Peak summer | The rise and fall of cheese varieties | Outstanding in their fields: Upscale eateries offer private farm dinners
August 7, 2020
The Friday Feed
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Peak summer
Summer cooking: Salt, pepper and the kiss of a hot grill; Media serves food experiences you can enjoy anywhere
Summer is usually a time when we slow down, relax and enjoy simple foods that need little more than some salt and pepper or the kiss of a hot grill. While the season looks a little different this year -- smaller, closer to home and more socially distant -- you can still craft your peak summer menu.

Seafood is a hero of warm weather cooking because it requires very little -- if any -- cooking, TASTE's Anna Hezel writes. Shrimp and lobster are great on the grill, and fresh fish like halibut or tuna is perfect for turning into refreshing crudos or ceviche. Another seafood-centric summer classic: the clambake, which does require some heat but comes together simply in one pot and can be customized in endless ways. Read on for more summer recipes -- from a corn salad with summer fruits to chicken accompanied by pickled nectarines.

Home cooking can certainly be a source of fun and comfort, but when it comes to culinary inspiration, many of us are missing the experience of food outside our own four walls. Virtual food events and the ever-expanding list of food newsletters offer an opportunity to broaden your horizons at home. We also found some inspiration in these banana fritters, which Ayesha Curry demonstrated at the first-ever Food & Wine Classic at Home.
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Recipe roundup
A marinade of yogurt and mint yields an aromatic roasted chicken that pairs well with quick-pickled nectarines. Mint adds cool notes, while garlic, ginger, chile pepper and black peppercorns introduce warmer flavors to the marinade. Serious Eats
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Corn salad with summer fruits and vegetables
(The Culinary Institute of America)
This salad features an all-star cast of summer produce, with corn, cucumber, raspberries and sour cherries. Fresh herbs and a champagne vinaigrette complement the range of flavors and textures. CIA Foodies
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This dessert from Esteban Castillo's "Chicano Eats" combines chocolate cake and flan to showstopping effect. The cake batter and custard are layered into a Bundt pan and switch places when baking so the flan ends up on top. Smitten Kitchen
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Let's cook
Poutine with balsamic-short rib gravy and cheese curds
(The Culinary Institute of America)
One of Canada's most celebrated culinary contributions, poutine is a dish of french fries, beef gravy and cheese curds. In this video, chef Barbara Alexander shows you how to make poutine with a balsamic-short rib gravy. Find more recipes made with Balsamic Vinegar of Modena.
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What's on tap
Sales of St. Agrestis' recently launched boxed negroni are booming in New York City, potentially signaling the arrival of boxed cocktails as a new contender in the ready-to-drink category, Brad Japhe writes. The practicality of boxed cocktails -- for example, St. Agrestis' $60 per box negroni stays fresh three months and contains 20 servings' worth -- lends itself well to the lockdown era, he adds.
Full Story: Forbes (8/2) 
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The inside scoop
Here's a look at some of the most-clicked stories in SmartBrief's publications for professional chefs and sommeliers: ProChef SmartBrief and CIA Wine & Beverage Edition
SmartBrief Originals: Food industry insights
A report from the Good Food Institute details the state of cultured meat, also known as cell-based or cultivated meat, which is grown from animal cells and could be in some markets by early next year. Startups are among those working to make the products a reality, with 55 publicly announced ventures in the space at the end of 2019, and more funding raised last year than in the past three years combined.
Full Story: SmartBrief/Food & Travel (8/3) 
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The future of food
Your take
Here are the results from last week's reader poll.
Do you notice cultural appropriation in food, and if so, how does it make you feel?
Yes, I see it all the time. It can get to me and I avoid these recipes and products.
Yes, but it doesn't bother me too much -- I'll still use the recipes or products.
Sometimes. I tend to stay away from these recipes and products.
Sometimes, but I'm indifferent and will use the recipe or product if it looks good.
No, I don't notice it much at all.
On the menu at the CIA
How to work with fresh herbs
(The Culinary Institute of America)
There's nothing like fresh herbs to add an additional flavor layer to summertime meals. Help your herbs last longer through proper storage and care. Get the CIA's tips.
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About the editors
Tricia Contreras
Tricia Contreras
I joined SmartBrief in 2011 as an intern fresh out of journalism school, and over the years I have covered food news from grocery to culinary.

To me, peak summer eating requires nothing more than a pile of tomoatoes and some flaky salt. However, since I (probably) cannot survive on tomatoes alone, I often turn to what I consider to be the ultimate summer sandwich: the BLT. 
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Amy Sung
Amy Sung
Since I joined SmartBrief in 2013, I have produced content on topics ranging from food retail and consumer packaged goods to the wine and spirits industry and the produce world.

I've been finding a lot of joy in harvesting my Romano beans this summer -- grilling them simply with some oil, salt and pepper, with a squeeze of lemon juice at the end, has been oh-so-satisfying. I'll be adding some Jimmy Nardello peppers to the grill this weekend, along with some creamy burrata, like in this recipe.
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Jonas Salk,
virologist, medical researcher
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