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By American Food Roots

A Passover seder in Iowa

When Good Friday and the first night of Passover coincided several years ago, the Rosenblum family and a minister friend of theirs from Iowa decided to celebrate together. The New York Rosenblums decamped to Emmetsburg, population 3,904 at the last census, where they were to prepare a traditional Jewish seder for their friend’s congregation. And …

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Mr. Pig (Cochon 555) comes to Washington

The country’s biggest pig fest is making the rounds again, leaving satisfied customers (stuffed pigs?) in its wake. Cochon 555 stopped at Union Market in Washington, D.C., where hundreds of revelers ate, drank and wore pig noses. The event started six years ago to bring attention to heritage pig breeds. Each of five chefs is …

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Podcast: 3 food groups: pork, brisket, brownies

Bonny Wolf and Peter Ogburn recap the epic Cochon 555 event in Washington, D.C., on this week’s American Food Roots’ podcast. The big pig fest is one of 10 in the country, each featuring five chefs, with the king of pork to be crowned in Aspen, Colo., in June.  The podcast also features discussion of …

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Brisket for a hunger the size of Texas

When Katie Younger left Texas nearly a decade ago, she had no idea she was leaving brisket too. “I was shocked,” she says about the ignorance surrounding large slabs of fat-blanketed beef. “I just thought it was such a common meal for people to have.” In New England, beef brisket most often shows up as …

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Nowruz offers renewal and special foods

Saeed Pourkay does not have time to celebrate Nowruz at home this year. The 61-year-old works seven days a week, 16 hours a day at Taste of Persia, the small space he rents inside a pizzeria in New York City’s Flatiron District where he cooks during the restaurant’s off hours. “This year I celebrate [Nowruz] with all …

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Podcast: The flavors of stout, pig fests, invalid food, sure signs of spring

Bonny Wolf and Peter Ogburn discuss what we eat when you’re feeling under the weather — just as the weather begins to improve. The end of cold and flu season may put plain toast out of business for a while. And even though St. Patrick’s Day is behind us, there’s still plenty to say about …

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A Jewish-Italian take on Purim sweets

Purim is a little like the Halloween of Jewish communities, but with better food. Like the October revels, there are masks and costumes. At the spring festival, however, there is also good food and wine. Purim 2014 is March 15-16. In the holiday’s festivities and food, I find some delightful intersections of my adopted Jewish …

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Irish soda bread leaves ancestral trail of crumbs

There is no proof that St. Patrick was holding a slice of Irish soda bread when he drove the snakes out of Ireland (or, for that matter, that he drove the snakes out of Ireland). But the simple loaf has become synonymous with his feast day, at least in the United States. It is through …

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Pi Day sweet for both math and baking geeks

March 14 is a big day for mathematicians and bakers. They all love pi(e). In 2009, the U.S. Congress established March 14 as Pi Day to help reinforce math education. Pi is the symbol for the ratio of the circumference of a circle to its diameter. If you add an “e,” it’s America’s favorite dessert. March …

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Podcast: Sandwiches, pastrami and aebleskivers

Guest Julie Gilkison’s story about the Springfield, Ill., horseshoe sandwich kicked off a chat among Bonny Wolf, Peter Ogburn and Gilkison about other states’ and cities’ iconic sandwiches. In previous posts, French chef and writer Jacques Pepin talked to AFR about his first sandwich experience in a My American Roots Video. Another video extols the virtues of …

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