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Recipe inspiration, tips, and kitchen hacks from the Chowhound editors.

How to Make a Marshmallow Pop

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A perfect sweet for your sweetheart. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Scrape a Vanilla Bean

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Sticky goodness at your fingertips. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

Overheard on the Home Cooking Boards

"I've steamed entire meals in my rice cooker. In addition to the rice, I also put in ceramic bowls of meat and veggies that steamed while the rice was cooking." - raytamsgv

"When I have a leftover ham bone or two, I'll throw it in with some chicken or beef bones to round out the flavor a little, and use it for either ramen-type noodle soups or kimchee soup. Yum." - joonjoon

"I tried it and it worked very, very well. It did get the temperature up to what you need for a pizza." - TSAW, on baking pizza on a preheated cast iron skillet

Out: Fire Alarms, In: Wasabi

Japanese scientists have figured out a new, gastronomically cutting-edge way to wake up deaf people and alert them to a possible fire. The Telegraph writes:

"Japanese horseradish, whose smell is more usually found in sushi restaurants, contains allyl isothiocyanate—the same chemical compound that gives mustard its bite—and tests at the Shiga University of Medical Science have shown that virtually all the hearing-impaired people exposed to the odour of wasabi woke up within two-and-a-half minutes."


Gypsy Food Is Hard to Pin Down

Is there a cuisine of the Gypsies, more properly known as Roma or Romani? ("Roma are one subset of the Romani people," says luckyfatima.)

"There are a couple of Gypsy cookbooks in print, but both have been criticized heavily for failing to enunciate a distinct Gypsy cuisine," says Perilagu Khan. "Is such an endeavor possible? ... Do we know of any dishes that have persisted among Gypsies down through the centuries and have been transported, almost without exception, to wherever Gypsies have put down roots?"

As part of their nomadic culture, Romani would have used locally available ingredients wherever they happened to be, rather than loyally purchased 'staples of any supposed Gypsy larder,'" says SusanaTheConqueress. "In other words, the cuisine of no cuisine of their own identity would be the identity of their cuisine."

This has implications for a certain preparation methods, though, at least. "Nomadic Roma have a style of cooking that is suited to nomadic life and is flexible and adaptable to the availability of a wide variety of ingredients," explains soupkitten. "Stews in which many different vegetables and/or meats and/or foraged herbs and mushrooms can be subbed in or out, bound by a black pepper or fried spice sauce would be one example."

"Being nomadic would probably mean having a totally different type of cuisine; I recall reading about things like roasted hedgehog and such—eating what was available for sustenance," says luckyfatima. "Since the vast majority of Roma are settled, the nomadic cuisine isn't necessarily relevant now."

Discuss: Is There a Gypsy (Roma) Cuisine?

Cash-Strapped Birthday Dinners

Cash-Strapped Birthday Dinners

How to party with your friends on the cheap. READ MORE

Hey McDonald’s, What’s Peddled Cheese?

McDonald's in Canada has launched a line of food tied in to the Vancouver Olympics. One of the new menu items is the Parmagiana Chicken Snack Wrap, described by the company as "real peddled parmesan cheese and savoury marinara sauce, all wrapped with seasoned crispy or grilled chicken in a flour tortilla."

"Apart from the fact that the whole concept is nonsensical (psuedo-Italian ingredients wrapped up in a ... tortilla? whatever), has anyone come across the term 'peddled' before in relation to parmesan?" asks dxs. "I can't find references to it anywhere."

"It is totally made up," says kayehm. "No such thing as peddled parmesan. McD's can not afford to put real parmesan in their food—so they made up something to make the fake (avec filler) parmesan sound more impressive."

"Perhaps Mr. Ronald McDonald purchased the aforementioned formaggio from a wizened old Italian peddler man," speculates adamshoe, while Sam Fujisaka says it's just "a polite way to say 'pimped' parmesan."

Discuss: Anyone heard of 'peddled parmesan cheese'??

Does a Chicken Lay Eggs Year-Round?

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Give a poor chicken a break. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How Are Fresh Eggs Different?

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Let's count the ways. ... WATCH THE VIDEO

How to Get Fresh Eggs Clean

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Soap won't always do the trick. ... WATCH THE VIDEO