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Pomegranate, Plum + Quinoa Salad

Ohhhhh franz. I love working at the olive oil shop, but it has been one long crash-course in packed lunches. What is a good packed lunch? What is a bad packed lunch? In-store we have a toaster oven but not a microwave, a fridge but no coffee pot.

Sourdough School: What I'm Teaching Myself This Fall

look at Maurizio Leo's gorgeous bread!

You know what my mission is this fall? Learning how to make sourdough bread from scratch. I've made bread in my day - a girl who loves bread as much as I do should know how to make bread. But all bread pales in comparison to sourdough. That crust. That open crumb, like a honeycomb. That flavor. That crackle. That incomparable moment of knowing you've got some excellent loaf of bread in your hands.

Welcome To WPS - Weird Produce Season

Do you remember that one time that I issued a four-week cooking challenge and only got through two weeks because life exploded into a million very busy pieces and I barely sat down to my laptop and I wasn't as strict about carbs as I meant to be? Yeah, me too.

Fresh Fig & Olive Oil Cake

Location: Norfolk, Virginia
Recipe: Fresh Fig And Olive Oil Cake
Confession: It's fig season.

I thought that'd be a good opening because if you didn't know (I think you do, though), fig season is about three seconds long. During the roughly two weeks of Indian summer, fig trees drop hundreds of pounds of highly perishable, tear-drop shaped fruits which look pretty alien when you slice them open.

Beef Stew With Root Vegetables


"There's a lot left to learn about umami...after all, everyone knows exactly what you mean when you talk about sweet, salty, sour, or bitter. If umami is just as fundamental a taste, then why does it so often need to be explained? What makes umami so obscure?"
-Bob Holmes Flavor: The Science of Our Most Neglected Sense

Raise your hand if you've heard about "umami," the fifth widely accepted "fundamental taste" -if you haven't, don't worry. That elusive savory, meaty, almost gamey flavor often associated with soups, broths, aged food products (cheese, charcuterie), and mushrooms is now called "umami," because apparently "savory," "meaty," and "gamey" are doing service no longer. I had heard of this term (which was only publicly acknowledged about fifteen years ago) but I grasped umami more as a concept. I couldn't pin an intense experience as a recent memory.