This time of year, both seasoned cooks and neophytes, are cocooning themselves in their kitchens to prepare an impressive, bountiful (and hopefully healthy) Thanksgiving feast. It is also that time of year when assorted culinary crises abound, including everything from leaving the giblet bag in the cavity to undercooking a turkey to the point where a competent veterinarian could possibly revive it. Here is some solid gustatory advice to help you seamlessly navigate your way through turkey land. Gobble, gobble.
If you’re not a sports fanatic, you probably haven’t heard the recent hoopla over the National Football League team called the Washington Redskins. The media is in an uproar (come on, after all these years) over the allegedly disparaging name that is considered a politically incorrect slur against Native Americans. The solution is a simple one. Make the team’s mascot a redskin potato. Which brings us to the food community with a slew of insulting innuendos of its own. Some of these will really give you something to beef about.
me people interpret food “expiration” dates strictly to the letter of the law, tossing items the exact second they hit the date. This mentality, according to a recent study conducted by Harvard Law School’s Food Law and Policy Clinic called “The Dating Game,” costs American consumers roughly $165 billion a year by prematurely disposing of billions of pounds of perfectly safe to eat foods. Let’s clarify the murky world of expiration dates, with a side order of practical advice on food safety and shelf life.
Folks across the land are gearing up for festivals, gordo gourd contests, and family jack-o’-lantern bonding as they carve welcoming symbols for Halloween. Most of the time the precious innards are discarded, but Native Americans have revered the mighty pumpkin seed for centuries for treating everything from parasites and snakebites to gastric discomforts and kidney ailments. Pumpkin seeds are now landing on the radar of nutritional gurus and top chefs, not just at the height of the fruit’s harvest, but throughout the year. Here’s why.
There are roughly 10,000 apple varieties around the world, yet not all of them are suitable for every use.
Nothing heralds autumn like the sweet, woodsy aroma of cinnamon. The spice perfumes entire airport terminals blessed with Cinnabon stores. Starbucks added Cinnamon Dolce Lattes to its repertoire (along with counter shakers for cinnamonphiles), while Ben & Jerry’s concocted Cinnamon Buns, blending caramel ice cream with cinnamon bun dough.
I love to experiment with new foods and every time something interesting pops up in the produce aisle, I grab it and then I’m left standing in my kitchen, pondering how to use it. For example, radishes have become my latest challenge. I need a crash course in what else to do with this zippy tasting root besides carving them into decorative rosettes. Also, does radish have any health benefits? —Dina R. La Jolla
The powerhouse papaya is moving up in the tropical fruit ranks, giving mango, passion fruit and guava some stiff competition. The behemoth beauties, nicknamed “Fruit of the Angels” by Christopher Columbus, are starting to dominate the produce aisles and landing on top chefs’ culinary radar.
After graduating with an M.B.A. from Stanford, Northern California-born Kathy Strahs has gone on to earn her culinary stripes in the art of Panini-making. In her new book, “The Ultimate Panini Press Cookbook,” (Harvard Common Press), Strahs will help you navigate your way through panini paradise to get the best and most out of this kitschy concept.
Here are some interesting tidbits I collected this summer, although you can use them for all seasons to become an informed foodie, staying safe and healthy.