food

We've had mangoes on our mind all month. (Stay tuned for an upcoming story about mango chutney!)

Then we remembered Miami Spice month starts Aug. 1. So, to prepare for deals on delicious meals in South Florida, we asked two writers and a chef about their favorite food books. 

In an essay on Jane Austen, Virginia Woolf observed, "Of all great writers she is the most difficult to catch in the act of greatness."

To that double-edged and astute assessment, one can add, she is also the most difficult to catch in the act of tea-time.

This observation might seem irksomely contrarian to the legions of Janeites in hats and bonnets gathered around tea and scones to pay fealty to the novelist on the bicentenary of her death, which falls today.

Wilson Sayre / WLRN

South Florida is a few thousand mangoes lighter after this weekend’s mango festival. 

Say you're headed to a summer cookout or barbecue or a family reunion but you don't want to show up empty-handed. What do you bring that can withstand the heat outdoors and make people happy?

We asked three chefs for their suggestions for dishes that will stand out from all the beans and burgers and slaw and dips sure to be on the table. The goal is to go home with nothing but a clean serving dish.

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Shirin Jaafari/PRI

Growing up, Amanda Saab loved watching cooking shows on TV. "Iron Chef" was a favorite. So was "Emeril Live."

In those days, Saab says, recipes on the internet weren't as readily available. So, she would sit in front of the TV, pen and a notebook in hand.

If you've never heard of Alexander von Humboldt, a once world-renowned Prussian scientist who predicted man-made climate change in 1800 and was an adviser to President Thomas Jefferson, then a New Hampshire distillery is aiming to change that, one glass at a time.

Thirteen chefs divide into teams and begin to prepare appetizers, salads, mains and sides, and desserts. At their disposal are 300 pounds of "ugly" produce just rescued from local farms: purple cauliflower, cherries, shiitake mushrooms, pears, fingerling potatoes, shallots, kale and carrots.

Most of it looks super-fresh, though in some cases the produce is dinged or oddly colored enough to be unappealing to distributors.

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Hong Kong Tourism Board via Reuters 

Steve Dolinsky, a food writer and avid traveler, was making a quick swing through Hong Kong recently when he stumbled across a traditional dragon boat race.

It'd be hard to miss spotting one there this time of year. The annual races, featuring long paddle-powered boats often ornamented with dragon heads, go on all over the city for three days straight as part of the Tuen Ng, or Dragon Boat Festival. This year's kicked off on May 30.

Photography documents life — and food, whether in the fore or background, seems to always be in the picture. The two intersect in a new book, Feast for the Eyes, written by photography curator Susan Bright and published by Aperture.

One in eight Americans — 42 million people — still struggles to get enough to eat. And while that number has been going down recently, hunger appears to be getting worse in some economically distressed areas, especially in rural communities.

Food banks that serve these areas are also feeling the squeeze, as surplus food supplies dwindle but the lines of people seeking help remain long.

Amanda Rabines / WLRN

Starting in 1938, the S&S Diner on Northeast Second Avenue served the Miami community and its visitors - until it just couldn’t any longer. The diner closed in September after long-time owner Simon Elbaz was evicted, losing a year-long legal battle with the original property owners over a lease.

But there’s good news for fans who remember those fluffy pancakes, or the roasted turkey that was traditionally served every Tuesday. The S&S Diner found yet another corner retreat on 2699 Biscayne Boulevard, just a couple blocks from its original venue.

Why Taste Buds Dull As We Age

May 5, 2017

Sometimes people develop strange eating habits as they age. For example, Amy Hunt, a stay-at-home mom in Austin, Texas, says her grandfather cultivated some unusual taste preferences in his 80s.

"I remember teasing him because he literally put ketchup or Tabasco sauce on everything," says Hunt. "When we would tease him, he would shrug his shoulders and just say he liked it." But Hunt's father, a retired registered nurse, had a theory: Her grandfather liked strong flavors because of his old age and its effects on taste.

This month marks 350 years since John Milton sold his publisher the copyright of Paradise Lost for the sum of five pounds.

His great work dramatizes the oldest story in the Bible, whose principal characters we know only too well: God, Adam, Eve, Satan in the form of a talking snake — and an apple.

Except, of course, that Genesis never names the apple but simply refers to "the fruit." To quote from the King James Bible:

"Marcus Gavius Apicius purchased me on a day hot enough to fry sausage on the market stones."

So begins the tale of Thrasius, the fictional narrator of Feast of Sorrow. Released this week, the novel is based on the real life of ancient Roman noble Marcus Gavius Apicius, who is thought to have inspired and contributed to the world's oldest surviving cookbook, a ten-volume collection titled Apicius.

Pinkies Up! A Local Tea Movement Is Brewing

Mar 28, 2017

On Saturday mornings, the most popular item Minto Island Growers sells at its farmers market booth is not the certified organic carrots, kale or blueberries. It's tea.

The farm grows Camellia sinensis, tea plants, on a half-acre plot in Salem, Ore. The tender leaves are hand picked and hand processed to make 100 pounds of organic, small batch tea.

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