Stories related to food in Seattle, including Dick Stein and Nancy Leson's weekly commentary Food for Thought.

Shira Golding / Flickr

Some people come over and you love ‘em, but you have to hide the plastic bags, Tupperware and the Teflon pans just so you don’t have to “go there” with them.

Some are organic only (especially with children), limited or no red meat, fish only or vegetarian or vegan (all by choice and principle). And now for a growing number of potential dinner guests, it's locavore, too.

cute cupcakes

In this week's Food for Thought Seattle Times food blogger Nancy Leson rhapsodizes over New York style cheesecake. Who knew there were so many other kinds?

The Bulgarians top it with smetana, not the composer but a soured heavy cream. Ancient Romans made it with honey and a cheese similar to modern-day ricotta. The Bavarian Quarkkuchen is put together with quark cheese, not the elementary particle but a cheese made from soured milk. 

It seems almost every nation on Earth has its own version of the waist-thickening wonder.

Nancy Leson

We've just about reached the end of the season for home-grown tomatoes in these parts – to which Nancy Leson says yes. But to supermarket tomatoes Ms. Leson says "Blah." I say "blechh" to all tomatoes and will not willingly eat one.

OLYMPIA, Wash. — Washington health officials say five people in the state got sick from eating raw oysters that were harvested from an area of Puget Sound's Hood Canal and distributed to 23 states.

David Lytle / Flickr

RICHLAND, Wash. – Northwest wineries are working harder than ever just to keep sales flat. That's what winery owners and market experts are saying as wine lovers gather this weekend for the Columbia Valley's Catch the Crush event.

"We pay our bills," one winery owner told me. "There’s a lot of extra wine out there," said another.


I think I've found the secret and it's just two words:

Baking powder.  

Deena Prichep / Northwest News Network

PORTLAND – Starting over in a new country as a refugee can feel like landing a new planet.

It’s hard to understand daily life, much less face the challenges of finding a job. One movement in refugee resettlement pioneered in the Northwest helps people put down new roots – literally – through agriculture. But learning to be an American farmer can be a tough row to hoe.

Courtesy of Nancy Leson

Buy pork bellies! 

I've always wanted to bellow that phrase into a two-piece antique telephone while dressed up with top hat and money bag like the Monopoly millionaire.

But this time I really mean it. 

Swamibu / Flickr

OLYMPIA, Wash. — The Washington state Health Department has closed some beaches to oyster harvesting at Samish Bay and the Hood Canal near Hoodsport because several people who ate raw oysters were sickened by a bacterial disease called vibriosis.

... and you don't even have to be Polish to make 'em.

RICHLAND, Wash. – A Northwest wine science center is moving closer to reality with the promise of money from the industry and private donors. The center would be part of Washington State University located on the Tri-Cities campus.

Plenty of people study wine grapes and wine around the world. But each region is different and has different challenges in growing and producing top rated wine. That's why the Northwest wine industry wants a place to research, teach and learn of its own.

Anna King / Northwest News Network

RICHLAND, Wash. – Northwest wine grape growers are sure hoping their grapes hurry up. The countdown is on until the first freeze when grapes will lose their leaves and stop ripening. And certain red varietals need more sun-time than others to be ready for the bottle.

Nancy Leson

I'd teach my kid to cook if I had one.  I  have cats instead and they're not interested.  But if you do have a kid, there are lots of ways to get them to do the cooking.

Hawk Pingree

I sure did.  The ciders, too.  And the gin.  And I'm not much of a drinker.  I am getting better at it, though.

Steven List / Flickr

If it's not raining, it's nice to sit outside, sipping a drink or tucking into a meal. Outdoor cafes are great for this and now it looks like more of them are coming our way.

The Washington State Liquor Control Board this week has adopted an interim policy allowing Seattle restaurants to establish sidewalk cafes in more locations.