food

Ryan King / WNPR

It all starts with a sugar bush. While that sounds like something out of the board game Candy Land, it's actually another name for a stand of sugar maples -- one of the trees that gives us maple syrup.

Some of the seafood that winds up in American grocery stores, in restaurants, even in cat food may have been caught by Burmese slaves. That's the conclusion of a yearlong investigation by The Associated Press.

The AP discovered and interviewed dozens of men being held against their will on Benjina, a remote Indonesian island, which serves as the base for a trawler fleet that fishes in the area.

We tell you how to make an easy, lemony chicken saltimbocca done on the stovetop in minutes. If you want a "jump in the mouth," you've just discovered the right, easy, quick, and delicious recipe combining flavors I love; chicken, fresh lemon juice, sage, and crispy prosciutto.  It's part of our focus on cooking light using global flavors. 

Christopher Harrison / Creative Commons

Connecticut farmers will have an opportunity to become authorized to accept food stamps from customers at their farms and at farmers markets. 

Eric Heath / Creative Commons

The bill comes, and I don’t even think about it. If the service was slow or superior, friendly or fumbling, I do my quick and mindless math, and write down a tip of 20 percent.

Sometimes, a bad experience might cause me to shave off a buck or two, but I know I’m probably still leaving more than the next customer. And why shouldn’t I, really? I know that restaurant workers rely on tips to even get up to the minimum wage the rest of the world makes. I’m right about that - right?

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Alex Province says his grandmother in Spain turned out fantastic chicken stew using white wine and garlic in one pot. We tell you how it's done… Jeff Vernon of Connecticut's Chamard Vineyards in Clinton stops by with a bottle of chardonnay and we explain how to use a little wine to make an instant pan sauce

Meal Makeover Moms/flickr creative commons

Leftover Passover brisket becomes brisket hash for the morning… leftover St. Pat's Day corned beef and cabbage becomes tomorrow's Reuben sandwich… three places to get great nitrite artisanal hams… and one more hot toddy made with whiskey and orange-ginger tea…

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The book by a contributor to The New Yorker magazine, The Big Fat Surprise, is rocking the nutrition/health world.

After nine years spent analyzing scientific papers and conducting thousands of interviews with researchers and health officials, the author reports that conclusions about what makes a healthy diet are frequently wrong. 

Vox Efx / Creative Commons

A bill that would impose a tax on sugary soft drinks has passed a legislative hurdle.

The measure would assess a one-cent-per-ounce tax on carbonated soft drinks that contain a caloric sweetener. Proceeds from the tax would fund public education and outreach programs on obesity, heart disease, and diabetes.

Fast food giant McDonald's announced Wednesday it will begin sourcing chickens raised without antibiotics.

Over the next two years, the chain says its U.S. restaurants — which number around 14,000 — will transition to the new antibiotics policy, which prohibits suppliers from using antibiotics critical to treating human illness.

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You can use canned tomatoes to make an amazing winter gazpacho... with a few simple additions, you can turn Progresso clam sauce into a restaurant-worthy linguine & clams... best roasted mushrooms? You bet they are! Make them while you sip Anthony DeSerio's delicious Ginger-Carrot Cocktail laced with cinnamon, apple cider, and spiced rum... Afraid to cook? No need to be—we'll give you a lesson on how to make a beautiful frittata thanks to the cookbook Twelve Recipes, every dish aimed at new cooks...

When admiring such enticing items at the grocery store as an avocado for $1.50, an $8 chocolate bar or fresh wild Alaskan salmon for $20 a pound, you've probably experienced sticker shock.

Indeed, retailers and restaurants offer myriad opportunities to blow your food budget in one fell swoop.

Back in 2011 when I was a student at the University of Maryland in College Park I once noticed a massive pile of trash in front of a dining hall. A closer look revealed that it was mostly food — a half-eaten sandwich, a browning apple and what appeared to be the remains of the day's lunch special.

The heap was gross, but intriguing. Turned out it was a stunt to get students thinking about how much food they throw out each day.

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Delight your pals with a popcorn party. That's what we did, creating bowls of warm, fluffy, downright heavenly goodness… and what a terrific time we had! Inspired by the book Party Popcorn we asked senior contributor Chris Prosperi to whip up some of the book's most intriguing recipes, popcorn flavors such as taco lime, olive oil and Parmesan, chocolate covered potato chip, and buffalo ranch. All hands were suddenly on deck for this one; participating and tasting was a riot.

Coventry Regional Farmers' Market

I totally get the case against the Oscars and I look forward to hearing our friend Steve Almond make it on the show today. The case is that the creative arts and zero-sum games to not belong together because art is fluid and not hierarchical.  How can one performance or movie lose when another wins? It's absurd right? Wrong.

For example, we all know it was appalling in 1995 when "Forrest Gump" won Best Picture over "Pulp Fiction," "Quiz Show," and "Shawshank Redemption." Or, in 1981 when "Ordinary People" bested "Raging Bull." Whether we want to cop to it or not, we have internal standards and we know when they've been violated. This hour on the Scramble, Almond and I will debate that. 

Luca Nebuloni/flickr creative commos

Real Italian pesto any time of year... gorgeous chocolate-walnut brownies made with olive oil instead of butter... egg noodles with prosciutto, peas and two cheeses... the quinoa bowl of lemon, raisins, toasted pine nuts and scallions...Virgin Territory, the story of Mediterranean olive oil and recipes featuring the region's best liquid gold...

Anyone who has pulled up to a gas station this winter knows oil prices have fallen — down roughly 50 percent since June.

But it's not just oil. Prices for many commodities — grains, metals and other bulk products — have been plunging too.

Here are a few of the changes since many prices peaked in recent years:

- Copper is $2.59 a pound, down from $4.50 in 2011.

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The paleo diet emphasizes the basics: meat, seafood, fruit, vegetables, and nuts. It's based on the foods our paleolithic ancestors ate. The diet has also been touted as the solution for food allergy relief and better health. But healthy eating shouldn't mean you have to give up flavor. 

Kārlis Dambrāns / Creative Commons

In his book Classical Cooks, Hartt professor Ira Braus explores the link between musical and culinary taste. This hour, he joins us to explain the relationship that composers had with food, and the impact this had on their musical output. Were some of your favorite symphonies and operas inspired by some fatty meats or tasty sweets? Join us to find out.

U.S. Department of Agriculture/flickr creative commons

While she's not a vegetarian, Dina Cheney decided those who are deserve veggie-centric food that delivers pure pleasure, or as she calls it, "A party in the mouth." 

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…

Flickr Creative Commons, Pink Sherbet Photography

Let's take a frozen cheese pizza. We'll add a little pepperoni to it -- and ship it off to a supermarket. Now, the question: who makes sure that pizza is safe to eat?

"As soon as you add the pepperoni, you introduce the Department of Agriculture," said reporter Wil Hylton. "Otherwise it will be under Health and Human Services and the FDA."

janet galore/flickr creative commons

 ...Add almonds and butter to your frozen green beans... throw canned chick peas and a jar of curry sauce into the blender to make killer Indian hummus... great soup from a can of tomatoes... a Dr. Pepper hot toddy... Chamard wines from Connecticut... and we have you covered in the cocktail department, too, with a calorie-friendly Honey-Earl Grey tea martini...

Brian Friedman / Mike Lavoie/Creative Commons

I know what you're asking yourself. You're thinking, I know the Colin McEnroe staff is amazing, but how do they manage to book two big celebrities with the same initials?

Well, you're right. They are awesome. but we did not actually hatch a plan to have guests with the initials M.B. Anyway, we already did a long interview with Michael Bolton. 

At the end of last year, I had a conversation with food writer Mark Bittman, whom I've known since the earliest days of his career. We've been looking for a chance to share that interview with you.

Then we got a chance to talk to Mike Birbiglia, a comedian and teller of monologues who has been on with us twice before.

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Going Light: Easy Pho Soup... Quick Yogurt Dip for Veggies... Spicy Tuna Tartare... Dr. Yavari's Egg White Salsa Omelet to get your day started in a high protein way... Plus fantastic Flank Steak Tacos that are easy on the waistline and irresistible...

When upscale food trucks roared into popularity a few years ago, the folks running them praised their rolling operations as far cheaper and simpler to launch than a bricks-and-mortar restaurant.

Now, entrepreneurs are finding similar advantages in food bikes.

Brewers, chefs, baristas and even farmers are turning to pedal-powered vehicles to bring their goods to consumers — and, sometimes, actually produce them on the street.

How many peanuts did you snack on last week? If you don't remember, you're not alone. We humans are notoriously bad at remembering exactly what and how much we ate. And if there's one pattern to our errors, it's that we underestimate — unintentionally and otherwise.

And yet, for decades, researchers who want to amass large quantities of data about how much Americans eat and exercise have had to rely on individuals to self-report this information.

Colby Stopa/flickr creative commons

Make a "dirty" martini… the best and easiest slow-cooker chicken ever… broccoli rabe pesto pasta… and the nursery rhyme cocktail book for exhausted parents!

The Spice of Life

Jan 13, 2015
Sarah Marlowe / Creative Commons

The word spice has a kind of urgency. You don't need spice but historically, it's something people wanted enough to travel long, unfamiliar routes to find and bring back. We're going to talk about the lust for spice that helped open up trade and colonization. It's not just the taste or the smell - it was status and a class marker. One was either the sort of family that had turmeric or one was not.

Today on the show, we talk about the history of spice and about its present. It hasn't stopped, in certain quarters, being a luxury item and a status marker.

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