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For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton

For Fourth of July, an American feast inspired by founding father Alexander Hamilton

Are there a million things you haven't done? Is one of them throwing a patriotic party inspired by one of the founding fathers? This Fourth of July, trade in those cliched burgers and hot do …

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  1. These UF scientists are on a mission to make the perfect tomato

    Consumer

    GAINESVILLE

    There is the sound of roll-down windows thwapping closed after the tomato wedges are passed through in tiny plastic cups. All goes silent as a group of 10 tasters contemplate. Do they like this one? Is it sweet? Salty? Sour? Bitter? Or that magical unicorn of tastes: umami?

    A pair of tomatoes hang off one of the approximately 100 plants growing in one of the University of Florida's Klee Lab's greenhouses in Gainesville, Fla., on Thursday, Jul 13, 2017. Researchers developed this strain of tomato by sequencing the tomato genome and selecting DNA that would result in desirable tastes and smells.  For about fifteen years, researchers at the University of Florida's Klee Lab have worked on understanding the chemical and genetic markers that determine the taste of tomatoes. Through genetic sequencing, biochemical analysis and panels of taste testing, Klee scientists have developed different kinds of tomato that attempt to manifest "perfect" taste. ANDRES LEIVA   |   Special to the Times
  2. For National Ice Cream Day, we tested four low-calorie options

    Taste Test

    Low-calorie ice cream is everywhere by the dainty pintful right now, because manufacturers of frozen treats are here for us. They know that to survive summer, we need a cold and refreshing bowl of dark chocolate and peanut butter without feeling like a sea cow in the morning.

    Halo Top peanut butter ice cream
  3. National Ice Cream Day is Sunday. Here are Tampa Bay's top ice cubes and ice creams

    Food & Dining

    CREAM IN ICE FORM: National Ice Cream Day

    Shaped like a giant vanilla ice cream cone, Twistee Treat at St. Pete Beach has a soft-serve machine to which they can add 66 different flavors.
  4. Only 118 calories! 3 Daughters debuts light craft beer

    Consumer

    ST. PETERSBURG — There's craft beer (interesting, delicious, caloric) and then there's mass-market light beer (watery, disappointing, yet only 100 calories). Never the twain shall meet, right?

    That's changing.

    3 Daughters Brewing, St. Petersburg,  is launching its Floating Dock Light IPA, center,  a 118-calorie IPA that is probably the first light craft beer in the state. It is the lightest in color of the beers offered at 3 Daughters and pictured at the brewery, Monday. The beers from left are "Rod Bender Red Ale", "# the Pilsner", "Floating Dock Light IPA", "Beach Blonde Ale" and the "Stern Line Stout." (CHERIE DIEZ   |   Times)
  5. Restaurant review: Don Rigatoni in Tampa offers quick, affordable pastas and sauces perfect for takeout

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA - It makes a ton of sense, now that carb-phobia has abated and there are legitimately decent gluten-free pasta options available: a place with 20 types of pastas, a dozen sauces, all mix-and-match to suit your tastes, plus add-ons from meatballs to grilled shrimp and all of it available to go in sturdy plastic …

    Rigatoni alla napoletana with meatballs is another option. The food is ideal for takeout, served in sturdy plastic containers.
  6. Thomas Jefferson's last public letter reminds us what Independence Day is all about

    Nation

    As the nation's 50th Fourth of July approached in 1826, Thomas Jefferson was at one of the lowest points of his life.

    Thomas Jefferson, the author of the Declaration of Independence and the nation's third president. [Portrait of Jefferson by Rembrandt Peale, circa 1805.]
  7. Rooster & the Till's guest chef dinner series brings in culinary minds from around the country

    Food & Dining

    TAMPA -- Chef Ferrell Alvarez was going to Seattle with friend and colleague Chon Nguyen, co-owner of FusionPrep, an iPad-based kitchen technology. They were definitely, definitely eating at their buddy Edouardo Jordan's red-hot restaurant Salare. Jordan, a St. Petersburg native and 1998 graduate of Boca Ciega High …

    The 40 or so people in attendance at the guest chef dinner series at Rooster & the Till in Tampa were treated to numerous wine-paired courses by chef Ferrell Alvarez and Eden Hill chef Maximillian Petty.
  8. Gas prices going into Fourth of July near 12-year low

    Markets

    TAMPA — Gas prices heading into the Fourth of July are on are on track to be the lowest for the season since 2005.

    Gas prices are at a nearlyl 12-year low for the season going into the Fourth of July. | [Times file photo]
  9. Why everything is the worst when July 4 is on a Tuesday

    Events

    Welcome back to the mid-week Fourth of July holiday.

    The Declaration of Independence (1819), John Trumbull.
  10. What's Dar Williams reading?

    Books

    Nightstand

    Dar Williams

    For our Independence Day Nightstand, we caught up with Williams, a singer-songwriter (The Christians and the Pagans and The Beauty of the Rain) and author who is well-versed in the highways and byways of America. By phone recently, she shared how her newest …

    Dar Williams performs at the Opening Night Party of the 2016 Greenwich International Film Festival in Greenwich, Conn. Her newest book is “What I Found in a Thousand Small Towns.”