Cutting the Mustard

Published by Wednesday, July 31, 2019 Permalink 0

Cutting the Mustard

by Gary Allen

Mustard is second only to ketchup in the pantheon of popular condiments. 

All mustards start with seeds (of various colors and Brassica species). The suspended particles of ground powdered mustard or seeds, left whole, or used in combination, produce a variety of textures and flavors.

Mustard seeds

Mustard seeds (R).

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Lemons

Published by Tuesday, December 4, 2018 Permalink 0

by Marlena Spieler

I come from a land — California — where lemons grow on trees. To buy them in a store would be ridiculous since they grow outside your window. And if you don’t have a lemon tree, your neighbor does and will share them with you. In season, there really are lemons everywhere.

Once, I wrote a humorous-ish front-page column for the San Francisco Chronicle about how there are lemons everywhere in the Bay Area, and that every time I pass a tree, I stash one or two in my handbag. They ran a cartoon of me dressed up as a burglar, reaching into lemon trees.

Lemon Stand Naples by Jonell Galloway

 

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Venice: The Alternative to Italy’s Pasta

Published by Tuesday, October 16, 2018 Permalink 0

by Jonell Galloway

No, I’m sorry. The staple of Venice is not pasta.

Yes, in Italy, they eat pasta, but Venice and the neighboring Veneto region are relative newcomers to both pasta and Italy. Venice and the Veneto, which the Venetian Republic dominated for centuries, only became part of the Kingdom of Italy in 1866 to escape the rule of the Austrian Empire, imposed after the Napoleonic Wars. Before that, the people of the Veneto didn’t speak much Italian; they primarily spoke Venetian. The Italian language and customs? They’ve adopted those, including pasta, relatively recently.

Abandoned agricultural storage building in a rice field in northern Italy

 

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On the Chocolate Trail: The Iconic Chocolate Chip Cookie

Published by Thursday, March 3, 2011 Permalink 0

by Christina Daub

A Brief History of the Chocolate Chip Cookie

Did you know Massachusetts has a state cookie? It’s the chocolate chip cookie, an invention attributed to Ruth Graves Wakefield of the widely known Toll House Inn. Legend has it that having run out of her standard Baker’s chocolate, she broke up a bar of Nestlé semisweet and added it to her favorite recipe, Butter Drop Do cookies.

Chocolate chip cookie

Kathleen King in family bakery, Tate’s Bake Shop, in Southampton, New York.

The reaction by travelers was instantaneous. Soon her recipe was published in the local newspaper, positively affecting sales of Nestlé semisweet bars. Then the fictitious Betty Crocker featured Wakefield’s Toll House chocolate chip cookie on the radio program, “Famous Foods from Famous Eating Places,”  prompting Nestlé to invent the semisweet morsel in 1939. In exchange for using the recipe on the back of their semisweet bar and morsel bag, she was given a lifetime supply of chocolate chips.

The chocolate chip cookie’s nationwide fame can be attributed to home bakers in Massachusetts who sent scores of the addictive Toll House cookies to GIs abroad during World War II. The soldiers shared and pretty soon orders were coming in from across the country.

 

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