Food & Food Culture


Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

What It Takes To Make A Decent Cup Of Coffee In Space

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 2:47 pm

Leave it to the Italians to design a capsule-based espresso system for astronauts who miss their morning cup.
Andrea Guermani Courtesy of Lavazza

When our pals at the Two-Way wrote last month that engineers had finally come up with a way to brew some good Italian espresso on the International Space Station, we were thoroughly intrigued.

Read more


Tue July 8, 2014
The Salt

Globe-Trotting GMO Bananas Arrive For Their First Test In Iowa

Originally published on Thu July 10, 2014 4:53 pm

Ugandan researcher Stephen Buah and Professor James Dale hold bananas bred to be rich in vitamin A at Queensland University of Technology.
Erika Fish Courtesy of Queensland University of Technology

Somewhere in Iowa, volunteers are earning $900 apiece by providing blood samples after eating bits of a banana kissed with a curious tinge of orange.

It's the first human trial of a banana that's been genetically engineered to contain higher levels of beta carotene, the nutrient that our body converts into vitamin A. Researchers want to confirm that eating the fruit does, in fact, lead to higher vitamin A levels in the volunteers' blood.

The volunteers in Iowa may not realize it, but they're playing a small part in a story that spans the globe.

Read more


Mon July 7, 2014
The Salt

Couple Revives Lost Moroccan Fig Liquor, One Bottle At A Time

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 5:56 pm

Bottles of mahia in the Nahmias et Fils distillery.
Alex Schmidt for NPR

Before the crowds descend on the Whisky Jewbilee, a kosher alcohol tasting event in Manhattan, David and Dorit Nahmias stand behind their vendor table, getting psyched up.

"This is like the big game," Dorit Nahmias says.

Events like these are a key tool for getting the word out about their tiny distillery, and the Nahmiases attend half a dozen of them per year. The product they're trying to sell is one few people have heard of: mahia. Dorit rehearses her pitch:

Read more


Mon July 7, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Deep-Fried Grilled Cheese

Originally published on Mon July 7, 2014 12:31 pm

Unidentified Fried Object.

Improving the classics is not an easy task. I, for one, have for years been trying to add a kickstand to my burritos to make them stand upright, but the technical challenges prove insurmountable. Big & Littles in Chicago has done better with its update to the grilled cheese, however: It battered and deep-fried it.

Robert: All I need is a bowl of deep-fried tomato soup and it's a complete meal.

Read more


Mon July 7, 2014
The Salt

Raw Milk Producers Aim To Regulate Themselves

Originally published on Wed July 9, 2014 7:45 am

Charlotte Smith, of Champoeg Creamery in St. Paul, Ore., says raw milk may offer health benefits. But she also acknowledges its very real dangers.
Courtesy of Champoeg Creamery

A growing number of Americans are buying raw milk. That's milk that has not been pasteurized to kill bacteria.

Read more