Food

The Salt
8:43 am
Sat August 4, 2012

Red Planet, Green Thumb: How A NASA Scientist Engineers His Garden

Limoncello in the making.
Rachael Porter NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:10 am

Most mornings, space engineer Adam Steltzner wakes up at about 3 a.m., and before he can coax his tired body back to sleep, his mind takes over. And he starts to worry.

Eventually Steltzner gives up on sleep and heads into his garden where, just as first light reveals the sky, all that thinking can turn into doing. And finally, a little peace.

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The Two-Way
3:03 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

Experts Find Ancient Mayans May Have Used Chocolate As Condiment

Chocolate.
Philippe Huguen AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri August 3, 2012 3:38 pm

Archaeologists have made a surprising discovery: They announced they found traces of 2,500-year-old chocolate on a plate as opposed to a cup.

The conclusion they make is that it means ancient Mayans not only drank chocolate but also used it as a condiment.

The AP reports the discovery was made public by Mexico's National Institute of Anthropology and History.

The AP adds:

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The Salt
3:03 pm
Fri August 3, 2012

If Almonds Bring You Joy, Enjoy More For Fewer Calories

Almonds may have 20 percent less calories than previously thought.
iStockphoto.com

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.

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The Salt
3:45 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

Olympic-Sized Appetites: The World Of Competitive Eating

Five-time reigning champion Joey Chestnut, second from left, competes in Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating World Championship on July 4 this year.
John Minchillo AP

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 β€” and you can stomach it β€” you're likely to find an eating contest at your local fair or festival this summer.

Now eating contests are nothing new β€” 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.

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The Salt
3:02 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

'Sweet Child O' Mine,' Julia Child Mash-Up Honors America's First Top Chef

Julia Child prepares a French delicacy in her cooking studio on Nov. 24, 1970.
AP

Originally published on Mon October 22, 2012 11:31 am

Julia Child, the woman credited with singlehandedly teaching America how to cook, would have turned 100 years old on August 15 this year.

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Kitchen Window
2:48 pm
Wed August 1, 2012

How To Make Your Tofu And Eat It, Too

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

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.

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Americandy: Sweet Land Of Liberty
7:39 am
Mon July 30, 2012

In New Mexico, A Brittle Treat That Smolders

Nut brittles from the Las Cruces Candy Company are studded with pecans, pistachios and almonds, and infused with New Mexico's signature chili peppers β€” both green and red.
Melisa Goh NPR

Originally published on Mon July 30, 2012 11:20 am

New Mexicans can get a little carried away with their chile peppers. There's chile beer, chile pizza, chile ice cream β€” you can find the smoldering flavors of chile peppers in just about anything.

And then there's chile brittle. Luis Flores, owner of chili brittle purveyor Las Cruces Candy Company, beats the summer heat by getting up at 3 a.m. to prepare his specialties.

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Food
6:22 am
Sat July 28, 2012

You Won't Throw Tomatoes At These Recipes

Chef Cassy Vires uses heirloom tomatoes like these in her tomato terrine.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed August 22, 2012 12:50 pm

Late July is peak tomato season in much of the country, so for some fresh and inventive twists on the fruit β€” and yes, it is botanically a fruit, no matter what the Supreme Court says β€” we're heading to Home Wine Kitchen in Maplewood, Mo.

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WCBE Event
5:15 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Charity Happy Hour for WCBE

Join us for happy hour at the Hills Market.
Hills Market

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!

The Salt
3:30 pm
Fri July 27, 2012

Seven Strange Food Museums To Spice Up Your Summer Travel Plans

A tunnel timeline showcasing the history of instant ramen at the Momofuku Ando Instant Ramen Museum in Osaka, Japan.
Travis Sanders Flickr

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.

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The Salt
11:44 am
Fri July 27, 2012

McDonald's Food Has A Healthy Glow, At Least In China

Tomatoes getting a splash of water reinforces the notion that McDonald's food is wholesome in China, as seen in this video screengrab.
McDonald's China

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.

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Kitchen Window
8:27 am
Fri July 27, 2012

You Can Never Have Too Many Blackberries

Deena Prichep for NPR

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?

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The Salt
8:06 am
Fri July 27, 2012

Designer Kitchens And Why We Think We Need Them

Do you really need a kitchen like this to boil water?
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:24 am

If you've ever tuned in to TV shows like HGTV's House Hunters, you've heard many an aspirational "hunter" lamenting the woes of a home without kitchen upgrades: They want to know, where are the granite countertops, stainless steel appliances, high-end fixtures, and custom cabinets?

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The Salt
3:52 pm
Wed July 25, 2012

New Pizza Museum Offers A Slice Of American Food And Culture

Brian Dwyer owns the world's largest collection of pizza-related items. He plans to display some of his memorabilia, including pizza-themed music records, in a new museum-restaurant in Philadelphia.
Kimberly Paynter for NPR

Originally published on Mon October 15, 2012 11:23 am

Many foods have their own dedicated museums β€” like burnt food and mustard β€” so why not pizza? That's what Brian Dwyer, the owner of the world's largest collection of pizza memorabilia, has wondered for a long time.

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The Salt
1:37 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

Hold The Ice: Rhetoric Gets Hot Over New York's Big Soda Ban

Originally published on Tue July 24, 2012 2:11 pm

Ever since New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced that he plans to ban big sodas from the streets of New York City to address the city's obesity problem, drink companies, soda fans, and libertarians have been wanting to treat him like a Glee kid and give him a big Slushee in the face.

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The Salt
12:02 pm
Tue July 24, 2012

A Bartender's Antidote To Sweet And Citrus? Bitter Bark, Myrrh And Secrets

Alexandra Bookless, head bartender at The Passenger, suggests starting off with Fernet in a cocktail like the Hanky Panky.
Bill Chappell NPR

Originally published on Thu February 14, 2013 6:48 pm

For bartenders, the words "last call" have a hidden meaning: It won't be long before they're enjoying a drink of their own. And after hours of making tonics, flips and fizzes, what does a bartender drink? Often, the answer is short and simple: Fernet.

In a world of citrusy, sugary drinks that can all taste alike, Fernet Branca stands alone. Depending on how your palate responds, the Italian digestif can be called everything from refreshingly bold to an acquired taste to cough syrup that's gone bad.

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The Salt
1:20 pm
Fri July 20, 2012

Long Before Social Networking, Community Cookbooks Ruled The Stove

The Woman Suffrage Cook Book: Containing thoroughly tested and reliable recipes for cooking, directions for care of the sick, and practical suggestions. Originally sold at an 1886 fair in Boston, this cookbook was the first to raise funds for and disseminate information about women's suffrage.
Michigan State University Libraries

Originally published on Fri July 20, 2012 12:47 pm

Millions of users share recipes, DIY projects, and household tips on the social networking site Pinterest and myriad blogs and other sites.

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The Salt
3:17 pm
Mon July 16, 2012

Coney: The Hot Dog That Fed Detroit's American Dream

Patrons pack in at American Coney in this undated photo. 1942
Courtesy Grace Keros

Originally published on Fri October 26, 2012 12:18 pm

Take a hot dog from New York's famed Coney Island, throw in plenty of Greek immigrants and a booming auto industry, add some chili sauce, a steamed bun, chopped onions, mustard and an epic sibling rivalry and you've got the makings of a classic American melting pot story.

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Author Interviews
4:04 pm
Sun July 15, 2012

Chewing Chia Packs A Superfood Punch

The chia plant is "a petite nutrient-packed powerhouse" writes Wayne Coates. There is evidence that the Aztecs used the seeds as early as 3,500 B.C.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Sun July 15, 2012 6:10 pm

When you hear the word chia, you probably think of chia pets. Maybe you even mutter that catchy slogan: "ch-ch-ch-chia."

Or maybe not, but lately, chia seed has been getting buzz beyond those terra cotta figurines. It's becoming a popular health food. Rich in fiber, protein and the highest plant source of Omega 3s, the little seeds pack a major nutritional punch.

Wayne Coates grows and sells chia seeds and has a book called Chia: The Complete Guide to the Ultimate Superfood.

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Food
5:51 am
Sat July 14, 2012

Three Beers To Cheer Your Summer Suppers

iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed July 18, 2012 11:58 am

When the mercury's soaring, a cold, refreshing beer can be the best part of summer. As part of our occasional Taste of Summer series, we asked beer expert Graham Haverfield to recommend a few of his seasonal favorites.

Haverfield is the beer director for the Wine Library in Springfield Township, N.J. He's also a certified cicerone, or beer server. "Summer beers are typically lighter in body, they're typically a little lower in alcohol," he tells NPR's Scott Simon.

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