Urban foraging might call to mind images of hipsters picking food out of the trash.

But one group in Massachusetts eats only the finest, freshest produce. The League of Urban Canners harvests fruit from trees in Cambridge and Somerville and turns it into jam.

Sam Christy, a local high school teacher, started the league four years ago.

Jean Mottershead / Creative Commons

Chestnuts are as symbolic of the holidays as mistletoe and holly. On my recent Garden and Food Tour of Sicily, we saw groves of Italian chestnut trees ready to harvest on the slopes of Mt Etna. It got me thinking about our American chestnut.

TheCulinaryGeek / Creative Commons

For most of us, Thanksgiving dinner just wouldn't be the same without pie. Despite stuffing ourselves with turkey and dressing, we all manage to save a little room for pie.

If you are turkey-averse, turkeyphobic or just bored with the bird, fear not. We've got some other main dish ideas for you.

"What I think is cool is to put a center roast on the table that comes from the woods itself: something wild, something home-hunted, like venison," Amy Thielen, Minnesotan and author of The New Midwestern Table, tells All Things Considered's Ari Shapiro. Deer, says Thielen, is "one of those secret underground proteins in the American meat-eating story."

Parker Knight / Flickr Creative Commons

The Green Revolution of the mid-twentieth century revolutionized the way the world fed itself.  It introduced new fertilizers, pesticides, and hybrid seeds. At the same time, it also placed an enormous burden on the world’s environmental and ecological systems.

tracy benjamin / Creative Commons

The Grandpa Tucker poem below pretty much sums up how many people feel about Brussels sprouts.

Vermonters are proud of many things: maple syrup, skiing, a presidential candidate and, of course, cheddar cheese.        

Luisa Contreras/flickr creative commons

Guittard Chocolate Cookbook gives us a piece of heaven with its recipe for chocolate mousse pie featuring a chocolate cookie crust. We think it's a winner for Thanksgiving or anytime. Please check out our 2015 Best Ever Thanksgiving Recipe Kit… and hot tips to help you beat Thanksgiving stress—honestly, they really will…

Zeetz / Creative Commons

Whole Foods Market has recalled curry chicken salad and deli pasta salad sold in its stores in seven Northeast states because of possible listeria contamination. 

Susy Morris / Creative Commons

Being an Italian-American from Waterbury, Connecticut who likes to cook, I eat a lot of garlic. Luckily for me, growing garlic is almost as easy as eating it. 

If you've bought a bottle of nice wine recently, you'll know that the costs have gone up. And the price of really fine wines – the ones that cost at least several hundred dollars – have doubled, tripled and more over the past few years.

As prices rise, so, too, do the number of thefts.

Prima restaurant in Walnut Grove, Calif., has a celebrated wine list, with a number of Bordeauxs and Burgundies that can set you back several thousand dollars. Thieves have successfully targeted those wines several times now.

Glory Foods/flickr creative commons

Thanksgiving is on the way and our Food Schmooze® Recipe Kit is ready, including Barbara Kafka's Incredible Melting Potatoes… Chris Prosperi's Easy Make-Ahead Turkey and Gravy… Ina Garten's Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes stuffed with glorious things… and mouth-watering Crispy Brussels Sprouts, Pears, Shallots, and Prosciutto, so easy a child could make them! Plus a bargain red wine, a steal at $16, and it goes with everything on your Thanksgiving table… and a delicious Pear-Basil Sour cocktail to ease you into the big day…

More and more schools are trying to serve meals with food that was grown nearby. The U.S. Department of Agriculture just released some statistics documenting the trend.

Potato Chips!

Oct 20, 2015
Gloria Cabada-Leman / flickr creative commons

If you like the fun, flavor, the passion of good food and conversation, party with us on this bonus edition of The Food Schmooze®. It is a call-in on that crispy, heaven-sent wafer, the potato chip.

Josh Haner, The New York Times / European Pressphoto Agency

This past week brought us the long-awaited first of six Democratic candidate debates, held at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas. The tone was substantive, exposing a few stark differences between the candidates and their Republican opponents. They offered nuanced and complex views -- overall, a good night for voters who want to know the candidates. 

In one photo, apples, crispy bacon, shredded cheddar cheese and a couple of sprigs of fresh sage rest on a weathered wooden cutting board, ready to be made into savory scones.

Photographs copyright © 2015 by Victoria Pearson

These sensational pancakes are to-die-for… crispy edges, golden brown, and light as air... and the genius part is that you whip them up in a blender. We like them for breakfast, lunch, brunch, or dinner. They're that good. Even our pancake-hater said these are delicious. This recipe and others appear in the new book Citrus, featuring lemons, limes, oranges, grapefruit, and clementines.

Natalie Maynor / flickr creative commons

Thai basil chicken… joyful chocolate almond bars… no-bake cake… sweet potato and ground turkey shepherd's pie… it's all in the new book The Science of Skinny Cookbook, produced by the scientist Dee McCaffrey, who eliminated synthetic chemicals from her diet and went from obese to slender. Now she offers the recipes that have made her plan a success…

Matthias Rosenkranz / Creative Commons

Members of the University of Connecticut community have begun a couple of fundraisers hoping to offset the negative image generated by a video of a student berating food service workers who refused to sell him jalapeño-bacon macaroni and cheese.

Dinner Solved!

Oct 6, 2015
Matthew Robinson/flickr creative commons

Food Schmooze® party guest Katie Workman, author of Dinner Solved!, tells us how to make quick lemony parmesan artichoke dip… prosciutto-wrapped shrimp with smoked paprika… mustard-maple glazed pork loin… spanish lemon-garlic pork chops… chicken in orange-honey soy sauce… and caesar roasted salmon… 

Thegreenj / Creative Commons

A food truck at the University of Connecticut is now serving up roasted crickets. creative commons

Repair and boost the bacteria in the gut with the right food, prebiotics and probiotics, and you'll feel better and lose weight. That's the theory of Dr. Raphael Kellman of New York, author of The Microbiome Diet.

Natalie Maynor / flickr creative commons

Thai basil chicken… joyful chocolate almond bars… no-bake cake… sweet potato and ground turkey shepherd's pie… it's all in the new book The Science of Skinny Cookbook, produced by the scientist Dee McCaffrey, who eliminated synthetic chemicals from her diet and went from obese to slender. Now she offers the recipes that have made her plan a success…

The Cafe Lafayette Dinner Train in Lincoln is exactly that.  Part train, part restaurant, the Cafe rolls down 20 miles of track serving five course meals to passengers over a 2 hour trip. NHPR's Sean Hurley rode along on this moveable feast on rails and sends us this.  

Do You Know Where Your Cheese Comes From?

Sep 30, 2015

Americans love cheese. According to the USDA, we ate about 34 pounds of cheese per person last year. But how often do we think about who makes our cheese, or about its journey from France or Vermont to our crackers?

Well, some local cheese mongers are waging a campaign to raise awareness about cheese origins, cheese integrity and cheese abuse.

A Subterranean Education

Tom Hopkins

His new book is just out, Jacques Pépin Heart & Soul in the Kitchen… his salmon tostadas are the fastest appetizer around… and don't miss his baked potatoes escargot—stuffed with snails, scallops or shrimp, and a drizzle of buttery garlic sauce…

University of Liverpool Faculty of Health & Life Sciences / flickr creative commons

Yale professor Paul Anastas says it isn't enough to know that environmental chemicals are making us fat and sick. Anastas directs a department that is working on redesigning chemicals in our food and many products we rely on so that they do not threaten our health.

mckaysavage / Creative Commons

Agricultural developments in the mid-20th century catapulted the farming industry to new levels of production. But that "green revolution" also fostered a population boom that's once again forcing farmers to innovate. 

Most of the kids in the U.S. don't get much time to eat lunch. And by the time those kids wait in line and settle down to eat, many of them feel rushed.

And a recent study suggests that this time crunch may be undermining good nutrition at school.

cogdogblog / Creative Commons

In an ambitious goal, the EPA said it would like to reduce the amount of food tossed into trash bins 50 percent by 2030. It's looking like one big byproduct of that goal will be a growing market for methane in Connecticut.