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Food / Dining

CAROL LOLLIS
Easter candy at Ben and Bill's Chocolate Emporium.

Easter and chocolate: Hand in hand

Friday, March 27, 2015

Looking back at the traditional agriculture year shows us the origins of most Easter foods, but tells us nothing about one vital treat: chocolate. It’s a newcomer to the festivities because until the 19th century it was impossible to separate the cocoa butter from the cocoa solids, so chocolate was only palatable as a drink. In the early 19th century …

Easter feast: Holiday sweets and luscious leftovers

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wouldn’t it be terrific if our local asparagus were with us for Easter? It tastes wonderful with both ham and lamb, which are Easter dinner favorites, but, of course, we can’t expect it to pop through the ground until early May. And that will be too late for Easter dinner. But no vegetable …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley

Friday, March 27, 2015

Natura Cabernet Sauvignon 2014, Chile, $9.99-11.99 Natura Chardonnay 2013, Chile, $9.99-11.99 About a decade ago, I tried an organic wine. It was expensive and bad. I didn’t spit it out or even pour it down the drain, probably because of my Scots heritage, but I didn’t like it. So, when friends recently suggested …

Great American Meals
  • KEVIN GUTTING
Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water.

    KEVIN GUTTING Jim Brooks of Northampton takes a recreational shell out for a row on the Connecticut River. The oars are fixed into the oar locks so the blade is "square," the best angle to power through the water, but this immobilization also keeps the blade from being "feathered," or turned parallel to the surface, during the return stroke out of the water. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
left, Pete Rogers, of Amherst, and Michael Matis, of Amherst talk during a weekly luncheon for homeless veterans at the World War II club in Northampton.

    CAROL LOLLIS left, Pete Rogers, of Amherst, and Michael Matis, of Amherst talk during a weekly luncheon for homeless veterans at the World War II club in Northampton. Purchase photo reprints »

  • CAROL LOLLIS
 Assistant DA Jennifer Suhl gives closing statements in the Emmanuel T. Bile trial Friday morning.

    CAROL LOLLIS Assistant DA Jennifer Suhl gives closing statements in the Emmanuel T. Bile trial Friday morning. Purchase photo reprints »

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lou has too much time on his hands

Friday, March 20, 2015

Having read way too many articles about coping with retirement, I realized when I packed it in at the end of February that I shouldn’t rush right in and try to tackle major tasks that had been delayed for years. All these articles screamed: TAKE YOUR TIME. YOU …

Tim Driscoll’s Barhopping: Platinum Pony’s cutting-edge Cuban Manhattan

Thursday, March 19, 2015

It was actually research I was doing about Boston micro-distilleries that led me to the Platinum Pony in Easthampton. The bar/restaurant/night club at 30 Cottage St. is one of just two locations in the Pioneer Valley that carries …

10 fresh ideas for turning toast into something exciting

Thursday, March 19, 2015

We’re not entirely sure what the difference is between a classic open-faced sandwich and the suddenly hip world of toast with toppings. Then again, maybe it doesn’t much matter. A thick slab of lightly toasted good quality bread …

Feds aim to halt fishing fraud by tracking seafood imports

Sunday, March 15, 2015

BOSTON (AP) — In an effort to eradicate illegal fishing and seafood fraud, the Obama Administration is launching a fish tracking system that would eventually tell consumers where their fish was caught, processed and stored. U.S. Deputy Secretary of Commerce Bruce Andrews announced the initiative at the Seafood …

Surprise gift delivers welcome sunshine

Friday, March 13, 2015

March, aptly named, is a slow, obligatory trudge. The scenery is best indoors: cup, counter, cookbook. A moment startled, one morning, by the buzzer; the man in the brown uniform handed off a brown box. Small, heavy and …

Emerald tradition: On St. Patrick’s Day corned beef is king — but not in Ireland

Friday, March 13, 2015

You don’t have to be Irish-American to eat corned beef and cabbage on St. Patrick’s Day. It’s the iconic must-have meal on March 17. Other holiday foods range from green bagels for breakfast to green-frosted cookies for snack …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley: A white Spanish wine for all seasons

Friday, March 13, 2015

Marques de Caceres’ Verdejo In the last couple of years, I may have had wines made from the white wine grape Verdejo, but I didn’t give them much thought until recently when I had a glass at an …

Valley Bounty: Maple Syrup

Friday, March 13, 2015

Maple Syrup One of the delights of local eating is the return of seasonal foods, like much-missed friends greeted joyfully after a long journey away. Despite the year-round availability of local syrup, the short stretch of cold nights …

Whole-wheat pasta redeemed with chard and cheese

Thursday, March 12, 2015

No matter how unimpeachable whole-wheat pasta is in terms of nutritional cred, I’ve always found it off-putting. Sure, it has more fiber and whole-grain nutrition. But it always struck me as rather spineless and dull. And as someone …

Chef’s Best: An Easter meringue-inspired coconut cake and coconut cream

Thursday, March 12, 2015

It’s just not Easter without some sort of coconut dessert, whether it’s a classic Southern coconut cake or a creamy coconut chocolate egg. So this year we decided to take our inspiration from both of those to create …