Harvest Desk

Goats and Soda
4:53 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Cooking With Wilbur: Recipes From A South Indian Village

Plums Rasam Shots
Courtesy of Vijitha Shyam Spices and Aroma

Originally published on Mon December 15, 2014 9:30 am

Wilbur Sargunaraj eats and drinks his way through his father's home village in his video "The Village Way: Food." And he's clearly having a good time, even when he downs some very hot "pepper water"!

(Perhaps the antidote is Goli soda, South India's favorite carbonated drink, with a marble sitting atop the bottle to seal in the bubbles.)

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The Salt
3:08 pm
Wed December 3, 2014

Hey, College Kids: You Really Can Minor In Craft Beer Studies

Nicholas Komninos (from left), Anthony Pernisi and Ashlee Doele are among the 25 students who signed up for the first suds-specific class in Paul Smith's College's new minor in craft beers. It's a three-credit course in brewing, replete with labs and lectures.
Joe Conto Courtesy Paul Smith's College

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 3:52 pm

You've heard it before — that quip to describe crazy college days: "I minored in beer studies."

Well, now you can.

Paul Smith's College, a small, isolated campus in the northernmost reaches of upstate New York's Adirondack Mountains, is among a handful of higher education institutions tapping the ever more potent keg of the craft beer explosion.

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All Tech Considered
11:41 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Weekly Innovation: A Smart Pan That Helps You Cook Like A Chef

The Pantelligent frying pan uses a smartphone app to control cooking temperature.
Pantelligent

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 3:19 pm

For the average cook, stovetop cooking is often a complicated game of guess and check.

You throw some meat into a pan with some olive oil and all you have to go on is the sound of sizzling and popping to guess the temperature of the pan. Often this leads to charred or undercooked food.

So why don't we measure temperature when we cook on our stovetop like we do in the oven?

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The Salt
11:21 am
Wed December 3, 2014

Our Ability To Digest Alcohol May Have Been Key To Our Survival

Rotten, fermented fruit has some nutritional value, and may have looked pretty good to our hungry ancient ancestors. Evolving the ability to metabolize the alcohol in fermented fruit may have helped us adapt to a changing climate 10 million years ago, research suggests.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:51 am

As we're sipping away on a glass of stout or Merlot, we probably take for granted our ability to digest the alcohol in the drink. Alcohol, or dietary ethanol (as scientists like to call it), is technically a toxin — imbibing too much can lead to a hangover and even poisoning, of course.

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The Salt
4:27 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Shucking Oysters By The Thousands, With A Steady Smile

George Hastings shucks oysters at the Oyster Riot 2014 in Washington, D.C. He's been traveling the country on the shucking circuit for four decades.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Thu December 4, 2014 9:44 am

When it needs to serve 75,000 raw oysters to 3,000 people in one weekend, Washington D.C.'s landmark Old Ebbitt Grill calls in reinforcements. It hires expert oyster shuckers to help out with its Oyster Riot event each year. And for most of the last 20 years, those experts have included 59-year-old George Hastings.

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Food
3:18 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Girl Scouts Bring Cookie Sales Online With Sites, App

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 6:03 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

The Salt
2:37 pm
Tue December 2, 2014

Fill 'Er Up: The Joys Of Good Gas Station Food

A look inside the kitchen of the Whoa Nellie Deli, in Lee Vining, Calif. The casual eatery, which operates out of a Mobil gas station, turns out everything from vegetarian chili to wild buffalo meatloaf and fish tacos.
Courtesy of Tioga Gas Mart

Originally published on Wed December 3, 2014 10:23 am

Gas stations have long been synonymous with cold pizza, dried-out doughnuts and mediocre hot dogs rotating on unappetizing roller grills. But in cities like Miami, Kansas City, and even Saxapahaw, N.C., among others, patrons can fuel up on gourmet grub and top off their tanks in one stop.

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The Salt
2:42 am
Tue December 2, 2014

Of Carrots And Kids: Healthy School Lunches That Don't Get Tossed

Samples of carrots cooked three ways are placed on a table for the kids at Walker-Jones Educational Campus, in Washington, D.C., to sample after they have finished lunch. The crowd favorite will later end up on the school lunch menu.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Fri December 5, 2014 9:50 am

You can lead a child to vegetables, but can you make her eat them?

A child, for instance, like Salem Tesfaye, a first-grader at Walker-Jones Educational Campus in Washington, D.C. Tesfaye picked up a lunch today that's full of nutrition: chicken in a whole-wheat wrap, chopped tomatoes and lettuce from local farms, a slice of cantaloupe and milk.

But, she confesses, sometimes she throws her lunch out. I ask her what she did today. "I threw all of it away," she says softly.

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The Salt
4:32 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Feeling Like A Holiday Glutton? It May Be Time To Try A Fast

Nothing: It's what's for dinner.
Meredith Rizzo NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 4:00 pm

Before this season of overindulgence freights us with unwanted pounds or a glutton's guilt complex, why not try the opposite of the holiday feast: the fast.

Fasting need not be a punishing, multiday ordeal of deprivation. Increasingly, scientists are warming to the intermittent fast, which can be as brief as one skipped meal once or twice a week.

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The Salt
1:27 pm
Mon December 1, 2014

Sandwich Monday: Taco Bell Dessert Nachos

The Taco Bell Home Dessert Kit: putting the D-I-E in D-I-Y.
NPR

Originally published on Tue December 2, 2014 5:10 pm

Depending on where you are in the world, Taco Bell can be as many as 2 miles away. Fortunately the chain has started selling make-at-home kits, and today we're trying the Dessert Nacho Kit. It's a great chance to make your own cuisine, and you can keep the box around to help you stop spelling "dessert" like "desert" all the time.

Miles: It's a little disconcerting that the box has two expiration dates, one for the product, and one for the person eating it.

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The Salt
2:34 am
Mon December 1, 2014

Mexican Chef Serves Up An Authoritative Guide To Her Country's Cuisine

With over 700 pages and 600 recipes, Mexico: The Cookbook, attempts to document exhaustively the country's varied regional cuisines. Recipes in the book include (from left): potato and chorizo tacos; divorced eggs with tomatillo sauce; and tikin-xik fish, a grouper dish from the Yucatan Peninsula.
Courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini-Huff and Phaidon

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 8:21 am

If you want to give your taste buds a gustatory tour of Mexico, then Margarita Carrillo is ready to be your guide.

The Mexican chef and food activist has spent years gathering hundreds of recipes from every region of the country for Mexico: The Cookbook, her new, encyclopedic take on her country's cuisine.

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Code Switch
3:57 pm
Sat November 29, 2014

'The Banh Mi Handbook': A Guide To A Viet-French Sandwich

Paperboy Kitchen, Melbourne

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 5:29 pm

Some kids know they want to be doctors or pilots or professional sports players— Andrea Nguyen knew by the time she was 10 she wanted to be a sandwich maker. She says she's been making sandwiches and fooling around with the recipes and the ingredients since elementary school.

The sandwich she fell for first and that she still loves the most? Banh mi. (It's pronounced "bun-mee.") Her latest cookbook, The Banh Mi Handbook, is a guide for home cooks who want to make banh mi of their own.

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The Salt
6:46 am
Sat November 29, 2014

Chicken Confidential: How This Bird Came To Rule The Cultural Roost

Free-range chickens stand in a pen at an organic-accredited poultry farm in Germany.
Joern Pollex Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 29, 2014 11:05 am

If you looked at Earth from far off in the solar system, would it look like it's run by humans — or chickens? There are about three times as many chickens as people on this planet. And while horses and dogs are often celebrated as humankind's partner in spreading civilization, a new book argues it's really the chicken.

Andrew Lawler, author of Why Did the Chicken Cross the World?, tells NPR's Scott Simon about the chicken's malleability, its religious symbolism and the most disturbing thing he learned while researching his book.

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The Salt
5:22 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

From Humble Salt To Fancy Freezing: How To Up Your Cocktail Game

Smoke and mirrors: Dave Arnold plays around with liquid nitrogen in a cocktail glass during his interview with NPR's Ari Shapiro.
Claire Eggers NPR

Originally published on Mon December 1, 2014 1:36 pm

Dave Arnold can work some serious magic with a cocktail shaker. But he's no alchemist — Arnold, who runs the Manhattan bar Booker and Dax, takes a very scientific approach to his craft.

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Found Recipes
4:05 pm
Fri November 28, 2014

A Boozy Parisian Pineapple That Tastes Like The Holidays

Roasted pineapple
Alan Richardson Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 5:22 pm

"It almost tastes like Christmas."

That's how Dorie Greenspan describes Laurent's Slow-Roasted Pineapple, a sweet, spicy and boozy dessert she's perfected after much trial and error. The dish, she says, is a "true found recipe," because it took a great deal of cajoling to pry it out of its creator, Laurent Tavernier.

Tavernier cuts hair in Paris, where Greenspan, author of Baking Chez Moi, has lived part-time for years. He's a great cook, she says — but while he would show her photos of his creations on his phone, "I could never get a recipe.

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Food
4:28 am
Fri November 28, 2014

Nigella Lawson Loves Leftovers And Knows How To Use Them

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 6:16 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Food
3:23 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

For A Century, Thanksgiving's Must-Haves Were Celery And Olives

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 6:12 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Found Recipes
2:56 pm
Thu November 27, 2014

Good Luck Keeping Your Paws Off 'Mittens The Cat Cake'

Gesine Bullock-Prado's "Mittens The Cat Cake" takes a few days to make — but she says it's worth it.
Courtesy of Gesine Bullock-Prado

Originally published on Fri November 28, 2014 1:59 pm

Forget turkey — it's time to talk about dessert. Imagine, if you will, a cake, shaped like a dome. On the outside, brown and white swirls of chocolate and marzipan. On the inside: a rich pumpkin mousse.

Now, if you happen to be eating at the home of Vermont pastry chef Gesine Bullock-Prado, you can quit daydreaming and just dig in.

"I do this cake every Thanksgiving, and it's so beautiful," she says. "And then it just happens to taste pretty amazing."

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The Salt
6:03 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Can Breeders Cure What Ails Our Breast-Heavy Turkeys?

A 40-pound tom turkey flaps his wing as Chris Conley carries him to a pen at Raymond's Turkey Farm in Methuen, Mass., on Friday. The farm raises approximately 20,000 broad-breasted white turkeys per year.
Elise Amendola AP

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 10:19 am

Many Americans will be sitting down Thursday to a wonderfully meaty, broad-breasted white turkey that grew to maturity in a remarkably short period: just 136 days, on average.

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NPR Story
3:42 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Astronauts Will Enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner In Space

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 11:12 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

And now this - Thanksgiving in space. This year, two American astronauts will be celebrating the holiday aboard the International Space Station. As NPR's Geoff Brumfiel reports, Thanksgiving in orbit has its pros and cons.

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Code Switch
2:51 am
Thu November 27, 2014

Stories Of Your First Thanksgiving In The U.S.

We don't endorse using a trident to carve your turkey.
floodllama Flickr

Originally published on Thu November 27, 2014 11:12 am

This past week, we called for stories about your first Thanksgiving in the United States. Who'd you spend it with? Where were you coming from? What'd you eat? What'd you think of it? we wondered.

And many of the stories we heard from you were about food: You had issues roasting the turkey properly. Your mom found, um, a creative solution to making your bird golden-brown. You ate a lot of different alternative Thanksgiving meals. Your stories were goofy and weird, but most of them made us smile. Here are some of them:

Leticia Ortiz

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Coca-Cola Wades Into Milk Business With 'Fairlife'

Originally published on Wed December 17, 2014 2:00 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Obama Pardons Turkeys Mac And Cheese

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

(SOUNDBITE OF CEREMONY)

PRESIDENT BARACK OBAMA: Today I'm taking an action fully within my legal authority.

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

That's President Obama today. After he faced more than a week of criticism over his executive actions on immigration, today he had a bit of fun.

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Food
4:22 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Cooking This Thanksgiving? Your Worst Enemy In The Kitchen Is You

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:39 pm

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

ARI SHAPIRO, HOST:

I'm Ari Shapiro with a reality check about your cooking.

(SOUNDBITE OF FILM "NATIONAL LAMPOON'S VACATION")

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The Salt
2:54 pm
Wed November 26, 2014

Why American Honey Importers Are Wary Of 'Turkish' Honey

An apiary on the outskirts of Chengdu, China, produces about 440 pounds of honey a day. American honey importers say they suspect the uptick in honey coming from Turkey actually originated in China.
Liu Jin AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 5:38 pm

Turkey is a land of fine honey. Bees produce more of the sweet stuff in Turkey than in any other country except China. And Turkish consumers happily eat most of it themselves. Very little Turkish honey is exported. When it is, it usually commands premium prices.

But some American honey producers say they've observed something odd: cheap Turkish honey headed to the U.S. The U.S. producers think it's not really Turkish honey — and that it actually comes from a country farther to the east.

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The Salt
11:37 am
Wed November 26, 2014

The Native American Side Of The Thanksgiving Menu

Renee Comet Photography Restaurant Associates and Smithsonian Institution

A version of this story was originally published on Nov. 21, 2012.

Everyone knows the schoolhouse version of the first Thanksgiving story: New England pilgrims came together with Native Americans to share a meal after the harvest. The original menu was something of a joint venture, but over the years, a lot of the traditional dishes have lost their native flavor.

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NPR Story
4:13 am
Wed November 26, 2014

For Native Alaskans, Holiday Menu Looks To The Wild

Akutaq or agutak — also known as Eskimo ice cream — is a favorite dessert in western Alaska. It's made with berries and frothed with fat, like Crisco.
Al Grillo AP

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:19 am

When Americans sit down to their Thanksgiving meal, most tables will feature traditional fare: turkey, mashed potatoes, cranberries. But should you be looking for a different kind of holiday meal, head for rural Alaska.

That's where Nellie Gamechuck lives, in a village squeezed between tundra and a bend in the river in the southwest part of the state. Ask her what's for dinner on Thanksgiving, and she opens up the deep freeze. "Walrus meat, moose meat," she says. Digging down through the layers, she reaches the dessert level: salmonberries.

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The Salt
3:16 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Gluten-Free? Vegan? Thanksgiving Recipes For Alternative Diets

Baked Squash Kibbeh: Middle-Eastern kibbeh is a finely ground combination of beef or lamb, bulgur and onions either formed into balls and deep-fried or pressed into a pan and baked. For a vegetarian version of this flavorful dish, why not pair butternut squash with the warm spices?
Steve Klise Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 11:05 am

It's like the start of a bad joke: a vegan, a gluten-free and a paleo walk into a bar — except it's your house, and they're gathered around your Thanksgiving table.

More and more Americans are passing on gluten — some for medical reasons, most by choice. Others are adopting diets that exclude meat, or insisting on the kinds of unprocessed foods that early man would have hunted and gathered.

All of this is a challenge to the traditional Thanksgiving feast.

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Food
3:14 am
Wed November 26, 2014

Thanksgiving Recipes From 'Morning Edition' Listeners

Melissa Lea, or @melilea14, suggests a truce in the age-old sweet potato war.
Melissa Lea

Originally published on Wed November 26, 2014 10:10 am

Last week, amateur cook and writer Maureen Evans told us how to tweet a recipe in 140 characters or less and broke down the code from her Twitter cookbook, Eat Tweet. Then we asked listeners to give it a try, and we're compiling some of our favorites:

Harvest Desk
8:50 pm
Tue November 25, 2014

High Turkey Prices Unlikely To Impact Consumers

Credit flickr/Calgary Reviews

Wholesale turkey prices are at an all-time high this Thanksgiving, but you may not see that at the grocery store.

Farmers raised fewer turkeys this year than they have in the past three decades - about 235 million gobblers, according to the US Department of Agriculture.

Ann Knowles raised seventy on her small farm in western Illinois. She coops up the plump birds at night to guard against predators, but lets them roam freely during the day.

KNOWLES  "They get to strut. And they chase in bugs. So I think they’re little dinky brains are probably pretty happy."

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