5@5 - Five sweet treats from Italy you need to know
October 4th, 2011
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.

Francine Segan spent a year in Italy eating desserts for her new cookbook Dolci: Italy’s Sweets. Tough gig, we know.

Sure, she found the usual beloved suspects - tiramisu, panna cotta, affogato, cannoli - but she also discovered a sampler platter of regional specialties that have been popular in Italy for decades, centuries even, that we've hardly ever heard of on this side of the Atlantic.

Here's to la dolce vita.

Five Sweet Treats from Italy You Need To Know: Francine Segan

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Cuisines • Italian • Think

Berrong on Beer - Three cheers for sour beer!
October 4th, 2011
02:30 PM ET
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Nathan Berrong works at CNN's satellite desk and this is the third installment of his beer column. He Tweets at @nathanberrong and logs beers at Untappd. Drink up.

My beer obsession all began with a taste - a taste I didn’t even know existed or was even considered “beer.” One day several years ago, I was at my neighborhood bar, Brick Store Pub, and I tried something that would change everything. It was sour, tart, sweet, and funky all at the same time. And more importantly, it was still beer.

I don’t remember what exactly that first sour beer was, I hadn't yet become nerdy enough (as I am now) to write them down, but one thing was clear, I was hooked on sour ales.

Sour beers can be classified into their distinct styles such as Lambic, Gueuze, Flemish Red, or wild ales, each brewed differently, but with the same goal in mind – to attack the taste buds with a sour funkiness that is unlike any other beer imaginable.

The incredible thing about sour beer is how distinct its flavor profile is, dissimilar to any other beer style, while still containing the same basic ingredients found in every beer: water, malted barley, hops, and yeast. It’s the unique yeast strains used in these beers that produce the sour tartness that beer nerds (and even some wine drinkers) are raving about.

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Filed under: Beer • Berrong on Beer • Sip

Box lunch: Coffee snobs and colored carrots
October 4th, 2011
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • "You can definitely taste that this bean has been through a bat's digestive system" and more coffee snobbery. - Funny or Die

  • Squash your French fry craving with this butternut variation. - The Urban Poser

  • This is one event on Wall Street we won't protest: Jim Beam bourbon goes public. - WDRB

  • Will unusually colored carrots turn our kids into veritable root crunchers? - Guardian

  • A miracle whip, indeed: Two-minute mayonnaise. - Serious Eats
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

When ranch dressing doubles as a beverage
October 4th, 2011
11:00 AM ET
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Chug! Chug! Chug!

Hot on the heels of Melissa McCarthy's hilarious, stomach-churning turn on Saturday Night Live as an overenthusiastic Hidden Valley Ranch focus group member who ends up swilling the product, college students in Eugene, Oregon lined up to guzzle down mass quantities of salad dressing in order to win a prize.

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Filed under: Weird News

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