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Pt Reyes Bay Blue, judged 2nd Place in Best of Show competition by Dan Clarke Sacramento, CA August 2, 2014 - Never have I seen so much cheese. By the time I left Exhibit Hall C in the Sacramento Convention Center it was filled with tasters. Most seemed to be involved with cheese in some professional way, but there were media types and folks who just liked cheese. Last night's tasting was the culmination of the 31st annual meeting of the American Cheese Society (ACS). Any organization which brackets several days of academic sessions with a Tuesday evening California Cheesemaker…
TASTE News Service June 27, 2014 - How are we able to recognize foodstuffs like strawberries, coffee, barbecued meat or freshly boiled potatoes by smell alone? Foodstuffs contain more than 10,000 different volatile substances. But only around 230 of these determine the odor of the food we eat. Narrowing it down further, between just 3 and 40 of these key odors are responsible for encoding the typical smell of an individual foodstuff. These compounds are then decoded by around 400 olfactory receptors in the nose. Scientists have presented these findings in chemistry journal Angewandte Chemie. Complementing the five basic tastes…
  Photo: Swift Butterball Turkeysby Jim Laughren, CWE Sure, Thanksgiving is about tradition: about Grandma’s stuffing recipe, Mom’s green bean casserole and pumpkin pie, about cranberry sauce and pearl onions and all those dishes we enjoy but once a year; about heirloom silverware and cut crystal goblets brought out only for special occasions; about family and memories and giving thanks for whatever bounty we’ve enjoyed. A finer celebration it’s hard to imagine, but . . . the beverage component of Thanksgiving is often disjointed, uninspired and deservedly lacking in tradition. This year instead of a pre-dinner toast of cheap Champagne…
by Jim Laughren Shorter days, clouds muscling in on blue skies, temps backing off from those searing, suntan days of July. The turning of the seasons is our reassurance that the laws of natural order are still intact. Appreciate the meaning. Our planet, our universe, is... persistent, dependable, yet ever-changing and challenging, and ultimately: comforting. After all, it’s home. So this time of year is also “our turn” to shift and repeat, recycle and reinvigorate, restore and revisit the familiar.   Meat Loaf photo: bettycrocker.com Comfort foods spring to mind. Warm, easy, and embracing; bursting with days gone by, with…
By Jackie Townsend My imaginations of Italy and food are of this: a stolid, determined woman toiling away in her kitchen, pinching out pasta shells with her thumb, gathering tomatoes from scraggly vines hanging off her balcony railing, basil from the spice pots cluttering her window sill. I see her trudging up a cobbled slope to argue with the macellaio about the best cut of meat, over to the salumeria to admonish the owner for yesterday’s salty parma. I see her waddling over to the panettiere to get the first batch of bread. And yes, my imaginations are real. I…
  Celiac disease is estimated to affect one out of 141 of Americans, or just under 1 percent of the population. The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics encourages Americans to learn about celiac disease – it can affect your health or someone you love. What is celiac disease? It is a hereditary, autoimmune disease caused by intolerance to the food protein, gluten – which is found in wheat, barley and rye. When people with celiac disease eat gluten-containing foods, the lining of the small intestine is damaged and eventually destroyed, preventing nutrients from being absorbed adequately. Untreated, celiac disease can…
Did you know that 47 million turkeys, amounting to 736 million pounds of turkey, will be eaten this Thanksgiving Day? Food is a big part of every American holiday celebration. And, with consumers as busy as ever, there can also be big stress around planning and preparing a safe, happy holiday celebration. To help take the tress out of the holiday, the non-profit Partnership for Food Safety Education is re-booting its Holiday Food Safety Success Kit to give families the resources they need to have a safe, fun, easy, and tasty holiday celebration. Now is the perfect time for holiday…
The popularity of California wine, fresh produce and regional cuisine continues to expand worldwide. For travelers to the state, one of the best ways to discover what's new in fresh seasonal cooking and dining is to visit California's wine country. Local restaurants focus on pairing regional wines with natural, farm-grown ingredients, often sourced from community farmers' markets. These markets reflect the abundance of produce available in the state, as California is America's top agricultural state, producing 400 plant and animal commodities. There are more than 400 certified farmers' markets throughout California, many of them in the state's wine regions. A…
by Dan Clarke   What a waste. A loss to humanity, one of us said as we sat at the bar watching all that foam going down the drain. Of course, it's the nature of things that Guinness Stout must be poured slowly. It throws that wonderful, creamy head and must settle down a bit before the bartender tops it off with a second shot from the tap. Invariably some of the foam is lost as it's swept off the top to accelerate this process. But the foam is still beer, however oxygenated. And it seemed a shame to waste…
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