Minnesota Spoon: Making peace with beef






The case for a more sustainable steak with Jon Wipfli and Erik Sather I suffer from a chronic condition that I keep mostly under control. You haven’t heard of it. It’s called Sustainability Exhaustion. Most days I live just like you. I stand blinking in the fluorescent glare of the pre-wrapped meat section, trying to […]

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Kernz-huh? Could the perennial promise of Kernza benefit food, beer, and the world?






There’s a new-ish crop that’s been sprouting hopeful conversation in recent years. Kernza is the name given by Kansas-based The Land Institute to a specific germ line of perennial wheatgrass. Like a long-lost, wild cousin of traditional, annual wheat, it has the potential to help the environment and increase food production in incredible ways. It’s […]

Rooting for ramps: What foragers must do to conserve these coveted wild onions






For cooks and diners, the ramp’s arrival on market shelves and restaurant menus each spring induces a rabidity to rival even that of the mighty morel. Known for their sweet onion flavor and their comedic pungency (read: farts), festivals celebrating this stinky herald of spring draw thousands of people in the eastern United States. The […]

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Rent-A-Goat: Can we use ruminants to stop invasive plants and restore the natural landscape?






When Sue Wika bought her farm in Ashby, Minnesota, it was overrun with weeds. “You could barely move through the oak savanna,” she recalls. “So much prickly ash, and buckthorn too.” It’s all the same scene—from her prairie expanse in Grant County to the hardwood forests of the Driftless Area—invasive plants are taking the soil […]

This land is our land: The bitter debate over America’s public spaces






A debate over the fate of federal lands has intensified. It’s an ideological battle with all the Washington, D.C., hallmarks—behind-the-scenes political maneuvering, influence peddling, and media wars. One side slanders their opponents as short-haired women and long-haired men—elitists who are impediments to progress. Their adversaries, who contend they are dealing with none other than Satan […]

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Cold Weather Cooking with Beth Dooley: Not Your Mom’s Mac ‘N Cheese






Admit it. You love mac ‘n’ cheese. It’s the ultimate comfort food because: A) It’s so damn familiar; B) It calls for stuff you already have in the pantry and fridge; and C) You really don’t need a recipe to make a good one. Really, you can make it however the heck you want—blue cheese […]

Bill introduced to effectively expand growler sales to all Minnesota breweries






Bring in a growler to Third Street Brewhouse’s taproom for a refill, and you’ll come away empty-bottled. In August 2016, the Cold Spring, Minnesota–based brewery ceased filling growlers after it crossed the annual production limit of 20,000 barrels imposed by state law. They joined a growing list of breweries that cannot sell growlers at their locations, including Summit Brewing, August Schell […]

Going whole hog with chef Justin Sutherland






Handsome Hog Chef Justin Sutherland talks heritage pork, whole-animal cuisine, and ramping up for Cochon555 Handsome Hog makes no bones about its commitment to whole-animal prep and decidedly pig-centric cuisine. So it makes sense that the Hog’s chef Justin Sutherland should make the list of standout Twin Cities-area chefs invited to compete in the Cochon555 […]

7 Continents of Beer






With all that’s happening with craft beer in the U.S., it’s easy to overlook the influence the movement is having on the world stage. Today, microbreweries can be found in every continent across the globe. Plucky young entrepreneurs are navigating complicated liquor laws to start breweries in their local communities, sometimes partnering with American expats […]

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The Plan to Have No Plan






Finding the spontaneous, yet scheduled, happy medium that (almost) guarantees getting the most out of travel Accidentally walked 14.5 miles today. Not saying that in a humble brag way, rather an “I have no sense of direction and got lost multiple times and confused Google maps with my poor decisions and ended up in neighborhoods […]

Craft Culture: Turning family tradition into modern day practice at George’s Shoe Repair






Looking at the pair of shoes, Luke George didn’t just see worn down heels, scrunched up leather, or years of grime built up on the once-white surfaces.  The cobbler knew these were more than just a pair of old dress shoes—they once belonged to his customer’s grandfather. They had history. A legacy. Years in the […]

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9 Cheap Cities to Fly to from MSP in February






February may not be the first month you flip to in your calendar when planning your annual vacation. But don’t underestimate the value of the shortest month of the year—it’s usually the slowest period for travel. With low-season rates and fewer crowds, it’s the ideal time to sneak in that much-needed first getaway of the […]

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Craft Cocktail: Aviation at Red Rabbit






Some cocktails should never change. Their formulas were perfected a century ago and no amount of modern mixology will improve them. The aviation is not one of those cocktails. I find the original turn-of-the-century formula—gin and lemon juice with maraschino and violet liqueurs—too bitter and dry. Maraschino liqueur (see this month’s Spirits Close-Up) is semi-sweet, […]

Five Tables and the Sea: The restorative simplicity of Anne Majourel






Steve Hoffman, our Minnesota Spoon columnist, has spent the last five months in the Languedoc region of southern France, and submitted this tribute to his favorite restaurant in the world for our Travel Issue. What if a restaurant existed on a steep hill just outside a French fishing port? And what if this restaurant featured […]

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Brewer Profile: Jerrod Johnson and Ben Smith of Surly Brewing Company






When Surly announced Todd Haug’s resignation as head of brewing operations last October, it set off a blaze of social media speculation from the brewery’s followers and from writers, who pondered the future of the decade-old brewery. What was behind the move? Could Surly have done something to keep him? Would Surly still be Surly […]