food science food science

Silicon Valley-based Impossible Foods has taken a high-tech approach to creating a plant-based burger that smells and tastes like real meat. At the company's headquarters in Redwood City, Calif., chef Traci Des Jardins served the Impossible Burger (pictured uncooked) with vegan mayo, Dijon mustard, mashed avocado, caramelized onions, chopped cornichon, tomato and lettuce on a pretzel bun. Maggie Carson Jurow hide caption

toggle caption
Maggie Carson Jurow

The John C. Sullenger Vineyard at Nickel & Nickel Winery, Napa Valley, Calif. Nickel & Nickel collaborated with scientists to collect wine samples and identify the bacteria and fungi in them by sequencing microbial DNA. Jason Tinacci/Courtesy of Nickel & Nickel hide caption

toggle caption
Jason Tinacci/Courtesy of Nickel & Nickel

Kenji Lopez-Alt is managing culinary director of Serious Eats, author of the James Beard Award-nominated column "The Food Lab," and a columnist for Cooking Light. His first book is The Food Lab: Better Home Cooking Through Science. Robin Lubbock/WBUR hide caption

toggle caption
Robin Lubbock/WBUR

Modern, domesticated rice comes in a range of colors, usually described as white, red and black. But collectors have never found black grains in more than a thousand samples of wild rice stored in gene banks. Now geneticists have traced this rare grain's origin and spread. Courtesy of Takeshi Ebitani/Takuya Yamaguchi. hide caption

toggle caption
Courtesy of Takeshi Ebitani/Takuya Yamaguchi.

"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

toggle caption
Maria Fabrizio for NPR