Harvest Desk

The Salt
3:34 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

It's National Indian Pudding Day! Here's Why You Should Celebrate

Indian pudding, served warm with vanilla ice cream — a dish well worth celebrating.
Katherine Perry NPR

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:08 am

Turns out, Nov. 13 is National Indian Pudding Day. It sneaked up on you again, didn't it?

You can't be blamed.

Indian pudding is virtually unknown outside of New England, and even there it's tricky to find. But this enduring New England dessert may actually deserve a day of its own.

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The Salt
2:14 pm
Wed November 13, 2013

Could Hunger Make Us More Charitable?

Researchers have a hunch that because we often had to share food to survive, we're inclined to be more interested in giving when we're hungry.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Wed November 13, 2013 3:44 pm

Hunger can make people emotional, that's for sure. Some people get "hangry" when their blood sugar levels drop and their irritability rises. Others get greedy.

But new research suggests that we may have another, innate response to hunger: a desire to encourage others to share what they have.

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The Salt
11:18 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Why Can We Taste Bitter Flavors? Turns Out, It's Still A Mystery

The first taste of an olive can be a bit shocking. But eventually, many of us start to enjoy bitter fruits, nuts and beverages.
Screenshot from TEDxTalks/Youtube.com

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 8:08 am

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All Tech Considered
9:52 am
Wed November 13, 2013

This Device Lets You Order A Pizza With The Push Of A Button

Parts for the PiePal were 3-D printed.
Courtesy of iStrategyLabs

Originally published on Mon November 18, 2013 10:01 pm

In our Weekly Innovation series, we pick an interesting idea, design or product that you may not have heard of yet. Got an innovation you think we should feature? Fill out our form.

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Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Wed November 13, 2013

Illinois Pumpkins On Thanksgiving Tables

John Ackerman's family farm, just east of Morton, Ill.
Peter Gray/WUIS

This Thanksgiving, hungry families all over the country will finish off their holiday meal with a little slice of the Midwest. That’s because the vast majority of all pumpkin that comes from a can and winds up in a pie got its start on a vine in Illinois.

Pumpkin patches are popular destinations for families seeking fall fun, and you’ll find roadside farm stands all over the country. But this is big business in Illinois, where farmers feed canning factories hungry for a special kind of pumpkin that looks nothing like those you see on Halloween.

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Kitchen Window
11:03 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

New Nordic Is Cool, But Old Scandinavian Food Holds Its Own

Deena Prichep for NPR

Originally published on Wed December 4, 2013 7:08 am

When Copenhagen's Noma was named the world's best restaurant a few years ago, it introduced a wider audience to the concept of New Nordic cuisine. A movement that swept Scandinavia (and, subsequently, the rest of the culinary world), New Nordic combines the oft-maligned and little known local ingredients with modern technique and playful vision. Reindeer and lichen, meet Thermomix and Pacojet.

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The Salt
4:16 pm
Tue November 12, 2013

Chef Chat: We Pick The Brains Of Ottolenghi And Tamimi

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi grab a quick breakfast with NPR's Madhulika Sikka. They stopped by NPR in October to talk food philosophy.
Morgan Walker/ NPR

Yotam Ottolenghi and Sami Tamimi own four wildly popular London restaurants and have authored runaway best-selling cookbooks for omnivores and vegetarians alike.

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The Salt
10:12 am
Tue November 12, 2013

Have Bitcoin To Burn? Next Stop Could Be The Farm

Economists say small-business owners — especially farmers dealing in high volume and low profit margins — are more likely to accept a volatile currency like Bitcoin than bigger businesses.
Allen Sheffield Flickr

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 1:54 pm

For food producers who sell directly to consumers, credit cards are both a blessing and a curse.

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Harvest Desk
2:51 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Higher Beef Prices: Good For Producers; May Be Tough On Consumers

These cattle on Jeff Longnecker's farm in Story County, Iowa, are part of a herd he's hoping to grow.
Credit Amy Mayer/Harvest Public Media

Once again, the prognosticators are saying beef prices are on the rise. We’ve seen this before—last year, the drought and high feed prices were being blamed.

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The Salt
1:55 pm
Mon November 11, 2013

Sandwich Monday: Subway Sriracha Chicken Melt

A pre-fight screen in the new edition of Sandwich Kombat.
Subway

Originally published on Fri November 15, 2013 11:58 am

It's been a big couple of weeks for Sriracha hot sauce. First, a Los Angeles suburb sued a Sriracha factory for allegedly producing a spicy toxic cloud. And now, Subway has unveiled its Sriracha Chicken Melt, made with only the finest spicy toxic cloud.

Ian: I'm guessing it's spicy because the Subway sandwich artist started by telling me my Sandwich Safe Word.

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The Salt
11:54 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Prince Charles: Organic Innovator, Biscuit Maker

The first product Duchy Originals launched was the Oaten Biscuit, and it's still a top seller today.
April Fulton for NPR

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 4:23 pm

Who knew Prince Charles started one of the first organic and locally sourced food companies in the world over 21 years ago?

Not us, until we got a pitch from his public relations outfit, inviting us to "entertain like the Royals" this holiday season with "Duchy Originals from Waitrose."

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Harvest Desk
10:00 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Report: Rural Illinois Continues Losing Jobs, Population

Credit USDA

Data collected between 2010 and 2012 indicate Illinois' nonmetro areas had the second highest losses of jobs in the nation.

The state of Arizona also saw a 1.8 percent decline in rural employment over the past two years, while losses were especially large in Arkansas - down 4.1 percent.  

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Shots - Health News
8:27 am
Mon November 11, 2013

Sweat Your Way To A Healthier Brain

He feels smarter already.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Tue November 12, 2013 7:14 am

Moving your body may be the best way to protect your brain.

Physical exercise can ease depression, slow age-related memory loss and prevent Parkinson-like symptoms, researchers reported at the Society for Neuroscience meeting underway in San Diego.

The findings — some in animals, some in people — suggest that people may be making a mistake if they're relying primarily on crossword puzzles and brain-training games for mental wellness.

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Commentary
4:12 am
Sun November 10, 2013

Mallomars: The Cookie Everyone Likes To Hoard

Mallomars

Originally published on Sun November 17, 2013 10:24 am

Mallomars turn 100 years old this month. Over the years, the chocolatey marshmallow treat has gathered a cultlike following. For those who have yet to discover Mallomars, take heed — you may soon have a new addiction.

It's Mallomar season right now, which may seem strange since Mallomars are commercially packaged cookies, not apples. But the round graham crackers topped with marshmallow and covered in dark chocolate are actually packaged seasonally.

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The Salt
4:30 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

The Enigmatic Pecan: Why So Pricey, And How To Pronounce It?

Where In the U.S. do people say pee-kahn over pi-kahn? Joshua Katz answered your burning question by mapping Bert Vaux's dialect survey on regional variations in the continental United States.
Courtesy of Joshua Katz

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 2:08 pm

The price of pecans is going up, up, up, which may mean that if you're planning a pecan pie for Thanksgiving, the time to buy them is now. The reasons behind that escalating price all come down to natural forces: supply and demand and weather.

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The Salt
3:32 pm
Fri November 8, 2013

Can We Eat Our Way To A Healthier Microbiome? It's Complicated

While no one's sure which foods are good for our microbiomes, eating more veggies can't hurt.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon November 25, 2013 9:27 am

When our colleague Rob Stein got his microbiome analyzed recently in the name of science journalism, we were totally fascinated.

As Stein noted, it may be possible to cultivate a healthier community of bacteria on and inside us by modifying our diets.

Stein was advised to eat more garlic and leeks for his. But we wondered: Are there other foods that promote a healthy microbiome in most people?

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Harvest Desk
11:07 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Harvest Blog: Changing Illinois, Hungry World

Peter and father, Bert, tilling a backyard garden in 1987
Credit Cheryl Gray

I come to Harvest Public Media as a reporter standing at the intersection of rural and urban life.  It is a fascinating place to be in the young 21st century.

Growing up in Oswego, Ill., I watched my backyard turn from cornfield to the carefully trimmed suburban lawns of Chicagoland’s residential expansion. The land my Norwegian immigrant great-grandparents tilled in the 1900s is likely a restaurant, big box retail store or strip mall today.

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The Salt
10:35 am
Fri November 8, 2013

Hunger Games: What's Behind Yelp's Fake Restaurant Reviews?

Originally published on Sat November 9, 2013 1:58 pm

When it comes to scouting out a new bakery, pizzeria or noodle shop, there are few review sites that compare to Yelp. In turn, the reviews left on sites like Yelp can have a big effect on many restaurants' bottom lines.

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Television
3:47 am
Fri November 8, 2013

2 Finalists Vie To Be 'Master Chef Junior'

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 9:17 am

Transcript

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Tonight, a big moment for a couple of extraordinary chefs. They were originally 24 but after unimaginable cooking challenges, devastating eliminations, and, yes, some tears, the field is down to two. We're talking about the reality cooking show "Master Chef Junior." These contestants were ages eight to 13. Some stood on crates to reach their cooking stations? The two finalists: 12 year old Dara Yu and 13 year old Alexander Weiss. We spoke to them, along with one of the celebrity judges, Joe Bastianich.

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The Salt
5:55 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

How 17th Century Fraud Gave Rise To Bright Orange Cheese

Shelburne Farms' clothbound cheddar has a bright yellow color because it's made from the milk of cows that graze on grasses high in beta-carotene.
Courtesy of A. Blake Gardner

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 8:46 am

The news from Kraft last week that the company is ditching two artificial dyes in some versions of its macaroni and cheese products left me with a question.

Why did we start coloring cheeses orange to begin with? Turns out there's a curious history here.

In theory, cheese should be whitish — similar to the color of milk, right?

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The Salt
2:53 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

FDA Moves To Phase Out Remaining Trans Fats In Food Supply

Crisco was the original product made with partially hydrogenated soybean oil, which contains trans fats. Today, Crisco has only small amounts of the fats.
Tony Dejak AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 5:51 pm

If the Food and Drug Administration has its way, an era of food technology will soon end. The agency announced Thursday it is aiming to ban partially hydrogenated vegetable oils from all food products.

Margaret Hamburg, the FDA commissioner, said at a press conference that her agency has come to the preliminary conclusion that the oils "are not generally recognized as safe for use in food."

If the agency makes this decision final, it will mean a complete ban on this ingredient.

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Author Interviews
2:50 pm
Thu November 7, 2013

Roy Choi's Tacos Channel LA And The Immigrant Experience

Chef Roy Choi was named Food and Wine Magazine's Best New Chef in 2010.
Bobby Fisher Courtesy of Harper Collins

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 4:24 pm

Roy Choi is a chef who's celebrated for food that isn't fancy. He's one of the founders of the food truck movement, where instead of hot dogs or ice cream, more unusual, gourmet dishes are prepared and sold. His Kogi trucks specialize in tacos filled with Korean barbecue.

Choi was born in South Korea in 1970 and moved to Los Angeles with his parents at the age of 2. His parents owned a Korean restaurant near Anaheim for a few years when he was a child. He tells Fresh Air's Terry Gross that his mother had some serious cooking talent.

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The Salt
10:41 am
Thu November 7, 2013

Washington State Says 'No' To GMO Labels

Cars in Tacoma, Wash., promote a "yes" vote on a ballot initiative that would have required genetically engineered foods to be labeled.
Ted S. Warren AP

Originally published on Thu November 7, 2013 12:58 pm

Voters appear to have defeated another attempt to require labels on genetically modified foods in Washington state. In early counts, the "no" campaign has what appears to be an insurmountable lead with 54 percent of votes.

The ballot initiative would require labels on the front of packages for most food products, seeds and commodities like soy or corn if they were produced using genetic engineering.

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Harvest Desk
6:00 am
Thu November 7, 2013

DREAMing Beyond The Slaughterhouse

Binh Hua (left) and My Nguyen, both 18, work in the Garden City Community College chemistry lab. The two best friends graduated from high school in three years and after community college, plan to go on to universities.
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Not yet 9 a.m. on a warm fall day, freshmen Binh Hua and My Nguyen are in protective goggles, long hair pulled back, ready for their chemistry class in a Garden City Community College lab.

The teacher calls the class to order, calling the students “Busters,” short for “Broncbusters,” the college’s mascot and a reminder of this old West town’s history of raising cattle.

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The Salt
2:08 pm
Wed November 6, 2013

Forget Barley And Hops: Craft Brewers Want A Taste Of Place

The brewers at Scratch Brewing Company add wild plants like spicebush, goldenseal, wild ginger, chanterelles and wild rose root to their beer to give it the flavor of the Illinois woods.
Aaron Kleidon Scratch Brewing Company

Originally published on Fri November 8, 2013 10:37 am

Last week, Aaron Kleidon went for a walk in the Illinois woods and returned with a bag of lotus seeds. The seeds were bound not for his dinner plate, but for his pint glass.

In a few months, Kleidon will have lotus-flavored beer at the small brewpub Scratch Brewing Company, which he owns with two friends in Ava, Ill. The microbrewery specializes in beers with seeds, leaves, roots, fruits and fungi foraged from a nearby wooded property. The brewers have even made a saison from chanterelle mushrooms.

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Harvest Desk
6:38 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Garden City: Tending To A Cultural Crossroads In Kansas

Sister Janice Thome at a local Garden City school. Thome teaches several classes, including a teen parenting class at the Garden City alternative high school.
Peggy Lowe/Harvest Public Media

Sister Janice Thome’s office is a 2003 brown Ford Focus with a backseat piled high with paperwork and a prayer book.

Thome puts 125,000 miles a year on this car, picking up boxes from the food pantry, finding a mattress for a newcomer, delivering a sick soul to a doctor’s appointment. All the while, she fields emergency calls on her flip phone, responding to her mission to serve the poor of Garden City, out on the plains of southwest Kansas.

This day, Thome is teaching her teen parenting class at the alternative high school.

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Remembrances
3:42 am
Wed November 6, 2013

Remembering Chef Charlie Trotter, Chicago Fine-Dining Visionary

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 1:55 pm

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Kitchen Window
11:03 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Yes, It's Worth It To Make Your Own Yogurt

Nicole Spiridakis for NPR

Originally published on Wed November 6, 2013 10:35 am

On the verge of a move to Casablanca, Morocco, for the next four years, I spent a month there this summer to dip my toes figuratively — and literally, into the Atlantic — into my new life. I became almost accustomed to the ongoing calls to prayer and cooked with gorgeous produce acquired from my neighborhood souk. I drank all sorts of delicious and cheap fresh-squeezed juices at the cafe up the street and watched cars and donkey-pulled carts pass by in equal measure. I ate too many French-inspired pastries, and I made my own yogurt.

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The Salt
2:49 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Make Room For Mushrooms: Fungi Compete With Meat In Burgers

Richard Blais' Earth & Turf Burger, served at the Flip Burger Boutique in Atlanta, is 50 percent beef, 50 percent mushroom.
Courtesy of Flip Burger Boutique

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 5:00 pm

With so many people reconsidering their meat consumption, the mushroom industry is hoping their product can become the next "other" white meat.

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The Two-Way
1:55 pm
Tue November 5, 2013

Charlie Trotter, Famous Chicago Chef, Has Died At 54

Chef Charlie Trotter, who helped revitalize Chicago's culinary reputation, has died at age 54. He's seen here at the 2006 International Gastronomy Summit in Madrid.
Pierre-Philippe Marcou AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Tue November 5, 2013 4:04 pm

Charlie Trotter, whose eponymous Chicago restaurant became an institution and helped pave the way for innovative small dishes that featured fresh and unique food, has died at age 54.

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