The Salt

The SaltThe Salt

What's On Your Plate

Manischewitz is closely associated with Jewish tradition, but it was once a huge crossover success. Sammy Davis Jr. was its spokesman in TV advertising. At one point, the typical drinker was described as an urban African-American man. Morgan McCloy/NPR hide caption

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Britain's Queen Elizabeth II cuts into a birthday cake baked by Nadiya Hussain (left), winner of The Great British Bake Off, during celebrations of the queen's 90th birthday in Windsor, England. John Stillwell/AP hide caption

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'British Bake Off' Winner Takes On The Toughest Judge Of All: The Queen
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The King Drinks, by the 17th century artist Jacob Jordaens, illustrates a feasting scene from William Shakespeare's Twelfth Night. The Shakespearean larder teems with intriguing-sounding food. Culture Club/Getty Images hide caption

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The libertine Falstaff sits with a woman on his lap and a tankard in his hand in an illustrated scene from one of William Shakespeare's Henry IV plays. Kean Collection/Getty Images hide caption

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Japanese food was once derided, but it's now in the canon of haute cuisine, says author Krishnendu Ray. How we value a culture's cuisine in our society, he says, often reflects the status of those who cook it. Alex Green/Getty Images/Ikon Images hide caption

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Katsu curry: The British navy brought its anglicized interpretations of Indian cuisines to Imperial Japan in the 19th century. By the end of the century, the Japanese navy had adapted the British version of curry. Alpha/Flickr hide caption

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This version of Baked Alaska at Delmonico's restaurant in New York City stays true to the original: a walnut sponge cake layered with apricot compote and banana gelato, covered with torched meringue. Courtesy of Delmonico's Restaurant hide caption

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A batch of sourdough starter can live indefinitely, but it also requires a certain amount of care and feeding. In Sweden, bakers jetting off for vacation can leave their precious starters in the care of a sitter at the airport. iStockphoto hide caption

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A blaa is a soft, doughy white roll – with either a soft or crusty top. It has a chewy texture that makes it a perfect vehicle for butter. Only the ones baked in Waterford, Ireland, can officially be called "blaa," but you can try out the recipe below at home. Elizabeth Rushe for NPR hide caption

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Albert Einstein, Steve Jobs, Isaac Newton, Gandhi, Pythagoras, Balzac, Marie Curie — scanning history's greatest minds, we find many were inspired by certain food or drink, repulsed by others, or had some very peculiar dining habits. Katherine Du/NPR hide caption

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Beaver barbecue at Bootleggin' BBQ in St. Louis, Mo. Though many Catholics abstain from eating meat on Fridays during Lent, in some parts of the country, water-dwelling mammals have long been considered fair game. Alan Greenblatt for NPR hide caption

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The Indecisive Chicken combines the recipes and life stories of eight women from communities across India who now live in Dharavi, a teeming Mumbai slum. Sarita Rai, from a village in the North Indian state of Uttar Pradesh, contributed a recipe for pharas, "semi-circular pockets of rice dough" filled with chickpea flour, served steamed or deep-fried. Neville Sukhia/Courtesy of The Indecisive Chicken: Stories and recipes from eight Dharavi cooks hide caption

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A tea lady brings round refreshments for British office workers in the 1970s. All over the U.K., the arrival of the tea ladies with trolleys loaded with a steaming tea urn and a tray of cakes or buns was the high point of the workday. M. Fresco/Evening Standard/Hulton Archive/Getty Images hide caption

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During World War II, Potato Pete, a dapper cartoon spud with a jaunty cap and spats, instructed U.K. consumers on the humble tuber's many uses – not just in standards like scalloped potatoes and savory pies but also in more surprising options, like potato scones and waffles. Imperial War Museums (Art.IWM PST 6080) hide caption

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Chefs at work in the kitchen of a restaurant in New York's Chinatown, circa 1940. For many Chinese, opening up restaurants became a way to bypass U.S. immigration laws designed to keep them out of the country. Weegee(Arthur Fellig)/International Center of Photography/Getty Images hide caption

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Polish nuns do most of the cooking at the Vatican. Here, they prepare sweets for the Feast of St. Nicholas. Katarzyna Artymiak/Courtesy of Sophia Institute Press hide caption

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Bibimbap is one of the best-known Korean dishes. According to chef Deuki Hong and writer Matt Rodbard, there really isn't a definitive recipe. "The name translates to 'mixed rice,' and, in practice, rice is the dish's only constant," the authors write in their new cookbook, Koreatown. Courtesy of Clarkson Potter hide caption

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Welcome To 'Koreatown,' A Cookbook To Tempt American Taste Buds
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