World bitters shortage, the end of “foodie,” early bird specials as youth fad

World bitters shortage, the end of “foodie,” early bird specials as youth fad

• A hiatus at the Angostura Bitters plant in Trinidad has resulted in a paucity of the boozy drink ingredient at American bars. The recent resurgence of such old-timey drinks as manhattans, old-fashioneds and dark and stormys has led to a rise in the use of bitters in fashionable bars everywhere. Freemans in New York City (think Le Petit Castor, but on the Lower East Side) is reporting that suppliers are rationing three bottles per account, on-line retailer BevMo is sold out, and San Francisco bartenders are canvassing the city, looking to hoard the stuff. At least some bars here in Toronto aren’t suffering—they’re making their own. [Grub Street]

• Sam Gundy, co-owner of Olliffe, Summerhill’s favourite butcher, offers up his meat prophecies for 2010. When it comes to poultry, this year’s question will be whether water or air chilling is better. (Air chilling wins.) Artisanal pork products and heritage breeds will remain popular, and homemade sausage will line our barbecues this summer. “Foodie” will be banned from the lexicon in favour of the (apparently) more appropriate “foodster.” [National Post]

• Ontario wine impresario Gabe Magnotta died at age 60 after a battle with Lyme disease, which he contracted from a tick bite in 2006. Magnotta founded an eponymous winery in 1990 and changed the face of wine selling in Ontario. The company battled with the LCBO for shelf space until it opened its own stores and began selling directly to consumers. [Toronto Star]

• Move over, Farmville, there’s a new on-line food game in town. The Virtual Farmers Market in the U.K. offers players a chance to interact with real food vendors in a virtual world. Interested parties can learn more about purveyors and their wares and even purchase them on the Internet. The Market currently has 43 stalls, offering 270 products. [The Guardian]

• The early bird special is no longer the exclusive realm of the high-waisted pants set—the New York Times tells us that young people are getting in on the act, too. In an attempt to capitalize on the trend (which started in Florida, natch), restaurants are trying to rebrand the early bird to appeal to more nubile generations, experimenting with such names as “twilight dining” and “early dining.” The next hot youth trend? Shuffleboard. [New York Times]