The great California sardine boom and bust

While doing some research for my next “Eating by the Numbers” piece for Edible San Francisco (subscribe on-line today!), I ran into some fascinating documents about the now-gone California sardine industry. Today’s tourist destination of Cannery Row occupies land and buildings that were once a huge industry, employing thousands and providing a significant fraction of […]

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Ubuntu’s innovation brings relief to this vegetarian’s jaded palate

Although the S.F. Bay Area is close to being a vegetarian paradise — with its glorious bounty of vegetables, fruits and cheeses, and vegetarian items on almost every restaurant menu — I’m often disappointed with my restaurant experiences. Perhaps it’s a lack of interest in vegetarian cooking in restaurant kitchens, or possibly the financial realities […]

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Breeding ground: a visit to Luther Burbank’s farm in Sebastapol

A few weeks ago, I visited Gold Ridge, Luther Burbank’s experimental farm in Sebastopol while touring the wine country and counting the hours until our reservation at Ubuntu in Napa. Luther Burbank may not be a household name, but his work touches almost everyone. Burbank (1849-1926) was a prolific breeder of fruits, vegetables, grasses and […]

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Edible San Francisco has my numbers – Abalone and Dungeness Crab harvests

For the latest issue of Edible San Francisco — “The Fish Issue” — I contributed some interesting and revealing statistics about seafood in general and abalone in particular. For example, about one-third of the wild fish harvest is used to make animal and fish feed (the source of this figure is at the bottom of […]

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