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Features

Bountiful Beach Buffet: Fresh Seaweed Is Making Waves Among Foragers

Ocean algae is plentiful and grows rapidly, and most of it is safe to eat. People have been harvesting seaweed for thousands of years, but now it's become so popular, you can even take a class.

Seaweed is plentiful and grows rapidly, and most of it is safe to eat. People have been harvesting seaweed for thousands of years, but now it's become so popular, you can even take a class. (Photo Credit: Joy Lanzendorfer for NPR)

As seaweed continues to gain popularity for its nutritional benefits and culinary versatility, more people are skipping the dried stuff in the grocery store and going straight to the source: the ocean itself.

At low tide on West Coast beaches, foragers hop between rocks looking for bladderwrack, sea lettuce and Irish moss to take home with them. Sea vegetable foraging has become so common, in fact, that you can take a class to learn what to harvest and what to avoid.

  • January 16, 2017

The Next Generation Of Farmers Is Being Trained In New York City High Schools

Natalie Arroyo is a senior "Aggie," one of 600 New York City public school students enrolled in a specialized, four-year agriculture program at John Bowne High School in Queens. She plans to become an agriculture educator after college. (Photo Credit: Lela Nargi for NPR)

It's Monday, 8 a.m., and these teens have already mucked stalls in the barn and fed the goats, alpacas and miniature cows. They've rounded up eggs in the henhouse, harvested cabbages and a few green-tinged tomatoes, and arranged them in tidy tiers to sell in the Agriculture Store. Now they're ready to put in a full day of classes.

  • January 5, 2017

Squamscot Soda: Helping You Wash It All Down Since 1863

Tom Conner, the current owner of Conner Bottling Works, is part of the fourth generation of the family-owned business. (Photo Credit: Todd Bookman/New Hampshire Public Radio)

The machinery inside Conner Bottling Works doesn't sparkle like it used to. In fact, everything and everybody in here looks like they could use a break.

"We are the last family-owned independent bottler in the state of New Hampshire," says Dan Conner, part of the fifth generation to work here. "A hundred and fifty-three years, from start to today. Never shut down, never stopped."

  • January 4, 2017

By Returning To Farming's Roots, He Found His American Dream

David on his Farm (Photo Credit: Dan Charles/NPR)

Eighteen years ago, on New Year's Eve, David Fisher visited an old farm in western Massachusetts, near the small town of Conway. No one was farming there at the time, and that's what had drawn Fisher to the place. He was scouting for farmland.

"I remember walking out [to the fallow fields] at some point," Fisher recalls. "And in the moonlight – it was all snowy – it was like a blank canvas."

  • December 31, 2016

After 8 Decades And Countless Pastrami Sandwiches, New York's Carnegie Deli Folds

Customers wait in line outside for a table at the Carnegie Deli. (Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

One of the most famous delicatessens in New York will slice its last sandwich this week.

The Carnegie Deli opened in 1937 on Seventh Avenue across from Carnegie Hall. But it didn't' achieve notoriety until decades later — around the time that director Woody Allen filmed a table full of off-duty comedians there in his movie, Broadway Danny Rose.

There's still a "Woody Allen" sandwich on the menu at the Carnegie Deli: half pastrami, half corned beef. But the real star is that pastrami.

  • December 26, 2016

Not My Job: We Quiz Anthony Bourdain On A Bored Dane (Namely, Hamlet)

Anthony Bourdain arrives at the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, Sept. 11, 2016.

The term "celebrity chef" term doesn't quite fit for Anthony Bourdain — after all, as he says, most of the restaurants where he's worked have closed. But he achieved celebrity chef status writing funny, profane books about his life in the kitchen and his travels around the world. He's hosted several TV series, including Parts Unknown, and his latest cookbook is called Appetites.

We've invited Bourdain to answer three questions about the world's most famous bored Dane, specifically, Hamlet. Click the audio link above to see how he does.

  • December 17, 2016

NPR Taste Test: Pastries To Sweeten Your Holiday Party

Pastries made by Aggie Chin.

Pastry chef Aggie Chin showed up at Weekend Edition with a box of scrumptious bite-sized desserts. She talks with NPR's Ailsa Chang about sweet treats to prepare for your holiday party — and offers a few recipes to try yourself. Listen to their conversation at the link above, and check out some of those recipes here.


Gingersnaps

  • December 11, 2016

Americans Don't Trust Scientists' Take On Food Issues

Non-GMO labels, like this one at Whole Foods, may strengthen consumer perceptions that genetically modified foods may carry risks to health.

If you're curious about what people really think about some of the hottest of hot-button food controversies, the Pew Research Center has just the thing for you: a survey of attitudes toward genetic modification, organic food and the importance of eating healthfully.

The survey results are published in a 99-page report that can keep you occupied for days. But if you're pressed for time, here are some of the most interesting highlights that caught our eye.

  • December 2, 2016

Are Food Allergies On The Rise? Experts Say They Don't Know

Despite assumptions that peanut, egg and other allergies are becoming more common in the U.S., experts say they just don't know. One challenge: Symptoms can be misinterpreted and diagnosis isn't easy.

A new report from the National Academy of Sciences says it's hard to know how many people in the U.S. actually have food allergies or whether they're on the rise.

Part of the challenge is this: Food allergies are often self-diagnosed and symptoms can be misinterpreted. Sometimes people can't distinguish a food allergy from other conditions such as lactose intolerance or gluten sensitivity, which don't fit the medical definition of an allergy.

  • November 30, 2016

The Favorite Drink Of Italian Grandpas Gets An American Revival

Bittersweet liqueurs including Cynar, Jagermeister, Chartreuse and Amaro Nonino have long been popular in Italy and other parts of Europe as a digestive aid. Now, they're becoming popular on U.S. cocktail menus.

In this season of indulgence (and overindulgence), some people will turn to the treadmill, while others turn to the Pepto-Bismol. Author Brad Thomas Parsons will reach for the bottle — specifically, a bottle full of a liqueur called amaro, which people have used as a digestive aid for centuries.

It's an herbal recipe, and "it's actually bittersweet," Parsons says.

"The bittering agents in it are actually helping your digestive system," he explains. "Four out of five doctors may not agree with everything that's working in there, but trust me."

  • November 25, 2016

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