Food & Dining | KERA News

Food & Dining

From Texas Standard:

Whataburger ranks No. 7 among the country's Top 10 burger chains. But here in Texas, few brands, burger or otherwise, inspire as much loyalty. News that the company has hired investment bank Morgan Stanley to "explore our options," which it said in a statement to the San Antonio Business Journal, has many fans worried about its future. Whataburger's motivation isn't clear, but expansion could be on the menu.

From Texas Standard:

On Sunday thousands of fish, crabs and other sea life washed up dead on beaches surrounding Galveston Bay. The Texas Department of State Health Services has warned people not to eat any seafood from the area, and it halted oyster harvesting in the bay indefinitely.

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The country's biggest milk-maker is based in Dallas, and business at Dean Foods has, well, soured. First-quarter sales were down, and milk consumption in general is declining. Meanwhile, Dean faces more competition for milk production.

What’s the first food item that jumps into your head when you think of Texas? BBQ? Queso? Breakfast tacos?

All reasonable choices. But you’d be missing the obvious, a food item that bears the name of the state: Texas toast.

Here & Now resident chef Kathy Gunst joins host Robin Young to celebrate spring with a rhubarb cake, a strawberry-rhubarb crumble and a caramelized maple-rhubarb soda.

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A new study says the more eggs you eat — mostly because of the cholesterol inside ­— the more you’re at risk for heart disease and premature death.

This big, beautiful carrot has nicks and dings, but "it doesn't affect the taste," says Imperfect Produce's Tony Masco. "If you're looking for something big and bold, you're still going to get it."
Rachel Osier Lindley / KERA News

Think of the last time you shopped for food. Those sliding glass doors open, and you're greeted by orderly rows of apples, pears and leafy green lettuce.

That's because the supermarket produce aisle is like a popular nightclub — not everyone gets in.

The Nashville Hot Chicken from Ida Claire in Plano: spicy fried chicken breast, pimento cheese toast, pickled cucumbers and onion
Ida Claire / Facebook

If you're still looking to firm up brunch plans for Cinco de Mayo or Mother's Day, you could head to Addison's Ida Claire and Plano's Whiskey Cake — both made OpenTable's 2019 100 Best Brunch Restaurants in America list.

With Venezuela In Chaos, Mangoes Are Unsung Heroes

May 1, 2019

During these troubled times in Venezuela, the mango has a new identity.

"We call them 'the noise takers' because they calm down the noise that our stomachs make when we are hungry," says Danilson Hernández, who manages a modest business that upholsters vehicles in Maracaibo, Venezuela.

And there are a lot of hungry people in crisis-ridden Venezuela. Nearly 90 percent of families don't earn enough money to buy the food they need, according to the latest Life Conditions National Survey, run annually by college professors.

From Texas Standard:

Ranchers and cattlemen have some beef with U.S. meatpackers. They claim the meatpackers are purposefully driving down the price the cattle raisers get for their beef. In 2015, meatpackers started to pay ranchers less for their cattle. It would make sense then, that the price of ribeye in the supermarket would also drop around that time. But that didn't happen.

Meal kit delivery services like Blue Apron or HelloFresh promise gourmet meals without the hassle of shopping for ingredients. But the environmentally conscious consumer may feel guilty about seeing all the plastic and cardboard it takes to bring that Pork and Veggie Bibimbap to their doorstep.

Like many food writers, Erin Byers Murray enjoys taking a deep dive into learning the history and nuances of specific ingredients.

About 11 million deaths a year are linked to poor diet around the globe.

What's driving this? As a planet we don't eat enough healthy foods including whole grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and vegetables. At the same time, we consume too many sugary drinks, too much salt and too much processed meat.

Charles Gourd's garden is so big that before he installed irrigation, it could take three hours to water everything by hand. He grows beans and cucumbers that wind up archways you can walk underneath and pluck the ripe vegetables as though they're growing in thin air.

Food distributor Marty Renaud (right) hands a fruit popsicle to eighth grader Mia Martinez at Dallas ISD's Fresh Food Fest on March 28, 2019.
Miguel Perez / KERA News

The Dallas school district hosted a taste test of potential menu items Thursday, and the food went before about 150 of the toughest critics: children.

Bigger isn't necessarily better when it comes to catching, selling and eating fish.

For certain snappers, in fact, a market preference for plate-size whole fillets is driving fishermen to target smaller fish. For some wild fish populations, this is a recipe for collapse.

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Energy drinks have been linked to heart, nerve and stomach problems. A recent study suggests consuming even one can might affect how well your blood vessels function, too. 

Bruno Davaillon and Ricardo "Ricchi" Sanchez of the Bullion restaurant in Dallas are 2019 James Beard Award semifinalists for Best Chef: Southwest and Outstanding Pastry Chef.
Bullion via Facebook / Courtesy

Four chefs and two restaurants in Dallas are up for the prestigious James Beard Awards, which annually recognize culinary excellence. But Big D is definitely not the only Texas city to make the list.

"If you have a crappy meal, it just feels like a crappy part of my day," says Jen Van Fleet, an educator in Davenport, Iowa.

It has been a tough year in her school district. There have been new hires and budget cuts and extra work that has kept everyone busier than usual. Just before Thanksgiving, she was commiserating with her friends about the year and her mediocre lunches when someone had a brilliant idea: start a lunch club.

Kevin Drapela and his wife, Cori-Beth Tuite, found themselves at a food bank Wednesday – something they never expected.

The IRS employees from Taylor were among the federal workers who attended a resource fair hosted by the Central Texas Food Bank in response to the ongoing government shutdown.

A volunteer opens a round of Swiss cheese during the World Championship Cheese Contest, March 6, 2018, in Madison, Wis.
Associated Press

Americans are eating more cheese now than ever before: The country consumed around 37 pounds per capita in 2017. But it's not enough to make a dent in the U.S.' 1.4 billion-pound cheese surplus.

Can An Onion Predict The Weather?

Jan 2, 2019

From Texas Standard:

Another New Year's Eve has come and gone. For some that may mean new resolutions, or maybe just dealing with a bit of over-indulgence. But for Garry Karber, it means another night of chopping an onion, and predicting the weather. Karber is originally from the Panhandle city of Perryton. He now lives in the Central Texas town of Cameron.

Nearly all restaurants in the United States operate under the tip system: Servers and those in the back of the house — chefs, line cooks, dishwashers, etc. — are paid a lower-than-average standard minimum wage, and then they earn tips to make up for the pay disparity.

Courtesy: Mesero - Inwood Village, Facebook

Texas has eight of the country's best restaurants, and seven of them are located in Dallas, according to analysis by restaurant reservation website OpenTable.

Stephanie Kuo / KERA News

The sun is just creeping over the horizon on a hot July day. It’s only about 80 degrees, but everyone is already drenched in sweat because they’ve been packing and hauling dozens of 40-pound plastic tubs full of food onto a fleet of white vans.

Megan Zerez for KERA News

It’s an overcast spring morning at the East Dallas Community Garden. Voeun Tath is preparing this weekend’s harvest: heirloom lettuce and Cambodian bunching onions. She’ll take some home to her family, but most of it will end up on tables in homes and restaurants all over North Texas.

Tath is one of several hundred refugee gardeners who hold plots at community gardens across Dallas.

What's In Season In Texas: A Quick Guide

Jun 4, 2018
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Eating a ripe, juicy peach — from a fruit stand along a country road or from a farmer's market or inside a grocery store — is a summertime ritual for many Texans. 

While we can get peaches and most produce all year round, the best chance to eat homegrown fruits and vegetables at their peak is knowing their typical season. 

California Bakery / Flickr Creative Commons

There’s just something about a New York bagel. But what is it exactly? And can it be found outside of the city?

Hot dogs and buns are made for each other. But while hot dogs are traditionally sold in packs of 10, buns are sold in in packs of eight.

Just off a Houston freeway, in a strip mall with an Indian tailor and South Asian grocery store, is a small restaurant with an out-size reputation. It's called Himalaya and its chef and owner is a Houston institution.

Chef Kaiser Lashkari is a large man with a bushy salt-and-pepper mustache. He's constantly in motion — greeting clients, inspecting steaming dishes carried by busy waiters, calling out to his wife overseeing the kitchen. He offers us food before we've even sat down.

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