The Culture of Food and Drink


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Bread crumbs and chestnuts for Thanksgiving stuffing. Credit: Copyright 2016 cislander/iStock

Our family’s Thanksgiving dinner, including the stuffing, is heavily inflected with New England themes. That’s because two of my children were born in Boston and we lived in Massachusetts for 14 years when the children were young. Once we moved to California, we kept those foods for Thanksgiving that are not

The heritage turkeys at Good Shepherd Poultry Ranch live much like their wild ancestors on the Kansas prairie. Credit: Copyright 2016 Jim Turner, Turner Photography, Lindsborg, KS

Before deciding whether to brine, deep-fry or spatchcock the Thanksgiving turkey, more Americans than ever are puzzling over a pressing ethical question: "Which type of bird should I buy?" The majority of the estimated 68 million turkeys sold between Thanksgiving and Christmas come from giant industrial producers like Butterball and Jennie-O. But

A view of the Getty Center from the top of Moraga’s Bel Air vineyards. Credit: Copyright 2016 Zester Media

Standing at the crest of Moraga Estate's hillside vineyard, you can see Santa Monica Bay and feel the cool Pacific breezes that mark the estate's wines. Moraga's fruit ripens slowly, resulting in an elegance that eludes Bordeaux-style wines from Napa Valley and other California regions prone to heat spikes. But that's

Butternut squash and pumpkins make a perfect Thanksgiving side dish. Credit: Copyright 2016 Wynne Everett

Thanksgiving side dishes can be a challenge for the host who wants to serve an impressive meal. It’s tempting to get carried away and choose something too complicated when a simple dish, such as a straightforward mashed butternut squash, can make a Thanksgiving dinner elegant. [aside] Sometimes the too-complicated culprits are regional

Main photo: If you are looking for a quick snack, try ji doug liang fen, or chickpea "cold noodles." Credit: Copyright 2016 Josh Wand

Yunnan may not be on most Western foodies' radars, but for those in the know, it's one of the most exciting food spots in the world. [aside] The province, which sits in a mountainous area that borders Tibet, Burma, Laos, Vietnam and the Chinese provinces of Guangxi, Guizhou and Sichuan, is the

South Africa’s extra virgin olive oils are beginning to turn global heads. Credit: Credit: Courtesy of Lettas Kraal

When Americans think olive oil, South Africa probably doesn't leap to mind, but like South African wine, the country's extra virgin olive oil is beginning to turn global heads. The industry was started by an Italian immigrant in the 1950s, but it's the new flush of small- to medium-size producers

Anzac biscuits. Credit: Copyright 2016 Kathy Hunt

People say travel broadens the mind. In my experience it also expands the palate and occasionally the waistline. Such was the case when visiting Australia and New Zealand and consuming a plethora of sweet, hearty Anzac biscuits. A favorite of Australians and New Zealanders, Anzac biscuits are about as prevalent and

The tour buses have disappeared from the Langhe’s narrow, twisting roads, replaced by trucks bringing home the last loads of purple Nebbiolo grapes. Our Panda, Italy’s ubiquitous Fiat putt-putt rental car, strains up the hills to finally drop us down in the tiny medieval village of Barolo. Surrounded by steep