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Farmers Market Pro Tips: Shopping Dos and Don'ts

I asked farmers from across the country how they think we should all act when we sidle up to their booths on market day. What are the best questions to ask about how you raise your animals or treat your fields? Am I a total jerk if I try all of your samples and don't buy anything? Are you just pretending to like my dog? More

Farmers Market Pro Tips: Shopping Dos and Don'ts

@SteveDin, to tack onto @bowedoak's response, I would also recommend calling the specific market association to find out what their policy is on allowing non-growers (purveyors of around-the-world produce bought at wholesale, sometimes derisively called "hucksters") to set up a booth at the market. Out-of-season produce can be (and bananas always are, ha) tell-tale signs of a so-called huckster booth. Since a market's unique rules determine which vendors can be there, just asking, "Do your produce vendors grow the food themselves?" should do the trick.

Farmers Market Pro Tips: Shopping Dos and Don'ts

@grover cleveland -- I can definitely relate! I actually asked several vendors that exact question, and most said their favorite part of market day was getting the chance to engage and chat with people. I didn't get a chance to include it in the article, but John Martini, who sells in Union Square, told me, "I'm comfortable with someone saying, 'I'll be back later.' I’m happy to give a sample and answer questions, whether they buy or not." So no pressure!

@mcasse and @dtremit-- I was interested in the same thing, because I can see both sides. There were many small farms who use organic practices but don't feel they need (or can't afford) the certifying stamp of approval. Then, others did make the interesting counterpoint that by certifying, they continue to participate in the process, as small-scale farmers, of upholding and defining large-scale organic standards.

How to Make Real-Deal Soft Frozen Custard at Home

A great read! Thanks for that, and for sharing the most hilariously awkward video of industrial food production I have ever experienced...

Watch Tony Bezsylko Bake the Best Bread in Chicago at Cellar Door Provisions

...Awesome. Great piece, Nick!

A Few of the Greatest Hits at 90 Miles Cuban Café

@iamnotdenny What does Habana Libre do best? I'll have to check it out.

A Day in the Life: Nick Kindelsperger, Chicago Editor

If one Mexican-food-related idea was going to make it to the holiday party, champagne margaritas were the way to go. They were delicious—thanks!

Swap Sushi for Hearty Home-Style Japanese at Sunshine Café

Hey @katkat, thanks for the clarification. It was so similar in texture to yuba I thought there was no way it had been fried!

Take a Look Around Eataly Chicago

Gah. So excited this is finally happening.

6 Brick-And-Mortar Brunch Spots We Love In Portland, OR

Ha, @danny6114 -- as in not food trucks. We'd been there, done that.

Although I do love myself a good virtual brunch.

We Eat Everything at Jimmy Jamm Sweet Potato Pies

Sorry for edging into your turf, Titus! I couldn't resist. I'll have to give Top-Notch a try sometime, though.

A Tale of Two Thai Curries at Rosded

I know! It definitely wins that dish the beauty contest.

Escolar Ceviche at the Publican

Oh, wow. I feel for everyone that has had a rough experience with this fish!

I had also heard about the hazards of escolar, but decided not to mention it in the post because I can vouch for having had zero "side effects," if that's what we'll call them, after dining on this at the Publican. As Dennis said, it's okay in small quantities. (But I have read that it is banned in Japan as well as Italy, which is ironic considering the preparation.)

Where to Buy Wine in Chicago

I wholeheartedly agree that Fine Wine Brokers is a wonderful place. Free tastings every Saturday afternoon as well.

11 Awesome Veggie Tacos in Chicago

I want to eat all of these.

Lunch in the Loop: U.B. Dogs

There are so many strange things in here that I don't know where to start, but it certainly ends with gravy bread. Never heard of it. Wow.

Off the Beaten Menu at Nhu' Lan Bakery

@Centelleo, I think you're right. That's exactly what it looked like. So it really is just pork...

Off the Beaten Menu at Nhu' Lan Bakery

Ah! Good to know someone can vouch for it; I had no idea it was even a fruit. I'll definitely try it soon!

The Vegetarian Option: Little Market Brasserie

Asparagus + quinoa + kale chips + cherries ... that sounds heavenly. Haven't been to this place yet, but it just climbed up the list.

Summertime Salads at Opart Thai House

Right you are! Thanks for the catch.

A Guide to Tofu Types and What to Do With Them

High in protein, low in cost, and easy to work with, tofu has endeared itself to eaters across the globe. But with the dizzying array of tofu types out there, it's worth learning your soft silkens from your medium blocks. Here's a guide to identifying, shopping for, and preparing over a dozen different kinds of tofus. More

Our Guide to the Friday Fish Fry in Wisconsin

While you'll encounter a weekly fish fry all over the country, few places take the event quite as seriously as Wisconsin. During Lent, it sometimes feels like it's hard to find a restaurant that doesn't serve a Friday fish fry. I've tried them all over the state, and here are my 10 favorite options. More

The Serious Eats Glossary of New York Bread

Good bread lies at the heart of New York City's culinary life. Sure, other cities also have their loaves (San Francisco sourdough and Dutch crunch, Boston and its brown bread) but New York's bread culture runs as deep and diverse as the history of our town. More

Order Like a Pro at Lao Hunan in Chicago's Chinatown

Culled from a dozen or so trial and error trips, the following dishes represent sure-fire hits when planning a trip to Lao Hunan. Admittedly, this is not a list of the most obscure, most adventurous dishes on the menu. Instead, it represents a palate-challenging (as opposed to alienating) crash course on dishes guaranteed to result in return visits. More

The Cider Press Taste Test: Canned Ciders

Unpretentious and refreshing, canned ciders should be drunk ice cold, preferably with a group of friends, during the hot summer months. As the thermostat hit 90º this past weekend in NYC, we scoured the shelves and came back with four canned ciders to test out for your next camping or boating trip. More