Food

Food

What do we know about the power of food to rev up sex drive? Not much.

"Really, science has not figured out what determines sexual motivation and sexual attraction. If we knew the answer to that, we'd probably be richer than Pfizer after they invented Viagra," says Dolores Lamb, director of the Center for Reproductive Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine.

She hasn't seen any compelling evidence that any particular food can intensify desire.

Their gourds tell a story — and earn them a living. That gourd in the photo — the one on the left? It is covered with miniature pictures of a potato harvest in Peru. There's even a wee burro hauling the day's crop.

That gourd will sell for around $800.

In 1776, the American colonies declared independence from Britain.

But it wasn't until 1796 that someone dared to tackle a question that would plague every generation of Americans to come: "What is American food?"

American Cookery, the very first American cookbook, was written by Amelia Simmons (more on this mysterious woman later). In it, she promised local food and a kind of socioculinary equality. The title page stated that the recipes were "adapted to this country and all grades of life."

Rearranging veggie genes is big business, and we're not even talking about biotechnology. Private companies and university researchers spend hundreds of millions of dollars every year breeding better genetic varieties of food crops.

But organic farmers say those programs have a big blind spot when it comes to figuring out which new varieties are truly better. Few companies or researchers test those varieties under organic conditions.

When it comes to premature death and disease, what we eat ranks as the single most important factor, according to a study in JAMA, the Journal of the American Medical Association. Yet few doctors say they feel properly trained to dispense dietary advice. One group, at least, is trying to fill that knowledge gap.

Scallop fishermen off the East Coast could soon see one of their biggest bumper crops ever. A federal survey in waters off Delaware is predicting a boom in the next couple of years for the nation's most valuable fishery.

Every year, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration looks for young sea scallops on the bottom of the Atlantic Ocean. This year, when they stuck their camera in the water, they got a huge shock, says Dvora Hart, a research analyst with NOAA's Fisheries Service.

Serves 2 to 4 as a side
 
· 1 pound baby Yukon Gold potatoes
· 1 tablespoon olive oil
· Sea salt
· 4 garlic cloves, shaved
· 1 bay leaf
· 1 sprig fresh thyme
· 2 tablespoons plain yogurt
· Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
· 1 teaspoon cider vinegar
· 1 tablespoon small sprigs fresh dill
 
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F.
 

What's the epitome of summer for a lot of Americans? It's communing around a grill, with friends and family, waiting for a slab of meat to cook to juicy perfection.

You're an American in London. You've visited Buckingham Palace, Big Ben and the Tower of London, but there's one more thing you want to check off your to-do list: tea.

No, not just any tea. We're talking a good, old-fashioned English tea time, with finger sandwiches, dainty china cups and all the formality a Downton Abbey lover could wish for.

Ah, the bread basket. You sit down for a nice meal out, and there it appears: piping hot, giving off a waft of yeasty divinity.

Who can resist?

There's a reason this age-old tradition prevails. Even in the era of paleo and gluten-free, there are still hordes of us who will gladly nosh on crusty, chewy, soul-warming bread.

But the downside may be more than just some extra calories. Turns out, eating all those carbs before a meal can amp up our appetites and spike our blood sugar.

By Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy 
 
Makes 56 cookies
 

Serves 4 as a main course salad
 
A simple baked fish dish -- but if you wanted, you could serve it equally as well as a marinated raw dish. Remove the skin from the fish, slice it small enough, and there’s no need to actually cook the fish at all.
 
Ingredients
 
· 1 lb 5 oz (600 g) snapper fillet, scaled and pin-boned (ask your fishmonger to do this for you)
· 1 large grapefruit (any variety)
· 1/4 cup (50 ml, 2 fl oz) fish sauce
· 1/4 cup (50 ml, 2 fl oz) soy sauce
· 1 tablespoon superfine (caster) sugar

This summer, NPR is getting crafty in the kitchen. As part of Weekend Edition's Do Try This At Home series, chefs are sharing their cleverest hacks and tips — taking expensive, exhausting or intimidating recipes and tweaking them to work in any home kitchen.

This week: Making delicious, fall-off-the-bone baby back ribs in only about an hour — with a surprising piece of kitchen equipment.

In the U.S., Tea Party politics refers to a certain strain of Republican conservatism. But in Japan, tea politics are of an altogether different sort: The ritual drinking of this ancient beverage — often thought of as the epitome of Japanese restraint and formality — has long been entwined with issues of power and national identity.

Weeknight Kitchen: Live Habanero Tomato Soup

Jun 18, 2015

Makes 1 quart
 
It’s so easy, when you eat primarily raw food, to end up having a lot more sweet things in your diet. Many raw savory dishes take a lot of time and planning to execute. This spicy raw soup, on the other hand, takes mere minutes to whip together, and it packs plenty of essential fatty acids from the hemp seeds and flax oil.
 
· 3 ripe medium tomatoes
· 1 small habanero pepper (If you like it less spicy, remove the stem and seeds.)
· 3 tablespoons hemp seeds
· 2 tablespoons flax oil
· 1 garlic clove

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday announced that food companies have three years to remove all trans fats from processed food. The long-expected move is aimed at making food more healthful.

Back in the day, this saying applied to pretty much everyone: "I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream."

Nowadays, though, one friend is probably screaming for gelato, another for a vegan frozen dessert and yet someone else for sherbet.

But it's gelato, ice cream's Italian cousin, that's keeping more customers coming back. Gelato sales rose from $11 million in 2009 to an estimated $214 million in 2014, which has kept frozen dessert sales afloat, according to the market research firm Mintel.

Boston's North End neighborhood is a popular destination for authentic Italian food. But this weekend, local eateries got some unlikely competition: the Olive Garden food truck.

The green truck, emblazoned with the words "Breadstick Nation" and "Italian Kitchen," found a parking spot on the edge of the Boston neighborhood where Italian food is most sacred.

That's right: Olive Garden is jumping on the food truck craze. The Italian restaurant chain is sending trucks around the country to hand out free samples of its newest menu item: breadstick sandwiches.

Many American towns put the "Closed" sign up by 6 p.m. But night markets are drawing people out in Minnesota, Oklahoma and Virginia, with food, art and music from the local community.

The model for the nocturnal markets is the Asian night market, where people eat, shop and socialize and tourists discover delicacies like live scorpions and roasted sea horse until the wee hours of the morning.

Weekend Kitchen: Sour Cream Rhubarb Pie

Jun 8, 2015

Makes 1 pie, about 8 to 10 slices
 
This recipe came to me from my dear friend Margie. We became fast friends the day our family moved onto the block. You couldn't ask for a better neighbor, and when I found out she was a keen baker I knew she was one for keeps! I think this may be my all-time favorite pie. The combination of sour cream, rhubarb and crumb topping is so good, it should be illegal.
 
· 1 Butter's All Butter Pastry single crust pie (recipe follows)
· 1 1/4 cups sugar
· 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
· 1/2 teaspoon salt

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