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.

Grilled Cheese, All Grown Up

Beth Kaiserman

It’s 2012, and the grilled cheese has received a facelift in many restaurants, cafes and bars. Not only that, but it’s hit the streets as well. A comfort classic is being revamped with added elements and variations -- not just from your mama’s kitchen. Some of these dolled-up concoctions literally present an entire meal pressed between two slices of bread. For example, a fried chicken grilled cheese at Melt Shop, 601 Lexington Ave. in Midtown Manhattan, has all the fixings for a fine meal: buttermilk fried chicken, jalapeno jack cheese, cabbage slaw and “melt sauce” on top.

Yet Another Dining Fad: Pop-Ups, Supper Clubs Pepper America’s Culinary Map

Beth Kaiserman

Instead of the more formal restaurant experience, pop-ups and supper club meals provide a one-of-a-kind culinary affair, engaging guests in a more relaxed creative space. At a pop-up event on April 16, Chef Joseph Yoon presented a “Dim Sum Fantasy Dinner,” involving eight courses of expertly crafted dim sum delights for about 15 guests. Held at EAT Cafe in Greenpoint, it was Yoon’s first pop-up in a restaurant.

Historic S.F. Restaurant, Home of ‘World’s Rudest Waiter,’ Shuts Down

Vivian Po

Opened shortly after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, for more than 100 years Chinatown’s Sam Wo restaurant dished out cheap and tasty Chinese food to customers as famed as columnist Herb Caen, author Armistead Maupin, and Dr Sun Yat-sen, the “Father of China.” It gained national fame for being home to the “world’s rudest waiter.” As a result of various health violations, the restaurant has now shut its doors.

Rating New York’s ‘Upper Crusts’

Eugene Durante

Pizza and New York City go together like pancakes and syrup; each great enough to exist solely, but taken together, the pairing intensifies. Everyone’s heard why we make the best pizza. However, many are uncertain if the secret lies in the local water, the homemade mozzarella cheese, a well-worn brick oven, or the well-trained hands of the talented and underappreciated Mexican staff in most pizza kitchens. One fact is certain, both our location and our fast food staple rests mightily at the top of the food chain. 

Wild Food Foraging: Culinary Revolution or Passing Trend?

Benjamin Wright

For many Americans, the term “foraging” may conjure up nearly forgotten imagery from history and anthropology courses of ancient civilizations, Native American cultures, and perhaps even of a few lingering hunting and gathering tribes, like the San. Fewer are probably aware of foragers in their own neighborhoods, from rural Wisconsin and the foothills of the Rockies and Appalachians to urban melting pots like San Francisco (foraging hotbed), Los Angeles, and New York City. 


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