real food right now
Real Food Right Now and How to Cook it (#realfoodrightnow) is our series on the ABCs and 123s of seasonal food.
If you have never had a cherimoya, it is hard to describe the spell this seductive fruit can cast over you. The fruit looks like some sort of reptilian egg, but the pulp of the cherimoya is creamy and custardy, with the flavor of bananas, pineapples, strawberries and kiwi. A true treasure of the farmers' market - for those of you lucky to live where it grows.
Just when the doldrums of long, gray winter days set in and our health is threatened by the sniffles, Nature gives us a cure! Tangy, bright, easy to peel mandarin oranges are a delight to have in the kitchen - their vibrant color and sunny fragrance are smile-worthy.
While you may agree with one of our staff, who said Valentine's Day (the holiday responsible for the sale of 58 million pounds of chocolate) is "mostly a lamentable shakedown perpetuated to promote superfluous consumption," we also know you probably care a lot about chocolate. So here are the details!
Everything is adorable about kumquats. From their diminutive size to their cheery color, and even their name - all as cute as a button, and a welcome sight in the dead of winter when there is little fun to be had at the market. Pick up a basket of these wee fruit and get cooking.
What is it with bitter greens and confusing naming conventions? This week's Real Food, chicories and endives, are bitter, leafy veggies that come in a rainbow of colors (and names) - all of which are delicious. Not everyone agrees, though! (Read on to find out about the passionate anti-frisée contingent.)
Everybody wants a little sugar in their bowl, but what exactly is in that taste of sweet stuff? In this installment of Real Food Right Now, we look at the sweet - and sour - sides of sugar.
Did you know that pistachios have been eaten for over 7,000 years? With deep roots in the culinary history of many Middle Eastern and other cultures, and newer importance in US agriculture, pistachios are a seriously fascinating drupe (that's right - they're not even really a nut). From special occasion desserts to pistachio pesto (recipe included!), pistachios bring a lot to the table.
We'd wager that at some point in your life, probably when you were a little kid, you stood under an oak tree holding an acorn and looked up thinking, "that big tree came from this little thing?" You may be surprised to learn that for many cultures' ancestors, the acorn was more than just a symbol of the wonders of life - it was a major food staple.
What food heralds the holidays more than the cranberry, in all its rubine glory? But you should eat this all-American Thanksgiving-y treat year round! Cranberries are exceptionally nutritious, and you can whip up a sauce in about as much time as it takes to open a can.
Americans eat roughly 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving alone, but turkey meat is much more than a holiday staple. Read on to learn all about this bird we know so well, and impress your friends and family with your knowledge of all things turkey!
Chia's popularity has increased exponentially in the last few years - but did you know that in Mexico, chia seeds have been used as both food and medicine for hundreds of years? There's a lot to learn about this diminutive seed - read on to find out more!
Nothing says autumn like pumpkins, but if your experience is limited to jack-o-lanterns and pumpkin spice lattes, you're missing out on a whole world of squashy goodness. Read all about it!
What do Velcro, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Stonehenge have in common? You guessed it: burdock! This not-so-pretty root vegetable has an interesting history, and features predominantly in Japanese and other cuisines. Read on to learn more about burdock - plus an easy recipe.
What is it about the chile pepper that keeps us coming back for more, despite the (sometimes unbearable) pain? Why are some pepper varieties sweet? Read on for answers and discover why the pepper is the geekiest of fruits. (Yes, fruits!)
Every fall in the US, fresh shell beans make an appearance at local farmers' markets. Their texture - creamier than any canned or dried bean - and fresh, nutty flavor will change the way you think about the humble bean.
This week's Real Food gets a bad rap -- it's heavily subsidized and heavily monocropped, a whopping 88% of it is genetically engineered and most of it becomes animal feed, high fructose corn syrup or ethanol. But we've got a soft spot for sweet corn, and we bet you do, too.