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  1. Articles
    Okonomiyaki is the epitome of Japanese comfort food, a dish that's readily available throughout Japan. At first glance, it looks like an example of fusion cuisine where the western technique of making crepes was incorporated into the yaki culinary technique of cooking on a hot iron grill. In...
  2. Articles
    Tomorrow people around the country will celebrating the anniversary of the USA's birth as a country. In today's culinary tradition many of these good folks will fire up their grills and cook up the grilling season's standards such as burgers or hot dogs. For the more "adventurous" types some...
  3. Articles
    The role of bread in western civilization has been so important that it's ingrained into our very culture. As a food and also as metaphor it continues to be ensconced in everyday life. And its long history is almost beyond belief. Wheat, from which most breads are derived, has been cultivated...
  4. Articles
    A rare fungus that grows underground (only several inches below ground). They come in both white and black varieties. Not all truffles are created equal, as there can be considerable quality differences between truffles due to ripeness and location of harvest. Truffles have a pungent, almost...
  5. Articles
    Soybeans are one of the world's most important crops. Soy, like wheat and corn, plays a substantial role in feeding large numbers of people throughout the world. Soybeans have been part of the Chinese diet for at least 5,000 years. Indeed, many Asian countries have been consuming a wide range...
  6. Articles
    The year was 1917 and Louis Diat, (1885 - 1957), was the head chef of the posh Ritz-Carlton Hotel on Madison Ave in New York City. The Ritz-Carlton was about to open a new restaurant and a party to celebrate the historic event was being thrown. In Diat's repertoire was a potato and leek soup...
  7. Articles
    The Bean and the Hungry Goat Here's a question to ponder: what beverage, when consumed in moderation, intensifies a person's concentration, alertness, and increases their ability to process information? If you guessed a specific herbal tea, carrot juice, protein shake, or other "health food...
  8. Articles
    The Beginning of Civilization The origin of the date palm is lost in antiquity. It gave a means of existence to thousands of people. It has been said to offer man "three hundred and sixty" uses including thread, needles, baskets, lumber, mattresses, rope, numerous other household items and an...
  9. Articles
    While our early ancestors may have employed hot water to heat foods in natural containers, the cooking technique of boiling was not commonly-used until the invention of waterproof and heatproof containers about five thousand years ago. Boiling was advantageous as a cooking technique. Water turns...
  10. Articles
    One may find this hard to believe, but humans have been toasting things since the beginning of time. Man discovered early on that the only way to separate the edible part of the grain from the husks was to toast it. Deliberate toasting of the grain would make it digestible and improve its taste...
  11. Articles
    In 1893 the United States had a 10% tax on imported vegetables but not fruits. John Nix paid his taxes on his tomatoes to a tax collector named Edward Hedden. One day Nix came across the botanical definition of a fruit: the organ that emanates from the ovary of the plant and contains the...
  12. Articles
    Mention popcorn and most Americans think of theaters, sporting events, circuses and their microwave ovens. By far the largest use of popcorn is as a confection. However, popcorn also has a long history as a cookery ingredient. While conducting a computer search of the National Agricultural...
  13. Articles
    Salt was an essential item on every medieval table. It was served not in shakers, as we do, but rather in a communal mound upon a bread trencher, or else in a communal saltcellar. Such saltcellars were often ornate, intricate, and fashioned of precious metals. A particularly popular style was...
  14. Articles
    "...Mezclun mix, $5.99/lb. this week at A & P!" How times have changed. Or should that be, what goes around comes around? Twenty years ago the average customer would have angrily criticized the assortment of mixed greens on his plate as weeds and grass clippings, before sending it back to the...
  15. Articles
    Almost exactly three hundred years ago Londoners could buy the first English-language book on how to make a salad. Called Acetaria: A Discourse of Sallets (acetaria being an old word for salad greens), it instructed that only the freshest leaves straight from the garden should be used. They...
  16. Articles
    Purple-flowered saffron crocus, Crocus sativus, a bulbous perennial of the iris family (Iridaceae) treasured for its golden-coloured, pungent stigmas, which are dried and used to flavour and colour foods and as a dye. Saffron is named among the sweet-smelling herbs in Song of Solomon 4:14. It...
  17. Articles
    Although it was in 1926 that A.A. Milne's Winnie-the-Pooh exclaimed "& the only reason for being a bee that I know of is making honey. And the only reason for making honey is so as I can eat it," humans for as many as 10,000 years have been wondering why a bee makes honey. No less a thinker than...
  18. Articles
    Nutmeg is the seed of the Myristica fragrans, a tropical, dioecious evergreen tree native to the Moluccas, or Spice Islands, of Indonesia. Nutmeg has a distinctive, pungent fragrance and a warm, slightly sweet taste; it is used to flavor many kinds of baked goods, confections, puddings, meats...
  19. Articles
    Ice Cream: America's favorite dessert! How did it all begin? Where did it come from? How did this plentitude of diverse flavors develop? Back in the early 1600's, confectioners of royal families in Europe first created ice cream. Only the wealthy few could afford the necessary ingredients. Ice...
  20. Articles
    Perhaps no greater challenge confronts a chef addressing a skeptical audience than tempting the assembled to venture beyond their comfortable old reliable dishes - the kind they had been spoon-fed by mothers or grandmothers - and boldly delve into the new, the exotic, the untasted. A tomatillo...
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