The Salt

The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

President Obama presents the 2014 National Humanities Medal to Alice Waters during an East Room ceremony at the White House on Thursday. Alice Waters was honored for celebrating the bond between the ethical and the edible as a chef, author and advocate. Alex Wong/Getty Images hide caption

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Line-sitters waited for hours outside Franklin Barbecue in Austin, Texas, on July 3. Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT hide caption

itoggle caption Jorge Sanhueza-Lyon/KUT

"Probably females are better at accessing olfactory memories, but I don't know why," says Robert Bath, a wine and beverage studies professor at the Culinary Institute of America in Napa Valley. "Maybe men don't pay as much attention?" Maria Fabrizio for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Maria Fabrizio for NPR

This Bloody Mary served at the Nationals Park in D.C. came with a meat straw, which infuses each sip with an umami flavor. Ben Hirko first came up with the concept while tending bar one snowy night in 2009. The straws have become a hit. Tamara Keith/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Tamara Keith/NPR

Chef Simon Hopkinson says mayonnaise is a total pleasure to make, but people are often frightened to try to make it themselves. Monika Evstatieva /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Monika Evstatieva /NPR

A plate of huevos rancheros topped with a basted egg. Lydia Thompson/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Lydia Thompson/NPR

Filmmaker Paul Riccio's characters the Timmy Brothers "are introducing handcrafted water to the world with an almost pathological attention to craftsmanship and a thirst for helping people become less thirsty." via Vimeo hide caption

itoggle caption via Vimeo

Traditional recipes for duck confit, or confit de canard, can require dozens of steps to prepare. David Lebovitz's fake take cuts the steps down to five. Ed Anderson/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press hide caption

itoggle caption Ed Anderson/Courtesy of Ten Speed Press

Smoked fish — a cooking method that uses the smoke of an indirect fire to lightly cook, flavor, and preserve the meat — is too often left to the professionals. But there are ways to do it indoors, at home and without much effort. Photo Illustration by Ryan Kellman and Emily Bogle/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Photo Illustration by Ryan Kellman and Emily Bogle/NPR

Christopher Day, the dining room manager at Eleven Madison Park, is also the man behind its tea program. "My goal has always been to put together a tea list with the same standard and rigor as you would with wine," he says. Kathy YL Chan for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Kathy YL Chan for NPR

Barbecue head-on shrimp made at Pascal's Manale. It may be hard to find head-on shrimp in cities away from the coast, so Pascal's Manale co-owner and chef Mark DeFelice came up with a shortcut. awiederhoeft/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption awiederhoeft/Flickr

Cottage cheese peaked in the early 1970s, when the average American ate about 5 pounds of it per year, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

A Lane cake is a layered sponge cake filled with a rich mixture of egg yolks, butter, sugar, raisins and whiskey and topped with boiled icing. Nadia Chaudhury for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Nadia Chaudhury for NPR

Frederik de Pue whisks mayonnaise, instead of raw eggs, into his bearnaise sauce. Ted Robbins/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Ted Robbins/NPR

A quartet of tea-infused treats. Clockwise from left: Pastry chef's Naomi Gallego's old-fashioned doughnuts, flavored with Earl Grey; chocolate custard infused with jasmine tea, topped with a whipped cream ganache with a bit of lemon; berry scones with a hint of black berry tea; and blue French-style macarons made with lapsang souchong. Allison Aubrey/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Allison Aubrey/NPR

Dan Gray is a restaurateur and food blogger in Seoul, South Korea. Elise Hu/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Elise Hu/NPR

Kohlrabi, peeled and sliced, is refreshing, but lightly poached is good too, says chef April Bloomfield. hide caption

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