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Each with its own culinary tradition

Wisconsin

Wrecking ball can’t topple memories of the old Italian neighborhood

Italian-American author Tina De Rosa published a semi-autobiographical novel titled “Paper Fish.” In it, she chronicled the experiences of growing up in an Italian neighborhood on Chicago’s South Side. De Rosa wrote her book in 1980, when her childhood neighborhood no longer existed. Years earlier, the city had demolished it as part of a mid-century …

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Meat lab on Wisc. campus offers real hands-on learning

To help pay for the semester’s books or a weekend night out, many American college students hold down jobs at the campus library or gym. But when Alex Richter goes to work at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, he dons rubber boots, a white coat and a hairnet. Richter is a campus butcher. Richter and 15 …

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Eating your way down America’s River

When you say “Mississippi River,” most people don’t immediately think “Lake Itasca, Minnesota.” But the northern glacial lake is the river’s source. And its course through northern states has a food story much different from the one more commonly told toward its southern terminus. In her new book, “Mississippi Current Cookbook,” restaurateur Regina Charboneau traces “a …

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Bear meat sometimes a hard sell

Alyssa Haak grew up in Wisconsin and remembers the day her dad served bear meat. “Nope,” she said after one bite, pushing it aside. “Nope, I’m done.” Haak admits that she was a pasta-with-butter kind of picky eater, but just the same, her reaction to bear was not unusual. Today, even well-traveled palates such as …

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Holiday Drinks: Bring back the Tom and Jerry

Tom and Jerry is more than a cat-and-mouse game. It was once a holiday drink so beloved that many homes (particularly in the Upper Midwest) had punch bowls and cups with Tom & Jerry written across them in Old English gold script. The Tom and Jerry looks like eggnog. But it’s not. It’s a sort …

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For some cranberry growers, a not-so-rosy Thanksgiving

As cranberries arrive at the holiday table, glowing like garnets, give thanks to the hands that sauced them – and those that cultivated them, too. Growers could use a hand themselves: An overabundance of berries is putting independent ones deeply in the red. Encouraged to expand their operations several years ago in anticipation of broader …

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Cranberry, a native fruit, makes a splash

Cranberries are among the three fruits exclusively indigenous to America, along with blueberries and some grape varieties. Native people used cranberries for food, medicine and coloring. “Long before the Pilgrims arrived, the Massachuset Indians combined crushed cranberries with dried deer meat and melted fat to make pemmican,” Hilde Gabriel Lee wrote in “Taste of the …

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A hunter and his dog work a field, trying to flush game birds.

Bagging your game in the field or at retail

  You can hunt for game in the wild or from retail sources. Its cost varies widely, depending on whether the game is wild or farm-raised. Hunting for your meat? Factor in the cost of annual licenses and stamps, guns or bows, other accoutrements and travel — or visiting a private game farm — and …

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Hunting’s a family affair in field and kitchen

  Searching for my brother’s cottage in Wisconsin’s North Woods, my son and I turned our car down a dirt drive, hesitating at first. Then, past some trees, we spotted an overturned fishing boat on a trailer. Stretched over its hull was a hide drying in the warm autumn sun, still attached to the head …

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Slide Show: What I ate on my summer vacation

We take our work seriously. So, wherever we were this summer, we ate. A lot.  Bonny Wolf was in Maine. Carol Guensburg was all over the place — in Wisconsin, North Carolina, Indiana, Kentucky and Texas. Michele Kayal went to Connecticut, Vermont and New Hampshire, and Domenica Marchetti did her eating in Michigan and Connecticut. …

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