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
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.
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