Tag Archives: Subfeature

CALAMITY, senseless vandalism and a retreat of high-end restaurants

By Jim Duncan The cusp period between late 2017 and early 2018 was calamitous for the food industry. While corn and soybean prices fluctuated within acceptable limits, the growth of niche market commodities soared. First-world lifestyles and new popular diets raised the price of mostly Third World staples like lentils, chickpeas, avocados, asparagus, quinoa, amaranth, teff, farro, spelt […]

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MARCH MADNESS and its cures

A bit about 300 local sports bars By Jim Duncan March Madness refers to single elimination basketball tournaments, particularly the NCAA Men’s Tournament,  which this year begins on March 13 and runs through April 2. The name is reinforced by several statistical legends: 1. The opening games played on Thursday and Friday are Las Vegas’ busiest non-holiday weekdays. 2. The Wednesday before the […]

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What is a café?

Des Moines is loaded however you define it By Jim Duncan In many European countries, the words used to describe types of restaurants are precisely defined, sometimes even codified. For instance, in Italy a trattoria is less formal than a ristorante but more formal than an osteria. Usually printed menus are only found in ristorantes and wine is […]

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Calamity and prosperity

By Jim Duncan The autumn of 2017 was a time of contention, price relief and denial. Regional organic farming associations across the country felt betrayed by the National Organic Standards Board, which advises the U.S. Department of Agriculture, for relaxing organic standards to include hydroponically grown fruits and vegetables. In Des Moines, a clean water, anti-Farm Bureau city council candidate replaced a Farm Bureau […]

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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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