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.

How to use extra-virgin olive oils, from the extraordinary to the merely wonderful

I met with my friend, chef Didi Emmons, on a recent spring morning for breakfast in Harvard Square. We met at the Hi-Rise Pie Company, where we bought a loaf of potato bread and crept up the stairs to the little rooms filled with ancient chairs and tables. Peak oil. Didi pulled a dark green glass bottle from her rucksack. I wondered what the other patrons thought, since it was a bit early in the day for a tipple. But once we tore our loaf of bread into pieces and started dipping it in the liquid that we poured out …

Here’s a dressing that passes muster without cutting the mustard

Now that spring is well and truly here, I can’t wait for local produce to appear in the farmers’ markets. In New England, that moment is still many weeks away, sadly, but at least now it seems possible — unlike in the winter, when the farmers’ markets I frequent show off piles of dirty snow, not heirloom tomatoes. I love to make and eat salad, so while I while away the weeks waiting for local tomatoes, cucumbers, and lettuce, I am inventing new salad dressings. Get fresh with me. I wasn’t always so adept. For many, many years, I was …

While food prices rise, here’s a stick-to-your-ribs pasta dish that won’t cause sticker shock

Every time I go to the supermarket lately, I get sticker shock. Why is it suddenly costing an arm and a leg to keep body and soul together? Part of the explanation lies in recent developments at the gas station. Skyrocketing fuel prices translate to higher costs for growing and transporting food — and higher retail prices for us. Then there’s the biofuel boom: As more and more grain gets diverted for use as car fuel, less is available as food, for both humans and livestock. That scarcity drives prices up. As a result, there’s less and less grain being …

How the Monterey Bay Aquarium makes its safe-seafood list

When it comes to safe seafood, the list-makers don’t horse around. Photo: SqueakyMarmot Back in the late 1990s, I happened to attend an exhibit at the Monterey Bay Aquarium in California called “Fishing for Solutions.” The experience profoundly changed my attitude toward seafood and the supposedly limitless abundance of the sea. The exhibit focused not only on the precariousness of the fish stocks that have been reduced by overfishing, but also on the environmental degradation caused by using heavy-handed harvesting techniques and slapdash fish farming. I remember feeling stunned and shell-shocked after seeing the exhibit — and my mood sunk …

Drive a stake into winter’s cold heart with a creamy, dreamy noodle dish

Goodbye winter, hello primavera. Photo: iStockphoto I love March. Why? Because I hate winter. I hate shoveling, I hate walking on ice, and I especially hate always having to look at the ground when I’m walking, instead of at all the people and things around me. With the exception of cross-country skiing and being able to do stuff indoors without feeling guilty about not being outdoors (an East Coast phenomenon, I’m told), I truly hate winter. If global warming can deliver us from winter, then I’m all for it (just kidding). Once March arrives, winter loses its edge. The quality …

Fishing for hope at a seafood-industry trade show

Photo: Chris Seufert Viewed from a distance, the Boston Convention Center looks a bit like a great white whale — an appropriate setting for the annual International Boston Seafood Show. The building’s vast interior offers great vistas for people-watching, often through huge glass windows. People move through the hallways and aisles in large groups; watching them was a bit like gawking at schools of fish through the glass pane of the giant tank at the Monterey Bay Aquarium. What sort of species were on display in this human fishbowl? Academic and NGO types darted about here and there, but industry …

A pair of decadent desserts guaranteed to sweeten up your Valentine’s Day

Like every food writer the world over, I am duty-bound to offer a chocolate recipe for Valentine’s Day. I was fortunate to get a recipe for Guinness Chocolate Cupcakes from the Woodstar Café in Northampton, Mass., a bakery whose goods are so delicious that I have been known to eat there twice a day when I’m in town. Nothing says I Love You like a cannelé. Photo: Canto 6 Bakery and Café But I also wanted to offer a non-chocolate alternative for those who can’t have chocolate or who just prefer other flavors. The owners of Canto 6, a bakery …

A noncarnivorous path to Super Bowl-snack nirvana

Three cheers for vegan snacks! Photo: iStockphoto I have tried and tried to learn about football. Many people have taken the time to sit patiently by my side while a game is on and gently whisper explanations like, “OK, see, there are a series of things called downs …” Right away, my mind trails off. Despite my total lack of comprehension of anything that happens on the field, I enjoy Super Bowl parties: the spectacle, the ads — and the snacks. This year I decided to challenge myself to make a Super Bowl-worthy vegan dish. I wanted to make something …

A food writer looks back at 2007, from supermarket monstrosities to organic-garden epiphanies

While I peeled the apples for Apple Brown Betty recently (see recipe below), I had time to think about the food-related highs and lows of the past year. What was my most disconcerting food experience of 2007? Three interactions with the industrial food system vie for first place. We’re holding out for grape-sized apples. Photo: Digital Visions 1) Last week I was in a large supermarket in Cambridge that shall remain nameless, and I saw some apples labeled as “grapples.” Now, I know what a grappling hook is, and I know what it means to grapple with an issue, but …

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