Megan Saynisch is cook, gardener, culinary anthropologist and writer living in Brooklyn with her husband and young son. A graduate of the French Culinary Institute, she is the creator of the blog Brooklynfarmhouse.com.
Americans eat over four pounds of shrimp per person per year, but the environmental and ethical problems facing the shrimp industry are staggering. Learn all about the diminutive crustacean and find out the best ways to choose sustainably and ethically produced shrimp in this week's Real Food Right Now.
Some are calling goat next big thing in the sustainable food world. These amazing animals produce lean meat that is tasty and good for you, and their milk is churned into butter and made into cheese. If you haven't tried goat yet, take a page from cultures across the world who know what's what: goat is delicious!
Planning a cookout or a picnic to celebrate our country's independence day? From burgers to ice cream to flag-shaped food, we're here to help you make this your best Fourth of July yet.
The tiny sesame seed carries big flavor and has made its way around the world to compliment cuisines far and wide. Bringing us sweets, like soft and creamy halva, to garnishing and even composing main dishes, sesame has entered our hearts and delighted our taste buds for centuries.
It's time to give onions the Real Food Right Now attention they deserve. These pungent bulbs are the true workhorses of the kitchen and are absolutely vital to most cuisines around the world. From fresh cut red onions to pickled garnishes, there's nothing quite like their ability to transform a mundane dish into something much more intriguing.
Chickpeas play an important role in many cultures of the Mediterranean, Middle East and Africa, and recently they've come center stage in the west as the base of wildly popular hummus dips. If you haven't tried yet, cooking with chickpeas may seem daunting and exotic, but they're actually fun and easy to toss on a salad, fry up in fritters or roast into a crunchy snack.
There are a great number of species of prickly pear cactus, all of which are native to the Americas. The UN's Food and Agriculture Organization explains that the cactus was probably first cultivated in Mesoamerica, and was of particular importance to the Aztec. Fossilized seeds and skins of the fruit over 7,000 years old have been found in Mexico!
It's amazing that the giant panda subsists on bamboo almost exclusively - bamboo is not very nutritious, at least not for us. When it comes to munching on this unique and fascinating grass (yes! grass!), it's all about texture and flavor, and knowing how to cook it.
Vibrant (on the inside), juicy and perfectly scoop-able, the kiwi is just as delicious right off the vine as it is baked into a tart. But, did you know that this sweet fruit can be used to firm pie filling or tenderize meat? We didn't either! Read on to learn the history and uses of this fuzzy fruit.
Imagine a life without the tingly, peppery, uniquely lovely bite of ginger. No worries - just rejoice in the fact that this prized spice can now be found in every grocery store across the land!
Also known as cassava or tapioca, yuca is the fourth most important starch in the world, prepared in a wide variety of ways from South America to Asia. Fun fact: if you love bubble tea, you may have sucked up the powdered and pearled flesh of this woody root without even realizing it.
Butter and lard, two of the most prevalent fats used cooking since the domestication of sheep, goats, cattle and pigs thousands of years ago, are unmatched in flavor and texture. It's actually super easy to make your own butter, and play around with lard for delicious results at home!
Three billion people rely upon rice as their staple food, and it is the primary source of one quarter of the world's per capita energy needs. Rice's captivating history is tied to ancient global trade routes and, eventually, to the slave trade. Read more about and learn how to cook this fascinating grain!
Everything is adorable about kumquats. From their diminutive size to their cheery color, and even their name - all as cute as a button, and a welcome sight in the dead of winter when there is little fun to be had at the market. Pick up a basket of these wee fruit and get cooking.
Jicamas look like giant, round potatoes, with light brown, almost flaky skin. Peel the skin off to reveal a creamy white interior, with crispy flesh that has the same texture as an apple or pear, crossed with a potato - and it's delicious.
The coconut palm is incredibly important as a foodstuff across the globe. From the coconut fiber that lines your window box planters to the coconut milk in your curry and coconut water in your fridge, the coconut palm, aptly called "The Tree of Life" for its usefulness, is a truly remarkable plant.