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In the Kitchen: Feeding Fido

Russ Parsons / Los Angeles Times

Fellow feeders,

There’s a new member of the Parsons household and she needs to be fed. And while Izzy, our mixed-breed pound pup, would probably be happy with whatever dried kibble we threw in her dish, we have standards around our place, you know? Since we’re sure we’re not alone in this, Saturday’s food content was almost entirely devoted to feeding your pet. Because we know you have them; we’ve seen them on Facebook.

Of course, there was plenty of other good stuff happening last week as well — what “sell-by” dates on food packages mean, a great local producer of ghee, an exciting new find in flavor science, and brownies (because humans need treats, too).

And be on the lookout for Saturday's Counter Intelligence newsletter, with stories about the dining scene and Jonathan Gold's restaurant reviews. 

— Russ Parsons


Discerning dogs demand them

Former Spago pastry queen Sherry Yard is one of the best bakers we’ve ever known. And while it’s tempting to think she lives in a world full of spun sugar, chocolate sculptures and only the finest Persian mulberries, we know she also has two adorable pups that she bakes for. You’ve got to try these dog biscuits — or, rather, you’ve got to try making them for someone you love.

Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Why "sell-by" dates are meaningless

How often has this happened to you? You’re digging through the refrigerator looking for something to eat when suddenly you notice the “sell-by” date on the package. It’s several days past, so you toss the food out. Americans throw away an estimated $165 billion in food every year, a good portion of it prompted by situations just like this. But in fact, most of those dates are largely meaningless. Here’s why.

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

Great ghee, locally made

Ghee, clarified cultured butter, is one of the secret ingredients in Indian cooking. But some of the best we’ve tasted recently has come from Lincoln Heights in Southern California, where Raquel Tavares Gunsagar makes an almost saffron-golden ghee that’s sold under the Tava label. Need some ideas how to use it? We’ve also got seven great recipes.

Tava ghee

Sweeter smells through science

Scientists used to tell us quite firmly that we smelled with our noses and tasted with our tongues. It turns out things are a lot more complicated than that. In fact, there are some smells that can actually make foods taste sweeter and even saltier. The implications are exciting — not only better tasting fruit, but also processed foods that taste good with less added sugar or salt.

Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times

Chocolate, chocolate, chocolate

And finally, brownies, just brownies. Eleven recipes for them. Because sometimes a story sells itself.

Robert Lachman / Los Angeles Times

Feedback?

We’d love hear from you. Email us at food@latimes.com.


Are you a food geek? Follow me on Twitter @russ_parsons1.

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