Gorging on, and at, Google

On the same day that Google's market value shrank by about $15 billion after the company's CFO warned that its growth rate may slow, the San Francisco Chronicle was putting the finishing touches on a banquet-sized article about the food served at the company's headquarters.

Some highlights from the 3,400-word story (complete with 14 photos, a sidebar with a list of all the Google troughs, and a few recipes):

• "Together, the menus of the cafes add up to a global cuisine of more than 200 recipes daily. Fish sauce, harissa, lentil flour and young coconut juice are likely to appear somewhere on campus on any given day. The flavors suit the engineers and other employees who, to an outsider, collectively look like a youthful United Nations."

• "He checked on the made-from-scratch ketchup, mustard and fresh mozzarella, served at the sandwich bar along with six homemade spreads. He talked about buying locally made Chinese sausage and sake, about composting and growing his own produce in a garden near the restaurant. Keller dreams bigger than just about any independent restaurateur can."

• "By the sheer numbers of its employees--Google is mum, but estimates put it at 4,000 and growing--and its purchasing power, the company will likely affect the survival rate of local, small, organic farms as well as what ingredients appear in local markets and, down the line, how much agricultural land is saved from development." (Anyone else find it curious that Google apparently granted unfettered access to the cafeterias and chefs but wouldn't even disclose how many employees it has? The answer, BTW, is significantly more than 4,000--and that's straight from the company.)

For the full spread, click here. It's long, so heat up that Cup O' Soup and read it during lunch. If you have a few minutes left over you can check out the 700-word piece on Google's business running into some headwinds.

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