We love scotch. Scotchy, scotch, scotch. ...And Robbie Burns.
January 25th, 2012
06:00 PM ET
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For the love of peat, we almost forgot to mention that today is Robert Burns Day!

If you're unaware of the historic greatness of one Mr. Robert Burns, he is the national poet of Scotland.

Still not ringing a bell? If you've ever bid adieu to the previous year with your finest rendition of "Auld Lang Syne," you have become acquainted with one of Burns' most famous works.

So, every January 25, Scottish folks honor the poet's birthday with Burns Night, a celebratory feast typically involving haggis, booze and poetry readings.

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Filed under: Scottish • Sip • Spirits

January 25th, 2012
02:00 PM ET
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School meals will have to offer fruits and vegetables to students every day under standards issued by the United States Department of Agriculture on Wednesday.

The meal programs, which feed about 32 million students in public and private schools, will have to reduce sodium, saturated fat and trans fats. Schools must also offer more whole grains as well as fat-free or low-fat milk varieties.

These standards go into effect July 1 and will be phased in over a three-year period, according to the USDA.

The new nutrition standards are largely based on recommendations by the Institute of Medicine of the National Academies, as part of efforts to curb childhood obesity. Recent numbers show that about 17% of children in the United States are obese.

Read the full story: "USDA issues new rules for school meals"

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Filed under: Childhood Obesity • Food Politics • News • School Lunch • Think • Video

January 25th, 2012
01:00 PM ET
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It takes a few people to flip a smoking hot hog. That's just plain old physics, but nobody seems to mind. Mostly because if there is indeed fire, a whole pig and at least couple of like-minded individuals tending to such things, there's generally a certain quantity of beer or brown spirits in the vicinity. Just to be social, of course.

Cooking a whole pig down into hunks and strands of sopping, succulent barbecue doesn't just take an hour or two. Sure, you could stick a hunk of pig meat into a microwave for a few minutes, and have some hot meat, but that is as close to whole hog barbecue as a Little Debbie is to Lady Di's wedding cake.

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Filed under: Barbecue • Cuisines • Cultural Identity • Culture • Favorites • Rituals • Southern • Video

Box lunch: Vegetarian food writers and women farmers
January 25th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • When you're a food writer who doesn't eat meat, people are going to have their qualms. - Gilt Taste

  • Ractopamine hydrochloride is banned in the European Union, Taiwan and China among others, but fed to an estimated 60 to 80 percent of pigs in the United States. - MSNBC

  • Better start practicing your "Lady and the Tramp" spaghetti scene now: 44% of lovebirds will be dining out on Valentine's Day. - NY Daily News
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

Breakfast buffet: National Irish coffee day
January 25th, 2012
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.

Top of the morning to ya! It must be your lucky day, because January 25 is National Irish Coffee Day!

Here's a refreshing and fiery way to kick up your morning cup of Joe. Nothing says "wakey, wakey" like hot coffee, Irish whiskey and brown sugar with a big dollop of cream on top.

This hot toddy-style winter cocktail has several origin stories, but most credit Daveina Davidson, head chef at Foynes in County Limerick, with creating and naming the drink. When a group of cold, wet and miserable American travelers disembarked from a flying Pan Am boat one night in the 1940s, Davidson added whiskey to their coffee to help them warm up. The travelers asked if they were being served Brazilian coffee, and Davidson informed them that it was "Irish coffee."

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