Walnut Alchemy: Simple Steps Create Bold Italian Liqueur

Photo by Tara Morgan.

On a midsummer amble thorough Boise’s North End I paused under a leafy walnut canopy. The branches were drooping with dozens of bumpy green orbs that were on their way to becoming bitter black walnuts.

Plucking one from the tree and turning it over in my hand—breathing in the pungent, Pine Sol-y smell—I remembered an article I’d read on nocino, an Italian liqueur made from unripe … Read More

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Pan de Higo: A Perfect Match for Figgy Pudding

Photo by Guy Hand.

It smelled like Christmas: fragrant figs being mixed with holiday spices, nuts and sweet sherry.

Inside his parents’ kitchen, Sean Aucutt was up to his elbows in a mixing bowl filled with sticky batter, while his mom and dad, Mary K and Tom, heated up honey, uncorked sherry and retrieved handpicked grape leaves.

These combined efforts and ingredients would soon yield a festive family tradition: Pan Read More

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Bottle Babies: Idaho Start-Ups Catching Whiskey Wave

Photo by Guy Hand.

I’m an unlikely candidate to write an article on whiskey. I’m not a whiskey drinker, let alone a connoisseur. I’m even confused by the spelling. Is it whiskey or whisky? But it seems like everywhere I turn, someone is talking about this trendy brown booze, and I wanted to know why.

Tackling the spelling question first, apparently producers from the United States and Ireland tend to … Read More

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For the Love of Quinoa: Andean grain finds a home in the Tetons

Photo by Geno Forsythe.

My first memorable taste of quinoa was years before it became America’s latest food trend. An Ecuadorian farmer handed me a bowl of bean and quinoa soup as I passed through her village on the way to climb the 15,695-foot volcano Guagua Pichincha.

While the just-harvested fava beans floating in the golden broth drew me in, it was the quinoa—delightfully chewy and crunchy at the same … Read More

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