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.
Like salt and black pepper, you probably reach for cooking oil for just about every meal you make. But have you ever wondered about the history of your canola oil, or what makes fancy extra virgin olive oil so expensive? Or what the heck margarine really is? Read on for all of this and more.
Sweet potatoes are often colloquially referred to as "yams" - but they're not. Let's take a culinary world tour and unravel this mystery together, shall we? Bottom line: you might have to hunt down a true yam, but they sure are worth it!
You're unlikely to find cardoons at your local grocery store, but check farmers' markets in late fall and you might get lucky. Like a cross between artichokes and celery, these spiky, silvery stalks can add delicious new flavor to old recipes, though you may want to wear gloves!
Barley is an ancient grain, but its old school reputation doesn't keep it off the modern table. From food for livestock and fish, to a main ingredient in beer, to a sweetener and as a cereal grain for human consumption, barley's flexible nature and nutty flavor make it an essential food.
Celery is a ubiquitous ingredient in cooking, but tends to stay out of the spotlight. While you may recognize this fibrous snack from raw vegetable platters with dip, find out how celery has played many roles throughout history in cooking, medicine and even garnishing and starring in popular beverages.
If there's a beverage demarking Fall, it's cider. Hard cider, sweet cider, warm cider in one hand with a fresh apple cider doughnut in the other, yum! Explore cider this season with the many recipes - and historical tidbits - the drink has to offer.
What do you do with walnuts? Crack them open to crumble over your salad or sweet potatoes, enjoy them straight from the shell as a healthy snack or even make a full meal of various crunchy varieties.
Are you ready to step up your wine game? In this Real Food overview, we'll touch on some familiar grapes and wines while providing references for further exploration. Most importantly, we'll look at the environmental impacts and sustainable potential of winemaking!
When you think of avocados, you might think of guacamole, and we get it! The fruit is quite a nutritional powerhouse, incredible in savory dishes and a huge hit in desserts around the world. From dips and spreads to ice cream and milkshakes, avocados bring a special creamy satisfaction to plenty of other yummy concoctions.
Americans eat roughly 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving alone, but turkey meat is much more than a holiday staple. Read on to learn all about this bird we know so well. (Quick tip: if you're planning to buy a pasture-raised bird for your Thanksgiving feast, do it now!)
Peanuts are an incredible food. This South American native legume has traveled the world to become a household treat on almost every continent, from the peanut flare in Thai cuisine to the humble PB&J in North America. Exploring the many roles of the peanut may just be the food adventure for you this season!
Pears are often regarded as the "other" fruit, standing in the shadows of apples, but the fresh, floral pear is as easy to cultivate as an apple and just a versatile. Bite into a juicy pear, slice it up for your cheese plate, or cook it into a savory dish: the options with pears seem to be endless.
Honey - that golden syrup we drizzle on toast and stir into tea - is created by the busy little bees that pollinate so many of our crops. Read on to learn about how those buzzing insects produce honey and how honey plays into our history and into so many sweet and savory delights.
We may think of it as a refreshing accompaniment to a slice of pizza (which it is!), but beer is so much more. As an agricultural product, requiring considerable resources for its production, and as a sustenance, beer has a significant impact on our food system.
Olives have long had a place in our kitchens and at our tables. To the Greeks and Romans, the olive wasn't just a source of food, but the fuel that lit their lamps and bolstered their economies. To this day, to figuratively extend the olive branch means to offer peace to your enemy. Learn more about the hearty olive, which not only tastes great but is good for you too!
If you haven't tried ground cherries, you're not alone. These bright yellow-orange beauties wrapped in a papery husk are a niche fruit in the US. Once enjoyed by Native Americans, and later by early American settlers, the sweet ground cherry is under-appreciated today.