From TV Screens to History Books: Chef Nina Compton Nina Compton proves that African-American contributions to American cuisine are about more than fried chicken and cornbread or pit barbeque and pecan pie. Story by Ginger Warder Recipe by Chef Nina Compton When Chef Nina Compton was named the runner-up—rather than
Wherever you live, autumn is a glorious time to take a road trip into the country to witness harvest in America’s farming communities, the culmination of so many months of hard work and investment. That’s especially the case on a small farm in upstate New York. But despite all of that hard work, the yield in this little field of corn will be about four bushels per acre. Compare that to the national average of more than 200 bushels per acre of corn.
When farmers’ markets and grocery stores across the U.S. stock large quantities of watermelon, is there a juicier sign it’s summer? With increasing regularity and creativity, watermelon dishes are popping up on drink and food menus at restaurants nationwide. The top four watermelon-growing states are Georgia, Florida, Texas, and California, according to the Agricultural Marketing Resource Center. Other states grow watermelons, too, so you might find a local supplier wherever you live. Only when the fruit vegetable isn’t in season is it imported from other countries to ensure that watermelon remains available year-round.
Tiffany Luhnow is a polite, soft-spoken woman who exudes kindness and good will. Yet, people frequently pick a fight with her. “They see me using an egg wash on the edges of my cinnamon rolls and they get very upset,” says Luhnow. “They think it’s butter and they insist I should be spreading more butter everywhere, all over the cinnamon rolls. They become very adamant about it,” she laughs.
What’s an American picnic, holiday gathering or family reunion without deviled eggs? The dish of boiled eggs sliced in half and stuffed with a yolk/mayonnaise filling has been an American staple for decades.But our love affair with deviled eggs wasn’t born in the New World. The dish’s origin dates back centuries to ancient Rome, Spain and other parts of Europe. Around the first century A.D., Romans enjoyed boiled eggs enhanced with spices, oil and wine. Spain began stuffing its eggs in the 13th century, adding flavors such as cilantro, pepper and a fermented fish sauce. Over the next few centuries stuffed egg fever spread across Europe, and what filled the boiled eggs ran the gamut from raisins to herbs.
Dressing or stuffing? Pumpkin or sweet potato pie? Brine, baste, roast or deep-fry the bird? What you consider to be the “correct” answer to these and other culinary questions about our nation’s annual Thanksgiving feast depend largely on where you live.
“Have a rice day” is the greeting you'll get in Crowley, Louisiana. Rice has reigned in this self-proclaimed “rice capital” of the Cajun prairie since the late 1800s. Crowley's rice history goes back to the completion of the railroad, which led to the sale of abundant prairie land rich for growing the crop. Several advances in equipment, technology and plant varieties all led to the grain prospering in this region of Southwest Louisiana. Rice fields still dot the landscape today.
The phrase “As American as apple pie” has a lot of meaning to the farmers of Central Pennsylvania. Each fall, local orchards burst with apples of many colors and tastes: 72 different apple varieties grow in this region! One family has made the art of growing and selling apples their business for the last 63 years. On a 500-acre farm in Biglerville, Penn., four generations of the Hollabaugh family tend the land to produce enough apples for their own market as well as for wholesalers who buy half of the 100,000 bushels they harvest each year.
Just by visiting Telluride, you put your body to the test. Can you withstand an altitude of 8,750 feet without getting altitude sickness? People who come to this popular mountain town are generally looking for the type of adrenaline-filled holiday that is packed with skiing, mountain biking and hiking, rather than lounging by a pool all day. It’s no wonder that the town’s cult cocktail, rightfully named “The Flatliner,”is made to get you tipsy yet keep you going for hours. Just don’t die (or pass out).
Named one of the “25 Most Influential Cocktail Personalities of the Past Century,” Jeff “Beachbum” Berry has written six books on vintage tiki drinks and cuisine, co-created the app Total Tiki for iPad and iPhone, is the owner of tiki bar Latitude 29 in New Orleans, and sells a line of tiki barware with Cocktail Kingdom. If that's not enough, his cocktail recipes have been printed in publications around the world, and it's safe to say he's an expert on rum.