seasonal food

It's tough to eat locally without eating seasonally! From garlic scapes to winter squash, this series highlights seasonal foods and how to prepare them.

Real Food and How to Cook It Now: Maple Syrup

We may know that "pancake syrup" is the margarine of maple syrup: the cheap imitator, the industrial substitute. "Pure" syrup is as unadulterated a product as it gets, and is all-American, to boot. Its production is natural, but it requires many steps and much patience to produce, and it only happens once a year. Because maple syrup, you see, is not simply tree sap.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Turkey

Americans eat roughly 46 million turkeys on Thanksgiving alone, but turkey meat is much more than a holiday staple. Read on to learn all about this bird we know so well. (Quick tip: if you're planning to buy a pasture-raised bird for your Thanksgiving feast, do it now!)

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Two Years of Seasonal Food

Happy birthday to us! A look back at the past two years in Real Food, our ongoing series on seasonal food, featuring cooking tips, nutritional profiles, historic and cultural background, and important information - including the environmental impact - about how each is cultivated.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Mint

Good chefs know that mint freshens up so much more than chewing gum, from salads and lamb to ice cream and pies; good gardeners know better than to let its wandering runners take over!

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Emmer (Farro)

This week's real food is one of the world's most ancient grains. Nearly lost as industry flooded markets with grains that were easier to process, farro -- or emmer -- is making a comeback. A chewy, nutty comeback.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Chestnuts

There's more to this week's Real Food than Nat King Cole. Did you know that they date back tens of thousands of years, or that the American chestnut was decimated by blight in the early 1900s? Also, learn the important DIY roasting step that'll keep them from exploding in your oven.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Peaches

Originally from China, the peach dates all the way back to 5th Century BC, making it one of the oldest Real Foods we've covered. Its short season at the height of summer also makes it one of the very most seasonal. Here, the skinny on the fragrant stone fruit, from its rich history to its environmental impact to the tastiest ways to enjoy it.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Blueberries

July is National Blueberry Month, and for good reason - they are delicious in dishes ranging from savory to sweet and they are super good for you! Find out where they were first cultivated, the difference between high- and low-bush blueberries and as always, how best to enjoy this week's Real Food.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Mango

This week's Real Food is recognized as the national fruit of both India and Pakistan. For most of the US, the mango is a long-distance fruit, but it's high mango season, so we couldn't help but sing its praises.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Mustard Greens

Mustard greens suffer from an inferiority complex - they haven't enjoyed a culinary renaissance like kale; they don't have the romantic Italian provenance of broccoli raab, nor the Southern panache of collard greens. But their peppery bite is perfect in summer salads, awesome when tossed in with legumes like lentils and delicious when sautéed like spinach.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Garlic

Long before it became a culinary star, this week's real food was used foremost as medicine and considered a panacea for sundry ailments, from impotence to smallpox, parasites to poor digestion. Here, the condensed history of the so-called stinking rose, and a wealth of cooking tips. Garlic lovers, this one's for you.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Dandelions

This Real Food's English name comes from the French dent de lion ("lion's tooth"), likely owing to its tooth-like serrated leaves. Dandelion greens are at their best in the spring to very early summer, before the flowers begin to bloom, while the yellow flowers can be harvested throughout the summer and into early fall.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Radishes

Heirloom varieties of this week's real food trend toward the exotic and include Rat's Tail, Plum Purple, Easter Egg, White Hailstone, Chinese Red Meat, Helios and China Rose. Spicy and crunchy, radishes are great pickled but perhaps best served with a dab of butter and a sprinkle of sea salt.

Real Food Right Now and How to Cook It: Cilantro

This week's Real Food goes way back - as far as 6,000 BC - and is thought to be among the first group of domesticated plants. Love it or hate it, cilantro's long history means that its unique flavor profile has made its way into dishes around the world.

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