Have you ever splurged on a highly rated bottle of Burgundy or pinot noir, only to wonder whether a $10 or $15 bottle of red would have been just as good? The answer may depend on your biology.
A new study by researchers at Penn State and Brock University in Canada finds that when it comes to appreciating the subtleties of wine, experts can taste things many of us can't. "What we found is that the fundamental taste ability of an expert is different," says John Hayes of Penn State.
The year the Quidi Vidi Brewing Co. started brewing beer with iceberg water, a giant iceberg floated up against the cliffs around St. John's, Newfoundland.
"It was a big berg and it jammed right across the harbor here," says Charlie Rees, the brewery's tour guide.
Rees says Newfoundlanders have a curious relationship with icebergs. On the one hand, they're a fact of life. On the other, when that iceberg was in the harbor's mouth, hundreds of people came down to gawk. He took pictures.
India has been home to vegetarians for centuries. Many Hindus and most Buddhists do not eat meat, but commentator Sandip Roy says in today's India, meat is what's for dinner.
When my friend Lakshmi, a lifelong vegetarian, went to America as a student more than 20 years ago she knew she was in for a hard time. Vegetarian dorm food meant a lot of cheese pizza, french fries, pasta and if she was lucky, grilled vegetables.
After 10 years in San Francisco's vegetarian mecca, when she returned to live in India a few years ago, she had an unexpected identity crisis.
Today we sit down with iconic food writer and activist Frances Moore Lappé. In the 1970's, Lappé pioneered the idea of conscientious eating with her book “Diet for a Small Planet”. Now forty years later, she says much has changed. There's more awareness of the connections between food, health, and the environment, yet there's also growing world hunger requiring she says a complete global re-think. Lappé is coming up to New Hampshire at the end of the week to be the Keynote Speaker at the Northeast Organic Farming Association of New Hampshire (NOFA-NH) 10
One day Chris Woehrle decided to finally leave his corporate job and pursue his dream: to become an artisanal food craftsman. And so, every day at home, he'd basically pickle stuff.
"I had a refrigerator full of plastic food buckets that were full of pickles and kimchee and sauerkraut and harissa and salsa and ketchup and mustard and, you know, any kind of craft food you could make," Woehrle says.
Not all that long ago, many Americans thought of Chinese food as fried rice, chow mein and orange chicken. And one reliable place to find it was at the mall, at places like Panda Express.
But food court mainstay Panda Express is now in the midst of a major transformation. That means moving from mall basements to stand-alone restaurants and keeping pace with an increasingly sophisticated American palate.
Filling semlor with sweet almond paste requires great concentration from Astrid Foster, age 7. Get the recipe for <a href="http://www.npr.org/2012/02/16/146985466/swedish-fat-tuesday-delicacy-kept-alive-in-portland#147040528">semlor</a>.
Credit Deena Prichep / NPR
Clara Peterson, 5, and Pia Patrikson, 6, take turns whipping cream by hand.
Back when refrigeration wasn't up to modern standards, Fat Tuesday was a time to clear your house of indulgent foods. This led to lots of rich recipes, from Shrove pancakes to King Cake. In Sweden, the specialty is semlor. A group of people in Portland, Ore., are keeping that dish — and a few other Swedish traditions — alive.
Picture soft, sweet rolls, sort of like brioche, piled with creamy almond filling. Now picture them being made by a room full of young, mostly blond children speaking Swedish.
The “local foods” movement is a growing trend. In South Tamworth, The Community School has embraced it – serving an open lunch for the community every week at no set charge, made of locally-produced foods. They call the program “Farmers’s Table.”
Edgar Jaime (right) and his brother Jose Luis unload organic vegetables from their farm in Santa Monica, Calif. Now that U.S. and European organic standards are equivalent, more American organic farmers will be able to export to Europe.
If you buy organic products, your options may be about to expand. The U.S. and the European Union are announcing that they will soon treat each other's organic standards as equivalent. In other words, if it's organic here, it's also organic in Europe, and vice versa. Organic food companies are cheering because their potential markets just doubled.
At the JS West egg farm, south of Modesto, Calif., one chicken house has the new, spacious cages that egg producers and animal welfare advocates say keep chickens happier.
Credit Big Dutchman
Gene Gregory (left), head of the United Egg Producers lobby, and Wayne Pacelle, president of the Humane Society, visit Washington to lobby Congress for a law requiring larger cages for egg-laying chickens.
Credit John Rose / NPR
Pacelle and Gregory have different backgrounds and dietary preferences, but there seems to be genuine respect between them.
If there was a Julia Child of Japanese cooking — a witty and passionate interpreter of the cuisine — Elizabeth Andoh would fit the bill nicely.
As an exchange student back in the 1960s, Andoh came to Japan from New York to pursue anthropology. She fell in love, but not just with a local businessman. She is also devoted to parsing and explaining the finer points of Japanese cuisine to the rest of the world, as a writer for Gourmet, cookbook author and culinary teacher in suburban Tokyo.
The Soup Movement in America is based on a simple recipe: Bring a bunch of people together to eat soup. Ask each person for a modest donation — say $5. Listen to a few proposals about how people might use that pool of money for a worthwhile project. Vote on the best proposal, and give all the money to the top vote-getter. Go home full and fulfilled.