I have a confession: I absolutely LOVE grocery shopping. This is a bit unexpected, since I’ve never enjoyed going to the mall, even as a teenager when my desire to master (pre-Atari) Pac-Man meant hours at the mall arcade. But the grocery store? I love it! I get lost in studying the merchandising and sales strategies, and can completely lose track of time browsing the shelves checking out SKUs. (I suppose this is why I have the job that I do.)
My favorite section of the grocery store is the produce aisle, and I want to make it yours, too. Here are five reasons why the fruit-and-veggie section of the grocery store plain old ROCKS:
1. What’s cheapest is what is best.
We operate with the assumption that if something costs more, it’s better. And often, that is true! But not in the produce aisle. When a particular vegetable or fruit is in season, the price goes way down due to the “overstock” at the “factory” — simple supply-and-demand economics. (Side note: Wouldn’t it be great if this were true everywhere? I’d love to get a Cadillac for less money than a used Chevrolet.)
Takeaway: Follow the sales in the produce aisle not only to save money but also to get the highest quality!
3 of a Kind checks out three places across the country to try something cool, new and delicious.
In the not-too-distant past, most Americans had never heard of baijiu. Most probably still have not. But this ancient Chinese spirit — made from sorghum and/or rice — is actually the most heavily consumed alcoholic beverage in the world, due largely in part to an avid fan base in China. The potent liquor (many brands are 100-proof and higher) has recently begun making headway in the United States, particularly at top-tier cocktail bars. With varying flavor profiles that range from gentle (with rice and pear notes) to heady and slightly nutty, this celebratory liquor is joining vodka, gin and the rest of the crew as a popular spirit. Read more
Did you ever wonder why a food one person adores may be a dish another abhors — and why some people seem to be born adventurers when it comes to what’s on their plates, whereas others are super-picky eaters?
Jane Kauer, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania whose work focuses on issues related to food, eating, body and culture, recently discussed the science of picky eating with NPR.
Among her insights:
This week on Foodie Call, Justin’s hanging out with a big cheese — the VP of sales at Murray’s Cheese, that is. Elizabeth Chubbuck explains the world of stinky, pungent (and utterly delicious) washed-rind cheeses to Justin and introduces him to one of her favorites: an absinthe-washed cheese that goes by the name of Miranda.
Got a couple of aging bananas lounging on your kitchen counter, practically begging for a small army of fruit flies to move in? Don’t pitch them yet! Brown bananas mean extra flavor, and every one of these recipes will be more delicious for it.
Banana “Ice Cream” Fakeout
When bananas start to turn brown, it’s time to make your move. Slice them up and store them in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Now you have the makings for Rachael Ray’s banana “ice cream”: Just blend your frozen bananas in a food processor, adding a little milk if needed.
If you’re asking us, Memorial Day — not the solstice or any other date on the calendar — kicks off summer. That means grills across the country are being dusted off, scraped clean and fired up, likely for the first time all year. Our FoodNetwork.com staffers have been ogling these charred beauties, both tried-and-true favorites and brand-new recipes from our test kitchens, for months already. Behold the juicy meats, charred veggies and other surprising foods they simply cannot wait to throw on the grill.
You’ve planned everything perfectly for your Memorial Day barbecue, but an entree for the vegetarians has you stumped? No worries: Portobello caps make a wallet-friendly and easy pick when you want to sidestep the burger meat. The mushrooms are meaty (but meatless) and satisfying, making them a go-to swap for even the biggest meat eaters. And since the portobellos are mild in taste, they’re incredibly versatile, so you can serve them with the same sides and buns as the rest of the burgers on the grill.