The Best Soy Sauce is Naturally Brewed

My last two columns talked about miso and seaweed respectively. Both are staples of Japanese cooking. This week I will complete the trifecta by discussing soy sauce, known in Japan as shoyu. Perhaps no item is as ubiquitous at Japanese tables, where high quality shoyu is treated with the same sort of reverence that some […]

Choosing the Perfect Melon

When I was a kid, I memorized several poems by Ogden Nash. I enjoyed his offbeat sense of humor, and the fact that his poetry rhymed. One poem I remember goes like this: “One cantaloupe is ripe and lush. Another’s green, another’s mush. I’d buy a lot more cantaloupe, If I possessed a horoscope.” Cantaloupes […]

Cilantro: An Herb That’s Not for Everybody

Normally we think of taste as a purely subjective matter. Whether people like or dislike a particular food is considered a function of whether they have eaten it before, and whether they like the sweet or sour or bitter flavor that everyone agrees that the food possesses. There are exceptions. Take cilantro. Cilantro is a […]

Tempeh: A Soy Product for Everyone

Do you ever have to cook for a group that includes both vegetarians and meat eaters? I’ve encountered this situation many times and it used to leave me flummoxed. Obviously meat is out, but I want to provide something substantial for the meat eaters for whom tofu just doesn’t cut it. On these occasions, tempeh […]

Organic Strawberries: a Smart Choice

When I was in college, I spent a few weeks picking strawberries for a fellow named Mr. Henderson who had a produce stand near where I lived. My roommate and I would get up at 5:00 a.m. and drive out to his piece of land where we would spend several hours picking in order to […]