June 2012

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Chicken reigns in the 21st century.

How the Chicken Conquered the World

The epic begins 10,000 years ago in an Asian jungle and ends today in kitchens all over the world

The Chicken and the Egg

A new poem from the Pulitzer-Prize-winning poet

an egg

The Perfect Egg

Chefs and scientists try to solve the ultimate culinary puzzle


The Unified Theory of Gumbo

He ate far and wide, but the author found only one true version of the New Orleans dish—Mom's


Mrs. Elie's Creole Gumbo

Invite your friends and family over to dig into the Creole version of this classic Southern dish

worlds largest salt flats

Salts of the Earth

Food critic Mimi Sheraton samples the different kinds of the world's most ancient and essential ingredient

Julia Child

Sur La Table

Food writer Ruth Reichl looks at the impact of the famous chef's partnership with her husband Paul


Those (Waxed Fruit) Times

The artist pays tribute to a family centerpiece that was both inedible and indelible

Swan Oyster Depot in San Francisco

Heaven on the Half Shell

When America's favorite storyteller lived in San Francisco, nothing struck his fancy like a heaping plate of this Pacific Northwest delicacy

winerys restaurant

A Wine and a Prayer

In downtown Los Angeles, a 95-year-old winery weathered hard times by making wine for church services. Now connoisseurs are devoted to it

Nestle researchers

Can Technology Save Breakfast?

Cereal companies, maligned for overprocessing, are now using the same techniques to put some nature back in the bowl




Letters to the Editor

The Conversation

Readers respond to the May Issue

From the Editor

Eat Here

Today's special: Our first annual food issue

From the Castle

Panama Exposed



The renowned author of the memoir Infidel found refuge here from persecution abroad


Artistic Liberty

Sculptor Danh Vo deconstructs the American icon


Going Underground

The cold war may be over, but sales of a new breed of bomb shelter are on the rise. Prepare to survive Armageddon in style


A Roof of One's Own

A new campaign has enjoyed stunning success in lowering the number of chronically homeless in the United States


Perfect Pitch

The founding editor of Outside magazine explains why a tent is sometimes the difference between life and death


Rock the House

In a funky New Orleans experiment, musicians turn a ramshackle house into a cacophony of sounds


Seeds of the Future

Scientists at a British laboratory are racing to preserve thousands of the world’s threatened plants, one seed at a time


Sand Castles

Cape Cod's dune shacks are American culture's home away from home


The Multiverse of Love

One of the most gifted singer-songwriters of our time talks love, science and the deep space between men and women


Remember the Raisin!

Remember the Raisin? You probably don't


When the Earth Moved

More than 100 years ago, a German scientist was ridiculed for advancing the shocking idea that the continents were adrift

Around the Mall

Save the Whalebones

Paleontologist Nick Pyenson was in a race against a construction crew to salvage a bed of whale fossils, so he called upon 3-D technologists for help

Around the Mall

East-West Ensemble

In Borderlands, the Chinese musician highlights the culture of the Uyghur people

Around the Mall

To Orbit and Beyond

Around the Mall

Ask Smithsonian

Your questions answered by our experts

Around the Mall



Saving Grace

A pioneering elephant rescuer looks back on the loves of her life and a collection of essays investigates the history of happiness

Fast Forward

Do The Math

New York's newest museum is anything but formulaic