Life with more than a dab of barbecue sauce

Musician Ry Cooder can take some credit for Ardie Davis’ position as barbecue sauce royalty. Davis was sitting in his Kansas City, Kan., home on a hot August day in 1984 reading about 80 barbecue joints across the country that he figured he’d never get to visit. Cooder’s “Paradise and Lunch” album was playing, and during the …

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Wild Alaska salmon is a gift of spring

When the sockeye are running in Bristol Bay, fourth-generation salmon fisher Melanie Brown sometimes launches her skiff in the dead of night. But she doesn’t mind. “It can be really exciting when the fish are running and splashing,” she says. Brown belongs to a rarified club, the roughly 24,000 Alaska anglers who help supply the …

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Swizzlers: new players in the ball park frankfurter game

Whatever you do, don’t call a swizzler a hot dog. The brainchild of three recent Wake Forest University graduates, this update on the American classic is not your average ball park frank. They don’t want to be associated with the mystery meat and soggy bun that they see as the common ball park dog. What started …

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Nice Jewish boy makes bubbe’s matzo balls

People will tell you there  are two kinds of matzo balls: hard as rocks or light as air. However, many cooks try for something in between — a matzo ball with some heft but not enough to sink it to the bottom of the bowl. Arguments over how to make matzo balls — and the chicken …

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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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Irish-American soda bread can have an Italian accent

Surely St. Patrick himself, born in Britain during Rome’s rule, reflected on his successful efforts to Christianize Ireland’s Celtic population. During his rumination, he feasted upon slices of iconic Irish soda bread topped with slabs of butter straight from cows grazing on Ireland’s green meadows. Soda bread, along with corned beef, cabbage and potatoes, are …

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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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World War I sugar substitutes no sacrifice today

The United States has always had a major sweet tooth. Americans today consume 77 pounds of sugar per person every year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and during World War I Americans ate more sugar than anyone else in the world. So being told to give it up or cut it back was seen …

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