The Culture of Food and Drink


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Almond boneless chicken. Credit: Tina Caputo

It's been more than 20 years since I moved from a suburb on the east side of Detroit to San Francisco, and there are a few things I miss about my childhood home. When I say "a few" I mean three: my family, warm summer nights and almond boneless chicken. If

Planted crops in the midst of Agritopia. Credit: Copyright 2015 Dana Rebmann

We've all heard the saying "it takes a village." But communities are drawn together for many reasons. Some cling tight to tradition with activities like barbecues and Fourth of July parades. Others share neighborhoods with backyards that spill onto golf courses, lakes and swimming pools. And then there's Agritopia. "If you live

Olive oils line shelves at Corti Brothers in Sacramento, Calif. Credit: Elaine Corn

Have you ever wondered what exactly you're getting when you purchase a bottle of olive oil? Extra virgin? Pure? "Pure," explains Dan Flynn of the University of California Davis Olive Center, "which is such a great word from a marketing standpoint, indicates to a lot of consumers that they're buying the

Fritedda with spring vegetables. Credit: Copyright 2016 Clifford A. Wright

In the springtime in Sicily a simply named dish reveals an explosion of flavor that belies its satisfying complexity. It is a dish special with spring vegetables -- fava, peas, scallions and artichokes -- and called frittedda (or fritedda). [aside] In western Sicily, where frittedda was born, it is served as a

Lobsters, crabs and shrimp are crustaceans and are not, strictly speaking, shellfish. They do not have shells, even though we call them that. Their "shells" are properly called carapaces. These hard carapaces have joints for movement and grow with the animal and can be sloughed off. When cooked, crustaceans will

Drizzle grilled romaine lettuce with balsamic vinaigrette and top with crumbled blue cheese, toasted walnuts and fresh ground pepper. Credit: Copyright 2015 Tina Caputo

I think it was Ben Franklin who coined the saying, "Everything tastes better with grill marks on it." (Or was it John Adams?) This is especially true in the summer, when a bounty of vegetables and fruits bursts from our gardens, and it's just too gorgeous outside to stay in

Grilling the perfect bird. Credit: Copyright 2016 Lynne Curry

You're busy and company's coming for dinner. Nothing's easier than tossing some chicken on the grill. Am I right? Not at all! Think about it: When was the last time you had a properly cooked piece of chicken from somebody's backyard grill? "Never" is my guess -- even from your own. Don't take

Use the whole grill to make a meal: corn, salmon, lemons, polenta and peppers. Credit: Lynne Curry

I became the family grill master because my husband was happy to leave me to the cooking, even when it involved live flames. I never grilled a steak or burger until the summer we bought a one-quarter share of a locally raised beef steer. When I cooked in restaurants, meats