Credit John von Pamer / Courtesy of Crown Publishers
Anya Von Bremzen is a contributing editor at Travel + Leisure and the author of five cookbooks.
Credit Courtesy Crown Publishers
A banquet spread is pictured in the 1952 edition of The Book of Tasty and Healthy Foods. The cookery book, published in the former Soviet Union, promoted a fantasy of abundance at a time when privations abounded.
Credit Courtesy of Anya von Bremzen
Anya von Bremzen emigrated from Russia with her mother (here, in Philadelphia in 1978) when she was 10 years old.
The French novelist Marcel Proust immortalized the connection between food and memory when the narrator of his novel Remembrances of Things Past bit into a madeleine and was transported to thoughts of his childhood.
But what if that madeleine were poisoned, so to speak?
That is the question underlying Russian American writer Anya von Bremzen's new memoir, Mastering the Art of Soviet Cooking. Though it contains recipes, this is not a cookbook but rather, a history of a family and of Soviet Russia.
Originally published on Mon September 16, 2013 2:41 pm
For the first two millennia of McDonald's Breakfast Menu, very little changed, but the past several months have brought startling reforms. The company introduced the Egg White Delight McMuffin, which has 50 fewer calories and one fewer yellow spot than the regular McMuffin. They stopped slapping you in the face when you try to order the Fruit 'N Yogurt Parfait. And now, they bring us the Steak, Egg & Cheese McMuffin.
To mark the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur, the day of atonement, Jews fast from sundown to sundown. But before the sun sets, friends and family gather to enjoy one final meal. And for the Jews of Eastern Europe, that meal traditionally includes kreplach.
Johanna Terron, 14, has lost over 20 pounds over the past year. She receives a prescription for fruits and vegetables from her pediatrician at Lincoln Hospital.
Credit Mark Lennihan / AP
Ron Samascott with his local apples at the Union Square Greenmarket in New York. The city is teaming up with Wholesome Wave, hospitals and farm markets to pilot a fruit and vegetable prescription program.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 4:07 pm
It's one of the great paradoxes of our time: Hundreds of millions of people go hungry, and yet we waste a whopping 1.43 billion tons of food — one third of what we produce. Food waste is a problem in rich countries and poor countries alike, and it's happening throughout the supply chain — from the farm to the truck to the warehouse to the store to your refrigerator.
In our book, a terrific salad can outshine anything else on the table. A dynamic dressing and the right combo of greens are what you should be looking for, and this recipe for Chicory Salad with Anchovy Dressing demonstrates that.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 12:28 pm
Lots of us play with our food. But for photographer Christopher Boffoli, it's become a full-time career.
Boffoli rose to fame a couple of years ago. You may have seen some of his photographs — amusing dioramas featuring miniature plastic figurines in dramatic settings crafted from food — when they went viral back in 2011. More than 200 such images — at least half of which, Boffoli says, have not been previously published — are collected in a new book, Big Appetites.
Originally published on Wed September 11, 2013 9:38 am
Michael Ferguson sometimes jokingly refers to himself among colleagues as "the other black brewer."
That's because Ferguson, of the BJ's Restaurants group, is one of only a small handful of African-Americans who make beer for a living. Latinos and Asian-Americans are scarce within the brewing community, too.
"For the most part, you've got a bunch of white guys with beards making beer," says Yiga Miyashiro, a Japanese-American brewer with Saint Archer Brewery in San Diego.
Originally published on Fri September 13, 2013 2:18 pm
Ten years ago rye whiskey was on the brink of extinction.
Despite its venerable history as the whiskey made by George Washington, only a handful of distillers were bottling this quintessentially American spirit. And you definitely couldn't order a rye Manhattan at your local cocktail lounge.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:25 pm
We've grown accustomed to choosing our food from a spectacular rainbow — care for an impossibly pink cupcake, a cerulean blue sports drink or yogurt in preppy lavender?
But there's a growing backlash against the synthetic dyes that give us these eye-popping hues. And now scientists are turning to the little-known (and little-grown) purple sweet potato to develop plant-based dyes that can be labeled as nonthreatening vegetable juice.
Originally published on Mon September 9, 2013 4:03 pm
The Burger King doesn't stay king by resting on his laurels. No, he stays king by constantly innovating (and by executing dissenters). New on the menu is the French Fry Burger, which is, you may have guessed, a burger topped with french fries. It costs $1, which should be considered a value and a red flag.
Peter: Since they're exactly $1 each, they can legally be used as currency.
Ian: And you can use actual dollars as napkins!
Mike: Dollar Menu is fast-food shorthand for "Day Old."
The Chobani Greek yogurt company says the mold that caused some of its products to bloat or swell is not normally harmful to people. On Thursday, Chobani said, "To be extra cautious, we have moved from a voluntary withdrawal to a voluntary recall."
Originally published on Sat September 7, 2013 2:18 pm
After concerns over its product led the Chobani Greek yogurt company to issue a voluntary recall of some packages earlier this week, the New York-based foodmaker now says the mold that was identified as the culprit is not dangerous.
"Through extensive testing and expert consultation, we now know that the mold found in the products we voluntarily recalled this week is a species called Mucor circinelloides," the company says. "Mucor circinelloides is not considered a foodborne pathogen."
Originally published on Tue September 10, 2013 12:52 pm
Here's a bit of news that might make you drop that chicken nugget midbite.
Just before the start of the long holiday weekend last Friday, the U.S. Department of Agriculture quietly announced that it was ending a ban on processed chicken imports from China. The kicker: These products can now be sold in the U.S. without a country-of-origin label.
Hot summer days often mean air pollution warnings in big cities. But the air inside your kitchen can sometimes be just as harmful. Cooking fumes from your stove are supposed to be captured by a hood over the range — but even some expensive models aren't that effective.
Jennifer Logue spends a lot of time thinking about what happens when she cooks. She's a research scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Lab, where she studies indoor air pollution.
Upstate New York has lugged around the Rust Belt identity for decades now. But today, the region is trying on a new reputation as the king of yogurt — especially the high-protein Greek yogurt that consumers crave.
A civet cat eats red coffee cherries at a farm in Bondowoso, Indonesia. Civets are actually more closely related to meerkats and mongooses than to cats.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
A coffee "bean" is actually the seed of a cherry-sized fruit that grows on the coffee plant. Civets eat the whole fruit. The seed is separated from the pulp in the digestive process.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
Capitalizing on the fact that civet coffee can fetch a pretty penny, small producers have started farming it. That is, keeping civets in captivity and feeding them coffee fruits once a day.
Credit AFP/Getty Images
Civet feces are collected and cleaned for the beans, which are naturally fermented during digestion.
Credit Adek Berry / AFP/Getty Images
At a coffee shop in Indonesia, one cup of Kopi Luwak can go for around $9 U.S.
Credit Sonny Tumbelaka / AFP/Getty Images
In captivity, civets don't choose what they eat. "It's unripe and it's robusto," says coffee connoisseur Oliver Strand, dismissing it: "That's of zero interest." Robusto coffee, he explains, is indigenous to Africa, and not what the animal would eat in the wild.
Credit Paula Bronstein / Getty Images
In the wild, the civet "cat" is naturally drawn to the best, ripe fruits on the coffee plant; that's why, effectively, they would produce the best beans, in small batches.
Credit Claire O'Neill / NPR
Much ado about nothing? Left: civet poop coffee beans. Right: a cup of java brewed from the stuff.
Originally published on Thu September 5, 2013 1:25 pm
From gross to gourmet. That pretty much sums up civet poop coffee.
The beans are literally harvested from the feces of the tree-dwelling civet cat in Indonesia. The idea is that a trip through the animal's digestive tract partially ferments the beans and imparts a much-sought-after flavor to the coffee.