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SOMETHING TO TASTE
July 10, 2014
In spring or early summer, when peas are ready and new potatoes have formed underground, that’s the time for peas and new potatoes with sweet cream. Credit: Kimberly Behr When peas are ready and new potatoes have formed underground in spring or early summer, that’s the time for peas and new potatoes with sweet cream. They’re one of the most delicious combinations of the season, united by their freshness.
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June 13, 2014
Better food -- more delicious, organic, sustainable -- costs more. But consumers in the United States demand that food cost very little. As a proportion of income, we spend less on food than the people of any other country in the world. Our industrial agriculture allows us to do that. Credit: Kimberly Behr The University of Vermont’s annual Food Systems Summit, about these and other issues, will be held in Burlington on June 17–18.

Better food  — more delicious, organic, sustainable  — costs more. But consumers in the United States demand that food cost very little. As a proportion of income, we spend less on food than the people of any other country in the world. Our industrial agriculture allows us to do that. Some of us worry about environmental costs (that aren’t paid by farmers and don’t show up in a grocery bill) and about such things as the waste inherent in long-distance transportation. But what’s really going on? If instead of dollars you focus on the energy  — calories  — that go into our food from farm to fork, the situation may not be entirely what you think.
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May 16, 2014 Adapted from The Art of Eating no. 56 Far from the consistent taste found in measured brand-name tea bags, loose-leaf tea, carefully brewed, introduces a wide set of exciting variations on tea flavor. Credit: Kevin Gascoyne Far from the consistent taste found in measured brand-name tea bags, loose-leaf tea, carefully brewed, introduces a wide set of exciting variations on tea flavor. Without the help of the blender (who guarantees the same taste every time, as even subtle changes will be detected by regular customers), we depend on our own palates when we brew and must pay more attention to quantities and procedure.
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May 1, 2014 Adapted from The Art of Eating no. 72 This is the moment when the tender shoots of spring garlic give us a glimpse of what’s to come. Credit: Kimberly Behr This is the moment when the tender shoots of spring garlic give us a glimpse of what’s to come. The flavor, not as gentle as one might think, is excellent with meats, including cold slices of steak. Below, Derrick Schneider paints a larger picture of garlic.

Most North Americans know only the kind of garlic found in supermarkets, imported from China and other countries where cheap labor keeps prices down, and grown from rugged varieties chosen for durability and not flavor. Better-tasting softnecks exist, but the best garlic comes from hardneck varieties that in North America are available only from small-scale farmers. Continue...

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