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Radio Free Asia potluck broadcasts culinary news

Say “Washington, D.C.” and most people likely think politicians, lobbyists, steak houses and cheese-on-toothpick receptions. Less well known is the city’s critical mass of people from all over the world — and the food they bring to the nation’s capital. Radio Free Asia is among the institutions such as the World Bank, the International Monetary Fund and …

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Faux pho can’t compare to the real thing

In the beginning, there was only chicken soup. It was the answer to most questions involving the common cold, inclement weather and general well-being. Then, the world became a smaller place and Vietnamese pho became as American as chicken soup. The long-simmering, aromatic beef broth to which thinly sliced beef, rice noodles and condiments are …

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‘Conflict cuisines’ are basic to D.C.’s restaurant scene

Once it was common knowledge that you always knew where the latest global conflict was by looking at the new restaurant openings in Washington, D.C. It’s no coincidence that places like the Eden Center in Falls Church, Va., or Little Ethiopia on 9th Street N.W. and 18th Street N.W. in Adams Morgan were destinations of diaspora …

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Korean food builds community one dish at a time

  Two large fermenting jars flank the entryway to Sunny Kim’s home the way others might have a coat rack or an umbrella stand. A third ceramic cask can be found in the backyard, buried beneath the earth where it’s dark and cool. The jars are filled with food — and history. One in the …

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Eating nose to tail meant more meat for Europe in WWI

  Eating nose to tail was more patriotic than trendy during World War I. Because of the dramatic food shortages in Europe, Americans were encouraged to eat “alternate” meats (something other than beef) and all parts of the animal. One way to reduce beef consumption, according to the authors of “Win the War in the Kitchen,” was …

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Learning to go without meat and wheat in WWI

World War I cookbooks indicate most Americans at the time thought protein could only be obtained from red meat, and that without it their health would suffer.  And now, they were being asked to go without meat. Cookbooks written for wartime use tried to re-educate the public. “Although most persons believe that protein can only be obtained …

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Thanksgiving recipes: Leftovers beyond the sandwich

What on earth would possess someone (me) with only eight guests to procure a 24-pound turkey? One word: leftovers. They’re the highlight of the holiday and everyone knows it. Years ago I used to feel compelled to pack baggies of turkey and stuffing for my guests, but those days are over. With the exception of …

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Thanksgiving stuffing recipes are all winners

No matter what you call it — “stuffing” or “dressing” — that bready staple is always a star at the Thanksgiving table. Thanksgiving stuffing recipes are also where many families express their long-held traditions or even their ethnic backgrounds. Our contest winner, selected at random to receive a copy of Rick Rodgers’ “The Big Book of …

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Thanksgiving recipes: we’re talking pies

There may be as many Thanksgiving pie traditions as there are families. “Tell me where your grandmother came from,” wrote 20th century cookbook author Clementine Paddleford, “and I can tell you how many kinds of pie you serve for Thanksgiving.” Whether your family’s tradition includes mince, key lime or sugar cream, chances are you’ve got …

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Thanksgiving recipes: chestnuts sweet and savory

The American chestnut was once king of the forest. One of every four hardwoods in Eastern woods was a chestnut. Just around Thanksgiving, the fruit of the tree was ripe. Hence, chestnut stuffing, chestnut puree, chestnuts roasting on an open fire. By the 1950s, a lethal fungus pretty much wiped out the American chestnut. We’ve been making do …

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