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chicken feature

THE FEATURE – How chicken changed America and vice versa

By Jim Duncan Chicken transformed America after World War II, and vice versa. Post-war industrial agriculture streamlined the business and the breeding of poultry. That industry quickly shortened the time it took to raise a market-sized bird, reducing feeding expenses. Believing white meat was more valuable, breeders created flightless creatures with huge breasts and skinny […]

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THE FEATURE – What is Iowa cuisine?

It is much more than you might think. By Jim Duncan God, and the most recent Ice Age, blessed Iowa with the best soil on earth for growing good things to eat. After World War II, though, once diverse and sustainable farms were plowed in the service of corn and soybeans. As a result, the […]

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Relish Winter 2015 17

THE FEATURE – Super Bowls: Des Moines’ Favorite Soups

By Jim Duncan Soup was likely discovered about 20,000 years ago, soon after the invention of waterproof clay pots. Because liquids were being boiled, bacteria were killed, and soups were considered medicinal. In 16th century Paris, street vendors sold “restaurants” — cheap soups advertised for restoring one’s health. When one such vendor moved into a […]

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buffet table


We cover the buffet and its many cousins — from salad station to the chocolate fountain, from the Bloody Mary to the carving station, from casinos to the all you can eats. By Jim Duncan The American buffet represents the democratization of gourmandism. The exercise of eating as much as one wants is at least […]

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THE FEATURE- Burgers of Des Moines

By Jim Duncan The hamburger is a contradiction in a bun, simultaneously the scourge of nutritionists and the piece de resistance for low carbohydrate dieters — hold the bun, please. Although they have been around for at least 800 years, they celebrated their 100th birthday a few years ago. Despite being the most popular meal […]

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