Food

Biodynamics and the Greening of the Wine Industry

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Beckmen Vineyards is one among some 100 American winemakers who have become certified as biodynamic grape growers, and healthy soils are at the heart of the method. This accomplishment is not for the inexperienced: to achieve the soil revitalization and elimination of outside inputs that biodynamics demands, vineyard managers have to work harder, smarter and at greater time and expense to produce the crops they need for wine. 

A Brief History of Whisky, the ‘Water of Life’

Beth Kaiserman

“Whiskey” is used for whiskeys made in Ireland and North America.  “Whisky” is used for those made in Canada, Japan, Scotland, and Wales. Your best bet is to go by what’s on the label of the bottle. (For example, Maker’s Mark is labeled as bourbon “whisky,” even though it’s made in Kentucky.) Though “scotch” has become ubiquitous, it is simply known as “whisky” in Scotland.

 

From Bagels to Food Trucks: America’s Food Legacy Abroad

Evelyn Robinson

McDonald’s might have taken off in France years ago, but it was the introduction of something even more casual that has the trendiest of Parisians talking today. Within the past year, something very American has been stirring on the streets of Paris. In a land that very recently was at the forefront of declaring that American food was nothing more than grease and a lack of imagination, suddenly, there is no greater praise for food amongst the young Parisians than “très Brooklyn,” a term that has come to symbolize something particularly cool and of high quality, not in spite of but because of its informality and creativity.

The Culinary Secrets of Svelte Parisians

Misa Shikuma

Comparing the inventories of grocery stores in the two countries suggests that there is a fundamental difference in what is considered to be food. American manufacturers appear to enjoy one-upping each other by coming out with lower calorie, zero fat versions of their products, to the point where the ingredients lists read more like chemistry experiments than anything that might actually be edible. Go to France, and everything you see on the shelves is real. Better yet, head to your neighborhood’s open-air market and buy everything directly from the farmers, butchers, bakers and cheese-makers. 

A Brief (and Turbulent) History of Tea

Gabriella Tutino

It seems that America is going through another tea craze, in part due to availability, accessibility and health benefits. Iced tea makes up 85 percent of the tea Americans consume, and can be found in supermarkets, delis, and restaurants. Specialty tea stores and tea lounges are cropping up in cosmopolitan cities. And every year there’s at least one article published about the benefits of drinking green or black tea with a well-balanced diet. You can also find beauty products made with green tea, such as face washes to promote clean and young skin. 

Savoring Tequila and the Sophisticated Tastes of Mexico

Nancy Lackey Shaffer

Mexico carefully guards the name and legacy of its national spirit. Any liquor bearing the label “tequila” must be produced in Mexico, from blue agave (Agave tequilana azul) of the Weber Blue variety grown in Jalisco, or tequila of specially designated regions of Nayarit, Guanajuato, Michoacán and Tamaulipas. Distilleries are also carefully regulated, and assigned a NOM (Norma Oficial Mexicana) number. Much of the mass-produced tequila found in American liquor stores comes from fairly young agave plants, harvested when the sap is tart and acidic. 

Study: Americans Waste Several Times More Food Than Asians

Andrew Lam

Not much has changed since then as far as being wasteful goes. In fact, it’s gotten worse. Sure Americans recycle. We talk green and want to save the polar bears. But Americans still remain as wasteful as ever. A study by the Natural Resources Defense Council released this week found that Americans “waste 10 times as much food as someone in Southeast Asia, up 50 percent from Americans in the 1970s.”

Beer...The New Sophisticated Spirit

Beth Kaiserman

A hearty glass of red wine with a juicy steak or a crisp glass of white with a delicate fish are two pairings that may never go out of style. But beer has made its mark on the food scene as a fantastic beverage to pair with meals and cheese -- and even in recipes, like bread, stews, and desserts. (Guinness milk chocolate ice cream, anyone?) Over the last decade or so, America has seen a beer renaissance. 

Popularity of American Fast Food Leads to Rise of Obesity in Asia

Andrew Lam

Besides the tasty draw of fatty foods and sweet sodas, there’s another reason why such establishments are making inroads in countries that are otherwise known for their excellent culinary traditions. Unlike in the U.S., where fast food is perceived as time saving and cheap and often the preferred meal of the working poor, in Asia places like Burger King and Pizza Hut are the fare of choice for those with dispensable incomes. 

Selling Soda in the Age of Obesity

Khalil Abdullah

In a nation facing unprecedented levels of obesity, efforts by health advocates to make soda Public Enemy Number-One are gaining traction. But marketers of the sugary drink still have to figure out how to sell it. The way the drink is being marketed, even as cities across the country are looking to crack down on soda – from Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s campaign to ban the sale of large sodas in New York City to a proposal to establish a soda tax in Richmond, Calif. -- was the subject of a discussion last week at the first National Soda Summit.

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