Harvest Desk

The Salt
2:07 pm
Mon January 5, 2015

Sandwich Monday: The Pretzel Dog

Don't call it "Long Pig in a blanket."
NPR

Originally published on Wed January 7, 2015 4:28 pm

Auntie Anne's logo is a pretzel wearing a halo. This is probably supposed to connote a pretzel that's good for you. Or heavenly, maybe? But when you look at it long enough, it makes you think: Pretzels can die. And there's an afterlife for them.

Is pretzel heaven the same as people heaven? Where do bad pretzels go? These are the things that go through your head when you're waiting for your Pretzel Dog — a hot dog wrapped in soft pretzel.

Ian: This is indistinguishable from a Nerf Blowgun.

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The Salt
8:08 am
Mon January 5, 2015

Craft Brewers Are Running Out Of Names, And Into Legal Spats

With so many craft breweries now in operation, just about every beer name you can imagine is taken. That's making it harder for newcomers to name that brew without risking a legal fight.
Leif Parsons for NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 3:49 pm

Columbia? Taken. Mississippi? Taken. Sacramento? El Niño? Marlin? Grizzly? Sorry, they're all taken.

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The Salt
6:01 pm
Sat January 3, 2015

Marketers Turn To Memories Of Sweeter Times To Sell Cereal

General Mills is bringing back the popular '90s cereal in a nod to nostalgia and in the hopes of boosting its weak cereal sales.
General Mills AP

Originally published on Wed February 4, 2015 11:46 pm

The taste of foods from our childhood can trigger intense emotional reactions. It's a fact well known to students of French literature and marketing executives.

And it's changing the make-up of the cereal aisle. Thanks to the power of food nostalgia, General Mills is bringing back the sugary cereal French Toast Crunch.

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The Salt
4:51 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

A Resolution For Foodies Who Want To Do Good: Pick A Campaign

Originally published on Sat January 3, 2015 4:40 pm

Say you're kicking off 2015 with big plans to be a conscientious food consumer.

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The Salt
12:13 pm
Fri January 2, 2015

No Yolk: Eggs Beat Most Other Foods In Our Blog Last Year

"The egg is a lens through which to view the entire craft of cooking," says food writer Michael Ruhlman.
Donna Turner Ruhlman

Eggs are a marvel, a mystery and a mainstay of the American diet.

And so when we looked back at our most popular posts of 2014 and saw that three of the top 20 were about eggs, we weren't surprised. People love eggs.

And don't mind if we admit that these three stories, which went viral, were good ones:

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

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Shots - Health News
6:40 am
Fri January 2, 2015

How Will You Work Out When CrossFit Is No Longer Hip?

Originally published on Mon January 5, 2015 9:03 am

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Food
6:37 am
Fri January 2, 2015

Organizing Like A Chef Makes For Good Habits

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 6:57 am

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

STEVE INSKEEP, HOST:

Next we look back on a story that's right for today. Some of us surely have made New Year's resolutions to get more organized.

DAVID GREENE, HOST:

Steve, did you make that resolution?

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The Salt
4:43 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

A 40-Day Vegan Fast, Then, At Last, A January Christmas Feast

Abebe, the owner of Abyssinia, a popular Ethiopian eatery in Nairobi, Kenya, shows some of the foods permitted during the pre-Christmas fast. Orthodox Ethiopians typically eat just one vegan meal per day for 40 days before the Christmas feast on Jan. 7.
Gregory Warner NPR

Originally published on Tue January 6, 2015 3:48 pm

An Ethiopian kitchen can be a place of both succulence and self-denial.

In the kitchen of Abyssinia, a popular Ethiopian eatery in Nairobi, the owner, Abebe, demonstrates how his cook prepares the dish called kitfo. It's raw minced beef whipped together with cardamom and chili and a spicy butter, with a texture and taste closer to delicate cheese than to steak tartar.

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The Salt
3:38 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

A Restaurant That Serves Up A Side Of Social Goals

Srirupa Dasgupta opened Upohar, a restaurant and catering service, with a social mission. Her employees — primarily refugees — earn double the minimum wage.
Jeff Brady NPR

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 6:23 pm

This is part of a series of stories about starting over, profiling people who, by choice or circumstance, reinvented or transformed themselves.

When Srirupa Dasgupta came to the U.S. from India to attend college in the mid-1980s, she was determined to work in high-tech, not the restaurant industry. But today, she owns a small restaurant and catering service in Lancaster, Pa., and employs primarily refugees who might have trouble finding work elsewhere.

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Food
3:38 pm
Thu January 1, 2015

To Prevent A Hangover, Develop A Pre-Drinking Plan

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 9:34 pm

Copyright 2015 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Transcript

LOURDES GARCIA-NAVARRO, HOST:

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The Salt
2:49 am
Thu January 1, 2015

Pastry With Soul. It's That Simple

Grilled lemon pound cake topped with slow-roasted nectarines, basil gelato and olive oil drizzle. Yum.
Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin Courtesy of W.W. Norton & Co. Inc.

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 8:02 am

NPR's David Greene enjoyed a little time in the kitchen just before the holidays with Brooks Headley, a punk-rock musician and award-winning pastry chef at New York's Del Posto. Other chefs may revel in fancy technique, but Headley prefers keeping things simple. He says he never wanted to be so obsessed with presentation that the conversation at the dinner table stopped when dessert arrived.

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Found Recipes
4:20 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

A Cure For The Common Hangover, Found On The Stove

After a long night, don't head to the medicine cabinet — head directly to the stove and a simmering pot of posole.
Jesse Hendrix Inman Courtesy of Estes PR

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 10:52 am

On New Year's Day, there's one comfort food that could be your magical hangover remedy, according to chef Anthony Lamas.

"If you're cold, you're hung over, you've had a long night, posole is that Latino cure for you in a bowl," he says.

That's right — don't head to the medicine cabinet, head directly to the stove and a simmering pot of posole, a traditional hominy stew from Mexico, says Lamas, the owner of the restaurant Seviche in Louisville, Ky.

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The Salt
4:10 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Luck Be A Lentil Tonight! What The World Eats To Welcome The New Year

"Lechon," or roasted pig, is often served at Philippine festivities, especially during Christmas and New Year's celebrations.
Noel Celis AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 4:46 pm

Many cultures greet the new year with a feast that symbolically sets the table for the year ahead. As they sit down to traditional dishes, people often try to metaphorically eat their hopes and goals for the coming year.

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Around the Nation
3:26 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

In Sacramento, Fighting Hunger Requires More Than Charity

Originally published on Wed December 31, 2014 5:48 pm

One in seven households in the U.S. won't have enough to eat sometime in the coming year, according to a recent study by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Even someone with a good job and steady income could quickly become a person who relies on food banks to make ends meet.

This story came to us from Capital Public Radio's documentary series, The View From Here.

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The Salt
2:13 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

If You're Toasting To Health, Reach For Beer, Not (Sparkling) Wine

Scientists say beer has more nutrients and vitamins than wine or spirits. "There's a reason people call it liquid bread," says researcher Charlie Bamforth.
iStockphoto

Originally published on Thu January 1, 2015 7:51 am

What's the healthiest libation for ringing in the New Year?

Beer, says Charlie Bamforth, a professor of brewing sciences at the University of California, Davis. Though it's been blamed for many a paunch, it's more nutritious than most other alcoholic drinks, Bamforth says.

"There's a reason people call it liquid bread," he says.

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The Salt
12:45 pm
Wed December 31, 2014

Food Psychology: How To Trick Your Palate Into A Tastier Meal

Environmental cues — like the color, size and shape of the dinnerware, the music playing in the background and the lighting in the dining room — can alter how we experience food and drink. For example, research suggests that serving food on a red plate tends to reduce the amount diners eat.
Ariel Zambelich NPR

What makes the perfect meal?

Most of us might envision a specific dish, or a certain ingredient — a fine steak cooked medium-rare, grandma's chicken curry or mom's hearty ratatouille.

Charles Spence thinks about the food, for sure. But he also thinks about everything else: the color and size of the dinnerware, the music playing in the background and the lighting in the dining room.

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Shots - Health News
2:28 am
Wed December 31, 2014

Potent Powdered Caffeine Raises Safety Worries

One teaspoon of pure caffeine powder delivers about the same jolt as 25 cups of coffee.
The Center for Science in the Public Interest

Originally published on Fri January 2, 2015 6:32 am

Wade Sweatt thought he had found a healthier way to get himself going in the morning. Instead of getting his daily jolt of caffeine from a cup of coffee or a Coke, Sweatt decided last summer to try mixing some powdered caffeine he'd bought via the Internet with some water or milk.

"Wade was very health-conscious, a very healthy person," says Sweatt's father, James. "His idea was, this was healthier than getting all the sugar and the sodium and ... artificial sweeteners from drinking Coca-Colas and diet Cokes."

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The Salt
3:49 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Beyond Free Lunch: Schools Open Food Pantries For Hungry Families

Erica Johnson prays before her meal. She volunteers at the food pantry at John Still school where three of her four children are students. She eats alone after she feeds her kids.
Andrew Nixon Capital Public Radio

Originally published on Thu January 15, 2015 8:33 pm

John Still K-8 School, home of the Tigers, serves Meadowview, a picturesque name for a Sacramento, Calif., neighborhood blanketed in concrete and bare of trees.

There are 970 students on John Still's campus, and every one of them qualifies for the free and reduced meal program, which provides breakfast, lunch and a supper snack.

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The Salt
3:01 pm
Tue December 30, 2014

Hangover Helper: Tips To Prevent A Horrible Headache

Seeing double after toasting? Just wait for the hangover that's coming, thanks in part to those bubbles in sparkling wine.
Chris Nickels for NPR

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 5:45 pm

The first time I ever got tipsy was during a champagne toast at a cousin's wedding reception.

All was good, until the room started spinning — and the sight of my cousin's bride dancing in her wedding dress was just a whirl of lace.

Of course, if you're an uninitiated teenager, any amount of alcohol can go straight to your head. But, decades later, bubbly wine still seems to hit me faster than, say, beer. It turns out there's a reason.

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The Salt
5:12 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

How California's New Rules Are Scrambling The Egg Industry

These "enriched cages" from the JS West farm in Atwater, Calif., in 2011 comply with the state's new law. They are larger and allow chickens to perch and lay eggs in enclosed spaces.
Jill Benson AP

Originally published on Tue December 30, 2014 11:34 am

Within just a few days, on Jan. 1, all eggs sold in California will have to come from chickens that live in more spacious quarters — almost twice as spacious, in fact, as the cages that have been the industry standard.

It's been a shock to the egg industry, and to grocery stores. Eggs are one of those staples that self-respecting grocery retailers absolutely, positively have to keep in stock. "You have to have bread, milk, lettuce. You have to have eggs," says Ronald Fong, the president and CEO of the California Grocers Association.

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The Salt
4:03 pm
Mon December 29, 2014

As Bourbon Booms, Demand For Barrels Is Overflowing

Kelvin Cooperage, owned by brothers Kevin and Paul McLaughlin, is making white oak barrels for the newly-rising craft distillers. Here, oak scraps are burned inside the finished barrels to char them.
Noah Adams NPR

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 5:35 pm

If you could make a lot of bourbon whiskey these days, you could be distilling real profits. Bourbon sales in this country are up 36 percent in the past five years.

But you'd need new wooden barrels for aging your new pristine product. Simple white oak barrels, charred on the inside to increase flavor and add color, are becoming more precious than the bourbon.

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The Salt
2:16 am
Mon December 29, 2014

Not Just A Man's Drink: Ladies Lead The Whiskey Renaissance

Women at a whiskey tasting at the W South Beach Hotel & Residences on May 3, 2012, in Miami Beach, Fla.
Aaron Davidson Getty Images for W South Beach Hotel & Residences

Originally published on Thu February 5, 2015 1:24 pm

What do Lady Gaga and Rihanna have in common with Founding Father George Washington? Whiskey.

Yes, our first commander in chief distilled the popular spirit. And these pop icons are helping to fuel a new female-driven whiskey renaissance.

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Television
4:42 pm
Sun December 28, 2014

If You've Ever Looked For Faces In Your Potato Chips, Thank Myrtle Young

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 5:02 pm

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

Food
8:40 am
Sun December 28, 2014

A Cuppa Matcha With Your Crickets? On The Menu In 2015

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 2:06 pm

It's time to set the table for 2015. What will be the next kale? Has the cupcake breathed its last?

We're headed for high times. As states legalize marijuana, cannabis comestibles are coming. Pot brownies — so 1960s — are joined by marijuana mac 'n' cheese and pot pesto. There's a new cooking show called Bong Appetit.

Another crushed leaf is this year's superdrink. Matcha is made from green tea and promises a calmer energy boost than Red Bull. The Japanese have been drinking it for centuries.

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Author Interviews
6:39 am
Sun December 28, 2014

Jamie Oliver, Up To His Elbows In Mashed Potatoes With 'Comfort Food'

David Loftus

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 1:46 pm

Jamie Oliver is a food superstar — he has produced and presented hugely popular TV programs on cooking, notably The Naked Chef and more recently Jamie's Food Revolution. He has written more than a dozen cookbooks, many to accompany the TV shows. He has written about English food, Italian food, fast food, American food and school food, and has campaigned for a healthier diet for kids, built around introducing children to a wider range of things to eat — including the dreaded vegetables.

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The Salt
11:13 pm
Sat December 27, 2014

AirAsia Plane Missing After Takeoff From Indonesia

Relatives of passengers of AirAsia flight QZ8501 comfort each other Sunday at Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, Indonesia.
Trisnadi AP

Originally published on Sun December 28, 2014 1:48 pm

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Search operations have been suspended for the night for an AirAsia plane with 162 aboard that lost contact with air traffic control after takeoff from Indonesia on a flight to Singapore, the Singapore Civil Aviation Authority reports.

The plane, en route from Surabaya, Indonesia, lost contact about an hour before it was due to arrive in Singapore. It was scheduled to land at 8:30 a.m. Singapore time (7:30 p.m. ET Saturday), Hadi Mustofa, an official with the Indonesian air ministry, said on Indonesia's MetroTV.

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Food
3:26 pm
Fri December 26, 2014

In The Nation's Capital, A Signature Soup Stays On The Menu

Copyright 2014 WAMU-FM. To see more, visit http://wamu.org.

The Salt
5:33 am
Fri December 26, 2014

Nutmeg Spice Has A Secret Story That Isn't So Nice

This copper engraving from approximately 1700 depicts the condition of the English prisoners at the hands of the Dutch. In the 1660s, Cornell University's Eric Tagliacozzo says, the conflict and competition for the spice trade came to a head. "The Dutch decapitated a number of English merchants who were also in the Spice Islands trying to profit from the trade."
WikiCommons

Originally published on Fri December 26, 2014 12:07 pm

Ah, nutmeg! Whether it's sprinkled on eggnog, baked into spice cake or blended into a latte, this pungent spice can evoke memories of holidays past.

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The Salt
3:18 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

Why Bury Fig Trees? A Curious Tradition Preserves A Taste Of Italy

Michele Vaccaro buries a fig tree in the yard of Mary Menniti in Sewickley, Pa.
Hal Klein for NPR

Originally published on Mon January 19, 2015 6:42 pm

On a gray, chilly December morning in Sewickley, Pa., Michele Vaccaro and his assistant are digging a trench in a garden.

"It looks like we're burying somebody over here — a body," Vaccaro says.

Cast your old Godfather stereotypes aside, because this Calabrian immigrant is carrying on a much more wholesome tradition: He's burying a 12-foot fig tree.

"It's been done for years. Probably [since] the 1800s," he says, when Italians coming to America first started bringing fig trees over from the old country. "They would put them always in the ground."

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Found Recipes
3:18 pm
Thu December 25, 2014

After The Presents, A Buttery Tea Cake Tradition

Susan Tannewitz-Karnes grew up eating Mrs. Lawrence every Christmas. The tea cake was so beloved that Tannewitz-Karnes and her siblings would argue over who received more than their fair share.
Courtesy of Susan Tannewitz-Karnes

Originally published on Mon December 29, 2014 11:13 am

When listener Susan Tannewitz-Karnes was a child in Johnson City, Tenn., Christmas wasn't Christmas without an English tea cake baked by their neighbor, Mrs. Lawrence.

She would deliver it about a week before Christmas. "We would come home from school and my mother would just say, 'Mrs. Lawrence came by! We have Mrs. Lawrence!' And we'd say, 'Oh, yes! Yes!' We couldn't wait."

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