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food

First, a confession: I've never liked gefilte fish. The slimy, grey balls of fish from a jar have always struck me as icky.

Turns out, I am not alone.

"I had the same experience as you. I never ate gefilte fish," says Liz Alpern. "It was disgusting to me. I literally think I never ate it, until I started making it."

That's a remarkable statement coming from someone in the gefilte fish business. Alpern is half of the team behind the Gefilteria, which makes artisanal gefilte fish. Yes, that is a thing. Alpern gave me a demonstration at a catering kitchen in Brooklyn.

In the 1960s, the sugar industry funded research that downplayed the risks of sugar and highlighted the hazards of fat, according to a newly published article in JAMA Internal Medicine.

I fell for pho in Saigon in 1974, when I was 5 years old. When my family came to America in 1975, my mom satisfied our family's cravings for the aromatic beef noodle soup with homemade batches, served on Sundays after morning Mass. As Vietnamese expatriates, we savored pho as a very special food, a gateway to our cultural roots. When we didn't have pho at home, we went out for it in Orange County, California's Little Saigon, patronizing mom-and-pop shops that welcomed us with the perfume of pho broth.

A legendary South Asian dish has suddenly found itself in the midst of a war in India. Made up of layers of meat and rice and cooked with fragrant spices, the dish is the much-loved biryani. And the latest battlefield is in the northern Indian state of Haryana.

KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

West Seattle’s Delridge neighborhood has been struggling for years to get a grocery store in the area. It hasn’t been able to attract major retailers for various reasons. 

Like so many brilliant innovations, the idea seems obvious in hindsight. Just combine college, coffee, and chemical engineering. Of course!

The boats are owned by Americans. They fly American flags and work in American waters. The fish they catch — like premium ahi tuna and swordfish — is sold at American grocery stores, on shelves at Whole Foods and Costco.

But the men who catch those fish can't set foot on American soil, The Associated Press reports — and they aren't protected by American labor laws.

Say you want to escape the doldrums of daily life — but you can't quite afford a trip to Hawaii. Why not to head to your local tiki bar for a sample of the South Seas?

Canvas bags may have a worse effect on the environment than plastic ones.
Flickr Photo/Karin Beil (CC BY NC ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/5R6Qsb

Bill Radke speaks with Noah Dillon, author of a recent Atlantic article about the perils of owning (and not using) canvas grocery totes.

Can we interest you in some elk tartare? Or how about venison crash-ciatore? Oregon still firmly forbids people from collecting roadkill, but Washington state has now joined Idaho and Montana in allowing individuals to salvage dead deer and elk from the roadside.

Top brass at PepsiCo has talked for months about the introduction of an organic line. And now, according to Bloomberg, the company is rolling out G Organic — yep, an organic version of the famously technicolored sports drink Gatorade. (Think crimson red, electric blue and neon green shades.)

The battle of the Joes isn't over yet.

On one hand, you have Trader Joe's — the U.S. grocery chain with a bit of a cult following for its quirky, exclusive products.

On the other hand, you have Pirate Joe's — the Canadian "gray market" grocery shop that sells Trader Joe's goods picked up in America and trucked across the border to Vancouver. There, at a significant markup, they're sold to Trader Joe's enthusiasts who don't fancy the thought of a border-crossing grocery run.

If the popularity of quinoa has taught us anything, it's that Americans are increasingly open about exploring grains besides the familiar wheat and rice. Now, researchers at Tennessee State University are hoping consumers are ready to give another ancient grain a try: amaranth.

Amaranth was revered by the Aztecs in Mexico. Today in the U.S., it's mostly grown in people's backyards or on research farms, like an experimental field at Tennessee State University.

Teriyaki is a Seattle staple, but it may be disappearing.
Flickr Photo/Sam Pangan (CC BY ND 2.0)/https://flic.kr/p/hi9mhb

Bill Radke talks to Naomi Tomky, local freelance food and travel writer, about the "slow death" of teriyaki in Seattle. 

Sylvia and Ernie would have made a prettier pie, but this one, made by a crust novice, was amazingly delicious.
KUOW Photo/Isolde Raftery

My parents almost always have a pie in the cupboard: apple in the fall, pumpkin in the winter, rhubarb in the spring and blackberry in the summer. My mom makes the crust. My dad makes the filling. I’ve never had a pie approaching the quality of theirs.

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