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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.

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The Surprising Reason Why Vanilla Is So Expensive

Vanilla is probably the most popular flavoring out there, but most of what we consume is the imitation variety as the real extract is pricey. What accounts for the high cost? And is it worth it?

Why You'll Go Bananas for Mangosteens

Sometimes referred as the 'queen of fruit,' the mangosteen has a soft white interior, a mild taste and is notoriously difficult to find in the U.S. Here's why.

What's the Difference Between Butter and Shortening?

Both are essential fats for baking, but they bring different flavors, textures and even appearances to the end product. So is one better than the other?

Must-have Bar Essentials to Make Killer Cocktails at Home

You don't have to go out to have a killer cocktail if you have a killer bar setup at home. We'll tell you exactly what you need to make it happen.

Don't Toss Those Cheese Rinds! 4 Ways You Can Totally Use Them

Those leftover cheese rinds can be valuable ingredients that you can harness into new recipes. We'll show you simple ways to use them as flavor enhancers.

How Gin and Tonic Became the Ultimate Cocktail Combo

The gin and tonic, that cool, fresh, citrusy summer delight, has a long and romantic history, beginning with its use as a "cure" for malaria.

What's the Difference Between Cake Flour and All-purpose Flour?

Don't know your cake flour from all-purpose? The difference is subtle but the end result is huge.

Butter 101: From Sweet Cream to Cultured

All butters are not created equal. We take five different butters, including "plant-based butter" and explain what makes them different.

The Definitive Guide to Jerky: It's Not Just Beef Anymore

Beef jerky has been around for hundreds of years, and these days there are lots of options that aren't beef-based, like soy-based jerky, vegan mushroom jerky and the unusually delicious coconut jerky.

What's the Difference Between All-purpose and Self-rising Flours?

If you've taken up baking, and don't know AP flour from self-rising we'll explain the difference. Because the final product is only as good as the flour you put into it.

How Matcha Went From Ancient Ceremonial Tea to Health Drink Du Jour

Matcha tea has roots in Zen Buddhism and Japanese tea ceremonies. So how did this ancient tea end up on the menus of hip tea houses and even Dunkin' Donuts?

In Search of the Perfect Proustian Madeleine

In an effort that would have made Marcel Proust proud, our writer goes into the kitchen in search of the perfect hump on the perfect little confection, the madeleine.

Turkish Coffee Is Steeped in Tradition — And Easy to Make

Since its introduction in 15th-century Yemen, Turkish coffee has served as a cultural touchstone in Middle Eastern, Eastern European and north African countries, its brewing infused with magic and myth.

How to Make a Sourdough Starter From Scratch

No yeast to bake bread? No problem. You can start baking sourdough bread in about a week once you've made your own sourdough starter. We'll tell you how.

Use the 'Sterile Technique' to Safely Unpack Your Groceries

A Michigan physician's video about using a sterile surgical technique to unpack groceries at home during the coronavirus pandemic went viral. We talked to him and have more of his advice.

The Right Glass Could Make Your Wine Taste Better

How much does the shape of your wineglass really affect the taste of your favorite pinot noir? Probably more than you realize.

What Makes a Whiskey Scotch Whisky?

Our scotch connoisseur says that what makes a whiskey 'scotch whisky' comes down to the legalities of where it's from and how it's made. Oh, and scotch whisky doesn't have an 'e' in its name.

How to Freeze Fresh Vegetables

Worried about running out of fresh vegetables? Stock up now and freeze them for later. It's easy and they'll retain all their taste and nutrition.

How Will Food Pantries Meet the Demand of Coronavirus?

Food banks normally help feed people during times of need. But the coronavirus pandemic could send that need in the United States soaring to unprecedented levels.

Ancient Pisco Is Enjoying a Modern-day Renaissance

A smooth, South American brandy, Pisco is experiencing an American renaissance after centuries of popularity — and disputed history — in Peru and Chile.

Is Half-and-half Really Half and Half?

A lot of us use it every day, but what is actually in half-and-half and where did it come from?

The Nutty Story of Red Pistachios and the Iran Hostage Crisis 

There was a day, not so long ago, when you ate pistachios with the understanding that you'd come away with red fingers and a red mouth. What happened to the red pistachio?

How the Shamrock Shake Became McDonald's Mintiest Legend

The Shamrock Shake is back at McDonald's and now it's celebrating its 50th anniversary. We're breaking down all the quirks that make it so legendary.

Soju: The Wildly Popular Spirit of South Korea

Soju is South Korea's unofficial national drink, a rice-fermented concoction often likened to vodka, but with about half the alcohol content.

Mushrooms: Wash 'em or Brush 'em Off?

Aaah, mushrooms – all those beautiful shapes and colors, textures and flavors. But what about the dirt and debris that always seem to come along? We find out whether it's best to wash them, brush them or just go au naturel with them.

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