot dog has finally arrived at Union Square -- but without Zippy Sauce.

I'm a big fan of the tiny hot dogs found almost exclusively in the Albany area, and have been known to travel to places like Troy, Cohoes, and Schenectady, New York just for a taste. These miniature franks are approximately three inches in length, and if you think they're cute, wait till you see the buns made just the right size to go with them.

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Puerto Rican Pop-Up 'Identity Crisis Dinner' at Calyer

The amuse was a thin strip of fried plantain flavored with red-pepper aioli (or more properly, perhaps, allioli) and decorated with clover.

Chefs Jose Ramirez-Ruiz (Chez Jose) and Gabriel Moya (Calyer) discovered that, though they were both born and bred in Puerto Rico, they'd never cooked Puerto Rican food in a restaurant setting. Last night at Calyer restaurant in a pop-up dinner called "Identity Crisis" with two seatings of 25 each, the pair sought to remedy that -- and they partly succeeded. Here is a photo diary of that meal, which extended to 11 courses.

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Rosemary's: A First Glimpse of the Rooftop Garden

Rosemary's -- You can barely glimpse the garden from the street.

When Bobo spun off Rosemary's -- which opened two weeks ago at the corner of Greenwich Avenue and West 10th Street in a burned-out party supply store -- one of the marquee features was a rooftop garden.

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The 5 Best Things at This Year's Big Apple Barbecue Block Party

Pork pulled from the whole hog from Ed Mitchell's, Wilson and Raleigh, NC. Put the slaw on the sandwich!

We have many things to thank the Big Apple Barbecue Block Party for, now in its 10th year. A decade ago, it got the ball rolling for barbecue in NYC, and is partly responsible for our fair city becoming one of the true barbecue capitals of the country. And the festival has introduced us to many farflung establishments that we might not have otherwise visited. Even though the relation of the barbecue produced at, say, a country crossroads shack somewhere in the Carolinas will always be of uncertain relation to that produced in the middle of Madison Square from a gleaming truck using volunteer labor and the work of unfamiliar butchers.

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