The Culture of Food and Drink


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Perfect lobster roll. Credit: Copyright 2016 Brenda Athanus

Years before the current popularity of lobster rolls my friend, Joel, a food-obsessed antique dealer, proposed we make a personal study of lobster rolls along the coast of Maine. It was a challenge I instantly accepted because, up to that point, I had never had a real lobster "roll." Lobster sandwiches

Chef Bittor Arginzoniz slicing beef. Credit: Copyright 2016 courtesy of Etxebarri

When my friend Andoni Luis Aduriz invited me to dinner in Spain's Basque countryside, I knew the food would be wonderful. Aduriz is the chef at San Sebastián's Mugaritz, one of the world's most famous restaurants, so he knows cooking. But I'll admit I had my doubts when he described

Fossa cheese can be eaten simply with piadina and figs. Credit: Photo Courtesy of Caseifico Pascoli

Cheese lovers may want to travel to Italy's Sogliano al Rubicone in November. This little town in the Romagna region is famously known for the historical river Rubicon, which Emperor Julius Caesar crossed as he uttered, "Alea iacta est" (“The die is cast”). But it is also known for the traditional formaggio di fossa,

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