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Our favorite food stories from the week

This week, the stories that stuck with us focused on the forces of both nature and society. From a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay, rocked by a sudden storm, all the way to Poland, where modernity is expelling tradition, the stories spanned the globe. Here are eight of our favorite reads from the week.

The Washingtonian tells the turbulent story of two outsiders trying to start an oyster farm off the shore of mystical and insular Tangier, a tiny island in the Chesapeake Bay that is home to 450 residents who speak in Cornish accents and either "'work the water' by crabbing, [or] live with someone who has or who does."

From NPR, we learn life lessons that come from working a "lousy kitchen job," and from Lucky Peach, "how life happens to a cook"—or in this case, acclaimed pastry chef Claudia Fleming.

Eater draws back the curtain on viral food, like the rainbow bagel, revealing the side of internet fame that nobody wants to think about.

Speaking of social media, everyone who has ever taken a photo of one's food should feel gratified after reading Science of Us's story on how Instagramming a dish can actually make it taste better, "because you're interacting with what's on your plate."

Zagat surveys the "New Fast-Food Nation," detailing how so many chefs are joining the fast-casual movement. These concepts entail a whole new set of challenges, and, of course, monetary benefits in an age when running a restaurant is more expensive than ever.

Covering another casual restaurant trend, Saveur enlightens us on the greasy spoons of Poland, known as milk bars, and how they're a dying breed.

Finally, the Wall Street Journal shares a guide you'll want to spend some quality time with this weekend: "The A-Z Guide to Cheese," which not only lists a cheese for every letter in the alphabet, but also offers pairing advice and visual instructions for building a better cheese plate. Consider it your weekend homework assignment.