Some have said that the durian, a tropical spiky fruit in season through July, smells like a gym full of old socks or an unearthed cadaver. But others have sung its praises for its delicious, custard-y, flavorful flesh. All Things Considered Host Amy Eddings spoke with Francis Lam, the features editor for the web site Gilt Taste, about the reasons to love and hate the durian.
There’s good news and bad news coming from Alaska and it doesn’t have anything to do with politics. The good news is wild salmon are currently at their plumpest and tastiest. The bad news? The headwaters of the largest salmon run in North America are under threat of possible industrialization.
Artichokes in season now. New York Times writer Melissa Clark shares her tips on how to prepare artichokes and emerge unscathed.
Dr. Pamela Yee explains how sorrel, a leafy green perennial, benefits both your health and the environment. Try her recipe for Potato, Leek and Sorrel soup.
All this talk about the medicinal properties of anise hyssop and calendula has me thinking about the power of food to heal, and to harm.
Calendula and anise hyssop are two flowering herbs that are useful in the kitchen and beyond. Queens County Farm Museum agricultural director Kennon Kay shares her instructions for making skin-soothing calendula salve.
Chef Michael Cressotti of The Mermaid Inn talks about the ins and outs of preparing live soft-shell crab. Try his recipe for Crispy Maryland Soft-Shell Crab here.
Pea shoots, the tender edible leaves and tendrils of pea plants, are in season now. Frank Meuschke talks about growing peas in his Fort Tildon, Queens, community garden. Try his recipe for Pasta, Wild Garlic, Woodsy Mushrooms, and Pea Greens here.
Atlanta native Drake Page started The D.P. Chutney Collective and talks about what distinguishes a Southern-style chutney from its South Asian counterpart. Try his recipe for Rhubarb and Apricot Chutney here.
Last Chance Foods would probably be changed to Last Chance Foodways if Rachel Wharton were in charge.
Magazine editor Rachel Wharton explains the history and culinary uses of lovage, an herb related to celery. Also, try recipes for "Celery Soda" and "Prosecco and Wild Cherry" from Franny's restaurant in Brooklyn.
Before the season for morel mushrooms is over, get foraging with these tips on morel hunting from Field & Stream editor Colin Kearns. Also, try a recipe for "Morel Cream Sauce" here.
Turkey hunting in the spring? I always associate turkeys — and hunting — with the fall (after all, the big bird's big day is Thanksgiving). But Field and Stream senior editor Colin Kearns, my guest this week on Last Chance Foods, said the best time to hunt wild turkey is in May during mating season.
The recent harvest has brought in the last—and sweetest—parsnips of the season, according to Stone Barns Center for Food and Agriculture farmer Jack Algiere. Try chef Dan Barber's "Parsnip Soup" recipe here.
Niki Russ Federman and Josh Russ Tupper of Russ & Daughters talk about Passover foods and explain gefilte fish. Also, get Russ & Daughters' recipes for "Chopped Liver" and "Carmelized Onions."
I was leaning against the collarbone-high counter at Russ and Daughters on the Lower East Side on a recent Saturday, waiting as Niki Russ Federman sliced a quarter pound of grav lox for me. She had paused in her work to lift a small plastic bottle of pink liquid from a silver bowl on the countertop.
Serious Eats blogger Adam Kuban revealed in this edition of Last Chance Foods that it was desperation that drove him to start baking his own bagels. He grew up in Kansas and told me, "You can't get a good bagel there to save your life," calling the heartland version of a bagel "rolls with holes." He said bagels in Kansas never quite matched what he had tasted when he had visited New York.
Settle the debate about where to find the city's best bagels once and for all by baking your own. Try a recipe perfected by Adam Kuban of Serious Eats.
A great thing about Last Chance Foods is that it not only gives me an opportunity to indulge in and talk about one of life's great pleasures (eating), it allows me to meet people like Melissa Clark. I've admired her food writing in the New York Times for a while.
Everyone's going crazy for coconut oil. New York Times writer Melissa Clark explains why the saturated fat is making a comeback. Also, try her recipe for Double Coconut Granola.