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Bye, bye American pie

A vanishing culinary treasure By Jim Duncan In one of the great examples of American hubris, GI’s in World War II popularized the phrase “American as motherhood and apple pie.” As my German friends like to point out, “Americans think they can nationalize anything simply by claiming it.” In 1902, a New York Times editorial claimed “Pie is the American synonym for prosperity […]

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Holiday gifts for foodies

Chindōgu and practicality By Jim Duncan Holiday gift giving provides opportunities to indulge every kind of whim, from the gratuitous to the farcical. An American version of the holiday dilemma states “What do you give the person who has everything?” The implied answer is never “nothing.” The book “101 Unuseless Japanese Inventions” is a best seller in Asia every time a […]

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Strong prices, glass ceilings and ANCIENT HISTORY

By Jim Duncan Summer was good to Iowa agriculture. Despite lower feed corn prices, beef prices stood strong on demand. Pork did, too. “The vegans were finally halted at the gates of Vienna,” joked one commodities trader. Exports helped sustain all this, especially to Japan, China and the southside of Korea. McDonalds and Wendy’s were the big winners in the […]

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EXTREME Tailgating

By Jim Duncan Much more than burgers and beer The best story I have ever heard about extreme tailgating is likely apocryphal. Like the best urban myths, though, hardly anyone doubts it because it perfectly fits most preconceptions, in this case about Oakland Raider fans. Of all the fans of American sports teams, these are usually perceived to be the […]

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Once upon a time

By Cady Colosimo and Jeff Pitts A look back at what some eateries’ buildings used to be If you’re going out to eat in downtown Des Moines, it’s more than likely the building you’re dining in was not always a restaurant. Several historic buildings — many of them more than 100 years old — occupy the heart of […]

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