Food

Food
12:04 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

Apps Aim To Guide You On 'Sustainable Food' (Whatever That Means)

Confused about all the different sustainability ratings out there? The simplest option may be to shop at your local farmer's market.
iStockphoto

If you're reading The Salt, it probably comes as no surprise to you that consumers increasingly want to make food choices based on not just their health, but their ethics. A growing number of groups are coming up with technological solutions to help them.

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Food
6:02 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Decoding The Food And Drink On A Day Of The Dead Altar

Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality.
Karen Castillo Farfán NPR

Originally published on Thu October 30, 2014 12:22 pm

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 1, 2012.

Sugar skulls, tamales and spirits (the alcoholic kind) — these are things you might find on ofrendas, or altars, built this time of year to entice those who've passed to the other side back for a visit. These altars in homes and around tombstones are for Day of the Dead, or Dia de los Muertos, a tradition on Nov. 1 and 2originating in central Mexico.

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Food
4:40 pm
Tue October 28, 2014

To Make Bread, Watch The Dough, Not The Recipe

Sourdough loaves made by Fromartz with a bolted white flour from Anson Mills in South Carolina that he says reminded him of the wheat he'd tasted in southern France.
Samuel Fromartz

Originally published on Wed October 29, 2014 10:29 am

Journalist Samuel Fromartz works at home on a quiet street near the Capitol building, in Washington, D.C. He's a journalist, and editor-in-chief of the Food and Environment Reporting Network.

On a recent morning, I went to visit him and found several unread newspapers piled on his front step. "I've been a little busy," Fromartz explains.

He's not too busy to make bread, though.

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Food
3:24 am
Mon October 13, 2014

Friction Can Save Your Sandwich, And Other Tips For Better Bites

Cucumbers tend to slide out the back of a sandwich when confronted with bite force, writes Pashman in Eat More Better.
Courtesy of Alex Eben Meyer, Simon & Schuster

Originally published on Mon October 13, 2014 4:49 pm

Every bite is a precious resource so enjoy it, says Dan Pashman, host of the WNYC podcast The Sporkful and author of the new book Eat More Better: How to Make Every Bite More Delicious. Pashman believes that even the most mediocre of foods, the limp lunch sandwich, the unflavored airplane snack, can be made more delicious.

He offered NPR's Rachel Martin on Morning Edition some tricks on assembling more delightful lunches and dinners.

Build A Beautiful Sandwich

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Food
1:59 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Customers Can Keep The Tip — Which Might Please Restaurant Workers

A handful of restaurants across the U.S. are experimenting with no-tipping models, opting instead to charge higher set prices for menu items and give their servers higher hourly pay.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Tue October 14, 2014 3:45 pm

Imagine there's no tipping. By getting rid of gratuities, a few restaurants believe they'll make life easier for customers, while providing a more stable income to servers.

"It eliminates the pressure on the guest to worry about paying our staff," says Brian Oliveira, chef at Girard, a French-style restaurant opening in Philadelphia in a few weeks that intends to offer its staff up to $13 an hour in salary, plus health benefits, but with no tips.

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Food
12:53 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Smen Is Morocco's Funky Fermented Butter That Lasts For Years

That lactic acid is the very thing that gives smen its blue cheese-like scent, and it's what keeps it from going rancid.
Alex Schmidt for NPR

Originally published on Thu October 9, 2014 2:56 pm

If you get a hankering for cheese in the western Maghreb, you may be stuck with an (imported) Laughing Cow triangle wrapped in tinfoil.

Morocco doesn't have much of a dairy tradition, but there's one exception that dates back centuries: It's called smen, and it's a stinky, fermented butter made from sheep, goat or cow milk.

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Food
4:04 pm
Wed October 8, 2014

A New Museum To Celebrate Southern Food (And You Can Eat The Exhibits)

Eat, Drink And Be Scholarly: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum's new, permanent home in New Orleans is designed to help answer many questions — including "How does it taste?"
Stephen Binns Courtesy of SoFAB

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 6:59 pm

The Southern Food and Beverage Museum. Of course. It sounds so inevitable, you might assume it's existed since time immemorial: a museum to celebrate the food and drink of the American South, to enshrine barbecue and grits, showcase the heritage of Louisiana shrimpers and Kentucky bourbon.

But no.

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Food
3:19 am
Wed October 8, 2014

Restaurants Shave Calories Off New Menu Items

A sign displaying calorie counts is seen in a Subway restaurant in New York City in 2008. A yet-to-be-finalized federal rule requiring big chain restaurants to post calorie counts has likely led eateries to tweak their menus.
Mario Tama Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 12:22 pm

Last month we reported that big food retailers have eliminated billions of calories from the packaged foods they sell in supermarkets.

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Food
4:59 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Voters Will Get Their Say On GMO Labeling In Colorado And Oregon

Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products. This fall, Colorado and Oregon will be the latest states to put GMO labeling on the ballot.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 2:24 pm

Ben Hamilton walks down the salad dressing aisle at his neighborhood grocery store in west Denver. The human resources consultant usually seeks out organic options and scans nutrition information.

"I am a label reader. I think a lot of people read labels and really are curious to know what is in our food supply," he says. But Hamilton says he wants more information, specifically whether the food he buys includes ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, or GMOs.

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Food
3:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Eating Comfort Foods May Not Be So Comforting After All

Feeling blue? That may not be a great excuse to tuck into some mac and cheese.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 5:01 pm

For many of us, chicken soup can soothe the soul and mac and cheese can erase a bad day. We eat chocolate when we feel gloomy, or when we've been in the presence of a Dementor. And we eat chocolate ice cream to help us get over a bad breakup.

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Food
1:33 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

The 'Sioux Chef' Is Putting Pre-Colonization Food Back On The Menu

Sherman is still experimenting with the type of food he'll serve in the restaurant. Recently he made this walleye filet with sumac and maple sugar, a white bean and smoked walleye croquette and toasted hominy.
Becca Dilley Courtesy of Heavytable.com

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 5:03 pm

Like most chefs, Sean Sherman practically lives in the kitchen. But in his spare time, this member of the Oglala Lakota tribe has been on a quest to identify the foods his ancestors ate on the Great Plains before European settlers appeared on the scene. After years of researching and experimenting with "pre-colonization" foods, he's preparing to open a restaurant in the Twin Cities this winter that showcases those foods, reborn for contemporary palates.

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Food
3:35 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Your Fellow Diners' Size May Affect How Much You Eat

In one study, people who were in a buffet line served themselves a lot more of an unhealthful pasta dish if they were next to or behind a person perceived to be overweight.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:20 pm

Your dining companion may have more influence over your eating habits than you realize.

We've known that people often have friends with similar body weights, but new research suggests that dining with an overweight companion may make us more likely to eat more unhealthful food.

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Food
6:40 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

University of Illinois student Stanley Dayan (from left) and Chabad Jewish Center employees Mordy Kurtz and Yosef Peysin work at the center's kosher food stand in 2013 at the university's State Farm Center basketball arena in Champaign, Ill.
David Mercer AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Many millennials — people born after 1980 — have embraced vintage items: vinyl records, thick-framed glasses ... and now, dietary laws.

"I'm 21 years old, and, yes, I do keep kosher," says Lisa Faulds.

She says she ate whatever she wanted growing up: "bacon, ham, all that fun stuff. Seafood, shellfish."

But that all stopped a few months ago.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

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Food
3:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Pizza Cake

And this is what we got.
NPR

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:10 am

I generally don't like cake, because it is too sweet, too bland in texture, and doesn't have enough pork products. So I was excited to see this recipe pop up on Buzzfeed. (UPDATE 10/21/2014: For those keeping score, it looks like So Good Blog rolled out this pizza cake recipe months earlier than Buzzfeed.)

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Food
7:03 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Culinary Diplomacy Takes Texan Chef To The Land Of Grilled Yak

As you may have heard, America's diplomats are struggling these days with a few distracting and unpleasant events in far-off parts of the world. But they're rising to the challenge: They're sending in the chefs.

The U.S. State Department launched a Diplomatic Culinary Partnership two years ago in order to "elevate the role of culinary engagement in America's formal and public diplomacy efforts." Some of the country's most renowned chefs have volunteered to help out, joining the department's "Chef Corps."

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Food
12:29 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Stoutaccino? Starbucks Tests Coffee With Beer Flavors

In some parts of the U.S., Starbucks is testing a latte flavored with roasted-stout notes along with its seasonal autumn drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, seen here at front.
Starbucks

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:26 pm

Reports that Starbucks is testing a new coffee drink for autumn that incorporates "toasty stout flavors" has set off a debate over how such a concoction might taste — and questions over where customers can find one. The Dark Barrel Latte was "inspired by the rise of craft beers," the company says.

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Food
5:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Should we drink diet soda or not? The latest study doesn't really clear things up.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:29 am

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.

Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.

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Weeknight Kitchen
2:28 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Hanger Steak with Gremolata

Bathe a piece of grilled steak with a rough mix of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil and feel your appetite ignite. This week's recipe for Hanger Steak with Gremolata is from Erin Scott'sYummy Supper

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Food
2:15 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips

It's spelled "potato ccips."
NPR

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Lay's Potato Chips is having some sort of promotion in which they release a bunch of new flavors and we vote on which one is best, based on flavor, crunch, and foreign policy experience. One of the finalists is Cappuccino. This proves unequivocally that democracy itself is flawed.

Miles: What a rip-off! Three-fourths of the bag is foam.

Kelsie: Can I get mine substituted with soy?

Ian: The cappuccino-potato chip combination is the culinary equivalent of a mullet.

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Food
11:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:18 pm

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

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