7 Foods to Eat on Kentucky Derby Day

Saturday marks the 142nd running of the Kentucky Derby. But the real joys of the day are gustatory, not equestrian.

The Derby’s mix of nostalgia, gallantry, and hedonism is unmistakable in the delicacies served around Louisville this time of year, which go far beyond the Kentucky clichés of fried chicken and bourbon.

So before you hop into your rose-pink Cadillac and start making bets, invest in these treats that prove the Kentucky Derby is decadent and delicious:

Benedictine

This isn’t the herbal liqueur made by monks, but rather a cucumber-cream cheese spread invented in Louisville over 100 years ago. With the unexpected zip of onion, Benedictine can be an ...

KFC Brings the (Cultural) Heat With New Nashville Hot Chicken

On my first trip to Nashville a few years ago, I heard about a hyper-local delicacy made from three discernible ingredients: chicken, cayenne pepper, and lard.

A few hours later, I was sitting with friends at a picnic table staring at a Styrofoam box of chicken legs, pickle disks, and white bread, all covered in dark red powder. After a few beers and a lot of napkins, our boxes were empty and we sat in contented silence, feeling like we were coming down from an adrenaline high.

This is the ideal result of eating Nashville hot chicken. When it’s properly prepared, the chicken’s overwhelming heat eventually yields to a pleasant taste ...

Heirloom Beans Are a Thing, But Do They Really Taste Better Than Bulk Beans?

So it's come to this—heirloom beans. Long-forgotten breeds are showing up in tortillas, soups, and Instagram posts across the country. They've achieved the coveted trifecta of cool: celebrity endorsements, podcast mentions, and celebrity chef endorsements.

But can you actually taste the difference between a dried heritage bean and the kind you buy in bulk at the grocery store?

Steve Sando says you can. He's the president and founder of California-based Rancho Gordo, one of the leading purveyors of heirloom beans. Sando, who sold crops for years at farmers markets "got serious about heirloom beans" in 2012. (Heirloom beans are the legume equivalent of other heirloom crops; they're ...

Climate Data Predicts Rising Food Prices Will Hit Poor the Hardest

How much do you spend on groceries? Now, what is that relative to your paycheck? In some parts of the world, the poorest residents use more than 60 percent of their income to buy food while for the wealthiest, it’s less than 10 percent.

So it's easy to see why an increase in food prices could lead to an increase in poverty. Unfortunately, new statistics from the World Bank suggest that climate change could lead to major changes in food prices and potentially throw tens of millions of people into poverty around the world.

You can see a graphical breakdown of this and other related climate statistics over on ...

How To Update ‘Harvest of Shame’ for the 21st Century

On the day after Thanksgiving in 1960, Americans met a mother who couldn’t afford milk for her nine children. They met a family of six who were sleeping in the woods, $1.45 to their name, traveling miles looking for work.

They met men, women, and children who were trucked across the southeastern United States in open, unregulated truckbeds—conditions often worse than those afforded to cattle. These people, Edward R. Murrow told the audience of his CBS documentary Harvest of Shame, were “the people who harvest the food for the best-fed nation in the world.”

“We used to own our slaves,” Murrow says, quoting a farmer. “Now we just rent them.”

Never ...

Can Blue Apron Teach You to Cook?

The number of meals cooked in American homes is declining. But the business of selling Americans everything it takes to make a home-cooked meal is booming.

Blue Apron, a company that creates and delivers kits of recipes and ingredients, now sends out three million build-it-yourself meals a month. This is up from last year, when the company was shipping just  half a million meal prep kits a month. Combine that with competitors like Plated and Hello Fresh, and the trend is clear; a significant number of people are cooking from kits that take the grocery shopping and guesswork out of cooking.

Each of the companies offers a similar promise of good-tasting ...

5 Weird Food Facts from World’s Fairs Past

World's Fairs, like the one going on now in Milan, are places to show off new technology and ideas for the future. (Check out our series on food at the Milan Expo). They’re also places where hundreds of thousands of people need to eat in a hurry, often while walking. So while the last 150 years of global expositions have filled countless brains with visions of the future yet to be realized, world's fairs have also filled stomachs.

Here are some interesting food-related "facts" about various expos, and the truth behind them:

1. The 1958 Expo in Brussels was shaped like a food source.

Like many of its predecessors, Expo ...

Unofficial Peace Corps Cookbooks Offer Volunteers a Taste of Home

The official Peace Corps Volunteer Handbook and the organization's various country guides tell new volunteers how to do many things related to their service, from dressing appropriately to getting proper vaccinations. But there's not much in the literature about food.

So where should a volunteer turn if she needs to know what do to with uncooked fufu from the market? Or if she finds herself craving pancakes in sub-Saharan Africa? She turns to the wisdom of her predecessors. Because, chances are, at the start of her service, she was given a newly-printed copy of a country-specific cookbook, written by volunteers who came years before her, and updated frequently since. Though the cookbooks often look simple, with copy-shop ...

Your Shot: Berries Are in Season and on the Menu

In summer, when many varieties of berries are ripe, you can eat them all day. Who would scoff at blueberries with yogurt or pancakes in the morning, raspberries in a salad at lunch, a berry smoothie for a snack, and strawberries with ice cream after dinner? Some of those meals might be good for you, too. Reports on the benefits of antioxidant-rich and calorie-low berries arrive as seasonally as the fruit itself.

But it doesn't last long. The growing season for the popular summer varieties—raspberry, blackberry, and strawberry (not technically a berry, but that's okay)—is brief, with some varieties only producing for one or two months. The unforgiving timeframe and ...

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