Roz Cummins

Roz Cummins is a food writer who has worked in every possible permutation of food co-op, natural foods store, and granola-type restaurant. She lives in the greater Boston area and feels it is her mission to put the "eco" back in home economy.

Curt Ellis responds to the ads promoting corn syrup …

I was really happy to see this article. The ads which cast doubt on corn syrup-related health problems are so bad that even Karl Rove must be shaking his head. (Besides, who takes a popsicle — let alone one popsicle for two people — on a picnic?)

Judging a tomato contest, and celebrating with a fresh, tomato-y gumbo

You say tomato … All my life, I have wanted to be a professional tomato taster. I am happy to report that on August 18, 2008, I had the chance to serve as a judge (unpaid, so, OK, not exactly professional, but still …) in the 24th annual Massachusetts tomato contest, organized by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs and held at City Hall Plaza in downtown Boston. I was actually just chilling with friends who were going to serve as judges (How pathetic is that? I am a tomato taster groupie!) when — oh lucky day! …

With berries and bread, you can make a delectable summer pudding

For years, I’ve drooled over photos of summer pudding — a traditional British dessert that’s the same deep blue and purple color as a serious bruise. Summer pudding features a little bread and a lot of berries, and Massachusetts, where I live, is known for its delicious late-summer harvests of raspberries, blueberries, etc. One of these summers, I’ve long thought to myself, Olde England and New England will intersect in my kitchen, resulting in a stunner of a summer pudding. Well, it’s been a weird summer here in Massachusetts: lots of rain, lots of thunder and lightning (ask any dog!), …

Getting to the meat of the matter with Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette

Jamie Bissonnette. In my most recent article, I described my experience attending a hog-butchering workshop led by Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette. He mentioned during the workshop that he had been a vegan when he was younger. I wanted to find out more about what would make someone change his eating habits so dramatically, so I set up an interview with Jamie to talk about the influences and experiences that led him to follow a different path than the one he set out on as a young man. After settling into a comfortable seating area near the bar at KO Prime, …

If you’re going to eat meat, you can’t shy away from the whole beast

Ready to meat its maker. A few months ago, I decided to force myself to confront issues surrounding meat-eating head on — so to speak — by attending a hog-butchering class. Taught by Boston chef Jamie Bissonnette of KO Prime and offered through the Chefs Collaborative, the class focused on utilizing the whole animal, from head to tail. As usual, I was beset by the dilemma of what to wear. What looks attractive, creative, and professional — yet also looks good splattered in blood? I finally gave up trying to solve this particular sartorial puzzle and just decided to wear …

How author Betsy Block convinced her finicky family to mend their dietary ways

In her new book The Dinner Diaries: Raising Whole Wheat Kids in a White Bread World, Betsy Block writes compellingly about trying to feed one’s family and oneself in a nutritious, sustainable, economical, and harmonious way — and dealing with various likes and dislikes within the family dining unit. Betsy Block Photo: Andrew Pockrose I imagine reviewers will liken the experience of reading this book to sitting and talking at the kitchen table with a trusted friend, and they’ll be right. How do I know? Because Betsy is my trusted friend, and I am sitting at the kitchen table of …

Food Network star Alton Brown adds a pinch of sustainability to the pot

Alton Brown: Boy meets salmon. Photo: Studio Chambers The Portola Café and Restaurant, the fine-dining venue within the Monterey Bay Aquarium, is an airy, light-filled space surrounded by windows on three sides. The soothing, understated interior showcases a breathtaking view of Monterey Bay, where one can watch otters wrap themselves in kelp while cormorants swim and dive nearby. It is here that I have the chance to talk with Alton Brown, creator and star of Good Eats on the Food Network. Alton combines his background in film and video with his culinary training — he attended the New England Culinary …

A primer on organic wines, and a sweet way to bring them to the table

Psst! Organic wine doesn’t suck. About 15 years ago, a friend brought an organic wine to a dinner party I was giving. He explained to me that in addition to being made from grapes that are grown organically, organic wines don’t contain any added sulfites (some sulfites occur naturally as a result of the fermentation process). Since I try hard to use organic products as much as I can afford to, I began to look for organic wines when I went shopping. The choices were few and far between. Wine-industry people I knew seemed to hate the organic wine. They’d …

Lessons from a sustainable-food conference at the Monterey Bay Aquarium

Information you can eat. Photo: Monterey Bay Aquarium/Randy Wilder A couple of months ago, I wrote about how the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California comes up with its wallet-sized cards — the ones that tell us what seafood choices are sustainable. I got so interested in the topic that when I got an invitation to attend the aquarium’s annual Cooking for Solutions conference, I couldn’t pass it up. The event brings together high-profile chefs from across the country who are devoted to sustainability, and puts them in the same room with luminaries from the sustainable-food world. For me, it was …

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