Gulf Coast chefs and fishing advocates claim, "Come on in; the water's fine!" but find themselves facing a public awash in apprehension over potentially oil-tainted seafood.
When New Orleans, Louisiana, chef John Besh recently urged people to choose U.S. shrimp over imports during an interview about the state of seafood in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico spill, commenters responded negatively, writing, "What's a little tar or mercury in your system anyways?!" and "I hope you enjoy the petrol in your fish."
Another commented, "You eat the fish from down there, don't complain to anyone when you get cancer in 10-15 years. I can't even believe a responsible human being would advocate for eating seafood slathered in oil first."
A tweet in their response to CNN's query about diners' feelings on New Orleans seafood declared all post-spill offerings "a no-geaux." Similar sentiments abound online, despite authorities' assurances as to the safety of seafood currently on the market.
Next time a snack attack strikes, restaurants have a battle plan. Newly released research shows that eateries - from the fast-food sector to fine dining - are feeding into America's snack-happy culture.
Menu items with the vocabulary "snack," "snackable" or "snacker" have increased by 170 percent since 2007, according to Mintel Menu Insights, a consumer market research firm.
In an ever-evolving, increasingly crowded beverage market, Starbucks is waking up and smelling the coffee. The problem is it's not their house blend.
"Here's a statistic that people are surprised by. Despite the long-term success that we've enjoyed, we have less than 10 percent share of coffee consumption in North America. And less [than] 1 percent share internationally," Starbucks Chairman, President and CEO Howard Schultz told CNN Money.
Advertising Age also recently pointed out that despite Starbucks being the world's largest coffeehouse chain with more than 13,000 locations in more than 50 countries, even its most devout customers purchase only three of every 10 cups of coffee they drink from Starbucks.
So, who is stealing Starbucks' mojo?
Hungry for the comforting food you grew up with? Thanks to some enterprising online retailers, your favorite regional flavors may be just a click away.
Cookbook authors Matt and Ted Lee now split their time between New York and their childhood hometown of Charleston, South Carolina. But adjusting to the Big Apple wasn't easy at first for the two brothers.
During their first New York winter in 1994, the Lee brothers suffered from serious twinges of homesickness. They sought solace in a childhood favorite - the unroasted, saltwater-boiled peanuts sold by roadside vendors back home.
A few dozen protesters picketed the restaurants of acclaimed chef Thomas Keller last weekend, over his use of an ingredient that has become a lightning rod in the culinary world - foie gras. Chefs like Anthony Bourdain sing its praises, calling foie gras "one of the 10 most important flavors in gastronomy."
First, it was babies in bars. Now, children in fine-dining restaurants are feeding a raging debate.
Not every patron of expensive restaurants desires to share a formal dining experience with young children who may be more interested in playing with their food than savoring it
Some are upset at the parents of the young diners, but others believe that even adults don't always behave in ways that allow customers to enjoy peaceful dining.
Despite the recent recall of potentially contaminated Romaine, lettuce lovers don't have to nix key ingredients from their BLTs or face lifeless, leafless salads - they just need to go to seed.
Food-borne illness has been tied to E. coli 0145 found in commercially-grown lettuce sold to wholesalers, food service outlets and some in-store salad bars and delis. Not only can at-home growers skip this risk - they'll also save money, enjoy a nearly endless variety of organic and heirloom options and have fresh salads at their fingertips all year around - even without an outdoor garden.
Food fanatics may recognize John Besh from his stints on TV shows like "The Next Iron Chef" and "Top Chef Masters," but New Orleans residents know the Louisiana-raised chef and ex-Marine as an evangelist for local food culture.
After Hurricane Katrina devastated his city in 2005, Besh rallied the teams at his flagship restaurant August to feed the Police Department, National Guard troops, evacuees, refugees and medical personnel. He also set up field kitchens for rural parish residents after hurricanes Gustav and Ike in 2008.
Besh's 2009 love letter to his city's distinctive cuisine, a nearly 400-page volume of recipes, photographs, stories and field guides to local ingredients entitled "My New Orleans" was recently named best cookbook of the year by the International Association of Culinary Professionals.
The last few centuries of kitchen innovation have given us indoor plumbing, refrigeration, microwave ovens and the Slap Chop. But one piece of kitchen equipment hasn't changed much: the cookbook.
In terms of format, the earliest known cookbook - De Re Coquinaria, written in 4th century Rome – isn't all that different from Rachael Ray's latest collection.
But now, everyone seems to be saying print is going the way of the Roman Empire. Compared to the rest of the publishing industry, the cookbook market is holding up relatively well, but the iPhone era may finally bring some innovation into a very old genre. Digital devices are entering the kitchen, and they're changing the idea of what a cookbook can do.