December 29th, 2010
06:00 PM ET
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5@5 - Master Sommelier Richard Betts
December 29th, 2010
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a daily, food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Whether it's champagne on New Year's or port on a long winter's night, wine in the winter just kind of makes sense. It warms you from the outside in and is a positively splendid companion to nurse by the crackling fireplace. Hey, what else are you going to do when your door is blocked by a two-foot snowdrift?

Rest be assured such frigid temperatures require more than your average cream puff varietals - save that full-of-fruit rosé for the summer.

Here to assist in stocking your cold weather cellar is Richard Betts. Betts is the co-founder of Betts & Scholl wines and the founder of cc: Wines, which just launched in October 2010. The former wine director at The Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, passed his Court of Master Sommeliers exam on his first try, becoming only the ninth person to do so at the time - let's just say, we trust this man's palate.

My Five Favorite Winter Wines (at least right now): Richard Betts
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Filed under: 5@5 • HolidayShopping • Sip • Think • Wine


USDA to beef up nutritional information
December 29th, 2010
12:30 PM ET
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Nutritional information will be featured on 40 of the most popular cuts of meat and poultry products by 2012, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said in a statement Wednesday.

The new rule, which is scheduled to go into effect January 1, 2012, will apply to whole cuts of meat and poultry such as boneless chicken breasts, beef brisket and tenderloin steak, along with packages of ground or chopped meat including hamburger and ground turkey, the USDA's Food Safety and Inspection Service said. The nutrition facts panels will either be available on the meat's labels or the facts will be available for consumers at stores.

FULL STORY: "40 cuts of meat, poultry to offer nutritional information"

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Filed under: Food Politics • Health News • News


Box lunch
December 29th, 2010
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Want a champagne toast on New Year's? Say it with us now: "There's an app for that" ... and it's from Ikea! - Gizmodo



  • A Santa Cruz medical marijuana dispensary is takings canned food donations in exchange for joints. - LA Weekly


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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


19 other vegetables added to parsley-cilantro recall
December 29th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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A Texas distributor has expanded a recall already involving thousands of cases of produce over fears of salmonella cross-contamination in its processing facility, the company said.

The case is one of two apparently unrelated outbreaks that have sickened nearly 100 people in the United States and Canada.

J&D Produce, Inc. had previously announced the recall of nearly 7,000 cases of cilantro and curly parsley after samples in Quebec, Canada, and Michigan tested positive for the bacteria, the company said Monday.

The "precautionary, voluntary recall" pertains to cilantro and parsley packed between November 30 and December 6, the Edinburg, Texas-based company said in a statement. The produce was processed and branded as Little Bear between those dates can be taken to retailers for a full refund.

The company is also recalling 19 other types of produce that were run on the same packing lines, because the salmonella may have spread to those products as well.

Read the FULL STORY on CNN Health: "Parsley-cilantro recall expanded to include other vegetables"

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Filed under: FDA • Health News • News • Recalls • Tainted Food


Cooking veggies: so easy a caveman can do it
December 29th, 2010
11:30 AM ET
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Neanderthals were more like us than we thought.

A new study shows they cooked and ate veggies, challenging an earlier theory that the early humans were carnivorous.

Researchers found starch granules from plant grains in their teeth, leading them to believe the early humans did not - as previously thought - have an exclusively meat-based diet. It also debunks the theory that Neanderthals became extinct because of dietary deficiencies.

Neanderthals ate various plants and included cooked grains as part of a more sophisticated, diverse diet similar to early modern humans, according to the researchers at George Washington University and The Smithsonian Institute.

Read the rest of "Study: Neanderthals cooked, ate vegetables" on CNN Health

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Filed under: Eating Habits • Health News • News


December 29th, 2010
11:00 AM ET
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We recently asked readers to immortalize their holiday food tradition in words, recipes, pictures or video via iReport so we could show off some of our favorites on CNN's Eatocracy all the way through the end of the holiday season. Christmas may be over, but for White House Sr. Supervising Producer Stacia Deshishku, the leftovers are the fun part.

I don’t know when we began eating Greenberg Smoked Turkeys, but it likely was some time in the mid-1980s. In Tyler, Texas - home of the Greenberg Smoked Turkey - the Greenberg family has been smoking turkeys since the 1940s. Ordering one (or more) each holiday season has been a Christmas tradition in our family for almost 30 years.

We order every year from Greenberg for two, well, really three reasons. First, they are phenomenally good. Second, they are easy - no cooking required! But third and most important, once you finish your turkey dinner, the turkey ball party begins. I actually prefer the turkey ball to the actual turkey, and I’ve been known to purposely underserve my guests so that there is more turkey leftover for making turkey balls. Once, we even ordered an entire turkey simply for ball making!
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Filed under: Bite • Christmas • Holiday • Holidays • It's not the holidays without • Make • Recipes


Breakfast buffet
December 29th, 2010
09:00 AM ET
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While you're frying up some eggs and bacon, we're cooking up something else: a way to celebrate today's food holiday and the most delicious finds on TV.

December 29 is National Pepper Pot Day.

Pepper pot is a thick soup consisting of meat, dumplings and vegetables and is heavily seasoned with crushed peppercorns. The dish is rumored to have been invented by George Washington’s chef and was very well-liked in Philadelphia (and by Sean Paul, apparently).

Today, go forth and proclaim the old street cry:

“All hot! All hot!
Pepper pot! Pepper pot!
Makes backs strong.
Makes lives long.
All hot! Pepper pot!”

What's on TV?
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Coffee klatsch
December 29th, 2010
05:00 AM ET
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Pssst! Got a sec to chat?

We are utterly thrilled when readers want to hang out and talk – whether it's amongst themselves or in response to pieces we've posted. We want Eatocracy to be a cozy, spirited online home for those who find their way here.

Consider the daily Coffee klatsch post as your VIP lounge – the primary comments thread for readers who'd like to chat about topics not related to the articles we're running. That way, everyone knows where to find each other, and each post's comments section remains on topic.
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Filed under: Buzz • Coffee Klatsch


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