Harvest Desk

The Salt
5:17 pm
Sat October 25, 2014

A New Lending Library — For Your Kitchen

Originally published on Sun October 26, 2014 12:50 pm

Fondue sets, ice cream makers and juicers. Fun kitchen gadgets to have, but frankly, who has the cash or counter space? The Kitchen Library understands, so it just rents out those appliances.

We're talking four-day access to myriad cool kitchen contraptions. In addition to the aforementioned gadgets, the library is also home to a chocolate fountain, a creme brulee set, hand mixers and slow cookers. There are more than 100 items in the inventory.

Read more
The Salt
4:36 am
Sat October 25, 2014

Tracing A Gin-Soaked Trail In London

A depiction of "Gin Lane," filled with sins caused by drunken revelries.
William Hogarth/Wikimedia

Originally published on Sat October 25, 2014 10:57 am

In Scotland, some long-time whisky makers are switching over to gin. In Germany, people who distill traditional brandies are doing the same. The world is in the middle of a gin distillery boom, and it is coming to America.

One place to find the roots of this boom is London, where 250 distilleries once existed in the city limits alone.

For Charles Maxwell, this story is personal. "My great-great-grandfather was apprenticed in the city of London in the 1680s to learn how to make gin," Maxwell says. "And from that day to this, we've distilled gin in London."

Read more
The Salt
6:03 am
Fri October 24, 2014

A Wisecracking Biochemist Shares Her Kitchen ABCs

A selection of foods discussed by Shirley Corriher at the National Press Club on Oct. 22.
Alison Bruzek/NPR

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 2:58 pm

Biochemists aren't really known for their sense of humor. But we recently met one who was warm, inviting and downright hilarious. "When chemists don't know what something is, they call it a substance," quips Shirley Corriher.

Read more
The Salt
5:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

How 'Foodies' Were Duped Into Thinking McDonald's Was High-End Food

McDonald's Organic/youtube

Originally published on Tue November 4, 2014 4:54 pm

We all know that how a food is packaged and marketed can influence our choices, no matter how hard we try to shake the effect. Haven't you ever found yourself contemplating a row of wines, trying to decide which bottle to buy, and then opting for the one with the higher price tag, the prettier label or the more tempting descriptors?

Read more
Found Recipes
3:31 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Bring Home A Taste Of Paris The Easy Way With French Bistro Brisket

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 5:35 pm

Beef brisket is more than a tough cut of meat. Steven Raichlen says when it's braised low and slow until tender, it becomes otherworldly.

"Your knife doesn't so much cut through the brisket as glide through it," he says. "It's beefy, meaty, earthy."

Read more
Shots - Health News
12:58 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

How To Sell Bogus Health Cures In 5 Easy Steps

Wouldn't it be great if this stuff really did cause quick painless weight loss?
iStockphoto

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 11:33 am

I'm bummed that the green coffee weight-loss cure touted by Dr. Oz doesn't work. It could have been the perfect painless antidote to my habit of lying on the sofa eating Russian chocolate.

Read more
Food
12:22 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

'Test Kitchen': How To Buy The Safest Meat And Make The Juiciest Steaks

To make the best (and safest) burger, America's Test Kitchen recommends grinding the meat at home and packing it loosely.
Courtesy of America's Test Kitchen

Originally published on Fri October 24, 2014 1:10 pm

When shopping for meat, sometimes the options can be dizzying — what's the difference between an organic, free-range or air-chilled chicken? The Cook's Illustrated Meat Book offers insights.

It's about how to shop for, store, season and cook meat and poultry — and how to prevent contaminating your kitchen with bacteria from the raw meat.

Read more
Harvest Desk
11:14 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Wild Bison Return To IL

Ferran Salat Coll/TNC

It’s been a long time since you could say there were bison roaming the prairie in Illinois. The last ones were thought to have died off here or moved to other places in the 1800s. And while bison have still been raised here on farms, there haven’t been efforts for bison conservation in the state. That is, until now.

Cody Considine is an ecologist for the The Nature Conservancy at the Nachusa Grasslands. He joined us for this interview:

Read more
The Salt
10:49 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Why California's Drought-Stressed Fruit May Be Better For You

These pomegranates are about an inch smaller than the typical size, but they're packed with antioxidants.
Courtesy of Tiziana Centofanti

Originally published on Mon October 27, 2014 12:36 pm

California's severe drought is putting stress on everyone these days: the residents whose wells are running dry; the farmers forced to experiment with growing their produce with much less water; and of course, the thirsty fruits and vegetables themselves.

Read more
The Salt
2:26 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Glow-In-The-Dark Treats To Light Up Your Halloween

Glowing tapioca pearls accompanied by spiders (made of chocolate drizzle), just in time for Halloween, by Luma Bites
Martina Zupanic Luma Bites

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 5:35 pm

This Halloween, what better way to one-up your friends than mixing up some batter, swapping out your light bulbs for ultraviolet replacements, and showing off some glowing baked goods?

And, if you follow the advice of Steven Johnson and Martina Zupanic, these treats won't leave you feeling regretful the next day about your eating choices.

Read more
The Salt
1:18 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

More Cities Are Making It Illegal To Hand Out Food To The Homeless

The homeless and others in need enjoy lunch at the Los Angeles Mission on Nov. 23, 2011, in celebration of Thanksgiving. Legislation to ban organizations from serving food to homeless people in public places has been proposed in Los Angeles.
Frederic J. Brown AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 4:54 pm

If you don't have a place to live, getting enough to eat clearly may be a struggle. And since homelessness in the U.S. isn't going away and is even rising in some cities, more charitable groups and individuals have been stepping up the past few years to share food with these vulnerable folks in their communities.

But just as more people reach out to help, cities are biting back at those hands feeding the homeless.

Read more
Shots - Health News
7:56 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Banned Drugs Still Turning Up In Weight-Loss Supplements

Even versions of Zi Xiu Tang Bee Pollen labeled "genuine" and "anti-counterfeit" have been found to contain the drug sibutramine, which was supposed to come off the U.S. market in 2010 for safety reasons.
Food and Drug Administration

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 8:04 am

Americans spend about $4 billion a year on weight-loss supplements. And the Food and Drug Administration spends a lot of effort policing distributors who market fraudulent products that are tainted with unsafe, banned drugs.

But a study published Tuesday finds that buyers should beware: Just because the FDA recalls a product for containing dangerous substances doesn't mean the product disappears from the market.

Read more
The Salt
3:34 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

From NFL To 'Scandal,' Whole Foods Buys TV Ads To Boost Its Brand

Whole Foods' new ad campaign is part of its effort to brand itself as America's Healthiest Grocery Store.
Whole Foods youtube

If you tune into Game 1 of the World Series tonight, you may catch this ad for Whole Foods Market.

Read more
The Salt
11:05 am
Tue October 21, 2014

Can Hand-Cut, Artisanal Ice Make Your Cocktail That Much Better?

Joe Ambrose of Favourite Ice holds one of his crystal-clear artisanal cubes.
Jessica Sidman Washington City Paper

Originally published on Wed October 22, 2014 3:41 pm

Now that we've entered the "craft cocktail" era, drinks with double-digit price tags are just par for the course. And in many cities, there's a decent chance that your fancy craft drink now comes with a large, crystal-clear cube or rectangle that melts unhurriedly in your glass. That's right: Artisanal ice is a thing.

Read more
The Salt
2:53 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Climate Change Has Coffee Growers In Haiti Seeking Higher Ground

A Haitian woman holds cherries from a coffee tree. Haiti's coffee trade was once a flourishing industry, but it has been crippled by decades of deforestation, political chaos and now, climate change.
Patrick Farrell MCT /Landov

Originally published on Thu October 23, 2014 4:54 pm

Haiti once produced half the world's coffee. The lush, shade-covered mountainsides provided an ideal environment for imported Arabica trees.

Today, Haitian coffee barely registers in global surveys. Trade embargoes, deforestation and the rise of global coffee powerhouses such as Brazil and Indonesia are just a few of the reasons. And now, there's climate change.

Read more
The Salt
2:42 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

Sandwich Monday: The Primanti Bros. Pitts-burger

It's smiling at you. I guess it doesn't know what's about to happen.
NPR

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:35 pm

If you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you will frequently hear from people telling you to try Primanti Bros. in Pittsburgh, or that the sandwich you just ate is a ripoff of something Primanti Bros. has been doing for years. Also, if you do a regular blog post about sandwiches, you probably regularly hear from your parents wanting to know what on earth you went to college for.

Read more
The Salt
10:17 am
Mon October 20, 2014

In The Big Easy, Food Vendors Create A Little Honduras

Taqueria La Delicia is a lonchera, or food truck, that parks near a Lowe's Home Improvement store in New Orleans. The owner is Honduran, and so are many of the day laborers who eat there.
Laine Kaplan-Levenson WWNO

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 4:31 pm

Thanks to a quirk of history — and a love of bananas — New Orleans has had a Honduran population for more than a century. But that population exploded after Hurricane Katrina, when the jobs needed to rebuild the city drew waves of Honduran immigrants. Many of them stayed, and nearly a decade later, they've established a thriving — if somewhat underground — culinary community.

Signs of that community abound, if you know where to look.

Read more
Author Interviews
6:47 am
Sun October 19, 2014

Chef Ottolenghi Makes The Case For 'Plenty More' Vegetables

Peas With Sorrel And Mustard
Jonathan Lovekin Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 11:46 am

When's the last time you cooked with sorrel leaves or nigella seeds? What about a marrow squash or verjuice? (Don't even know what a verjuice is? Neither did we — it's a special sauce made from semiripe wine grapes.)

All these ingredients might sound exotic and complicated, but chef Yotam Ottolenghi is here to convince you that you don't have to be a professional chef to use them. In his new book, Plenty More, Ottolenghi demonstrates how some off-the-beaten-path ingredients can turn your quotidian vegetable side dish into a thing of majesty.

Read more
The Salt
4:44 am
Sat October 18, 2014

Once A Year, Farmers Go Back To Picking Corn By Hand — For Fun

The Illinois State Corn Husking Competition is one of nine competitions happening during harvest season all across the Midwest.
Abby Wendle NPR

Originally published on Sat October 18, 2014 2:46 pm

Frank Hennenfent is a typical Illinois farmer. At this time of year, he spends countless hours in an air-conditioned, GPS-equipped combine – an enormous machine that can harvest as many as 12 rows of corn at a time.

But in late September, Hennenfent was going back to the basics. He was a top competitor at the 34th annual Illinois State Corn Husking Competition.

Read more
The Salt
12:44 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

At London's Tincan, Eating Canned Fish Is The Height Of Luxury

There's a strong element of buying with your eyes at Tincan. Rows of gourmet-quality tins, beautifully packaged in collectible-worthy cans, are displayed at eye level.
Paul Winch-Furness Courtesy of Tincan

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 1:40 pm

In the heart of London's Soho sits a gleaming new restaurant — Tincan. The premise is simple: No kitchen, very few staff, and the menu all comes out of a can. Specifically, canned fish.

To many people, canned food conjures up images of stocking up for winter, emergency rations, or — for Brits — the deprivations of World War II.

Read more
The Salt
7:08 am
Fri October 17, 2014

Startup's New Sprays Promise Longer-Lasting Fruit, Fewer Pesticides

Apples were beginning to ripen Aug. 26 on trees at Carter Hill Orchard in Concord, N.H.
Jim Cole AP

Scientists at startup Apeel Sciences have figured out the secret to doubling lifespans. Not our lifespans, alas, but those of fruits and veggies. And they do it naturally.

It's a big deal. Worldwide, we throw away about a third of our food, some $750 billion per year — and the percentage is even higher in the United States. One reason is rot: Food goes bad before we can bite in.

Read more
The Salt
3:44 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Reality Check: To Burn Off A Soda, You'll Have To Run 50 Minutes

Would you think twice about that 20-ounce soda if you were informed that it would take 5 miles of walking — or 50 minutes of running — to burn it off?
Justin Sullivan Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:32 am

As a society, we don't pay much attention to nutrition information when we eat out.

A U.S. Department of Agriculture report estimates just 8 percent of Americans use nutritional information when deciding what to order.

But that could change soon.

Read more
The Salt
3:24 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Do We Need A New 'Environmental Impact' Label For Beef?

Researchers say there's plenty the beef industry can do to use less land and water and emit fewer greenhouse gas emissions. But producers may need to charge a premium to make those changes.
iStockphoto.com

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 3:49 pm

If you've got decisions to make at the meat counter (or at a burger joint) and want to do right by the environment, you have a couple of options.

You could skip the beef entirely, which is what some environmental groups say you should do. Or you could go for meat with a "grass-fed" or "organic" label.

Read more
Goats and Soda
12:44 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

A Balanced Diet For World Food Day: Bugs, Groundnuts And Grains

An Indian groundnut vendor waits for customers.
Dibyangshu Sarkar AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Fri October 17, 2014 8:47 am

What's for dinner on World Food Day?

How about a humble meal of dried termites stirred into a sukuma wiki stew? With a side of sorghum couscous?

World Food Day was invented by the United Nations in 1979 and first celebrated the next year. One goal is to promote underutilized, highly nutritious foods for the 800 million people in lower-income countries who can't easily prepare balanced meals.

Read more
The Salt
6:01 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

New GMOs Get A Regulatory Green Light, With A Hint Of Yellow

Corn farmer Jerry McCulley sprays the weedkiller glyphosate across his cornfield in Auburn, Ill., in 2010. An increasing number of weeds have now evolved resistance to the chemical.
Seth Perlman AP

Government regulators have approved a new generation of genetically engineered corn and soybeans. They're the latest weapon in an arms race between farmers and weeds, and the government's green light is provoking angry opposition from environmentalists.

Read more
The Salt
11:26 am
Wed October 15, 2014

The Texas Road Food Takeover: Smoked, Fried And Tex-Mex

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 2:22 pm

Recently, a friend and I rode bicycles from Brownsville, Texas, to Oklahoma, 738 miles from the Rio Grande to the Red River, just for the hell of it. Naturally, eating was the highlight of the journey. The trip turned into a 13-mph tour of Texas's evolving food geography.

Read more
Code Switch
6:03 am
Wed October 15, 2014

In The World Of Chefs, Asian-American Women Are Turning Up The Heat

Chef Niki Nakayama.
Zen Sekizawa Courtesy of n/naka

Originally published on Wed October 15, 2014 1:54 pm

Food writers have argued that Asian-American chefs are having a moment. Besides running popular food establishments, chefs David Chang, Roy Choi and Eddie Huang have each inspired his own cultlike fan base. All three have published best-selling books; Huang's Fresh Off the Boat: A Memoir is the basis for a highly anticipated sitcom debuting this fall on ABC.

Read more
Goats and Soda
2:41 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Should You Stock Up On Chocolate Bars Because Of Ebola?

Farmer Issiaka Ouedraogo lays cocoa beans out to dry on reed mats, on a farm outside the village of Fangolo, Ivory Coast.
Rebecca Blackwell AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:16 am

Jack Scoville was buying himself a chocolate bar a few weeks ago — Hershey's, milk — at a corner store in Chicago. And he noticed the price was just a bit higher than he's used to paying: 5 or 10 cents more. His first thought was not to blame a greedy store owner or the executives in Hershey, Pa.

He blamed Ebola.

Read more
The Salt
3:35 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

What's Really In A Big Mac? McDonald's Says It's Ready To Tell All

McDonald's still won't reveal the recipe for its secret sauce, but it will show you how that Big Mac patty gets made.
Keith Srakocic AP

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:59 am

Did you hear the one about the McDonald's hamburger that still hadn't decomposed after 14 years?

And "pink slime" — how much goes into McDonald's beef?

Read more
The Salt
11:18 am
Tue October 14, 2014

Bike Like A Pro Athlete, Eat Like A Pig

This serving of Texas barbecue brisket, sausage and beans was a mere snack on our epic movable feast.
John Burnett NPR

Originally published on Mon October 20, 2014 9:59 am

Last month, a friend and I rode bicycles 738 miles up the spine of Texas from the Rio Grande to the Red River, dodging oilfield trucks and yipping Chihuahua dogs.

All that pedaling had us burning about 5,000 to 5,500 calories every day. And so the 10-day journey — eight days of it riding into a headwind — became a movable feast.

Read more

Pages