Food & Food Culture

7:56am

Fri December 28, 2012
The Salt

An Evolutionary Whodunit: How Did Humans Develop Lactose Tolerance?

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 10:41 am

Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
iStockphoto.com

Got milk? Ancient European farmers who made cheese thousands of years ago certainly had it. But at that time, they lacked a genetic mutation that would have allowed them to digest raw milk's dominant sugar, lactose, after childhood.

Today, however, 35 percent of the global population — mostly people with European ancestry — can digest lactose in adulthood without a hitch.

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4:37am

Fri December 28, 2012
Author Interviews

'The Book Of Gin' Distills A Spirited History

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 11:56 am

Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Hulton Archive Getty Images

Unlike a good martini, the story of gin isn't smooth; it's long, complex, sordid and, as Richard Barnett has discovered, it makes for tantalizing material. Barnett's newly published The Book of Gin traces the liquor's life, from its beginnings in alchemy to its current popularity among boutique distillers.

Barnett joins NPR's Renee Montagne to discuss the medicinal origins and changing reputation of gin.


Interview Highlights

On gin's medicinal origins

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4:37am

Fri December 28, 2012
Author Interviews

Tamari Greens, Miso Yams: Chef Gives Vegans Multicultural Flavor

Originally published on Fri December 28, 2012 12:18 pm

Jennifer Martiné Da Capo Lifelong Books

Veganism has long been thought of as a bland, fringe diet typically associated with hippies or trend-setting Hollywood types. But chef Bryant Terry is trying to chip away at that stereotype.

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7:51am

Thu December 27, 2012
The Salt

Hospital Bids Bye-Bye To Big Macs, Others May Follow Suit

Originally published on Thu December 27, 2012 11:25 am

Visitors to one Kansas City hospital will no longer be able to buy a Big Mac on the premises.
Keith Srakocic AP

The McDonald's at the Truman Medical Centers' main campus in Kansas City, Mo., has closed, ending an epic, two-decade stint inside the hospital and making it the fifth health facility in the past few years to give the Big Mac the boot.

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2:34am

Thu December 27, 2012
Author Interviews

Shake It Up! Vintage Cocktails Are Ripe For Revival

American bartender Harry Craddock mixes a drink at the Savoy Hotel in London in 1926. Craddock is known for helping to popularize the Corpse Reviver, one of the drinks featured in historian Lesley Blume's book about vintage cocktail culture.
Topical Press Agency Getty Images

It's the holiday season and for some people that means celebrating with friends, family and cocktails. But instead of settling for the standard martini or Manhattan, author and historian Lesley Blume suggests you reach for a taste of bygone cocktail culture.

In Let's Bring Back: The Cocktail Edition, Blume outlines more than 100 lesser-known oldies that are both delicious and delightful. She joins NPR's David Greene to discuss cocktail history and how to make vintage recipes part of a modern-day party.

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