Perking up salads, soups and sauces In some parts of...

THE DISH

April 23, 2002

Perking up salads, soups and sauces

In some parts of the United States, the arrival of spring isn't heralded by the robin, but by wild onions known in Appalachia as ramps and in the Great Lakes region as wild leeks. These plants, with their spicy leaves and small bulbs, are used in salads or to season soups and sauces.

If you're a transplanted native longing for a taste of home or just curious to try this pungent plant, you now can without driving to the mountains. Earthy Delights, a Michigan-based food seller, will ship them to you.

The company is selling ramps for the next several weeks. The price is $8.50 a pound, plus $24 for priority shipping. Contact www.earthy.com or call 800-367-4709 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays.

Small pan sizes let you Bake a variety of cakes

If you believe good things come in small packages, you will enjoy a recent offer from Kaiser Bakeware and Kraft Foods - mini springform cheesecake pans that let you make little cakes to fit different tastes.

The four, 4.5-inch pans are a $20 value, but are available for $9.99 with three proof of purchase seals from 8-ounce packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese. The order form can be found on marked packages of Philadelphia Cream Cheese or on the Web at www.creamcheese.com.

A way to fish for answers

Eating fish is good for your health, but eating some kinds of fish isn't good for the health of the environment. To help clear up the confusion over good-fish, bad-fish, Environmental Defense, a nonprofit New York group, has prepared a Web site that lets consumers know the most nutritious and environmentally sustainable fish and seafood.

The Seafood Selector search tool on the group's Web site allows consumers to search by fish types for the nutrition and viability of each species. In cases where the fish is at risk, the site gives alternatives. For example, the group advises choosing Alaskan salmon instead of Atlantic salmon because the salmon population of Alaska is healthier and better managed than that of the Atlantic. You also can find tips on seafood preparation and recipes from prominent chefs.

The Seafood Selector can be found at www.environmentaldefense.org.

Yogurt fills cereal bars

Food companies have tried putting cereal in yogurt. Now Kellogg's has found a way to put yogurt in cereal. The company's Nutri-Grain Yogurt Cereal Bars have the same whole-grain crust as the regular breakfast bars, but with a creamy yogurt filling that requires no refrigeration. The bars come in strawberry, blueberry and vanilla flavors and cost $3.19 for an eight-count box.

The bars contain 140 calories a serving, 3 grams of fat, 110 milligrams of sodium, 27 grams of carbohydrate and no cholesterol.

Events:

Petit Louis Bistro, 4800 Roland Ave., will be presenting "The Legend of the Lost Lunch," a wine-tasting feast with a five-course regionally inspired menu one Friday each month. This Friday at 1:30 p.m., enjoy a five-course menu of Champagne specialties. $95 a person. On May 31, the lunch will feature wines from the Loire Valley for $79. Tickets must be purchased in advance. Call 410-366-9393.

A cooking class for single men and women will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. tomorrow at Fresh Fields/Whole Foods Market, 1330 Smith Ave. TV cooking show host Joan Allen will demonstrate how to make savory and dessert crepes. $15. Call 410-358-4732 for reservations.

You can watch chefs from local seafood restaurants prepare their specialties and see demonstrations on cooking with rum at the Baltimore Waterfront Festival celebrating the Volvo ocean race now until Friday. Demonstrations will be held in the Kaufman Pavilion between the Maryland Science Center and Rash Field. Call 877-BALTIMORE or www.baltimoreevents.org for times and events.

Compare Old World and New World winemaking styles tomorrow night from 6 to 8 at Bin 604, 604 S. Exeter St. $25 a person in advance, $35 at the door. Call 410-576-0444.

The Dish welcomes food news and notes. Send to The Dish, Attn.: Liz Atwood, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, MD 21278; fax to 410-783-2519; e-mail food@baltsun.com.

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