Breakfast at the Original Ruby Slipper Cafe
Infrogmation / Wikimedia Commons

On this week's show, we're up at the crack at dawn to examine what many consider to be the most important meal of the day: breakfast.

Beignets these days! I mean, can you even recognize them? In case you haven’t noticed, the French donut that New Orleans made famous has been seeing a revival. There’s more places to get them, and more flavors and more different shapes and forms. 

But can beignets be burgers? Can they double as crab cakes or stand in for chicken and waffles?

 Bob Engel, Chef Liaison of Gourmet Mushrooms, shows off a bottle filled with sawdust and mycelium while giving a tour of the farm.
Terry McCarthy

On this week's show, we're looking at farming across the state and the Americas.

We begin on the West Coast, with a tour of Gourmet Mushrooms in Sonoma County, California, where they are mimicking natural growing conditions to cultivate specialty mushrooms indoors. This farm harvests eight different varieties of organic mushrooms for food wholesalers, gourmet grocers, and restaurants all across America.

The Sweet Success Of Bananas Foster Has An Unsavory Past

Sep 30, 2016

There's more to the story of Bananas Foster than flambeed fruit. While the enticing dessert is a sweet legacy of New Orleans' once-booming banana trade, there's also a less savory one: banana republics.

Today, the banana is America's favorite fruit, but it was once considered exotic. The fruit only became commonplace in the United States starting in the 1870s, thanks to improvements in shipping and botany. By the turn of the century, the banana trade was a million-dollar industry.

One night recently at Commander's Palace the two reigning queens of New Orleans cuisine shared a table and, for a moment, the spotlight. It got me thinking about the long game, one so long we can't even see it amid the hubbub of what's new, who's ranked where, and which spot is getting all the attention. It got me thinking about the future, and who’s next.

An unexpectedly sweet use for fig leaves

Sep 28, 2016
Jose Santiago/Thinkstock

In Dandelion & Quince, author Michelle McKenzie explores the uses of some non-standard herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Here, she tells The Splendid Table's Noelle Carter about her tomatillo-inspired green fish stew and the unexpectedly sweet use she's found for fig leaves.

The business and beauty of Sylvia Weinstock's artisan cakes

Sep 28, 2016
Caryle Murphy

Sylvia Weinstock's artisan wedding and birthday cakes have traveled from her New York City boutique to locales as far-flung as Bahrain and Johannesburg. She tells The Splendid Table contributor Melanie Dunea about what inspires her creations, what keeps her going, and how she learned to make one of her signature flourishes.

[You can also explore The Splendid Table's cake collection here.]

Natto: 'It's like a vegan stinky cheese.'

Sep 28, 2016

Natto is fermented soybeans, and it's been popular in Japan for over a thousand years. Ann Yonetani tells The Splendid Table's Von Diaz how it gets its "special sauce," and why it might be exactly the thing for a vegan looking for a pungent cheese alternative.

Von Diaz: I recently tried your natto, and I have to say it's a little hard to describe. How would you describe it?

Turmeric basics with Julie Sahni

Sep 28, 2016

Turmeric is the latest poster child for the healthy living movement, thanks to its reputed anti-inflammatory properties. It's also a staple spice in Indian food, which is why The Splendid Table's David Leite asked legendary author and cooking teacher Julie Sahni to tell us a little more about it.

David Leite: Poor, misunderstood turmeric. Not a lot of people know what to do with it, so why don't we start from the beginning. What exactly is turmeric?

Delmonico Restaurant, New York City, 1898 (Photo: Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Food historian Paul Freedman's book, Ten Restaurants That Changed America, tells the history of American restaurants (and America itself, for that matter) through those ten establishments. He tells Lynne Rossetto Kasper why Howard Johnson's is on the list, why McDonald's isn't, and how New York City's famed Delmonico's started it all.

Lynne Rossetto Kasper: Which ten restaurants did you choose?