Bonny Wolf

NPR commentator Bonny Wolf grew up in Minnesota and has worked as a reporter and editor at newspapers in New Jersey and Texas. She taught journalism at Texas A&M University where she encouraged her student, Lyle Lovett, to give up music and get a real job. Wolf gives better advice about cooking and eating, and contributes her monthly food essay to NPR's award-winning Weekend Edition Sunday. She is also a contributing editor to "Kitchen Window," NPR's Web-only, weekly food column.

Wolf 's commentaries are not just about what people eat, but why: for comfort, nurturance, and companionship; to mark the seasons and to celebrate important events; to connect with family and friends and with ancestors they never knew; and, of course, for love. In a Valentine's Day essay, for example, Wolf writes that nearly every food from artichoke to zucchini has been considered an aphrodisiac.

Wolf, whose Web site is www.bonnywolf.com, has been a newspaper food editor and writer, restaurant critic, and food newsletter publisher, and served as chief speechwriter to Secretaries of Agriculture Mike Espy and Dan Glickman.

Bonny Wolf's book of food essays, Talking with My Mouth Full, will be published in November by St. Martin's Press. She lives, writes, eats and cooks in Washington, D.C.

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5:25am

Sun August 17, 2014
The Salt

Fighting (Tasty) Invasive Fish With Forks And Knives

Originally published on Sun August 17, 2014 11:39 am

Asian carp, battered and fried. As the fish makes its unwelcome way up the Mississippi River, chefs are trying to get people to eat to beat it back.
Louisiana Sea Grant Flickr

Add kitchen knives to the list of weapons that humans are using to fight invasive species. I'm talking about fish who've made their way into nonnative waters.

How do they get here? Sometimes they catch a ride in the ballast water of ships. Or they're imported as live food or dumped out of aquariums. Once here, they can wipe out native fish, trash the ecosystem and wreck the beach business.

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10:15am

Sun June 15, 2014
Food

The Milkman's Comeback Means Dairy At The Door And More

Originally published on Mon June 16, 2014 10:50 am

Driver Rick Galloway of South Mountain Creamery delivers milk in Liberty Town, Md., in 2004. Today the company has 8,500 home delivery accounts in five states.
Alex Wong Getty Images

You don't even have to get out of your PJs to go to the farmers market now.

All over the country, trucks are now delivering fresh milk, organic vegetables and humanely raised chickens to your door — though in New York, the deliveries come by bike.

Fifty years ago, about 30 percent of milk still came from the milkman. By 2005, the last year for which USDA has numbers, only 0.4 percent was home delivered.

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10:31am

Sun January 5, 2014
Food

Eating Tea And Other Food Predictions For 2014

Originally published on Sun January 5, 2014 12:44 pm

Tea leaves will be big in entrees and desserts in 2014.
iStockphoto.com

At the beginning of every year, we read the tea leaves to see what new food trends we'll be tasting in the coming months. This year, the tea itself is the trend.

Tea leaves will be big in entrees, desserts and, of course, cocktails. Starbucks has opened its first tea shop.

We won't be just drinking tea; Artisan distilling keeps on growing. This could be the year of gin, made with local botanicals as well as the traditional juniper berry.

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4:57am

Sun April 7, 2013
Commentary

Why You Shouldn't Wrinkle Your Nose At Fermentation

Originally published on Sun April 7, 2013 1:08 pm

Kimchi is a traditional pungent fermented Korean dish made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings.
Chung Sung-Jun Getty Images

It's delicious, it's nutritious and it's basically rotten. Fermentation is a hot culinary trend, and, as Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf explains, the preservation process gives food a flavor unique to time and place.

People you know may intentionally be growing bacteria in their homes — on food, outside the refrigerator. And they are doing it to make food safe, and nutritious.

They are doing what cooks have always done: fermenting food.

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5:37am

Sun January 27, 2013
Commentary

Oysters Rebound In Popularity With Man-Made Bounty

Originally published on Sun January 27, 2013 10:00 am

Along the East Coast, wild oysters have been disappearing, but the number of farm-raised oysters is exploding.
iStockphoto.com

In Colonial Virginia, oysters were plentiful; Capt. John Smith said they lay "thick as stones." But as the wild oyster harvest has shrunk, Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf says the market for farm-raised oysters is booming.

The local food movement is expanding from fertile fields to brackish waters.

Along the rivers and bays of the East Coast, where wild oysters have been decimated by man and nature, harvests of farm-raised oysters are increasing by double digits every year. At the same time, raw oyster bars are all the rage.

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5:12am

Sun December 30, 2012
Commentary

On Your Plate In 2013, Expect Kimchi And Good-For-You Greens

Originally published on Sun December 30, 2012 5:14 pm

Commentator Bonny Wolf expects Asian cuisine such as kimchi fried rice to become even more popular in 2013.
iStockphoto.com

Weekend Edition food commentator Bonny Wolf offers her predictions of what we'll eat in the new year.

Asia is the new Europe. It's been gradual: from pan-Asian, Asian fusion and Asian-inspired to just deciding among Vietnamese, Korean, Tibetan and Burmese for dinner.

Should we have the simple food of the Thai plateau or the hot, salty, sour foods of southern Thailand?

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5:45am

Sun November 11, 2012
The Salt

Wild Turkeys Gobble Their Way To A Comeback

Originally published on Thu November 15, 2012 3:38 pm

European settlers almost wiped out North America's native wild turkey. But conservation efforts have proved successful. There are now nearly 7 million birds found across 49 states.
Larry Price, National Wild Turkey Federation NWTF.org

Wild turkeys and buffalo have more in common than you might guess. Both were important as food for Native Americans and European settlers. And both were nearly obliterated.

There were a couple of reasons for the turkey's decline. In the early years of the U.S., there was no regulation, so people could shoot as many turkeys as they liked. And their forest habitat was cut down for farmland and heating fuel. Without trees, turkeys have nowhere to roost. So they began to disappear.

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6:23am

Sun September 16, 2012
The Salt

To Find Truly Wild Rice, Head North To Minnesota

Originally published on Tue September 18, 2012 2:43 pm

Joe Hoagland, left, pushes a canoe through a wild rice bed as 14-year-old Chris Salazar learns how to harvest the rice.
Jim Mone AP

Harvest season is upon us, but in the U.S.'s northern lakes, it's not just the last tomatoes and first pumpkins. Through the end of this month, canoes will glide into lakes and rivers for the annual gathering of wild rice, kick started with the popular Wild Rice Festival in Roseville, Minn., on Saturday.

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6:08am

Sun July 8, 2012
Food

Since When Does Summer Taste Like Doughnuts?

Originally published on Sun July 8, 2012 2:59 pm

iStockphoto.com

I get saltwater taffy. You're at an ocean that is made of salt water. But doughnuts?

I'm clearly missing something, because many summer communities have doughnut shops, often open just for the season. Critical summer doughnut mass seems to be concentrated in the north and east — maybe because it's always summer in California, where they have their own different doughnut culture.

The summer shops usually are simple shacks with awnings and screen windows, no inside seating and a picnic table outside in the hot sun.

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5:29am

Sun February 26, 2012
The Salt

Popcorn Gets Its Moment On The Red Carpet

Popcorn now comes candied in ruby red, indigo blue and more. And don't be surprised by the popcorn buffet at the next wedding you attend.
Bradley P. Johnson via Flickr

Popcorn and movies (or the Oscars) go together like Batman and Robin. And nowadays, options stretch far beyond plain or buttered.

Food critics call one brand the Rolls Royce and another the Prada. They are designer labels for the simplest, most American snack food.

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