real food right now
Real Food Right Now and How to Cook it (#realfoodrightnow) is our weekly series on the ABCs and 123s of seasonal food.
The woods of North America are a veritable cornucopia of food - plenty of it really yummy. A great example is the pawpaw, America's largest indigenous fruit! With a tropical taste, a variety of culinary uses and a large range, it's a shame that pawpaws aren't a snack staple. Go out and get a hold of one of these super local fruits!
The production of milk - overwhelmingly milk from cows - is a massive industry that employs thousands of people. And, with wide differences between how milk is produced in Concentrated Animal Feeding Operations versus the methods of smaller sustainable farmers, knowing what milk to buy is important.
Coffee is the world's second most traded commodity after oil, and more than two billion cups of the caffeinated beverage are drunk around the world every day. But how did the fruit of a desert shrub become one of the most popular (and for some of us, necessary) beverages on the planet? And what are the environmental implications of our global addiction?
Brussels sprouts are ready for their close-up. Like quiche, sparkling water and Fiats, many in the US have taken a bit of time to warm to this European favorite. But Brussels sprouts are gaining on kale as the go-to menu darling. Read on for more reasons why they are finally finding their place at the table.
These little nutritional powerhouses have a fascinating history, and are firmly entrenched in the culinary (and artistic) cultures of many countries. But should you keep eating them, given the ample amounts of bad press they've received lately (as water guzzlers, and worse)? Only you can decide - so read on for more information!
Native to temperate regions across the world, beautiful, jewel-like currants have a long history as a food in North America. Super high in Vitamin C, the little fruits' sweet-tart flavor make great jams and jellies, and delicious additions to baked goods. Read on to learn more about this interesting summer fruit!
Wild rice is a delicious, ancient grain that has been enjoyed by eaters since prehistoric times. Curiously, however, it is not actually rice but an aquatic grass - and in all but the rarest of circumstances, is not wild. Read on to learn more about this fascinating food in this week's Real Food Right Now.
Americans eat over four pounds of shrimp per person per year, but the environmental and ethical problems facing the shrimp industry are staggering. Learn all about the diminutive crustacean and find out the best ways to choose sustainably and ethically produced shrimp in this week's Real Food Right Now.
Summertime and gin go hand in hand. If you're the cocktail drinking type, nothing is better on a warm day in the sunshine than a gin and tonic on ice with a slice of lime. However, gin wasn't always so respectable. It was the favored drink of the poor, the down and out and of sailors - but it's come long way since then. And after it fell from favor in the last few decades, gin is getting a second look from craft distillers both here and abroad.
In the modern American diet, bug eating is generally confined to the dare - but things are rapidly changing. Crickets are acquiring a dedicated following as a sustainable, versatile - and some say delicious - food. Easy to raise and prepare, and with a pleasantly nutty flavor, crickets may be just the bug to ease us in to insect-eating.
Some are calling goat next big thing in the sustainable food world. These amazing animals produce lean meat that is tasty and good for you, and their milk is churned into butter and made into cheese. If you haven't tried goat yet, take a page from cultures across the world who know what's what: goat is delicious!
The tiny sesame seed carries big flavor and has made its way around the world to compliment cuisines far and wide. Bringing us sweets, like soft and creamy halva, to garnishing and even composing main dishes, sesame has entered our hearts and delighted our taste buds for centuries.
Blue crabs' bright blue claws and olive green shells turn bright orange when cooked, and are so satisfying on a soft-shelled crab sandwich or cracked open to reveal delicious meat inside. Add a balmy summer breeze and a cold beer to relieve the sting of the crab pot spices and you have summer memories in the making.
It's time to give onions the Real Food Right Now attention they deserve. These pungent bulbs are the true workhorses of the kitchen and are absolutely vital to most cuisines around the world. From fresh cut red onions to pickled garnishes, there's nothing quite like their ability to transform a mundane dish into something much more intriguing.
It's a cryin' shame that blackberries and raspberries get such prime billing when fresh mulberries are more common - and often free. Unlike money, they literally grow on trees! Whether you're a newbie or a longtime mulberry lover, it's a safe bet that there's a mulberry tree near you somewhere - go out and eat some before they go to the birds!
Chickpeas play an important role in many cultures of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa, and recently they've come center stage in the west as the base of wildly popular hummus dips. If you haven't tried yet, cooking with chickpeas may seem daunting and exotic, but they're actually fun and easy to toss on a salad, fry up in fritters or roast into a crunchy snack.