Where I Go: Foraging for Wild Mushrooms 

Chanterelles in the Market? $24.99 Per Pound. In the Forest? Priceless 

Sandwiched between shitakes and oyster mushrooms, I spot them: the golden treasures of the forest. Piled indecorously in a standard box that fits a standard shelf, they’re selling at a standard price, $24.99 per pound. Chanterelles cost more by weight than New York steaks and sockeye salmon. I move on. They aren’t worth the cost.

Two weeks later, I race across a steep hillside in Olympic National Park, picking through downed trees as fallen branches scrape my hands and my boots wobble uneasily in the soft forest earth. I’m making a …

Why Americans Still Eat Barbecue on July Fourth | Zocalo Public Square • Arizona State University • Smithsonian

Why Americans Still Eat Barbecue on July Fourth

More Than Two Centuries Ago, Roasted Meat Met Independence Day and Hasn’t Left the National Consciousness Since

Dearly beloved, we are gathered in this moment to celebrate the culinary union of barbecue (a.k.a. barbeque, bar-b-que, bar-b-q, and BBQ) and Independence Day (a.k.a. July 4 or “the Fourth …

How Concentration Camp Prisoners Found Comfort in Imaginary Feasts

From Ravensbrück to Mao's Labor Camps, Inmates Recited Family Recipes to Preserve Their Humanity

When the Soviet Union sent Dmitri Likhachev to an offshore detention camp in February 1928, the Russian scholar was crammed onto a train car with other prisoners and handed a …

The Chinese-Born Doctor Who Brought Tofu to America

Yamei Kin Was a Scientific Prodigy Who Promoted the Chinese Art of Living to U.S. Audiences

On a hot summer day in 1918, syndicated reporter Sarah McDougal paid a visit to an unusual laboratory of the U.S. Department of Agriculture Bureau of Chemistry, a predecessor to …

What Our Gargantuan Appetite for Meat Says About America

It Symbolizes Affluence and Social Status, Showcases Regional Differences, and Reveals Shifting Attitudes Toward Health

Americans have always been distinguished by their love of meat. Where does that love come from?

One short answer: our ethnic heritage. Among whites, the English and Germans were two of …