How far would you travel for a chicken dinner? What if said chicken were banned in the city you were hanging out in?
Continuing to explore all that the Sichuan province has to offer, Trevor James -- our resident Food Ranger -- ventures beyond the city limits to Longquanyi, a rural town 45 minutes away by train, on a mission to try a rare regional delicacy: firewood chicken. The trek is necessary -- the dish is actually banned from Chengdu, given the inevitable hazards that accompany open fire cooking in large metropolitan areas -- but entirely worth it.
He's seeking out Chaihuo Tuzhao, where, each chicken is prepared to order tableside. No part goes unused -- the whole bird is cooked in a piquant chili broth with fresh garlic, ginger, peppercorns, and fermented bean paste. Not going to China anytime soon? Watch the video and live vicariously through Trevor as he experiences a new level of freshness and spice on this week's edition of The Explorers.
These Mac & Cheese Nachos Just Won the Comfort Food Game
You've heard by now that Chick-fil-A isn't open on Sundays -- it's kind of their whole thing. It's also the second biggest objection people have to the fast-food chain (the first, as you know, is a troubling track record on LGBT rights). Now you might think they'd make an exception for the Chick-fil-A location in the stadium the Super Bowl is being played in this year. But you'd be wrong.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that when the New England Patriots compete against the Los Angeles Rams on February 3 for the... jewelry or whatever it is they win... the home of those delightful waffle fries will remain shuttered. The Sabbath closure is often attributed to religious observance, but Chick-fil-A claims it's more about helping employees maintain a good life-work balance and making sure that workers have time to spend with their families.
There was reportedly pushback when the restaurant opened at Mercedes-Benz Stadium back in 2017, as the Atlanta Falcons played almost all of their home games on Sundays that year. But the venue does host other events, like the soccer games, the SEC Championship, the Chick-fil-A Bowl, and concerts. In its place for the Super Bowl, a french fry restaurant called Fries Up will be operating in the Chick-fil-A stand.
Chick-fil-A has actually opened on Sundays before though. But it's mostly to help out in times of need, not for sporting events -- for instance, to aid those giving blood after the 2016 Orlando shooting and those displaced by the Hurrican Florence.
Summer is easy to like. It’s got sunshine, water sports, and the built-in nostalgia of time off from school. But winter? That takes some more gumption to appreciate. While other parts of the country are either freaking out over a light snowfall or counting down the days ’til spring, living in Minnesota -- where temps are regularly below freezing and the average annual snowfall is more than 70 inches up north -- means you learn to relish the freezing weather rather than hide from it. With the right mindset, winter is secretly the best time of the year, with plenty of cold-weather activities in the Twin Cities and around the state to keep you active and engaged with your fellow Minnesotans. From dog sledding to ice sculptures to a truly epic foraged tasting menu, we have a little bit of everything here to help you brighten up the coldest months.
Food & Drink
Ben & Jerry's Just Added 3 New Cookie Dough Core Flavors
Sure, it’s freezing outside, but you have to admit it’s still (always) a good time for ice cream -- especially ice cream that’s loaded with cookie dough. Ben & Jerry’s knows this, and so it officially unleashed three new cookie dough-filled Core ice cream flavors on Wednesday that will allow to get your ice cream and cookie dough fixes while you’re burrowed under blankets next to your radiator.
Ben & Jerry’s, which is credited with inventing cookie dough ice cream, said it’s paying homage to the popular dessert combo and upping the ante with the all-new, decadent flavors: Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Core, Sugar Cookie Dough Core, and Wake & “No Bake” Cookie Dough Core. The company is even going so far as to proclaim 2019 the “year of the dough,” which may or may not be fitting if you’ve already given up on your resolution to diet.
Each new pint features a twist on the original cookie dough ice cream flavor that Ben & Jerry’s developed in the late ‘80s.