Fudge Judging: We found the best local fudge around
Dec19

Fudge Judging: We found the best local fudge around

The winter holiday season is the best time for fudge. It’s a season of indulgence and sharing and sweets and fun — that’s what fudge is all about. Stock up on some now and hand out pounds of rich, creamy, gooey goodness as presents or keep it home and eat it sliver by sliver, chunk by chunk, handful by handful, etc. Advocate staffers editors Kristin Palpini and Hunter Styles, art director Jennifer Levesque, staff writer Peter Vancini,...

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Taste-Off: Crunchies for the Munchies
Aug15

Taste-Off: Crunchies for the Munchies

One classic question among lazy, hungry people goes like this: if you had to pick one food to eat for the rest of your life, what would it be? It’s a fun question — and, if the Trumpocalypse triggers the end of global food supply lines, possibly a relevant one. But there is only one correct answer: salad. Why? Because a “salad” is just a mixture of more than one chopped-up thing, usually served with dressing. See? No contest. This has...

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Gettin’ Cheesy with it
Nov18

Gettin’ Cheesy with it

Cheese, glorious cheese. Many thanks to you, oh creamy fromage, for always being there when we need a snack, a spread turned meal, or simply a tasty addition to a dish otherwise lacking. You complete us. Of course, we Advocate staffers jumped at the chance to eat cheese. Come on, we know we’re not the only ones delighted by the curds and whey that have been the stuff of life for thousands of years. According to the International Dairy...

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Which cider house rules?
Oct19

Which cider house rules?

Cider is a great fall treat that’s sadly been smothered by the wave of pumpkin spice that overtakes New England when the leaves start to change. Tart, tangy, sweet, a punch of apple to the taste buds, the underappreciated cider is a robust beverage that truly deserves to be celebrated. Franklin County knows this. The 21st annual Franklin County CiderDays will be held Nov. 7-8. For this celebration, orchards, eateries, farms, and...

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Taste-Off! Pizza Showdown, Final Round: Slices of the Southern Valley
Sep16

Taste-Off! Pizza Showdown, Final Round: Slices of the Southern Valley

The staff of the Advocate realized something this week: we are really full of pizza. That’s what you get when you commit to judging a blind-tasting contest between 27 of the Valley’s best by-the-slice pizza establishments. In round one, back in March, we chowed down on cheese slices from Northampton. In May, we set our sights on Springfield pizzerias. In July, we broadened our horizons and pulled slices from all over the northern...

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Taste-Off! Pizza Showdown: The best slice in the Valley is at …
Sep14

Taste-Off! Pizza Showdown: The best slice in the Valley is at …

Drum roll please … After four rounds of blind taste-tests of cheese slices from 27 pizzerias across the Valley — from Greenfield to Springfield — the Advocate staff is ready to announce the winner of our summer slice smackdown. Without knowledge of where the slice came from, we graded pizza on a scale of 1 (yuck) to 5 (yum). Why cheese? We didn’t want to be distracted by toppings. We wanted to judge the essence of the pie....

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