4:59 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Voters Will Get Their Say On GMO Labeling In Colorado And Oregon

Labels on bags of snack foods indicate they are non-GMO food products. This fall, Colorado and Oregon will be the latest states to put GMO labeling on the ballot.
Robyn Beck AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 2:24 pm

Ben Hamilton walks down the salad dressing aisle at his neighborhood grocery store in west Denver. The human resources consultant usually seeks out organic options and scans nutrition information.

"I am a label reader. I think a lot of people read labels and really are curious to know what is in our food supply," he says. But Hamilton says he wants more information, specifically whether the food he buys includes ingredients derived from genetically modified crops, or GMOs.

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3:35 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

Eating Comfort Foods May Not Be So Comforting After All

Feeling blue? That may not be a great excuse to tuck into some mac and cheese.

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 5:01 pm

For many of us, chicken soup can soothe the soul and mac and cheese can erase a bad day. We eat chocolate when we feel gloomy, or when we've been in the presence of a Dementor. And we eat chocolate ice cream to help us get over a bad breakup.

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1:33 pm
Tue October 7, 2014

The 'Sioux Chef' Is Putting Pre-Colonization Food Back On The Menu

Sherman is still experimenting with the type of food he'll serve in the restaurant. Recently he made this walleye filet with sumac and maple sugar, a white bean and smoked walleye croquette and toasted hominy.
Becca Dilley Courtesy of

Originally published on Wed October 8, 2014 5:03 pm

Like most chefs, Sean Sherman practically lives in the kitchen. But in his spare time, this member of the Oglala Lakota tribe has been on a quest to identify the foods his ancestors ate on the Great Plains before European settlers appeared on the scene. After years of researching and experimenting with "pre-colonization" foods, he's preparing to open a restaurant in the Twin Cities this winter that showcases those foods, reborn for contemporary palates.

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3:35 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Your Fellow Diners' Size May Affect How Much You Eat

In one study, people who were in a buffet line served themselves a lot more of an unhealthful pasta dish if they were next to or behind a person perceived to be overweight.

Originally published on Thu October 2, 2014 4:20 pm

Your dining companion may have more influence over your eating habits than you realize.

We've known that people often have friends with similar body weights, but new research suggests that dining with an overweight companion may make us more likely to eat more unhealthful food.

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6:40 am
Tue September 30, 2014

Millennial Jews Do An About-Face, Start Keeping Kosher

University of Illinois student Stanley Dayan (from left) and Chabad Jewish Center employees Mordy Kurtz and Yosef Peysin work at the center's kosher food stand in 2013 at the university's State Farm Center basketball arena in Champaign, Ill.
David Mercer AP

Originally published on Tue September 30, 2014 1:46 pm

Many millennials — people born after 1980 — have embraced vintage items: vinyl records, thick-framed glasses ... and now, dietary laws.

"I'm 21 years old, and, yes, I do keep kosher," says Lisa Faulds.

She says she ate whatever she wanted growing up: "bacon, ham, all that fun stuff. Seafood, shellfish."

But that all stopped a few months ago.

According to a 2013 Pew Research Center study, nearly a fourth of millennial Jews are keeping kosher.

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3:05 pm
Mon September 29, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Pizza Cake

And this is what we got.

Originally published on Tue October 21, 2014 11:10 am

I generally don't like cake, because it is too sweet, too bland in texture, and doesn't have enough pork products. So I was excited to see this recipe pop up on Buzzfeed. (UPDATE 10/21/2014: For those keeping score, it looks like So Good Blog rolled out this pizza cake recipe months earlier than Buzzfeed.)

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7:03 am
Sat September 27, 2014

Culinary Diplomacy Takes Texan Chef To The Land Of Grilled Yak

As you may have heard, America's diplomats are struggling these days with a few distracting and unpleasant events in far-off parts of the world. But they're rising to the challenge: They're sending in the chefs.

The U.S. State Department launched a Diplomatic Culinary Partnership two years ago in order to "elevate the role of culinary engagement in America's formal and public diplomacy efforts." Some of the country's most renowned chefs have volunteered to help out, joining the department's "Chef Corps."

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Weeknight Kitchen
8:00 pm
Wed September 24, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Farro-Chickpea Salad with Sunflower Seeds

Makes 8 to 10 servings
The Umbrian countryside is filled with sunflowers turning to face the arc of the sun over the course of the day. Although in Italy the seeds from these sunflowers are usually pressed for their oil, it seemed logical to us to pair them with farro, a nutritious hearty grain seen throughout that country. It can be found in most Italian grocery stores. The colors of the Italian flag are tossed into the mix -- bright green asparagus, rosy red grape tomatoes, and creamy white ricotta salata. 
2 cups farro
1 teaspoon kosher salt

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12:29 pm
Tue September 23, 2014

Stoutaccino? Starbucks Tests Coffee With Beer Flavors

In some parts of the U.S., Starbucks is testing a latte flavored with roasted-stout notes along with its seasonal autumn drinks such as the Pumpkin Spice Latte, seen here at front.

Originally published on Tue September 23, 2014 1:26 pm

Reports that Starbucks is testing a new coffee drink for autumn that incorporates "toasty stout flavors" has set off a debate over how such a concoction might taste — and questions over where customers can find one. The Dark Barrel Latte was "inspired by the rise of craft beers," the company says.

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5:13 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Diet Soda May Alter Our Gut Microbes And Raise The Risk Of Diabetes

Should we drink diet soda or not? The latest study doesn't really clear things up.
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 5:29 am

The debate over whether diet sodas are good, bad or just OK for us never seems to end.

Some research suggests zero-calorie drinks can help people cut calories and fend off weight gain.

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Weeknight Kitchen
2:28 pm
Wed September 17, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Hanger Steak with Gremolata

Bathe a piece of grilled steak with a rough mix of chopped parsley, garlic, lemon zest and olive oil and feel your appetite ignite. This week's recipe for Hanger Steak with Gremolata is from Erin Scott'sYummy Supper

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2:15 pm
Tue September 16, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Lay's Cappuccino Potato Chips

It's spelled "potato ccips."

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 5:42 pm

Lay's Potato Chips is having some sort of promotion in which they release a bunch of new flavors and we vote on which one is best, based on flavor, crunch, and foreign policy experience. One of the finalists is Cappuccino. This proves unequivocally that democracy itself is flawed.

Miles: What a rip-off! Three-fourths of the bag is foam.

Kelsie: Can I get mine substituted with soy?

Ian: The cappuccino-potato chip combination is the culinary equivalent of a mullet.

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11:08 am
Tue September 16, 2014

A Scientist's Journey From Beer To Microbiology To Bourbon-Making

Ian Glomski outside his home in Charlottesville, Va., where hops grow in his garden. He quit an academic career in microbiology to start a liquor distillery.
Richard Harris NPR

Originally published on Tue September 16, 2014 2:18 pm

If you have been following the various posts about beer on The Salt, you may have noticed a pattern: Many of the folks making beer have a scientific background. There's good reason for that. People don't make beer. Yeast does. Well, OK — it's a partnership.

And sometimes, it's a two-way street between the brewery and the lab.

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5:27 am
Sun September 14, 2014

Overthinking It: Using Food As A Racial Metaphor

This is a Twinkie.
Christian Cable Flickr

Originally published on Mon September 15, 2014 2:02 pm

In February, a state-run media outlet in China mocked Gary Locke, who was signing off as U.S. ambassador to that country. "Gary Locke is a U.S.-born, third-generation Chinese-American, and his being a banana — 'yellow skin and white heart' — became an advantage for Obama's foreign policy,' " the editorial read.

Years ago, a (possibly apocryphal) story circulated about Democratic activists throwing Oreos at Michael Steele, the black former head of the Republican party.

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9:31 am
Fri September 12, 2014

Food Is Cheap, At Least Compared With 4 Years Ago

Soybeans in a field in Springfield, Neb., on Wednesday. The nation's corn and soybean farmers will bring in by far the largest harvest ever this year, driving down the price of the commodities, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.
Nati Harnik AP

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:30 pm

Around the globe, it's become easier for people to buy food. The U.N.'s Food and Agriculture Organization is reporting that its global food price index has now fallen to the lowest level in four years. That's because of good weather and big harvests in places like North America, Europe and China.

Almost all of the major food commodities have become less expensive: grains, vegetable oils, sugar and dairy products. Dairy prices, in fact, are down by almost 20 percent, compared with their peak a year ago.

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12:34 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Why The U.S. Chills Its Eggs And Most Of The World Doesn't

To refrigerate or not to refrigerate? It boils down to bacteria, aesthetics and how much energy you're willing to use.
Robert S. Donovan; Flickr / Alex Barth; Flickr

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 8:12 am

Go in search of eggs in most foreign countries and you might encounter a strange scene: eggs on a shelf or out in the open air, nowhere near a refrigerator.

Shock and confusion may ensue. What are they doing there? And are they safe to eat?

We Americans, along with the Japanese, Australians and Scandinavians, tend to be squeamish about our chicken eggs, so we bathe them and then have to refrigerate them.

But we're oddballs. Most other countries don't mind letting unwashed eggs sit next to bread or onions.

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Weeknight Kitchen
12:00 pm
Sun September 7, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce

Jenny Rosenstrach is channeling Julia Child this week with her recipe for Chicken with Artichokes in Creamy Mustard Sauce from Dinner: The Playbook. The recipe, which is a riff on a classic French pan sauce, will teach you a technique you can use with any protein -- be it beef, pork, chicken or fish.

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8:54 am
Wed September 3, 2014

Want To Dine Out? You May Need To Buy Tickets — Or Bid On A Table

Restaurant reservations are changing with technology — now some restaurants are selling prepaid tickets, while others are considering holding auctions.
Richard Thomas iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed September 3, 2014 5:04 pm

The practice of making a restaurant reservation, outside of a tiny minority of extra snooty places, is egalitarian. Tables are given on a first-to-reserve basis, and then, at the appointed time, diners are directed to their seats and the meal begins.

But reservation technology is changing, led by a new set of companies and some of the hottest chefs in America. And as they offer alternatives to the standard method of reserving a table, the new technological possibilities force us to examine a cultural practice that first got going in 18th century France.

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5:12 pm
Thu August 28, 2014

When Zero Doesn't Mean Zero: Trans Fats Linger In Food

About 84 percent of food products that contain trans fats still carry a "zero gram" label, which may mislead consumers, researchers say.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Fri August 29, 2014 2:44 pm

Last we heard, the once ubiquitous trans fats had mostly disappeared from packaged cookies, muffins and french fries.

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Weeknight Kitchen
2:43 pm
Wed August 27, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Fattoush

I first tasted this wonderfully fresh salad years ago in a Lebanese restaurant and then recreated my own version. It's a winner for me, as anything with pomegranates or pomegranate molasses makes my mouth water. And it's a lovely change from all the cakes that I have come to know so intimately over the decades. 

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