Chow Town

The daily dish on Kansas City's food and drink scene

Bourbon’s boom and bust

Did you know there’s a serious shortage of Kentucky Bourbon, the whiskey that’s allowed to be called Kentucky Bourbon only if it comes from the Bluegrass state.

I had no idea, but turns out, it’s true. What’s behind the shortfall of this primarily-corn-based spirit? Well, it appears Kentucky Bourbon has only itself to blame —increasing popularity is leading to decreasing availability.

“We are making more bourbon every day,” said Kris Comstock, bourbon marketing director for Buffalo Trace Distillery, which traces its heritage back more than 225 years to 1787. “Our warehouses are filling up with new barrels. Waiting for the bourbon to come of age is the hard part.”

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By DAVE ECKERT. 1 hour ago

Dandelion, a refreshingly bitter green for spring

Spring is slowly but surely making its way to us after a long, cold winter.

You may have to look closely, but if you do you are sure to see signs of spring’s delicious possibilities. While the gifts of the new season are yet to fully develop, there are still delectable ingredients to be found, sometimes even in unexpected places.

Backyards, sidewalks and hillsides might not be the farmers’ market, but they are teeming with one of spring’s most delightful ingredients — the dandelion.

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By TYLER FOX. 1 hour ago

Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers plans another Olathe restaurant

Wichita’s Freddy’s Frozen Custard & Steakburgers is planning another Olathe restaurant.

The chain is taking over the former Back Yard Burgers at 19020 W. 151st Terrace. The parking lot will be expanded and a double drive-through installed. Construction likely won’t start for at least a couple of months with a late fall opening planned.

Freddy’s offers cooked-to-order selections including steakburgers, Vienna beef hot dogs, grilled chicken sandwiches, chicken tenders, chili, fries and frozen custard.

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By JOYCE SMITH. 5 hours ago

As wine age, texture improves, but where do sugars go?

I hate to be one of those guys who brags about what he’s drinking. It’s a rotten part of the wine business. We’re excited about wine. We want to share that enthusiasm especially when we taste certain wines that are unusual. So please forgive my animated remarks about a handful of wines I’ve had in the last few days — there’s a larger point to be made.

Last week, I was in Charlotte with some friends — folks from Winestore and one of America’s best wine writers, Josh Raynolds. We tasted through a pretty nice set of wines, but the wine that inspires this post was Fritz Haag’s Brauneberger Juffer Sonnenuhr Goldkapsule Auslese 2001.

It was nowhere near as sweet as in years past, a phenomenon I have observed for years but still can’t fathom.

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By DOUG FROST. yesterday

New book celebrates southern cuisine, including barbeque

We have identity issues in Chow Town.

Our metro area spans two states at odds with each other for at least a century and a half. We fight over principles, politics, money and sports.

Kansas was known as a “Free State” during the Civil War. Missouri was a slave state that didn’t secede from the Union. Kansas had John Brown. Missouri had Jesse James.

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By ARDIE A. DAVIS. yesterday

It’s National Grilled Cheese Month

What is your favorite grilled cheese?

To this day, I still get a hankering for a slice of American “cheese” between two slices of white bread. Sometimes, even though I know it’s not actually cheese but simply made from cheese, I need to have the grilled cheese my Mom made.

April is National Grilled Cheese Month. I’m not sure who decided this but it’s everywhere. Every news outlet, every food blog, I mean it’s everywhere. So I figured I had to do something. And since I am always extolling the virtues of cheese I felt it my obligation to participate.

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Flirting with quick and easy berry desserts

If you’ve been noticing pints of berries flirting with your tastebuds as you stroll the produce aisle, consider throwing together a quick and easy berry dessert for Easter. For today’s Food section, we tested recipes for a trifle, biscuit-style strawberry shortcake and grilled poundcake with a berry sauce. They came together in minutes and tasted awesome. Get the recipes here.

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sweetFrog frozen yogurt franchise opening first area shop in KCK

sweetFrog, a premium frozen yogurt franchise, plans a mid-May opening in the Legends Outlets Kansas City.

Customers will get to make their own soft-serve creation, choosing from 21 different flavors each day — some favorites that will always be on the menu, other rotating out — and more than 60 toppings. It also will offer nonfat, low-fat, sugar free and sorbet options and many gluten-free.

The Daily Meal named sweetFrog “America’s Best Frozen Yogurt” in 2013. Among the 50 flavors are angel food cake, apple pie, coffee house blend, cake batter, eggnog, french toast, gingerbread, maple bacon doughnut, and salted caramel corn. Toppings include cookie dough, cheesecake bites, walnuts and lime sauce.

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By JOYCE SMITH. 2 days ago

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About the Blog

Chow Town is the most authoritative take on Kansas City's food scene. The Star’s food and drink experts and a hungry community of guest culinary voices (chefs, bartenders, cookbook authors, a barbecue expert, a culinary student and a personal chef) will offer up a can't-miss daily diet of meaty and delicious tidbits gleaned from all corners of our ever-expanding food scene.

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