Sassafras is kind of a big deal. Without it the whole history of the US might have played out differently. Also, we wouldn't have root beer or filé gumbo. Depending on whom you ask, sassafras is either a folk remedy or a dangerous carcinogen. We'll leave you to decide: bad seed or beneficial buddy?
That ingredient responsible for dyeing everything from cauliflower to your fingertips yellow-orange is turmeric, a quintessential seasoning in many cuisines, particularly throughtout Asia. But where does turmeric come from? How does it taste? And how can you grow or cook with some of your own? Look no further for an introduction to this incredible spice.
The coconut palm is incredibly important as a foodstuff across the globe. From the coconut fiber that lines your window box planters to the coconut milk in your curry and coconut water in your fridge, the coconut palm, aptly called "The Tree of Life" for its usefulness, is a truly remarkable plant.
Like salt and black pepper, you probably reach for cooking oil for just about every meal you make. But have you ever wondered about the history of your canola oil, or what makes fancy extra virgin olive oil so expensive? Or what the heck margarine really is? Read on for all of this and more.
Sweet potatoes are often colloquially referred to as "yams" - but they're not. Let's take a culinary world tour and unravel this mystery together, shall we? Bottom line: you might have to hunt down a true yam, but they sure are worth it!
If there's a beverage demarking Fall, it's cider. Hard cider, sweet cider, warm cider in one hand with a fresh apple cider doughnut in the other, yum! Explore cider this season with the many recipes - and historical tidbits - the drink has to offer.
Are you ready to step up your wine game? In this Real Food overview, we'll touch on some familiar grapes and wines while providing references for further exploration. Most importantly, we'll look at the environmental impacts and sustainable potential of winemaking!
A too-long winter calls for tropical fruit, and guess what's in season? Pineapple. (Yes, there is a pineapple season.) Eat it fresh, spice it up with chilies, toss it on a pizza or even turn it into beer.
Taro is an important dietary staple used in both savory and sweet dishes across much of the tropical and sub-tropical world. If you're lucky enough to go to Hawaii (and no better time than the present!) don't be scared to try taro along with those fruity beach cocktails!
The well-stocked pantry of the modern age would do well to include quinoa, seed extraordinaire. A complete protein all its own packed with nutritional goodness, quinoa shows off its multi-talents from breakfast to dinner, a highly versatile ingredient on the plates of meat-eaters and vegetarians alike.
Famously perfect for peeling and eating raw, the scrumptious banana has more up its sleeve than first meets the eye. From desserts and liquors to vinegar and ketchup, grab one of these nutritious berries (yes, berries!) and go bananas!
They may or may not have aphrodisiac qualities, but nothing starts off a fancy - or romantic - meal like oysters. Just in time for Valentine's Day, all you need to know about these briny bivalves.
There's no denying it - flu season is upon us. If you're pulling out all the stops to stay on your feet this winter, you might want to throw in a little horseradish. Nothing quite beats the nasal-passage clearing, palate-zinging flavor of this knobby brown root.
Why not upgrade your Super Bowl spread with some locally-grown, sustainably produced food this year? Step up your game with recipes from our Real Food Right Now series. Blindside your guests with tasty and healthy snacks! Clothesline anyone who tries to bring in fast food! Make sure no off-season veggies show up to play!
Early Americans nicknamed salsify "oyster plant" as an homage to their favorite briny bivalves (though you may not notice any oyster flavor). Don't let salsify's uninviting appearance turn you off. If you're lucky enough to get your hands on this delicious - but sometimes elusive - veggie, there are a surprising number of lovely recipes to try.
Scallops, generally divided into "bay" and "sea" types, are prized for food across much of the world, and their shells have been used for everything from currency to jewelry. Here's your guide to the beloved bivalve, from enviro impact to searing tips.