We talk a lot on The Salt about the Mediterranean diet, which is rich in nuts, olive oil, fish, fruits and vegetables. Scientists believe it's one of the world's healthiest patterns of eating, and can protect against a lot of chronic diseases.

In the Arctic, the typical meal looks very different. There, a traditional plate would have some fatty marine animal like seal or whale and not much else – fruits and vegetables are hard to come by in the harsh climate.

Fast food is an undeniable part of American culture. We've probably all encountered the McDonald's "I'm Lovin' It" jingle and the white-goateed Colonel Sanders of KFC at least once, if not hundreds, of times.

The big fast-food chains market their foods to us constantly. And our children see, on average, three to five fast-food ads per day.

Paleo People Were Making Flour 32,000 Years Ago

Sep 14, 2015

Oatmeal is generally considered a no-no on the modern paleo diet, but the original paleo eaters were definitely grinding oats and other grains for dinner, according to new research.

That finding comes from new investigations of an ancient stone recovered in a cave called Grotta Paglicci in Puglia, in southern Italy. It was used by the Gravettian culture — a paleolithic people who also left behind spectacular cave paintings, evidence of burial and distinctive stone tools.

A Food Museum Grows In Brooklyn

Sep 11, 2015

How did we get vanilla flavor without a vanilla bean? Or chicken flavor made from all-vegetarian ingredients?

Though humans have been enjoying the sensory pleasures of flavor since we first popped food into our mouths, the flavor industry itself is relatively new. And this modern business of manufacturing smell and taste will be the theme of the Museum of Food and Drink's first exhibit in a brick and mortar space of its very own: a "mini-museum" opening in Brooklyn on Oct. 28.

Weeknight Kitchen: Shrimp Burgers on Zucchini

Sep 11, 2015

Serves 4
I had a dish similar to this in a small restaurant in Mexico, and at Gloria’s request, I created my own version at home. I use medium-size raw shrimp and puree the tails in a food processor, then combine the puree with pieces of the shrimp to form thick burgers.
· 1 1/4 pounds shelled and deveined medium shrimp
· 3 tablespoons chopped fresh chives
· 2 tablespoons olive oil
· 2 firm zucchini (about 1 pound), cut into 3/8-inch slices (about 3 1/2 cups)
· 1/2 teaspoon salt
· 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

We had a visitor here at NPR on Thursday: Alice Waters, the famous chef and educator. She's best known for her restaurant Chez Panisse, which helped to popularize local, seasonal ingredients.

When she came by, she looked a little different. Hanging from her neck was a bronze medal on a red ribbon — a National Humanities Medal. President Obama had just given it to Waters.

The campaign to force America's farmers to change the way they handle their animals celebrated a victory this week.

McDonald's USA announced that in the near future, it will no longer buy eggs from chickens that live in cages.

Those cages are still the industry standard, and 90 percent of America's eggs come from chickens that live in them.

Labor Day may have marked the unofficial end of summer, but the craving for ice cream knows no end.

Of course, if you're not quick enough, melting ice cream creates a mess. But now, European scientists say they may have stumbled upon a solution to the sticky situation: an ingredient that makes the treat melt significantly more slowly.

What if a spoonful of ice cream could stretch out like melted mozzarella on a pizza?

"Mess!" you think. Or perhaps, "Fun!"

Ice cream with an elastic texture is a treat around the Levant. In Ramallah, two shops – with intertwined histories — cater to Palestinian cravings.

Rukab's is the original. It opened in 1941 as a cafe in the same spot where it still stands. But 59-year-old Hassan Rukab, son of the founder, says his family's ice cream business was operating much earlier.

Feeding a caffeine habit is no sweat in our day and age: Just raid the office kitchen for some tea or hit one of the coffee shops that pepper the landscape.

But 1,000 years ago, Native Americans in the American Southwest and Mexican Northwest were getting their buzz on in landscapes where no obvious sources of caffeine grew, according to new findings published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

If you're enjoying a late-summer fruit pie this Labor Day, consider what went into growing and harvesting that fruit. Chances are, it took a lot of human hands to ensure its skin would be perfect and smooth when you bought it.

A Marquette University molecular biologist is experimenting with growing rice in the Midwest.

In the U.S., most rice is grown in Arkansas and California. But with drought conditions in California and the uncertain impacts of climate change, scientist Michael Schläppi has been trying to grow the water-intensive crop in a Wisconsin lab and field.

Four years ago, Schläppi began stress-testing rice using special climate-controlled growth chambers in his Marquette University lab.

It's that time of year when some gardeners and tomato-coveting shoppers face a vexing question: What on earth am I going to do with all these tomatoes I grew (or bought)?

A select few up to their elbows in tomatoes may have an additional quandary: How am I going to prepare different kinds of tomatoes to honor their unique qualities?

We're not shy about our affinity for the Cherokee Purple, a purplish package of sweet, acid and savory tomato greatness.

In the annals of ill-conceived public relations campaigns, the egg industry's war on Just Mayo deserves at least a mention.

Just Mayo is a product that looks like mayonnaise, tastes like mayonnaise and yet contains no eggs. The company behind it, Hampton Creek, has been getting lots of attention.

Josh Tetrick, the company's founder, has big ambitions. "If we're successful, there are a lot of [food] industries out there that are going to have to adjust," says Tetrick.

Serves 2...
This is the most popular recipe that I have ever written, a fact that still slightly bemuses me. It is particularly indulgent and very moreish. So maybe it’s just the combination of salty, buttery, crispy, carb-y goodness, with the umami hit of the tomatoes that does it?
· 1 packet vacuum-packed gnocchi
· 1 tbsp olive oil
· 25g butter
· a few handfuls cherry tomatoes, halved
· 1 ball mozzarella cheese
· handful basil leaves
· sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Nearly 100 pounds of gleaming, fresh-caught California yellowtail and white sea bass arrived at Chef Michael Cimarusti's Los Angeles-based restaurant Providence on Wednesday morning. But this wasn't just another ho-hum seafood delivery.

The pile of fish marks an important step toward a fundamentally different way that prominent chefs are beginning to source American seafood: the restaurant-supported fishery.

A recent outbreak of Salmonella in frozen tuna might have sushi lovers wondering if it's safe to eat that raw fish.

The outbreak in question began in California in March. All told, it sickened 65 people in 11 states. There were 35 cases in California, with another 18 in Arizona and New Mexico. The rest of the cases were scattered across the country, including four in Minnesota.

Texas has a barbecue joint known as much for the line of people waiting outside as for its tender brisket.

At Franklin Barbecue in Austin, people start lining up around 5 a.m., waiting six hours, chatting with others in line until the restaurant opens at 11 a.m.

This barbecue place is such a big deal that entrepreneurs like Desmond Roldan are cashing in on its fans.

"People know me. I'm a big deal," he says, chuckling.

Sometimes fast food just isn't fast enough. A new highly automated restaurant that opened in San Francisco on Monday looks to speed service through efficiency — you won't see any people taking your order or serving you at the Eatsa quinoa eatery.