A happy-looking 1930s couple toasts.
Fox Photos/Getty Images
December 31, 2012 Some early Europeans toasted to profess their love to young women, while others lifted their arms to honor their kings. Toasting, which dates back to ancient times, is a ritual shrouded in urban legends. But one historian says some of the tall tales are actually true.
Ringing in the New Year in Spain requires eating a dozen grapes and wearing a very specific kind of undergarment.
December 31, 2012 As a clock tower rings out 12 chimes, people all over the country will scoff a dozen grapes, hoping for good luck. With several seeds per grape and only a couple of seconds to swallow each one, the task is harder than it sounds. And then there's the bit about wearing a gift of red undergarments.
The bubbles in champagne tickle the tongue and transfer wonderful aromas to the nose.
December 31, 2012 Here are a few things to look for if you're trying to distinguish the age of your bottle of bubbly or the method by which it was made. And if you just want to get the most bang for your buck when it comes to preserving the bubbles, consider how you pour.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167825026/168334707" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 30, 2012 Weekend Edition Sunday guest host Linda Wertheimer speaks with English chef Tamasin Day Lewis — also known as the "Queen of Tarts" — about her own choices for a seasonal table, including a wide array of tarts.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168292519/168292500" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
December 30, 2012 NPR food commentator Bonny Wolf dishes out predictions for hot foods in the new year. She says Asia is the new Europe and that healthy, farm-to-table trends will even make it into your cocktails.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168276434/168292739" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Kathy Del Tonto (far right) participates in a class that teaches school cafeteria workers how to prepare meals from scratch.
December 28, 2012 "If it's not me, who's it going to be?" asks Colorado school cafeteria manager Kathy Del Tonto. After serving processed foods in her cafeterias for years, she realized that reducing childhood obesity can begin with her. She now has the lunch ladies making 95 percent of meals from scratch.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167719980/168220939" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 28, 2012 In time for New Year's Eve, Science Friday examines the chemical reactions that transpire in fluted glassware. Ira Flatow and Richard Zare, a chemist at Stanford University, pore over the science of bubbles — from how to keep that open champagne fizzy (forget the cork) to why beer tastes better from a glass rather than a bottle.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168203189/168203178" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 28, 2012 Did you know that the human overbite may have evolved after people began using forks and knives? In Consider the Fork, author Bee Wilson traces how kitchen tools--from knives to pots to gas stoves--have changed over time, and how they have influenced what, and how, we eat.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168203187/168203176" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 28, 2012 What's the secret to making a fluffy omelet or the perfect pie dough? Jack Bishop, chef and editorial director at America's Test Kitchen, stops by to debunk cooking myths and highlight some of the surprising finds from the show's new cookbook, The Science of Good Cooking.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168203185/168203174" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Thousands of years ago, a mutation in the human genome allowed many adults to digest lactose and drink milk.
December 28, 2012 Thousands of years ago, ancient farmers gained the ability to consume milk as adults without getting an upset stomach. A remarkable mutation let some of them digest lactose sugar. But scientists still puzzle over why that mutation persisted and became prevalent in modern humans.
Workers pose for a photo at the Hoboken de Bie & Co. gin distillery in Rotterdam, Netherlands, circa 1900. By the end of the 19th century, cocktail culture had helped make gin a more respectable spirit.
Hulton Archive/Getty Images
December 28, 2012 From medieval medicine to 18th century English "crack," gin has come a long way. But according to Richard Barnett, author of The Book of Gin, now is "the best time in the last 500 years to be drinking" it.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167987143/168185848" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
December 28, 2012 Chef and author Bryant Terry is on a quest to popularize the plant-based, vegan diet. Inspired by his own family's roots, his latest project involves blending African- and Asian-American cuisines.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167528801/168186198" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Amanda Cohen is the chef-owner of Dirt Candy, a vegetable-focused restaurant in New York City.
December 27, 2012 Chef Amanda Cohen's Dirt Candy is a turducken of a book: graphic novel, cookbook and memoir in one. Cohen's East Village restaurant in New York City is focused entirely on vegetables — and with just nine tables, it's become a foodie destination.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/167720104/168158664" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
Visitors to one Kansas City hospital will no longer be able to buy a Big Mac on the premises.
December 27, 2012 The presence of fast food joints on hospital campuses often conflicts with wellness efforts. Long-term leases have made it difficult for these facilities to kick the restaurants out. But some hospitals are managing to give burgers and fries the boot.
December 27, 2012 In the first of a two-part series on veganism, Renee Montagne talks to health and wellness expert Kathy Freston about the benefits and challenges of being vegan. Vegans enjoy a plant-based diet and don't eat meat, fish or dairy. Freston says as a vegan you can still have comfort food, it's just a healthier version of what you used to eat.
<iframe src="http://www.npr.org/player/embed/168113937/168117582" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no">
NPR thanks our sponsors
Become an NPR sponsor