Winemakers in Virginia are attracting attention by working with petit manseng and petit verdot, two wine grape varieties. Chef Jose Andres has been among the restaurateurs to notice and celebrate one of the region's petit manseng offerings, writes Carrie Dykes.
New York City led the OpenTable list of 100 Best Restaurants for Wine Lovers, with 12 eateries highlighted, while California placed second. Among the wine-friendly restaurants that put New York on top were Balthazar and Gramercy Tavern.
The Jay Schottenstein family is experiencing its first harvest at Mayacamas Vineyards, a winery in the Napa Valley that the family took over in 2013. The winery still uses old-school techniques such as early harvest and open-top cement fermentation, says General Manager Brian Baker.
Beckham Estate Vineyard owner Andrew Beckham started NOVUM Ceramics to create terra cotta vessels for use by winemakers. Beckham's vessels have a capacity of 320 liters, although he plans on releasing 600-liter versions for commercial use.
Herbs are a healthy addition to many recipes but they can spoil and lose flavor during storage, write registered dietitian nutritionist Deanna Segrave-Daly and RD Serena Ball. They share different storage and preservation techniques for tender herbs such as basil, cilantro and parsley, as well as more robust herbs such as lavender, oregano and sage, to help keep them fresh.
Registered dietitian Kristin Kirkpatrick says pistachios are a good source of vitamins, minerals and nutrients, including carotenoids that may promote heart health and reduce the risk of chronic disease. RD Melissa Majumdar says one 1-ounce serving of pistachios contains 49 nuts, compared with just 14 walnut halves in a single 1-ounce serving.
Food-grade mineral oil can help condition unvarnished woods, such as cutting boards and butcher block countertops, to keep them in prime condition, Daniel Gritzer writes. It also aids in rust prevention for carbon-steel knives, which can become vulnerable over time with frequent exposure to water.
The air-cured Chinese ham Xuanwei huotui has a rich, sweet flavor which can rival that of Spanish jamon Iberico or Italy's prosciutto di Parma, Georgia Freedman writes. Aged as long as three years, the intensely flavorful ham is often used in stir-fry dishes.
Heirloom grains are finding strong support from bakers in the South, who are combining varieties such as Carolina Gold rice with traditional European baking techniques. "I realized that bread doesn't change as profoundly with the oven you use as it does with the flour," said Jennifer Lapidus of North Carolina flour company Carolina Ground.
Two contradictory trends are taking over bar culture at the same time, Esther Mobley writes. Customers seem to be seeking simple locales and pared-down choices rather than an overwhelming menu, but theatrical formats that lean toward excess still continue to draw customers, Mobley writes.