Food & Food Culture


Tue July 1, 2014
The Salt

Breeding Battle Threatens Key Source Of California Strawberries

Originally published on Sun July 6, 2014 9:48 pm

In California, a legal skirmish has erupted over strawberries — or rather, over strawberry breeding.

To be absolutely precise, the battle is about strawberry breeding at the University of California, Davis. This is more important than it might sound. More than half of all strawberries in the supermarket trace their ancestry to breeding plots at UC Davis.

The strawberry breeders at UC Davis, who've led that program for decades, are leaving the university to carry on their work at a new private company.

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Tue July 1, 2014
The Salt

'The Great Fish Swap': How America Is Downgrading Its Seafood Supply

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 10:09 am

Paul Greenberg says the decline of local fish markets, and the resulting sequestration of seafood to a corner of our supermarkets, has contributed to "the facelessness and comodification of seafood."
J. Scott Applewhite AP

What's the most popular seafood in the U.S.? Shrimp. The average American eats more shrimp per capita than tuna and salmon combined. Most of that shrimp comes from Asia, and most of the salmon we eat is also imported. In fact, 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad, but one-third of the seafood Americans catch gets sold to other countries.

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Tue July 1, 2014

IBM's Watson Is Out With Its Own Barbecue Sauce

Originally published on Thu July 3, 2014 9:12 am

The barbecue sauce concocted with the help of Watson contains a dozen ingredients.

A company specializing in bytes is offering a special flavor for your Fourth of July: IBM's Watson barbecue sauce.

The supercomputer first showed off its intellectual process on Jeopardy, but Watson now seems ready for the Food Channel.

After analyzing massive numbers of recipes, Watson went gourmet. The condiment, called Bengali Butternut BBQ Sauce, contains a dozen ingredients, including butternut squash, white wine, dates, Thai chilies and tamarind. According to IBM, "it's got a slow, warm heat and a kick."

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Mon June 30, 2014
The Salt

Sandwich Monday: The Concrete

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 12:37 pm

Intractably delicious!

Purveyors of fine foods have any number of ways of showing them off. Auntie Anne's hands out free pretzel samples at the mall; McDonald's lets a princess sit on top of the Big Mac to show she can't feel a pea underneath.

At Ted Drewes in St. Louis, when they hand you your Concrete, they flip it upside down to show you it's so thick, it won't fall out of the cup.

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Mon June 30, 2014
The Salt

The Past Is Where It's At For The Future Of Barbecue

Originally published on Mon June 30, 2014 3:57 pm


With the Fourth of July just around the corner, families across the nation will be firing up their gas and charcoal grills in pursuit of grilled meat bliss.

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