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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
  • MICKY BEDELL
Joan O'Brien, 56, walks her dog Sally down East Street in Northampton on Wednesday, March 25.

    MICKY BEDELL
Joan O'Brien, 56, walks her dog Sally down East Street in Northampton on Wednesday, March 25. Purchase photo reprints »

  • 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
Peter Rogers, left, and Michael Matis, both of Amherst, talk during a weekly luncheon for veterans at the World War II Club in Northampton.

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

Meat industry takes up arms against new dietary proposals

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

WASHINGTON — The meat industry is seeing red. Meat companies have tried to rehabilitate an image tarnished in recent years by health and environmental concerns. Now the industry is swiftly and aggressively working to discredit a proposal for …

Traditional Spanish fare gets light-style adaptation

Friday, March 6, 2015

Red bell peppers, chicken, sherry, onion and garlic are frequently used in Spanish cuisine. In keeping with today’s trends, new and lighter recipes are evolving from traditional Spanish cooking. Here is my re-creation of an old Spanish favorite. …

Lou & Lucy’s Leftovers: Lou loves Labneh

Friday, March 6, 2015

Regular (milkfat) Greek yogurt is a wonderful thing. Tangy, full-flavored, filling. Wonderful on its own and as an accompaniment to more side dishes than you can shake a wooden spoon at. (For purposes of this discussion, we will not include non-fat Greek yogurt. While good to eat for …

Give in to the pressure! Pressure cooking is safe and easy

Thursday, March 5, 2015

It’s one of the most pervasive of culinary cliches — the exploding pressure cooker. And thanks to it, all manner of otherwise adept home cooks fearfully retreat from this kitchen workhorse. Except that it’s a fear justified only …

Harold Tramazzo, owner of Hangar Pub and Grill, takes over operations at Amherst Brewing Co.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

AMHERST — The owner of the Hangar Pub and Grill is taking over all operations at the nearby Amherst Brewing Co., including food preparation, customer service and beer brewing. Hangar owner Harold Tramazzo said Wednesday that he intends to keep Amherst Brewing moving forward as changes are made …

Northampton’s Tunnel Bar named No. 1 bar to ‘drink at before you die’ by Buzzfeed

Sunday, March 1, 2015

NORTHAMPTON — If you’re a bar owner in the Internet age, when Yelp reviews can make or break you, there may be nothing better than having a hugely popular website tell hundreds of thousands of people that your …

Fresh take on Irish stew

Friday, February 27, 2015

Chicken and dumplings is a wonderfully simple, deliciously comforting dish — a thick, meaty stew bubbling away beneath a patchwork of moist, pillowy dumplings. So we decided to channel that comfort for a dish suited for St. Patrick’s …

Spice it up

Friday, February 27, 2015

Spice it up Don’t get tripped up by the title of chef Paul Merrett’s latest book, “Spice Odyssey: From Asafoetida to Wasabi, Recipes to Really Excite & Inspire.” That would mean missing out on clever writing, helpful tips …

Valley Bounty: Watermelon radish

Friday, February 27, 2015

Watermelon Radish The plain white skin of a watermelon radish covers a hidden gem: a layer of pale green surrounding a brilliant magenta core. Firm and crisp, with just a hint of spicy bite, they’ll add a splash of color to whatever you put them in—salads, stir fries, …

Raise your glass, Pioneer Valley: Evodia, an intensely fruity Spanish red

Friday, February 27, 2015

Evodia, Spain Old Vine Garnacha, 2013 $7.89 to $11.99 Over the last year or so, I had been noticing Evodia, a Spanish red wine with a distinctive bluish-purple label, on the shelves of the area’s wine stores, but …