The Culture of Food and Drink


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Acorn lace cookie. Credit: Copyright 2016 Wendy Petty

Flip through any children's coloring book, and the images depicting autumn will be guaranteed to contain falling leaves, acorns and pumpkins. Acorns are one of the iconic images of fall. But for most, they're simply objects littering the ground as summer fades into snow. In truth, acorns are a very old

Pan bagnat is a tuna sandwich often found as street food in Nice, France. Credit: Copyright 2016 Sue Style

Pan bagnat, a sandwich bursting with all manner of delicious Mediterranean goodies, is the quintessential street food of the city of Nice, France. As with most foods that have acquired legendary status, pan bagnat has suffered greatly in interpretation over the years. So much so that in 1991 an association, La Commune

Dates and date syrup. Credit: Copyright 2016 Tami Weiser

Many ancient sweeteners are long forgotten, overtaken by the simple, clean taste of granulated sugar. Take for instance, date syrup. Also called date molasses, melasse de datte, rub, dibs or silvan, date syrup has a long, storied history for many millennia in the Levant, Ancient Persia and throughout the Middle East. I make

Cinnamon chouquettes. Credit: Copyright 2016 Kathy Hunt

At one time, if I wanted a handful of airy, pearl-sugar-encrusted chouquettes, I’d have to either scrimp and save for a trip to France or break down and make these sweets myself. For centuries these petite, round pastries have been a mainstay of French bakeries and patisseries. Like clockwork, each day

Corn, potato and shrimp chowder with bourbon. Credit: Copyright 2015 Nathan Hoyt/Forktales

Once, you couldn't make a chowder in New England without purists frowning over your shoulder. I learned this as a young chef working aboard a ship cruising the waters of Nantucket, catering to the tastes of paying guests. We could give them moules marinières scented with wine; we could make

The Santomas winery, with the town of Koper in the distance, lies in Slovenian Istria. Credit: Copyright 2016 Marjan Močivnik

The wines of Slovenia are being rediscovered after Slovenia's emergence from the old Yugoslavia, and there are now pockets of excellent vineyards all over the country. Recently, I was in the Istrian part of Slovenia, which is sandwiched between the much larger Croatian Istria and the Italian city of Trieste. Essentially,

Apples ready to be picked. Credit: Copyright 2016 Nancy Harmon Jenkins

My house right now is filled with the fragrance of roses -- not from real blossoms, long gone from the garden, but from apples, piled in bowls on tables and countertops, wherever a hand might reach out for a snack. Macintosh, Cortlands, Macouns, Paula Reds, take your pick -- it's

Stifado, braised beef with feta cheese and onions. Credit: Copyright 2016 Clifford A. Wright

Greek food is one that is festive, healthy, simple and delicious, and Greek restaurants are always fun to go to. Greek food is easy to cook at home too, as long as you have the basic staples -- none of which are exotic -- such as olive oil, tomatoes, oregano,