Thanksgiving is a time for enjoying the strangest of dishes with zero abandon. Green bean casserole with questionable ingredients? Sold. Pineapple Cheese Casserole? Yup. What are your holiday guilty pleasures?
As my generation got older, we started contributing and, one very special year, my cousin Julian brought pineapple cheese casserole. I approached it with caution, then felt like a fool when I realized how delicious it was. As the years passed, my cousins, siblings and I scattered, moving too far away to return for the holiday, or marrying and spending the day with partners. Julian never brought the casserole again, at least not on a year when I was there.
Photo by Anne Postic
From artisan sausage to strangely textured lunchmeat (we're looking at you, bologna), cured meats are a vast and sometimes confusing world. Read up on these 12 popular products, and school your friends and family this Thanksgiving.
Whether topping a pizza, nestled into a sandwich, or eaten right out of its packaging, cured meat is as versatile as it is satisfying. There are many different varieties, however, so it counts to know all their meaty distinctions.
Photo by America's Test Kitchen
Once the most popular drink in the country, hard cider is seeing a renaissance here in the United States. Dark Rye caught up with Texas-based Argus Cidery to learn why they do what they do.
When Wes Mickel was 15, he made his first batch of hard cider with some store-bought apple juice and a little packet of yeast from his mom’s spice cabinet, striking a balance between his interest in science and getting buzzed. In July 2010, he started production for Argus Cidery, turning his hobby into a career that currently markets five varieties of hard cider to Austin and beyond. His dry and crisp ciders are the first to be made wholly from Texas apples and native yeast.
When the Los Angeles Times asked LA chef Niki Nakayam of N/Naka to think about reinventing a traditional Thanksgiving dish, I bet they didn't expect something as out there (yet delightfully imaginative!) as Macaroni and Cheese with an uni, or sea urchin, binder and shaved truffle topping. This dish is taking cheese to the next level, and the accompanying video is pretty fascinating. Take a look!
We've talked before about the handful of Wisconsin counties that use cheese brine instead of (or in addition to) rock salt for de-icing winter streets, but ever wonder how it works? Atlantic Cities has the science behind it, and the pros and cons.
It turns out that the cheese brine may work better than some traditional de-icing agents. It has a lower freezing point of 21 below zero, while regular salt brine freezes at 6 below. When added to normal rock salt, cheese brine also worked wonders as a "pre-wetting" agent, helping make sure the salt doesn't bounce off the road and go to waste. It was so effective that Polk County officials said they used 30 percent less road salt than usual during that first year.
Read more here
Photo by Michaela Rehle
Do you ever wish you could have the finest, artisan cheeses delivered straight to your door? Join the club. No, really—It’s Not You It’s Brie is launching a cheese shipping club starting this December. A year-long membership would be the Christmas gift of any cheese-lover’s dreams.
Nope, just brie wasn't enough for this gooey mac 'n' cheese. Food blogger Half Baked Harvest also felt the need to add cheddar, harvarti, and fontina, plus a buttery, crunchy topping. And we're not complaining.
Just like any mac and cheese recipe, this one is super easy. Make it ahead and everyone will love it. It is the perfect cozy meal for weeknights or the weekends. I am pretty sure it would be an awesome Thanksgiving side as well.
Get the recipe
Photo by Half Baked Harvest
Spicy beers -- that is, beers brewed with chiles, not warming spices -- can be an alienating bunch. But if you're looking to break into the world of hot suds, this list of beers curated by First We Feast is a great place to start.
Regardless of what role it assumes, the chile usually imbues a spiciness so perverse that it’s difficult to drink more than one glass—but that doesn't mean that one glass can't be delicious. Here are 10 spicy beers that are actually worth drinking.
Photo by First We Feast
Ever wonder where the cheesy idioms "get your goat," "black sheep," and "chew the cud" come from? The answers for those, and more, in Modern Farmer's roundup of ag-idioms and their explanations.
She warned us that delving into the history of agrarian idioms was not for the faint of heart. “Unfortunately,” says Ammer, “‘farm’ does often have a negative or diminutive context. It’s not always flattering to talk about farming.”
Photo by Modern Farmer
So similar, yet still not the same, brie and camembert have been confusing cheese newbies for as long as they've been around. So, what's the difference? Quite a bit, actually.
During the cheese-making process, cream is added to brie, but in camembert, it is not; as a result, brie is 60 percent milk fat, while camembert is only 45 percent. In addition, camembert uses stronger lactic starters that are inoculated into the cheese mold five times, contributing to a stronger-flavored cheese. Brie's lactic starters are only put into the cheese mold once, therefore the cheese is milder.
Photo by Pop Sugar Food