BTRtoday’s Year in Food

What a year to eat your feelings.

2019 might have been a bummer in many or even most respects, but thankfully not in food. We took refuge from the ever-quickening and most-often sickening news cycle in fiery Korean barbecue, unique regional pizzas, decadent desserts, and more munchies. We found comfort in newly published culinary-centered stories and in the growing movement to green-up meat with plant-based technology. And as the year comes to an end, we can look forward to the next with the hope it will be as delicious as this one.

The Science Behind The People Who Hate Chocolate

Most people like chocolate. Some absolutely love it. During holidays like Valentine’s Day, Easter, Mother’s Day, Halloween, Chanukkah and Christmas, it’s a beloved treat. And that’s true of non-holidays as well. The average American eats around 10 pounds of chocolate per year, though we aren’t the nation scarfing down the most. That title belongs to the Swiss, who supposedly consume more than 19 pounds of it per capita each year. Given how beloved chocolate is, it might come as a surprise to find that many among us can’t stand it. Here’s why.

Tasting the Difference Between Buffalo Mozzarella, Mozzarella and Burrata

Italians have offered the world creamy creations for centuries. Italian cheese is delicious and versatile, at home atop pasta, pizza and salads or eaten on their own. Italian is America’s favorite foreign cuisine, so it’s no surprise Italy’s signature semi-soft cheeses are often featured in kitchens and restaurants. To learn more about the stringy, gooey cheeses, we tapped Italian cheese expert and chef Alberto Di Meglio. Di Meglio heads the wood-fired kitchen at Brooklyn’s Barano where he offers his own house-made mozzarella.

Eat Your Way Through Fall with These 5 Types of Mushrooms

Photo via MaxPixel

Meaty. Earthy. Velvety. Woodsy. Mushrooms are versatile enough to add a certain flavorful finesse to a dish as a supporting ingredient or steal the show on your plate as the star. They tend to be pushed to the forefront of restaurant menus and grocery store produce sections in the fall, and keeping track of the different kinds can be a little daunting. Here’s how to identify five popular types of mushrooms and some recipe suggestions if you’re curious enough to try your hand at cooking them in your own kitchen. These fall season fungi will take your homemade dishes from good to great.

Decoding Delicious: A Mexican Menu Guide

Tacos, burritos and quesadillas are dishes near and dear to most of our hearts, or at least familiar to our eyes and ears. Americans love Mexican food so much, it’s our second-most preferred “ethnic” cuisine after Chinese, according to the food research firm Technomic. But don’t limit yourself to the familiar. Branch outside the familiar Mexican dishes with these favorites.

The Basics of Korean Barbeque

Photo courtesy of Andrew Bui

Not sure how to handle your first Korean BBQ experience? Just be ready to fall in delicious love. We asked Chef Yeong Gon Kim, who developed the menu for newly opened NYC hot spot, Grand Seoul, for a quick guide.

Give Your Camping Trip the Gourmet Treatment

For most, eating while camping means brittle trail mix, dry jerky and soggy sandwiches. But your meal quality doesn’t have to flatline when you’re roughing it. Little tricks can take your outdoorsy culinary experience from “yuck” to “yum.” D.C. chef Chris Morgan shares his tips on making a delicious meal while sleeping under the stars.

How to Shop Your Local Farmers Market Like a Professional Chef

Summer is the peak season for farmers markets and food co-ops, but shopping the stalls can be daunting. In need of a little guidance, we searched for a professional to show how to shop for the best produce summer offers. We tapped D.C. chef Daniela Moreira for her tips and tricks on getting the most out of any farmers market.

Your Summer 2019 Foodie Reading List

Literary-minded foodies have been blessed with a spate of recently published worthwhile culinary writing. Newly released reads for lovers of the culinary arts offer an array of feasts for the mind. They’re perfect for savoring over long planes rides, on sunbathed beaches or wherever else your summer adventures take you.

The Growing Movement Behind Going Meatless

A reported 70% of the world is reducing meat consumption. In America, a quarter of Millennials identify as vegan or vegetarian, prompting The Economist to name 2019 the Year of the Vegan. Today, it’s impossible to both adhere to veganism and enjoy a hamburger. But soon that may change. New food startups are engineering plant-based meat that looks, feels and tastes like the real thing, we may not have to feel like we’re giving up on anything. We explored  why Burger King, Del Taco, and others adding plant-based meat options to their menus.

Missing You Like Candy: 9 Highlights from Dessert Goals NYC 2019

Since launching in 2016, Dessert Goals has serviced the sweet tooth of over 20,000 dessert lovers in seven New York City and Los Angeles fragrant festivals. On March 23 and 24, party planner and festival creator extraordinaire Miraya Berke brought her confectionery convention to Sound Studios in Long Island City and it sweetened the Big Apple like caramel coating. In its sixth visit to New York, the after-dinner treat-focused festival gave the city the just desserts it hass long needed.

And Yes I’m All Lit Up Again: Is Coca Extract the Next Sugar Alternative?

Most Americans know that excess sugar consumption is dangerous. Unable or unwilling to quit the sweet stuff, we reach for alternative sweeteners hoping to find a sugar fix free from consequence. Unfortunately, as most who’ve tried Splenda will attest, that fix is often far from satisfying. We had a conversation with Greg Aharonian, founder and chief scientist of the world’s leading purveyor of coca leaf extract, about why he thinks coca could be the sugar stand-in health-conscious sugar-cravers have long clamored for.

The Top 10 American Cities for Adventurous Eaters

Photo by Pablo Merchán Montes on Unsplash

Not sure where to take your adventurous palate? Apartment Guide crunched the numbers to find the American cities with the highest ratio of international dining options per resident. Sorry New Yorkers: for all your city’s cosmopolitan swagger, it didn’t crack the top 10. NYC has a staggering variety of sophisticated restaurants but Apartment Guide wasn’t only looking at fine dining. They were interested in cuisines unfamiliar to most Americans and returned mouth-watering results from Vietnam to Trinidad.
The U.S. cities with the most exotic fare per capita may not be the places you’d expect.

7 Must-Watch Foodie Documentaries on Netflix

Jiro Ono and Yoshikazu Ono in “Jiro Dreams Of Sushi.” Photo courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.

With weather in the single digits, it’s the perfect time to snuggle under some blankets and learn about food.It’s prime Netflix-and-chill season. Instead of binge-watching The Office for the upteenth time, don your favorite never-leaving-the-house-again clothes and hunker down to watch these food-focused and wine-centric documentaries available to stream on Netflix now.

The Very American Story Behind the Detroit Coney Dog

Photo by Flickr user Steven Depolo

In the pantheon of quintessential American foods, few top the hot dog. For the last century, the Detroit Coney has reigned as the signature snack of the quintessential midwestern American city for which it’s named. However, most of us outside Michigan have never heard of the delicacy. So what exactly is a Detroit Coney dog? Well. Like democracy, feta cheese and the music of Yanni, the coney dog is a glorious boon to the world that started in Greece.

Is This America’s Weirdest Pizza?

You may consider yourself a pizza polyglot if you’re versed in Chicago’s deep dish, conversant in Detroit square pies and fluent in New Haven apizza. But if you’ve never heard of Quad Cities pizza, you’re missing a big piece of the pizza lexicon. The little-known Midwest region of Quad Cities produces a very particular type of pie and we explored what makes it unique.