Food And Drink

Chung Chu / Flickr -- Creative Commons

There is one ingredient that you'll find in almost every culture and has been around for almost 4,000 years: noodles.

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, food critics Charles Ferruzza, Gloria Gail, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris dished on the best spots in and around Kansas City for noodles of all shapes and sizes. 

The Critics' Picks: Noodles

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

Many of the food terrorism scenarios outlined by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration involve liquid.

And there’s good reason for that.

Liquids like orange juice and milk go through many processing steps -- farm, bottling plant, delivery – before reaching the consumers who drink them. And these liquids are moved, manufactured and stored in huge batches that get distributed and consumed quickly. Should a toxin be injected somewhere along the supply chain, experts believe it could have devastating human health and economic consequences.

Quinn Dombrowski / Flickr -- Creative Commons

When it’s time to crack open a cold one, Kansas Citians say they reach for craft beer — most of the time.

That’s according to the feedback we received this week when we asked our listeners about their brew preferences.

Our curiosity piqued when we learned craft beer makers were coming to the Kansas City area this weekend for the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition in Lawrence.

TheWorldInMyEyes / Flickr -- Creative Commons

The science behind what makes spicy and hot foods hot we understand fairly well: the capsaicin in the seeds of the peppers tricks your brain into believing that your flesh is on fire. Why people have sought the sensation of burning may be harder to pin down, but undeniably the practice is present across the world. Hot peppers and spices can be found in almost every type of food in varying degrees.

Herkie / Flickr--CC

One might assume that with such well known craft beers available from brewers like Boulevard Brewing Company in Kansas City, Mo., and Free State Brewing Company in Lawrence, Kan., there would be little room for other competition. But, craft brewing is on the rise in Kansas City, with many new microbreweries opening in the past year.

On Thursday's Central Standard host Brian Ellison looks at what is behind the Kansas City craft brewing trend and what the future looks like for these entrepreneurial ventures.

Guests:

Pabo76 / Flickr-CC

Kielbasa, carnitas and pulled pork — are you getting hungry? Some local restaurants are proving that Kansas City isn’t just a barbecue town. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we take a look at highlights and hidden gems featured in the Kansas City Star’s Food Issue.

Guest:

  • Jill Silva, food editor at The Kansas City Star
~flutterby~ / Flickr-CC

Mushrooms can’t run, but if you go hunting for them, it certainly seems like they’re hiding. 

On Wednesday's Up to Date, we speak with a few mushroom hunters about their craft and how they find the best fungus among us. 

Guests:

KCUR

Craft beer makers from all over the region are poised to descend upon Lawrence for the Kansas Craft Brewers Exposition this weekend.  

And we’re wondering how Kansas Citians identify with the specialty ales.

We want to know what your beer choice says about you.

Tell KCUR: Are you a Joe six-pack or craft beer kind of person? Why?

This country's meat industry no longer includes the picturesque red barn and white picket fences. Instead, the meat we buy at the supermarket is likely processed by one of the four large meat packing companies that controls the majority of the industry.

On today's Central Standard, journalist and author Christopher Leonard discusses his book "The Meat Racket: The Secret Takeover of America's Food Business." Also, Mark Dopp of the American Meat Institute weighs in on what he perceives as the benefits of having a more centralized system.

DanPeters / Flickr -- Creative Commons

On Friday's edition of Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and Food Critics Mary Bloch, Chris Becicka and Emily Farris discuss some of Kansas City's newest restaurants. And then the food critics locate the best places for sausage in and around Kansas City, with the help of listeners. From kielbasa to bratwurst to chorizo, Kansas City has it covered.

The Critics' Picks: Sausage

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

From “weird-beers” to your typical TV dinner, all the processed food we eat has been carefully crafted to taste and smell as appealing as possible.

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we visit a local lab to see how flavors are modified and enhanced to make that morning muffin you enjoy taste so much like fresh blueberries-- even though there aren't any in it. 

Guests:

Stewart Butterfield / Flickr-CC

The Test Kitchen isn't a glamorous place filled with Food Network cameras-- it's Kansas City's own secret supper club.

The location is a secret until the day before, and you're in for new cooking techniques and some interesting ingredients. Picky eaters might want to skip this one, but if you've got adventurous taste buds the Test Kitchen might be the place for you.

In the second part of Friday's Up to Date, we talk with its founder and the chef who will be behind the club's next meal.

Guests:

Kimberly Vardeman / Flickr-CC

Can you name one of the Academy Award nominated short films for this year? Let our film critics help you out. 

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics look at some of the lesser-known Oscar nominees, plus Spinning Plates, a documentary that gives audiences a taste of what it's like to own a restaurant.

Fifteen percent of Americans received federal food stamp benefits in the 2013 fiscal year, according to a new U.S. Department of Agriculture report. That includes about 936,000 people in Missouri and 316,000 in Kansas. The program is the most controversial issue for negotiators working on a new farm bill.

Bob B. Brown / Flickr - CC

In Kansas City's days of old, enterprising bar owners would offer free food to workers heading home and craving a beer or whiskey. This food was usually very salty, encouraging the patrons to drink even more.

The term “happy hour” didn’t exist at this time, but a mix of food and drink has always been an intoxicating lure that nearly every restaurant offers.

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics Emily Farris, Mary Bloch, and Gloria Gale discuss the best happy hours in and around Kansas City.

Beth Lipoff/KCUR

The smell of pie might inspire most of us to get a fork and plate, but for one author, it means a story. 

In the first part of Wednesday's Up to Date, we talk with the woman behind the new Kate Winslet-Josh Brolin film Labor Day about writing, pie and more.

Guest:

Jonathan Bender / recommendeddaily.co

Something smells good in Kansas City these days, and the upcoming restaurant week is just the thing to show it off. 

In the first part of Friday's Up to Date, we get a preview of what’s to come during restaurant week and take a bite of the local food scene with The Kansas City Star’s Jill Silva and Recommended Daily blogger Jonathan Bender.

Guests:

Food Critics: Chicken Or The Egg?

Jan 10, 2014
avrene / Flickr--Creative Commons

You’ve heard the question a million times: What came first, the chicken or the egg? The answer is complicated when you pose it to Kansas City diners who might choose fried chicken over an omelet or eggs benedict over chicken noodle soup.

On Friday’s Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza and fellow food critics, Gloria Gale, Chris Becicka, and Emily Farris consider the possibilities that both the chicken and the egg bring to restaurant menus, from fried livers to egg soufflé – and everything in between. 

Best Egg Dishes:

Eggs Benedict

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

A new wheat variety may have cracked the code to marry the fluffiness of white bread with whole grain nutrition.

For a long time, American bread makers have been in a bind. Many consumers like the texture and taste of white bread, but want the nutritional benefits of whole grains.

Food Critics: The 15 Best Dishes In Kansas City In 2013

Dec 27, 2013

As 2013 comes to a close, we raise a glass to Kansas City's dearly departed, and appreciate the best that came to be.

On Friday's Central Standard, Charles Ferruzza is joined  by fellow food critics Emily Farris, Mary Bloch, and Chris Becicka to discuss their favorite meals and restaurants of 2013. They also chat about Kansas City's dearly departed restaurants that left us throughout the year. 

The Food Critics' Favorite Dishes of 2013

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For many, booze is part of the quintessential holiday experience. But standard wine, beer and spirits can get old. So, this holiday season treat your taste buds to some innovative holiday treats, courtesy of Berto Santoro of Extra Virgin and Scott Tipton of Manifesto.

Winter in Buenos Aires

dirtsailor2003 / Flickr - CC

Since the cattle rustling days of yore, steak has always been an important part of the culinary traditions of Kansas City. We even have a baseball team named The T-Bones. Whether it’s top sirloin, filet mignon, or a big bone-in ribeye, premium cuts matter a lot to this city. With so many varieties and types and restaurants to choose from, where should you go when you want both the sizzle and the steak?

Frank Morris / KCUR

People in Kansas City may not be too thrilled about it, but the pending sale of Boulevard Brewing company to Belgian beer maker Duvel Moortgat says a lot about how the American craft beer industry has grown up and gone global.

Kansas Citians are proud of lots of things, their barbeque, the Chiefs, Sporting Kansas City, even lately, the Royals, and most beer lovers in this town would add Boulevard Brewing to that list.  

“I think Boulevard is, is one with Kansas City,” says Bob Ellis, standing in line for a Boulevard Tank 7, at the Bier Station, in Kansas City.  

Rural Areas Worry About Food Stamp Cuts

Dec 2, 2013
Peter Gray / Harvest Public Media

The next farm bill is all but certain to contain cuts to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), more commonly known as food stamps. Long championed by legislators from urban districts, the food stamp program isn’t just an urban concern. Families living amid fertile farmland struggle to put food on the table and increasingly rely on SNAP benefits. 

Food Critics: Look To The Sides

Nov 29, 2013
vxla / Flickr--Creative Commons

Many restaurants in Kansas City have signature dishes. Stroud’s is known for its fried chicken, Jess and Jim’s is famous for its steaks. But what about the dishes that complement the main course?

Some restaurants do wonders with the lesser-known side dishes: potatoes, vegetables, greens and rice. In fact, a well executed side dish can draw your attention to the entrée—complementing or contrasting the texture, sweetness or bitterness of other servings. 

Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Thanksgiving means turkey, mashed potatoes, pumpkin pie… and all the carbs you could want. Although we’ve all got our tried and true favorites, you won’t ruffle too many feathers if you try a couple of new dishes this year.

David W. Oliver / Flickr-CC

Got a beef with the meat industry? You’re not the only one, but it’s taken many decades for the industry to assume the shape it has today.

In the first part of Tuesday's Up to Date, we talk about the history of meat production and distribution in the United States. We examine the shift from family to factory livestock farming, how government intervention has affected the industry and how the popularity of organics is changing the conversation.

Guests:

The federal government’s food stamp program could do more to encourage healthy eating among program recipients, according to a recent analysis conducted by the USDA, which administers the program.

Abbie Fentress Swanson / Harvest Public Media

A new labeling rule that went into full effect Saturday requires meatpackers and retailers to provide consumers with more information about where their meat comes from.

The country-of-origin labeling mandate (COOL) forces retailers and meatpackers to detail where the livestock from which meat came was born, raised and slaughtered. It applies to certain cuts of beef, veal, chicken, pork, lamb and goat sold in the supermarket. Processed, deli and ground meats are exempt from the new rules.

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