Paan is an item, often chewed in India and elsewhere. It is the leaf of a betel plant, wrapped around sweet, savory or aromatic spices, candies and betel nut. Essentially, you chew the paan and it perks you up, freshens your breath, and supposedly acts as a digestif. Rico heads to Artesia to sample some paan, which Chaitnya Vyas expertly crafts with a variety of flavors at K.C. Paan & Chaat House.
For the most part, Americans only know eel from Japanese cuisine like Unagi and Anago sushi. But that might be changing. Sierra Tishgart is the senior editor at New York Magazine's Grub Street food blog and she recently wrote an article about the emergence of eel on New York restaurant menus. Brendan is not a big fan of eel, but to learn more, he met up with her at High Street on Hudson, one of these eel-happy establishments.
If you believe news stories that have been flying around for the last few months... the world's in the midst of a whiskey shortage. So to find out more, Rico spoke to Reid Mitenbuler, who recently wrote a book about the history of American whiskey. He's got a contrarian view of the so-called "shortage" and explains why.
Fast food is a $200 billion dollar a year industry in the U.S., but it's actually a staple of some people's diets because it's some of the only food in their neighborhood and because -- shock -- they like the taste. So, Roy Choi and Daniel Patterson - decided to fight fryer with fryer and prove that "fine fast food" is not an oxymoron.
Brendan fishes around for tips from Ryan Bigelow of the Monterey Bay Aquarium Seafood Watch on what to keep in mind when buying salmon, tuna, and shrimp.
Brendan gets the scoop from Food Director Carla Lalli Music on just a few of the trends highlighted in the magazine's latest issue, including koji rice and… oatmeal.
Rico got a little ahead of himself this week and celebrated New Year's Day, but he sipped something without bubbles. It's called soup joumou. It's a soup with squash and macaroni that's traditionally eaten on New Year's Day in Haiti. And there's a really great reason for that. To learn about the soup and its history, he headed to the Haitian restaurant TiGeorges' Chicken in L.A.
Typical Hanukkah fare features foods cooked in oil. Mainly to symbolize the miracle by which a night's worth of lamp oil lasted eight nights... but also because fried food is delicious. So Rico headed over to Redbird -- one of the top restaurants in L.A. -- to sample sophisticated takes on latkes and sufganiyot (a.k.a donuts).
Brendan talks to Christine Haughney, the investigative producer behind "Corkscrewed: The Art of Fake Wine." Learn all about how the fake wine industry has boomed in recent years and the real-life risks oenophiles face with high-end brands.
Thanksgiving is closing in on us. Which means home cooks across the country are crafting Thanksgiving menus and confronting the annual paradox: how do you respect tradition and keep things interesting Let Brendan and Editor-in-Chief Adam Rapoport give you a little rundown of Thanksgiving do's, don'ts, and inventive ways to make use of those leftovers (think: Turkey Pho).