5@5 - Surprising components of the Italian dinner table
April 2nd, 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.

The Italian food most Americans love - spaghetti and meatballs, baked ziti, sausage and peppers - is as red-blooded (and red-sauced) American as it is Italian.

In authentic Italian food, whole fish, game and offal are customary; and a great deal of the country's culinary landscape embraces cocina povera, or “peasant cooking," as well as living off the land's fresh fruits and vegetables.

This simplicity - sometimes from unexpected ingredients - plays a key part in living la dolce vita, according to David Rocco.

Rocco is an Italian cookbook author and the host of “David Rocco’s Dolce Vita” and "David Rocco’s Amalfi Getaway” on the Cooking Channel.

Five Surprising Components of the Italian Dinner Table: David Rocco

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Filed under: 5@5 • Bite • Italy • Think • Travel

Fire in the belly - evidence suggests early man may have cooked
April 2nd, 2012
03:15 PM ET
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You may be clueless about how to start a fire in the wilderness without matches or a lighter, but our ancestors may have figured it out long ago.

Scientists have uncovered evidence that humans used fire at least 1 million years ago, potentially for cooking purposes. The findings are published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Michael Chazon of the University of Toronto led an investigation into the Wonderwerk Cave in South Africa. The team found burned bones and ash plant material, including grasses, leaves and twigs. The bones originated from a variety of animals: small rodents, antelopes and horselike mammals.

Read - Scientists find signs of ancient man-made fire

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Filed under: Culture • Food History • Food Science

iReport: Winning chocolate recipes that are fair trade and fabulous
April 2nd, 2012
01:45 PM ET
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We asked you to make a dish with ethically produced chocolate, and the results left our mouths watering. But more than that, we were proud that so many people took the time to learn about child slavery in the chocolate industry.

A total of 65 entries came in, encompassing sweet and savory combinations (chocolate covered bacon) regionally distinctive recipes (chocolate sourdough bread) and deliciously simple snacks (chocolate dipped fruit and nuts).

CNN Freedom Project editorial director Leif Coorlim, Cacao Atlanta owner Kristen Hard and Eatocracy managing editor Kat Kinsman picked three winners based on originality, presentation, regional emphasis and story.

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Filed under: Challenges • Chocolate • iReport

Box lunch: Lizard patrol and edible cookbooks
April 2nd, 2012
12:00 PM ET
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Sink your teeth into today's top stories from around the globe.

  • Thiamine mononitrate, disodium inosinate and pyridoxine hydrochloride are among the 26 ingredients in one school lunch burger. Where is the beef? No, seriously, where is it? - NPR

  • In a new print campaign, Wendy's says "we've never used 'pink slime' and we never will." - NRN

  • If you positively eat up cookbooks, you can now do it a bit more literally. - Design Taxi

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Filed under: Box Lunch • News

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