Food and Recipes

Here is a place for you to play with your food -- literally: enjoy, have fun with and celebrate food -- but don't worry, we'll still help you get dinner on the table every night.


If you can't get enough of starchy foods, you don't need to limit yourself to potatoes and squash. Fruits have starch, too! We'll tell you why, and also reveal the starchiest fruit of them all.

Tempeh just might the new tofu. It's also a fermented soybean product but even healthier. And it's easy to cook with. What does it taste like?

A few years ago, hardly anyone could pronounce this product correctly. Now, it's a well-known nutritional superstar, available in almost any supermarket and a common substitute for rice. Why is quinoa so hot?

People have always had a thing for sparkling water, but it wasn't easy to reproduce the effervescence found naturally in some springs. Why was it so hard to create carbonated water and how did the product gave birth to the soda fountain?

Think you can only get food poisoning at a C-rated restaurant? Guess again. Your kitchen – which gets no health inspection report – can be a hotbed of illness-causing bacteria. All because we ignore some basic food-handling procedures.

With its extended expiration date and super portability, it's no wonder people have been relying on dehydrated food for centuries. But is it any healthier for us?

Stuffed full of vitamins and minerals — not to mention fats, carbs and proteins — Soylent can replace all those meals you're tired of making. But would you want it to?

Junk food is a miracle of edible engineering. Food scientists have figured out how to trick our brains into eating all that salt, sugar and fat without thinking about the calories. How do they do it? While you're learning, I'll get some Ding Dongs.

Is gluten the new saccharin – the evil product that must be shunned at all costs if we are to avoid cancer, lose weight and feel better? Not so fast, say the experts. A gluten-free diet could be bad for you.

Salt and MSG don't just make things taste saltier – they brighten the flavors of almost any food. But how can the same ingredient make chocolate taste sweeter, take the bitterness out of grapefruit and make cream soup taste thicker?

If you'd love to eat ice cream all day, maybe you can put that desire to work as a food taster. Or maybe not. The job requires more than a love of eating, and could involve sampling dog food.

Figuring out how many people a farmer's work feeds is more complicated than you may think. Agriculture has many variables that affect farm output – what are they?

Some foods are naturally antibiotic; others have antibiotics thrust upon them. Why is one good and the other bad – and what are some alternatives?

Americans tend to think of their Puritan forebears as abstemious killjoys. But the truth is, they drank far more liquor than Americans of today. What other alcohol-related fact bubbles can we burst for you?

We're used to looking at the expiration date for milk but how about for beer? While some brands proudly display their beers' "date of birth," others hide it with some cryptic codes. Does the date affect the taste?

If bananas are your favorite fruit, you may soon pick up a bunch that just seems ... different somehow. The culprit: a fungus that's killing the Cavendish.

As the old saying goes, appearances can be deceiving. Most of us use price, the label on the bottle and vintage to prejudge a wine's quality. But do expensive wines actually taste better, or is it all just sour grapes?

If beer commercials are accurate, you can knock back plenty of brewskis without worrying about weight gain. Yet the existence of beer bellies proves otherwise.

Wine lovers are sometimes called snobby, in part because they seem to speak a language of their own. Yet, their beloved beverage likely had some humble beginnings.

Red wine aficionados happily drank up the news that their favorite libation was actually good for them. But how have those oft-touted studies held up?

If fears of botulism have scared you away from home canning, you may also be hesitant to whip up your own fermented cabbage. Is it worth the worry?

When it comes to certain foods, self-control is a near impossibility. You can eat and eat (and eat) without ever feeling full. And you have your brain to blame.

When a food gets the sweet-to-salty ratio just right, it's quite the recipe for pleasure. Salted caramel is one flavor that hits all the right taste buds. Leave it to a Frenchman to create the perfect sweet.

The marriage of salty and sweet is one that shouldn't work but magically does. Our tongues recognize flavors for a reason -- and when it comes to sweet and salty, biology is hard at work.

Healthy food fads come and go. Smoothies, however, stand the test of time. The latest variation for 2014? One you don't sip with a straw.