The Final Feast: A look at the funeral foods of four cultural traditions in Minnesota

  Of the many occasions in life when the phrase “comfort food” seems most appropriate, funerals are at the top of the list. Food can serve myriad purposes as part of the mourning process: It can come in the form of help to family members, as the community provides meals that free up the family … [ Read more]

King of Croissants: Marc Heu’s University Avenue patisserie sells paradise by the slice

There is often a line to get into Marc Heu Patisserie Paris. The pastry shop occupies a wonky split level space that has hosted a rotating cast of short-lived restaurants, and it sits on a stretch of University Avenue that’s laden with businesses that pack a bit less sex appeal: a mortuary, social services offices, … [ Read more]

Platter Full of Holidays: 8 bold appetizer concepts that really cook

A great first bite can set the mood at a holiday gathering, and there’s a world of choices out there beyond deviled eggs or cheese and crackers. With that in mind, we reached out to a few of our favorite local food people for some of their go-to appetizer choices. ■ ■ ■ Mushroom Jerky … [ Read more]

Presto: Pumpkin pie! The secret to making brilliant pie in no time

Easy” and “delicious” are two terms that are often at odds in the culinary world. First-rate recipes often involve time-consuming marinating, spatchcocking, toasting, proofing, and any number of other complex ways to turn precious minutes (and hours) into deliciousness. This pumpkin pie recipe, created by Minneapolis photographer Becca Dilley, is a happy exception to the … [ Read more]

The Heat is On: Chef Janene Holig is leading Hot Indian Foods through a period of intense growth

Hailing from Swanville, Minnesota, and of Scandinavian and Polish stock, Janene Holig is not anybody’s initial idea of an Indian chef. In fact, in 2013 when she tried out for the position of head chef for the soon-to-be-launched Hot Indian Foods, the cuisine of India was an almost-complete blank for her. “I’d never worked with … [ Read more]

Off the Map: Root River Stew

As much as I love the Boundary Waters, when I feel untethered, aimless, or uncertain, I know a dose of those moving waters in the southeastern corner of Minnesota can always take me to my best self and my original heart. I find no irony whatsoever in the fact that one of those places, located … [ Read more]

The Funkiest Man In The Room: Topos Ferments’ Jim Bovino on how to stay ahead of the mountain of produce overwhelming your kitchen

You didn’t mean for this to happen. Like that time you got sunburned during a long beach read, this incident snuck up on you—in this case, a couple of pounds of beautiful green bunches at a time. Now your kitchen counter is covered with more produce than you’ll ever be able to eat in the … [ Read more]

Feeling the Burn: How Chile Peppers Change the Way We Cook, Dine, and Even Process Pain

Chile peppers have been on the menu since at least 6,000 years ago, when people living in current-day Mexico cultivated them for their heat and flavor. The world-spanning Portuguese Empire helped spread them to nearly every corner of the planet in the 16th and 17th centuries, and now they’re a cornerstone of dozens of cuisines … [ Read more]

Fire Away: A chef’s tour of the joy and agony of cooking over a live fire

This is the fourth installment of Off the Map, a column by chef JD Fratzke. It appears monthly at growlermag.com and occasionally in print. Cooking outdoors over an open fire has become, over the years, my favorite way of preparing a meal. Whether it’s a few pork chops, a chicken, a pile of brats, or just … [ Read more]

Anatomy of a Hot Sauce

When Craig Kaiser created the hot sauce that would become Minneapolis cult favorite Cry Baby Craig’s, he didn’t expend too much effort. In fact, he says, it was almost entirely accidental. Kaiser was working at Cafe Maude in South Minneapolis in 2011, and a supplier error stuck him with a pile of habanero chiles instead … [ Read more]

Buying and Handling Chiles & Aguachile​: Ceviche with a Kick

Photos by Tj Turner If you’re in the Minneapolis–St. Paul metro area, there are a number of great Asian, Indian, and Latin markets that carry wide varieties of chiles at affordable prices. Products stocked vary week to week, but the best shops have wide selections that satisfy most if not all culinary needs. A few … [ Read more]

Boiling Point: The fiery Door County fish boil tradition has deep and native roots

It’s early June, and rain is falling near the tip of Wisconsin’s Door County peninsula. Despite the wet weather and a persistent wind, more than two dozen spectators are gathered together in a damp little community facing the water, awaiting the climax of a local ritual that dates back at least 350 years. At five … [ Read more]

Better Camp Eats & Drinks: 2 Essential Spice Rubs for Camp Cooking

This article is a part of The Growler’s Outdoor Guide. Find more tips for outdoor adventure and dining here.  Everything tastes better in the wilderness, but that’s no excuse to eat bland food out of plastic bags. One of the most versatile (and lightweight) weapons in a camp cook’s arsenal is the spice blend. The … [ Read more]

Better Camp Eats & Drinks: Dehydrated Dining Tips and Recipe for Peanut Coconut Curry

This article is a part of The Growler’s Outdoor Guide. Find more tips for outdoor adventure and dining here.  Extended camping treks involve a lot of planning, especially when it comes to meals. To punch things up—and not drag down your pack in the process—turn to dehydrated food. Before you run out to your local … [ Read more]

I Left My Heart in Shafter Ghost Town

This is the second installment of Off the Map, a column by chef J.D. Fratzke. It appears monthly on growlermag.com and occasionally in print. It was in the waning years of the Clinton administration that I found myself standing on the roof of an abandoned blacksmith and livery in a southwest Texas ghost town. The journey had … [ Read more]