The "know your farmer" concept may soon apply to the folks growing your coffee, too.
Increasingly, specialty roasters are working directly with coffee growers around the world to produce coffees as varied in taste as wines. And how are roasters teaching their clientele to appreciate the subtle characteristics of brews? By bringing an age-old tasting ritual once limited to coffee insiders to the coffee-sipping masses.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:25 am
If lately you've noticed the farmers' market flooded with signs that say "donut," "cling," "whiteflesh" and "freestone," you won't be surprised to learn that August is National Peach Month. Though the juicy fruits pack the produce aisles now, in a few short months a good peach might be hard to find.
Many fruits, though harvested in other parts of the world, are available in the United States all year long. So why are peaches so seasonal, and in the winter, either difficult to find or hard as a rock?
Originally published on Mon August 13, 2012 5:00 pm
A recipe for bacon s'mores has been making its way around the Internet today, prompting many people to wonder how they hadn't thought of it before. It was probably like this when a caveman first figured out the wheel and put something about it on his blog.
Robert: I feel really sorry for the pig who was excited about being invited to a campfire.
Ian: He's like "wait ... you're putting s'me in them?"
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:58 am
It was day 12 of our trip through Spain and Portugal, and my friend and I were ready for some traditional Portuguese cooking when we arrived in the quaint, cobblestoned city of Lisbon.
Walking along the tiered and winding roads, the Atlantic Ocean horizon would greet us and then disappear again behind the hilltops. Above, clothes hung out to dry along white, curved iron balconies, a rainbow of clips holding the waving pants or undergarments in place.
We were in London, searching for Hidden Kitchen stories, when we came upon an Eel Pie & Mash shop. It was full of old white marble tables, tile walls, pots of stewed and jellied eels, and piles of pies. These shops are now a dying breed, along with the eels they serve. Our search for the source of these vanishing eels led us to southwest London — to Eel Pie Island, a tiny slice of land with a flamboyant history that stretches from Henry the VIII to the Rolling Stones.
Originally published on Tue August 14, 2012 12:38 pm
When chef Trina Spillman — trained at Le Cordon Bleu — discovered that more than one-third of the children in Broward County didn't know where their next meal was coming from, she was shocked. So she took action.
Through her Need to Feed Gardening Initiative, Trina has planted community gardens, opened a community cafe and donated fresh produce to local food pantries. She holds Summer Hat Luncheons.
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:57 am
My mother was never one for spending money on food that other '80s kids took for granted. Canned ravioli, boxed macaroni and cheese, animal crackers and white bread were the kinds of things my kid palate craved to the point of obsession, forbidden fruits to be enjoyed only at friends' houses.
And while other mothers were stirring up alluring, fluorescent pitchers of Kool-Aid, my mom wouldn't dream of it. She was the queen of the frozen fruit-juice concentrates.
Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am
Scientists are starting to discover that the standard way of measuring calories, established more than 100 years ago, may not be terribly accurate when it comes to higher fat, high-fiber foods like nuts. But when it comes to almonds, the count may be off by a whole lot.
Food scientists at the U.S. Department of Agriculture recently published a new study that finds almonds have about 20 percent fewer calories than previously documented.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:32 am
Here's a sport you won't be seeing in London this year: Competitive eating. But if you're curious enough — and you can stomach it — you're likely to find an eating contest at your local fair or festival this summer.
Now eating contests are nothing new — they've been around since at least the 13th century, when a servant supposedly beat the Norse god Loki by eating his plate. But they've only become popular in the U.S. in the last hundred years or so.
Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 11:56 am
As I recently dipped a carrot slice into a fluffy, edamame-infused dip I'd made from a batch of homemade tofu, I wondered: Why haven't I done this before? The carrot was crisp, the herbs were fresh, but it was the tofu that was the real deal. It was like no store-bought tofu I'd ever encountered – light, delicate, creamy and not a bit rubbery.
Late July is peak tomato season in much of the country, so for some fresh and inventive twists on the fruit — and yes, it is botanically a fruit, no matter what the Supreme Court says — we're heading to Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood, Mo.
Every Wednesday a guest bartender joins us on The Hills Market Veranda to help support a charity or organization of his or her choice. Stop in for wine, beer and $7.99 large one-topping pizzas. Proceeds from the sale of all pizzas between 6 and 8:30 p.m. will be donated to the bartender’s chosen charity; in this case - WCBE. No reservations are required.
This week's bartender is Dan Mushalko representing WCBE!
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:33 am
The Olympics begin this afternoon, and the stores are filling up with school supplies, meaning that you only have a few more weeks to fit in a summer vacation. And if you'd like to add a quirky food-themed museum to your getaway plans, The Salt has compiled a few suggestions that are certainly off the beaten path.
Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:34 am
Here in the U.S., McDonald's food is not usually considered all that healthy. But in China, it is.
That's because Chinese consumers trust American brands more than their own, says Shaun Rein, founder of China Market Research, who studies Chinese consumer behavior. Rein says that in China, McDonald's is seen as providing safe and wholesome food.
Originally published on Thu August 16, 2012 10:28 am
When I first moved to the Pacific Northwest, I was amazed at how many people had the same landscaping complaint. "I spent all weekend cutting down the blackberries," some co-worker would groan on Monday morning, looking for sympathy for the lost hours and aching back. However, as someone who didn't grow up in such Edenic surroundings, I was totally dumbfounded. Cutting back blackberries? Why would you cut back blackberries? Don't they, you know, give you blackberries?