Food & Food Culture

2:30pm

Thu August 21, 2014
The Salt

Can Quinoa Take Root On The 'Roof Of The World'?

Grown for thousands of years in South America, quinoa crossed the Atlantic for the first time in the 21st century, according to the United Nations.
iStockphoto.com

For thousands of years, quinoa barely budged from its home in the Andes. Other crops — corn, potatoes, rice, wheat and sorghum — traveled and colonized the world. But quinoa stayed home.

All of a sudden, quinoa is a trendy, jet-setting "superfood." And as we've reported, some American farmers are trying to cash in on its new-found popularity.

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11:08am

Thu August 21, 2014
The Salt

California Drought Has Wild Salmon Competing With Almonds For Water

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 2:44 pm

A young Chinook salmon, called a smolt, near Vallejo, Calif., on April 24, 2014. North Coast tribes and environmentalists fear that the smolts and Chinooks may not survive this year's low river flows and warm water.
Rich Pedroncelli AP

The ongoing California drought has pitted wild salmon against farmers in a fight for water. While growers of almonds, one of the state's biggest and most lucrative crops, enjoy booming production and skyrocketing sales to China, the fish, it seems, might be left high and dry this summer—and maybe even dead.

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3:58pm

Wed August 20, 2014
The Salt

No. 1 Most Expensive Coffee Comes From Elephant's No. 2

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Elephants, unlike humans or civets, are herbivores. The fermentation happening in their gut as they break down cellulose helps remove the bitterness in the coffee beans.
Michael Sullivan NPR

I s#&% you not: The world's most expensive coffee is now being produced in Thailand's Golden Triangle, a region better known for another high-priced, if illegal, export: opium.

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2:13pm

Wed August 20, 2014
The Salt

Legendary Vermont Bakers May Stop Selling Beloved Sourdough Bread

Originally published on Wed August 20, 2014 6:30 pm

Rabin bread on a rock at the farmers market in Plainfield prior to setting up the table.
Jon Kalish for NPR

When Jules Rabin lost his job teaching anthropology in 1977, he and his wife, Helen, turned to baking to keep their family afloat. For 37 years they've baked sourdough bread that people in central Vermont can't seem to live without.

The year before Jules left Goddard College, he and Helen built a replica of a 19th century peasant oven, hauling 70 tons of fieldstone from nearby fields. The stones covered an igloo-shaped brick baking chamber 5 1/2 feet in diameter.

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12:57pm

Wed August 20, 2014
The Salt

Why Vegetables Get Freakish In The Land Of The Midnight Sun

Originally published on Thu August 21, 2014 1:03 pm

Giant Cabbage Weigh-Off 2013 winners (with placards, left to right): Scott Rob (92.1 pounds), Keevan Dinkel (92.3 pounds) and Brian Shunskis (77.4 pounds). The growers are joined by the cabbage fairies, a group of women who for 15 years have volunteered at the cabbage competition.
Clark James Mishler Courtesy of Alaska State Fair

Everything in Alaska is a little bit bigger — even the produce. A 138-pound cabbage, 65-pound cantaloupe and 35-pound broccoli are just a few of the monsters that have sprung forth from Alaska's soil in recent years.

At the annual Alaska State Fair, which opens Thursday in Palmer, the public will have the chance to gawk at giants like these as they're weighed for competition.

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