Food

Food
12:42 pm
Tue June 10, 2014

Forbidding Fruit: How America Got Turned On To The Date

How about a date?
Loomis Dean Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 3:07 pm

In 1898, the U.S. Department of Agriculture created a special department of men called Agriculture Explorers to travel the globe searching for new food crops to bring back for farmers to grow in the U.S.

"These agricultural explorers were kind of like the Indiana Joneses of the plant world," says Sarah Seekatz, a California historian who grew up in the Coachella Valley, the date capital of the U.S.

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Food
10:13 am
Mon June 9, 2014

These 10 Summer Cookbooks Will Make The Good Life Even Better

liz west via Flickr

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 1:02 pm

Toss out the china and pick up the picnic basket! Summer cookbooks are fanciful creatures — high on whimsy and shamelessly devoted to making a good life better. For some, that means lingering in the farmers markets or gardening with the kids. For others it's indulging in some usually forbidden pleasures — the fried, the icy sweet, the charred and meaty. And for some, it means crossing oceans to sample less familiar fare — without ever leaving the porch. There's something for everyone, but all go just fine with bare toes and a sun hat.

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Weeknight Kitchen
12:00 pm
Thu June 5, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Teriyaki Salmon with Pickled Vegetables and Sesame Seeds

Even though we're smack-dab in the middle of grill season, it's good to have a recipe on hand for those rainy nights when you can't fire up the grill. This recipe for Teriyaki Salmon with Pickled Vegetables and Sesame Seeds from Diana Henry's A Change of Appetite fits the bill beautifully. 

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Food
3:29 am
Thu June 5, 2014

The Secret's In The Sugar: Lower-Alcohol Wines Are Taking Off

A selection of low-alcohol wines, including a Riesling from Germany, a Vinho Verde from Portugal and a Txakoli from the Basque region of Spain.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue June 10, 2014 8:18 am

Big, bold wines have their fans. But with the arrival of summer, make room for a bumper crop of lighter, more subtle wines.

"Low-alcohol wines are super hot right now," says wine writer Katherine Cole.

There's Txakoli, or Txakolina, wines from the Basque region of Spain, Rieslings from Germany and New York state, and Vinho Verde from Portugal, to name a few.

These wines typically hover in the 9 percent to 11 percent alcohol range. This compares to about 13 percent to 14 percent in a typical California chardonnay.

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Food
7:03 am
Wed June 4, 2014

How Chocolate Might Save The Planet

Robert Krulwich NPR

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 12:11 pm

When you unwrap it, break off a piece and stick it in your mouth, it doesn't remind you of the pyramids, a suspension bridge or a skyscraper; but chocolate, says materials scientist Mark Miodownik, "is one of our greatest engineering creations."

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Food
5:05 am
Sun June 1, 2014

The Humble Knish: Chock-Full Of Carbs And History

A woman in front of Mrs. Stahl's knish shop in Brooklyn's Brighton Beach neighborhood where author Laura Silver went as a child.
Courtesy of the University Press of New England

Originally published on Thu June 5, 2014 7:45 am

When Laura Silver's favorite knish shop in New York closed it doors, she started to investigate why it shut down. And that led to a years-long research project, she tells Weekend Edition's Rachel Martin.

Her book Knish: In Search of the Jewish Soul Food explores the history of the baked delicacy filled with meat or vegetables and what it means to the people who love it.

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Weeknight Kitchen
12:00 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: BLT Salad

We are moving the BLT to center stage this week with Steven Raichlen’s recipe for BLT Salad from his new book, Man Made Meals. This salad is essentially a deconstructed BLT sandwich tossed with crispy iceberg lettuce and dressed with a version of buttermilk ranch dressing. 

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Food
9:22 am
Thu May 29, 2014

You Can Thank 150 Different Compounds For The Sweet Smell Of Bacon

A screenshot of the Why Does Bacon Smell So Good video.
American Chemical Society/YouTube

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 8:43 am

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Food
1:06 pm
Wed May 28, 2014

Big Breweries Move Into Small Beer Town — And Business Is Hopping

John Stuart (left) of Green Man Brewery grabs a Tater Ridge mash sample from Sierra Nevada's Scott Jennings (center) at the Sierra Nevada brewery in Mills River, N.C.
Courtesy of Sierra Nevada Brewing Co.

Originally published on Wed June 4, 2014 3:53 pm

With more breweries per capita than any U.S. city, Asheville, N.C., has become a sort of Napa Valley of beer.

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Food
10:41 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Could Diet Soda Really Be Better Than Water For Weight Loss?

Better than water for losing weight? A study funded by the beverage industry says yes.
Bradley Gordon/Flickr

Originally published on Mon June 2, 2014 8:43 am

Answering the question of whether diet soda helps or hinders dieters' efforts to lose weight has been the focus of much research. And buzz.

Unfortunately, the answer is still murky.

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Food
3:30 am
Wed May 28, 2014

Want Your Cheese To Age Gracefully? Cowgirl Creamery's Got Tips

Sue Conley (left) and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery, prepare their chilled leek and asparagus soup with creme fraiche and fresh ricotta at Cowgirl Creamery in Point Reyes Station, Calif.
Tim Hussin for NPR

Originally published on Thu May 29, 2014 11:27 am

In the world of cheese, much like in the world of wine, the ultimate mark of success is acceptance by the French. That's exactly what happened to Sue Conley and Peggy Smith, co-founders of Cowgirl Creamery in northern California.

In 2010, when they were inducted into the prestigious Guilde des Fromagers, they were among the first wave of American cheesemakers to join its ranks.

Cowgirl Creamery also put out its first cookbook in late 2013.

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Food
3:58 pm
Tue May 27, 2014

Paleo For Dogs? Vets Say Trendy Diet Could Make Humans Sick

Kari Neumeyer feeds her dogs, Leo and Mia, a raw food diet supplemented by kibble, which she says is more natural than commercial dog food.
Rob Eis/Courtesy of Kari Neumeyer

Originally published on Wed May 28, 2014 8:23 am

Yesterday we told you about the people who are skipping the pet food aisle to whip up batches of homemade goodness for Fido in their own kitchens.

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Food
3:22 am
Tue May 27, 2014

How Soviet Kitchens Became Hotbeds Of Dissent And Culture

A typical Russian kitchen inside an apartment built during the early 1960s, when Nikita Khrushchev led the Soviet Union — what later became known as Khrushchev apartments.
Courtesy of The Kitchen Sisters

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 2:45 pm

When Nikita Khrushchev emerged as the leader of the Soviet Union after Stalin's death in 1953, one of the first things he addressed was the housing shortage and the need for more food. At the time, thousands of people were living in cramped communal apartments, sharing one kitchen and one bathroom with sometimes up to 20 other families.

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Food
6:38 am
Sat May 24, 2014

If Local Farms Aren't Local Enough, Buy From The Rooftop

At the Mini-Farmery in North Carolina, greens grow on the walls and customers can pick their own produce.
Amy Edwards New Image Studio

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 3:07 pm

Local produce just tastes better, right? That perception is part of what's driving the rush of new farming ventures to supply cities with food grown nearby.

Some urban farmers are even experimenting with growing food a few blocks away from or even inside the grocery store. Call it über-local food.

Most of these new ventures are lead by idealistic entrepreneurs who want to part of the new food system. It's not yet clear whether they'll fit in for the long haul.

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Food
4:01 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

California's Drought Isn't Making Food Cost More. Here's Why

Farmworkers pull weeds from a field of lettuce near Gonzales, Calif. Salinas Valley farms like this one rely on wells, which haven't been affected much by the drought.
George Rose Getty Images

Originally published on Tue May 27, 2014 4:48 pm

The entire state of California is in a severe drought. Farmers and farmworkers are hurting.

You might expect this to cause food shortages and higher prices across the country. After all, California grows 95 percent of America's broccoli, 81 percent of its carrots and 99 percent of the country's artichokes, almonds and walnuts, among other foods.

Yet there's been no sign of a big price shock. What gives?

Here are three explanations.

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Food
9:50 am
Thu May 22, 2014

Amish Leave Pa. In Search Of Greener, Less Touristy Pastures

The tourism attracted by the Amish population in Lancaster, Pa., is now making it harder for Amish to maintain their traditional lifestyle. Some families are leaving the area as a result.
Mark Makela Reuters/Landov

Rolling pastures dotted with grazing cows, fields of corn and classic buggies driven by Amish in hats and bonnets — these are the images that attract visitors to Lancaster County, home to more than 30,000 of the Pennsylvania Dutch.

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Weeknight Kitchen
5:01 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

Weeknight Kitchen: Spring Pea Soup

There's still a little chill in the air when the first peas are ready for picking. This soup is perfect in the spring when young lettuces are around.

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Food
3:20 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

The Vegetables Most Americans Eat Are Drowning In Salt And Fat

This isn't exactly what a healthy serving of veggies looks like.
Lauri Patterson iStockphoto

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 5:02 pm

Popeye and our parents have been valiantly trying to persuade us to eat our veggies for decades now.

But Americans just don't eat as many fruits and vegetables as we should. And when we do, they're mainly potatoes and tomatoes — in the not-so-nutritious forms of french fries and pizza, according to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

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Food
1:49 pm
Wed May 21, 2014

On The Trail Of Durian, Southeast Asia's 'Crème Brûlée On A Tree'

The inside of the Graveolens, a variety of durian that grows in the southernmost parts of Thailand, is sticky and cheese-like.
Courtesy of Lindsay Gasik

Originally published on Fri May 23, 2014 7:13 pm

What if a single taste of one fruit — in this case, the durian — changed the course of your entire life?

That's what happened to Lindsay Gasik and Rob Culclasure, a young couple who visited an Asian grocery store in Eugene, Ore., in 2009 in search of the football-sized fruit with thick, spiky skin. They were curious to try it after hearing that the durian's pungent smell and custard-like flesh had the power to drive people delirious with craving.

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Food
3:19 am
Wed May 21, 2014

Double Trouble For Coffee: Drought And Disease Send Prices Up

A fully formed coffee berry, left, is shown next to a damaged coffee berry due to drought, at a coffee farm in Santo Antonio do Jardim, Brazil on Feb. 6.
Paulo Whitaker Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Wed May 21, 2014 9:29 am

If you're drinking a cup of coffee right now, treasure it. The global supply of coffee beans may soon shrink because of problems in coffee-growing areas of Brazil and Central America.

With supply threatened and demand strong, prices are taking flight. Wholesale coffee prices are up more than 60 percent since January — from $1.25 per pound of bulk Coffea arabica beans to $1.85 this week.

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