5@5 - More than one way to fry a potato
February 7th, 2012
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.

Editor's Note: Raised in Versailles, France, Dominique Crenn is now the executive chef of Michelin-starred Atelier Crenn in San Francisco.

French fries (or frites, as the French will say) are loved by many, including the queen herself, Julia Child, who once said, “Potatoes are strange animals.”

The French fry has a long history in the human diet. When I think of them, I recall my mother's crisp, perfectly salted, skin-on frites - never greasy, and made each Sunday with the Brittany-grown potato in my childhood home.

Because I grew up with what were surely the best and truest frites in the world, I tend to have very strong opinions on this matter, as admittedly, I have on many food matters. There will be no ordering of French fries anywhere unless I have done my homework. And just because an ingredient, like the potato, is “common” or humble does not mean that it should not be respected and cooked well.
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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Dishes • French Fries • Think


You're eating too much salt. Consider not doing that.
February 7th, 2012
04:00 PM ET
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Nine out of ten adult Americans eat too much salt each day, according to a report released Tuesday by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And it's not what we add at the dinner table that's the problem.

People are consuming high amounts of salt in processed foods and at restaurants. High sodium levels increase blood pressure, putting people at higher risk for heart disease and stroke.

"These diseases kill more than 800,000 Americans each year and contribute an estimated $273 billion in health care costs," says CDC Director Dr. Thomas Frieden.

The CDC found that 10 types of foods accounted for more than 40% of the sodium people consumed.

CNN Health has the full list

Previously - How to defeat sneaky salt

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Filed under: Health News • News • Salt


Does your favorite restaurant take the high road with its workers?
February 7th, 2012
01:30 PM ET
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Would you eat at a restaurant without knowing if the food has gotten a good review? How about basing the night's dining destination on how well its employees are treated?

A new guide has been released rating restaurants not on the quality of their cuisine, but rather on fairness.

"Diners' Guide 2012: A Consumer’s Guide on the Working Conditions of American Restaurants" evaluates establishments nationwide, from fast food to fine dining, ranking them on their labor practices.
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Filed under: Business and Farming News • Food Politics • Human Rights • News • Restaurants • Service


Box lunch: Dessert dilemmas and Cuban cocktails
February 7th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.


  • How one Bhutanese family in Atlanta is planting the seeds for the immersion of refugees. - The Perennial Plate


  • Restaurateurs can explore their diners' inner psyche via menu design. - Guardian


  • A flowchart to make your Valentine's Day planning a piece of (chocolate) cake. - CHOW


  • Five cool Cuban cocktails for those hot Havana nights. - nola.com
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Filed under: Box Lunch • News


Breakfast buffet: National fettuccine alfredo day
February 7th, 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.

This is some serious comfort food amore - February 7 is National Fettuccine Alfredo Day!

Get your favorite pasta fork (or spoon) ready for some serious twirling action, because this holiday celebrates one of our favorite combinations of long pasta, butter and cheese.

Tossing pasta in oil or butter and cheese has been around as long as pasta itself. Although we know it as a mainstay in American cuisine, fettuccine alfredo was only officially created in 1914 by an Italian restaurateur, Alfredo di Lelio, in Rome. Not to jump the gun, but that gives a pretty good idea of where the name might have originated.
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