August 5, 2014

Zucchini Obsession: 14 Zucchini Recipes that Make Amazing Summer Meals

When I bring up my seasonal obsession with zucchini – which, incidentally, is in full effect at the moment – I always marvel at how many people describe the delicious summer squash as either tasteless, or perhaps even more astonishingly, as boring and difficult to work with. Tasteless? Boring? Difficult to work with? Hearing those kinds of comments, I instantly know that the people making them are woefully uninitiated in the many sublime pleasures of the deceptively simple vegetable.

Growing up the grandson of a Neapolitan grandmother, I was introduced to zucchini as an ingredient in a multitude of meals at a very early age. When properly prepared, zucchini serves as the basis for an enormous number of mouthwatering dishes. In fact, if anything, the difficulty of working with zucchini is often having too many meal directions to choose from. Read the rest of this entry »

August 3, 2014

The “Bon Problème:” Is Climate Change Altering the Wines We Drink – and Getting Us Drunk Faster?

Wine Problems

French producers are calling it the “bon problème“– warmer temperatures that are increasing output in many traditional wine producing regions. But these warmer temperatures are also affecting grapes in ways that may have already fundamentally altered the nature of some wines. And not necessarily in positive ways. That’s the message of a well-written piece published yesterday by Gwynn Guilford on Qz.com. Read the rest of this entry »

August 1, 2014

Ruth Reichl Skewers FDA on Its Failure to Ban Growth-Promoting Antibiotics for Livestock; Makes Us Want to March on Washington

FDA Fail

Earlier this week, author and former Gourmet Magazine editor Ruth Reichl penned a scathing Op-Ed piece for the New York Times on the failure of the FDA to protect American’s food supply. More specifically, the article took issue with a recent Federal Appeals Court ruling that gives the FDA the power to permit the use of antibiotics in industrial livestock and poultry production even if the agency knows that the drug is unsafe and likely to increase the risk of antibiotic resistance in people.

In the Op-Ed, Reichl makes her points clearly and without unnecessary ornamentation. The truth is that industrial livestock and poultry producers rely on antibiotics primarily to accelerate the times that it takes to fatten up healthy animals. Super-dosing animals with antibiotics also allows producers to constantly “push the envelope” with the conditions at their facilities; because antibiotics help stave off diseases, producers can get away with allowing overcrowded, unsanitary and otherwise substandard living arrangements for the livestock and poultry that the process.

The whole thing should be a nightmare to foodies, and, frankly, to all Americans concerned about the state of the nation’s food supply. Read the rest of this entry »

No ‘R’ in July … or August: The Best Oysters to Eat this Summer

Oysters

When at the peak of their freshness, raw oysters are the rare luxurious food that is also incredibly healthy to eat. But the old adage that one should only consume oysters in months that contain an ‘r’ seems both wise and commonsensical. Cooler months provide less opportunity for things to go wrong in the sourcing, storage and delivery of the temperature-sensitive bivalves, so months without an ‘r’ are comparably riskier. Couple this with the fact that summer is typically the time when most varieties of oysters spawn, and diners can run into all kinds of issues with quality.

But celebrated chef and restaurateur April Bloomfield insists that foodies can ignore the adage and enjoy their fave bivalve delicacies year-round – if foodies are a little careful about the oysters that they select. In a great little piece published last week by Joshua David Stein on Grubstreet.com, Bloomfield offered a list of her favorite summer oysters selected from among those regularly available at her New York City seafood restaurant, The John Dory Oyster BarRead the rest of this entry »

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