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Lightly Fizzy, Slightly Sour: The kombucha craze shows no signs of going flat

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Photos by Linda Whittig & Guy Hand.

Making kombucha is a bit like taking care of a pet. Though the SCOBY (symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast) might not be the most attractive creature you’ve ever seen, this gelatinous, yellowish disk is the workhorse of kombucha (pronounced kom-BOO-cha). Its job is to convert tea and sugar into a lightly fizzy, slightly sour drink.

According to Mike Landa of Idaho Kombucha, the SCOBY has to be fed, kept warm, needs to breathe, doesn’t like light and sometimes needs a bath. He stopped short of saying he takes it for a walk.

Landa started making kombucha 10 years ago and began producing it in a small commercial kitchen in Garden City in 2013.… Read More

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Meet Rebecca Robison: A glimpse at the meticulous life of a food stylist

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Have you ever wondered how food photos splashed across websites and brochures for companies like Agri Beef and Albertsons became so drool-worthy? It’s not because the food is made of plastic or coated in hairspray, it’s thanks to talented food stylists like Rebecca Robison.

“Food stylist” is a glamorous-sounding occupation, but in reality it’s comprised of meticulous work and long days. When a food stylist is on set, there are often clients, art directors and photographers looking over their shoulders the whole day.

I’m an art director for Foerstel Design, and Robison and I recently collaborated on a busy three-day shoot for Idahoan Foods where we cranked out 20 mashed potato dishes as part of a new campaign.… Read More

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Atlanta Photo Story

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Food and community are inseparable, even in Idaho’s agriculturally-challenged mountain towns. From the 19th century utensils hanging in restored cabins to the freshly baked pies pulled from wood stoves, a trip to Atlanta reminds me just how tightly woven food and community always are—even at the end of the dustiest dirt road. Here’s a glimpse.

Guy Hand
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Teton Pepper Friends

teton pepper instaLaina Shill, head wrangler at the Linn Canyon Ranch in Victor, strolled into our lunch meeting just after the scheduled time. She was delayed by her morning task of trimming horses’ hooves. Just off pasture, she popped into the restroom, washed her hands and then placed her six Teton Pepper Friends condiments on the table—everything from her signature spicy Green Sauce to her Hole Enchilada chile verde sauce. The jars’ animated labels and burlap twine matched the personality of this earthy entrepreneur. And my mouth watered as she uncapped her spicy accoutrements. Shill, a former wildlife biologist, never envisioned giving up her Antarctic penguin studies for a career peddling food, but she admits she’s finally found her niche.… Read More

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