The first family must be crust fallen.

Bill Yosses, the White House pastry chef, is moving to New York in June.

"Though I am incredibly sad to see Bill Yosses go, I am also so grateful to him for his outstanding work," first lady Michelle Obama said in a statement. She credited Yosses as "a key partner helping us get the White House Kitchen garden off the ground and building a healthier future for our next generation."

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A cheese-maker in Lyme is organizing the Connecticut Cheese Challenge, hoping to draw attention to efforts by the European Union to limit the use of names like Parmesan, feta and Gorgonzola on cheese made in the U.S.

JuJu Harris didn't set out to write a cookbook, but then again, she didn't set out to accept public assistance to feed her son, either. Harris always wanted to work with nature.

"My dream job was, I was going to grow up and be a national park ranger," she says. It didn't quite work out that way. She drifted from job to job in Oakland, Calif., where she was born. At 32, she joined the Peace Corps, traveling to Paraguay to help local farmers improve their crops.

Citrus and Candy/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: You know the usual American-style St. Patrick's Day drill… corned beef and cabbage, or beef and beer stew. They're great, but for something different this year we recommend a 15-minute Irish Brown Soda bread, made especially tasty from buttermilk and brown sugar.

That compound found in commercially baked bread — yep, the one that's in yoga mats, too — is in the news again.

A report from the Environmental Working Group finds that the compound, azodicarbonamide, is found in close to 500 food products, from Pillsbury Dinner Rolls to Little Debbie products to Wonder Bread.

Alan Sheffield/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: The twice-baked potato is one of the ultimate comfort foods, and as easy to do as it is delicious. Because of its umami charm, I just threw a twice-baked potato party that was a big hit. All you do is prepare a big salad, and put out bowls of add-ins so your guests can make their own stuffing mixtures for the final 30-minute baking session.

74,476 Reasons You Should Always Get The Bigger Pizza

Feb 27, 2014

One day last year, an engineer and I went to a pizza place for lunch. The engineer told me he wasn't very hungry, but he said he was going to get the 12-inch medium instead of the 8-inch small — because the medium was more than twice as big as the small, and it cost only a little bit more. This sort of blew my mind.

Yesterday, we crunched thousands of pizza prices from around the country, and argued that you should always buy a bigger pizza. (And in a separate post, we presented the case against buying a bigger pizza.)

whologwy, Flickr Creative Commons

Somehow, kale has become trendy in the last few years, although its moment in the sun seems to be almost over. How did a thing like that happen? Would it be possible to infuse an old standby like broccoli with a similar hip panache? Broccoli is the warmest vegetable, and the coolest.

Chris Prosperi

This recipe is from home cook Ryan Pelletier, who works in the dining room at Metro Bis in Simsbury, CT. It's easy and wildly delicious.

Anyone who has ever drizzled, doused or — heck — drenched their food with Sriracha knows the hot sauce can make almost any dish taste better.

But could these spicy condiments also make us a little happier?

Among the many snacks you can find in the aisles of Trader Joe's is an icon of sweet and salty goodness: the peanut butter pretzel. It's a combination so tasty, famed food writer Ruth Reichl once raved, "You haven't lived until you've tried the two together."

But the beloved treats aren't just treasures for the palate — they're a pretty lucrative business worth millions of dollars. And now, Trader Joe's is being sued for allegedly cornering the market on the snack.

Jeff Cohen / WNPR

Oyster theft isn't new. "It's probably been a problem since colonial days," said George Krivda with the Connecticut Department of Agriculture, "but now is when we're dealing with it." 

Renée S. Suen/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: If you've eaten a velvety salmon and wondered how it's done, wonder no more. Now you can easily do it at home by steaming your salmon in an aluminum foil pouch in the oven. And what's more, we're providing you with what I call Lucinda's Razzle Dazzle Green Sauce to drizzle on.

Question: Which of these foods are said to stir passion? An oyster, and avocado or a turnip? (Scroll down to the bottom for the answer.)

One of these, at least, is a gimme. The stories linking oysters and other shellfish to lust go back to at least the ancient Greeks.

Think of the image of Aphrodite, the goddess of love, rising out of the sea from the half-shell.

"There's something primal about eating oysters," says oyster-lover MJ Gimbar. He describes them as creamy and velvety. "It's like a kiss from the ocean."

EEPaul / Creative Commons

Oysters have been part of the human diet for thousands of years. It’s no wonder then that many of us know them as a favored menu item. But these beloved bivalves have a history that extends far beyond the dinner plate. 

Julia Frost/flickr creative commons

Today's show has aired on five previous dates, most recently on February 8, 2014.

From Faith Middleton: The queen of slow cooking gives us Beer-Braised Brown Sugar Brisket with Bacon, Cajun Shrimp Chowder, Artichoke Chicken Lasagna, and Thai Peanut Butter Pork Roast. Throw the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning, and return hours later to a house full of comforting aromas. Honestly, it's like having staff!

Context Travel/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: Pork Chop Flat Bread Pizza. Parmesan-Crusted Pork Chops. Slow-Cooker Pork Chop Chili. If you are a pork chop-lover, as I am, you will love Ray “Dr. BBQ” Lampe's cookbook, Pork Chop: 60 Recipes for Living High on the Hog

The Passion of Pickling

Feb 11, 2014
Chion Wolf, filtered through Instagram / WNPR

In 2030 B.C., somebody brought cucumbers from India to the Tigris Valley, and they said, "We can pickle that!" And so it began, from the first stirrings of civilization, to modern-day Brooklyn artisan pickles: we've found ourselves up to our eyes in brine, looking for the next object we can pickle.

Robert S. Donovan/flickr creative commons

Today's show has aired on seven previous dates, most recently on October 5 and 15, 2013.  

When blogger Jennifer Reese lost her job, she began a series of food-related experiments. Economizing by making her own peanut butter, pita bread, and yogurt, she found that “doing it yourself” doesn’t always cost less or taste better. In fact, she found that the joys of making some foods from scratch—marshmallows, hot dog buns, and hummus—can be augmented by buying certain ready-made foods—butter, ketchup, and hamburger buns. Tired? Buy your mayonnaise. Inspired? Make it.

D. Sharon Pruitt/flickr creative commons

Today's show has aired on ten previous dates, most recently on October 8 and 17, 2013.  

With scientific research, her own chemistry background, and the traditional diets of our not-so-distant ancestors as her guide, Dee McCaffrey casts new light on an age-old wisdom: Eating foods in their closest-to-natural form is the true path to sustained weight loss and, in fact, the remedy for almost any health problem. We are so far removed from foods in their natural state that we now call them “health foods,” a sad admission that we’ve compromised our health for the sake of convenience.

Julia Frost/flickr creative commons

Today's show originally aired October 16, October 19, December 4, and December 7, 2013.

From Faith Middleton: The queen of slow cooking gives us Beer-Braised Brown Sugar Brisket with Bacon, Cajun Shrimp Chowder, Artichoke Chicken Lasagna, and Thai Peanut Butter Pork Roast. Throw the ingredients in a slow-cooker in the morning, and return hours later to a house full of comforting aromas. Honestly, it's like having staff!



On Friday, President Obama is scheduled to sign a new farm bill into law. It contains a provision that allows all dairy farms to be part of a safety net. The point is to offset risk when milk prices are too low or feed costs too high. But Abbie Fentress Swanson reports that even in good times, smaller dairy farms in traditional milk producing states are now giving up.


Food industry, beware of the power of the online petition.

Just a few days after food blogger Vani Hari, known as Food Babe, created a buzz with an online petition raising questions about the safety of a food additive commonly used in commercial baking, sandwich giant Subway has announced plans to phase it out of its fresh-baked breads.

The additive, azodicarbonamide, is used by the commercial baking industry to bleach flour and condition dough.

Roy Ip

From Faith Middleton: Say "vinegar chicken" to someone who knows how good this dish can be, and the air starts to sizzle, usually followed by, sigh, "Oh, how I love that dish!" Now you can make one of the best versions of it, thanks to Roy Ip. 

Patrick Makhoul/flickr creative commons

From Faith Middleton: My head snapped around at the idea of blending Middle Eastern and Mediterranean flavors. That's what Einat Admony does in her cookbook, Balaboosta. And there is nothing like her "Not So Jewish Chicken Soup," as she calls it. (Admony has a mixed Israeli heritage, Persian and Yemenite.)

Lots of consumers are smitten with local food, but they're not the only ones. The growing market is also providing an opportunity for less experienced farmers to expand their business and polish their craft.

But they need help, and increasingly it's coming from food hubs, which can also serve as food processing and distribution centers. The U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates that there are about 240 of them in more than 40 states plus the District of Columbia.

American kids have a problem with obesity, according to the most recent studies. In fact, the closest thing we have to good news about childhood obesity is that kids are not gaining weight as rapidly as they were some years ago.

Researchers may have identified one surprising new factor in why kids are overeating.

With website names like Eat With, Side Tour, VoulezVousDiner and Feastly, a new food trend that is sweeping New York and other cities allows diners to enjoy fine meals inside someone else's home.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

As we began working on a Colin McEnroe Show about composting, Colin made sure we included Susannah Castle, who runs Blue Earth Compost. She provides pails to subscribers in the Hartford area, and for a monthly fee, picks up the pails full of food scraps and other compostable materials from the household once a week.