Friday, August 20, 2010

C is for Chicago and Cake

Monday, August 9th, 2010

Last night Michelle and I made a pact. We would not leave St. Paul without a morning walk and a good breakfast. Only one of these things happened. The humid summer heat of the midwest did little too smother our enthusiasm for movement as we walked briskly through Annah’s neighborhood. Greeting the local Minnesotans with hearty “good morning”s. By the time we showered and were ready to head out of the apartment complex I was in a foul mood. It was nearly 10:30am and we hadn’t even had breakfast yet. There was no way we’d get to Chicago by a reasonable dinner time! (Funny how our travel plans are now dictated by where we’re going to get our next meal.)

Fast forward 20 minutes and Michelle and I are seated, rather uncomfortably, at an establishment called Day by Day Cafe. I say uncomfortably because the booths were wood slabs, and were like something fit for a prison cell and not for a restaurant. The complete lack of invention that characterized the seating should have given us a hint as to what we could expect from the kitchen. We decided on tofu veggie scrambles with potatoes (I stress that the menu said potatoes) and whole grain toast. This surely would have been enough food but we hadn’t eaten anything yet that day and were completely tempted by the homemade buckwheat cakes so we agreed on a short stack. Our food arrived and the portions on each plate were fit for at least 2 people. The flavor on the other hand was fit for no one for it didn’t exist. Michelle claims she’s never seen me grab so furiously for the salt and then the pepper and then the salt and then the pepper and finally the tabasco sauce desperately trying to give my taste buds something to do. The so-called potatoes were actually once frozen rectangles of hash browns that were crispy golden brown on the outside ( a nice touch) and undercooked on the inside. No amount of ketchup, salt or pepper could redeem them. We ate quickly and sadly left quite a bit still on our plates. The pancakes we took to-go.

Through the last bit of Minnesota and then Wisconsin and into Illinois we subsisted on pancakes smeared with peanut butter (after a failed but creative attempt at an apricot-walnut buckwheat wrap), yet another Raw Revolution bar and a couple Tic-tacs (original flavor).

I should mention that we made an attempt to stop in Madison, WI only to find ourselves heading in a westerly direction with my temper heading in a northerly one. Michelle expertly guided us back on track maintaining her cool as the temperature in the car got just a tad hotter. We’re close to Chicago and I want to say we’re optimistic about the dining options that await us but I for one am not holding my breath.

Kopi, A Traveler’s Cafe, was where we met up with my cousin Rachel and her girlfriend, Caelyn upon arriving in Chicago at a rather punctual 7:30p. Yes, my earlier tantrum was completely unfounded, as I guess all are. Sitting down we realized we were ravenous for both food and alcohol. Michelle ordered her usual Malbec and I shared a Organic local hard apple cider with Cae. Both extremely satisfying after a long day’s drive. A look at the menu revealed a rather small array of salads and sandwiches along with all-day breakfast fare. By that point in the trip I was tired of ordering and pleaded with the waitress to choose some sort of dairy-less option for me. I ended up ordering a tuna salad sandwich with avocado on sourdough and Michelle got a red bell pepper and goat cheese focaccia item. Both were just hearty enough to soothe our savage appetites while leaving room for one of the mouth-watering dessert items we had each ogled earlier on the way to the restroom.

Being health conscious individuals who believe in moderation we ordered just 3 desserts to share among the 4 of us. This was especially appealing as we absolutely could not decide between the german chocolate cake and the banana torte. So we ordered one of each and then added on an italian themed berry custard dessert that I shamefully do not know the name of. All were amazing but the banana torte was otherworldly. Quite possible the moistest piece of cake my mouth has ever had the pleasure of interacting with. A few more drinks as we polished off the sweets and off to bed eager to start a day that would involve NO DRIVING or moving vehicle of any kind.

Touring Chicago on foot,

Jenna and Michelle

The Reality of the American Foodscape

Sunday, August 8th

Oh, the Sabbath. Typically a day of rest and relaxation. Not for us. Not this day. With 11 plus hours of driving ahead of us we dragged our sore bodies out of the our tent early or at least before 8am. We quickly packed up the car, changed, brushed our teeth and said goodbye to Jacob and his dad, Glen. I asked the kind, Santa Claus-esque man at the KOA office where we might find a good place for a caffeine fix and perhaps breakfast. His recommendation was not what we had in mind so we filled up the gas tank and chose to stop further down the road. Further down the road turned out to be the sleepy town of Glendive, MT. The whole town was at church and those that weren’t joined us at the only open eatery available, a gourmet sandwich place known as Subway. Luckily for us, Subway now serves breakfast or at least some facsimile thereof. We did our best to put our skepticism aside and make do with what we had. At the end of the sandwich line we were handed 2 6” omelet subs with spinach, peppers, onions, avocado, banana peppers, cucumbers, and olives on toasted wheat bread. For the low low price of $2.49 each. Not too shabby and they didn’t taste all that bad either though we weren’t exactly left satisfied.

To be honest, we were grumpy. With a less than stellar night’s sleep and a less than stellar morning breakfast and not nearly enough caffeine the day’s prospects looked bleak. To make matters worse we crossed into Central Time Zone thus loosing an hour of precious time en route to St. Paul, MN. Along with a new time zone we also entered into a new state, North Dakota. North Dakota is characterized by vast swathes of nothing. Hay bales, grazing cows, a few trees dot the landscape but there is a distinct paucity of places to dine. For this reason we stopped for a rather early lunch in Bismarck, which is, for those of you who were sleeping during 4th grade social studies, the capital of ND.

Right off the interstate we couldn’t believe our fortune. Without much effort at all we found a coffee shop with WiFi. This shop had an infinite amount of flavored coffee drinks any you could imagine and some that you probably shouldn’t. Michelle ordered her standard soy latte and I my usual chai. We sat down and began an internet search for our next meal. A search for vegetarian eateries yielded zilch as did a few other attempts to filter our results. We finally narrowed it down to a place called the Wood House which according to Yelp! reviewers has the best burger in ND and according to the sign on the restaurant itself the best in all the world. We were not convinced of that fact but with open minds drove into its parking lot. Our flow was halted abruptly when we realized that this place was equipped with a drive-thru window. This sent us scurrying around the city center for the next 30 minutes trying desperately to find something, anything that didn’t resemble fast food. Our second try, Minerva’s was unexpectedly closed until 4pm. Our third attempt, Kroll’s Diner was too close a cousin to Denny’s with food that looked just a little too shiny. Undeterred we hurried over to Schlotsky’s Deli in hopes of an authentic deli sandwich. “This will be the day of the sandwich” Michelle said gleefully. But this was not to be. Schlotsky’s was even scarier than Kroll’s with food with even a glossier sheen and too much fat-free this or that on the menu for our liking. About to give up, we saw the two most magical words, a simple phrase that we hold close to our hearts. Farmers’ Market and it was today! It was now! We ran over to the solitary tent and found Duke the farmer proudly selling his wares. The peppers looked so good we nearly cried. These are the best I grow, said Duke, beaming. We gathered up a cluster of red, yellow, and green gems and walked back toward the car. Not the best peppers we’ve ever tasted but we were thankful nonetheless.

We still needed food. With the stark landscape of ND ahead of us. If we didn’t eat now, then when? With reluctance we drove back to the Wood House and sidled into a booth.

Our eyes scanned the usual suspects found on booths like this across the nation: napkin holder, salt and pepper shakers, ketchup and mustard bottles, telephone receiver. If one of these seems out of place to you, you’re not alone. You see, at the Wood House patrons call-in their order from their seat. This would be an experience like no other. But we almost didn’t get to experience it at all. Looking at the menu we became more and more concerned for our well-being. I could feel my stomach turning at the thought of eating 98% of the menu items and I could see Michelle felt the same way. But time was ticking away and we had exhausted every other option save Subway and we weren’t about to go there for a second time in one day. So we did it. We sucked it up and I picked up the phone.

Greeted by a scratchy voice that asked for my order I forced out the words: I’d like (that was a stretch) a buffalo burger, 1/2 an egg salad sandwich on “dark” bread with a cup of navy bean soup and a side of potato salad. The potato salad sparked our interest because it was a “seasonal” offering which held the slim chance that the ingredients might be local. I put down the receiver and we waited for our food to arrive. I’m not going to sugar coat this portion. To be blunt, it was bad. Really, really bad. The “local” potatoes were covered in Miracle Whip with a dash of paprika. The best thing on the plate was the garnish. My egg salad wasn’t awful as long as I picked it off the “dark” bread which was some version of white masquerading as whole wheat. The navy bean soup was ripe with particles of ham. I realize I should have known this but I’m going to blame the distraction of the novel phone call ordering method. The best thing on the table was the buffalo burger. Tender, flavorful, not too gamey, but not as fresh as one would have hoped. The Wood House would be better off if it served wood.

It was a shotgun lunch. 18 minutes from the time of ordering to the time of exit. We were very happy to see the bag of olive tortilla chips awaiting us in the car. Food Should Taste Good the brand name on the bag proclaimed and we agree.

I want to say that the evening ended with a meal that made up for all of the faults of the previous two but this is not what happened. We were eating dried apricots, more mixed nuts and Raw Revolution bars and pretty much anything else in the car that was edible. We got off at St. Cloud in an effort to find a warm meal and maybe some vegetables but all we found were big buildings none of which contained food. Michelle was whimpering about wanting nothing but a fresh, fruit smoothie but neither one of us even thought to stop at one of the 100s of McDonald’s that now advertise just such an item on their corn-infested menus. The only bright spot to this little diversion off the beaten path was the sighting of one of the largest most spectacular intact arc rainbow ever witnessed. And of course, at the end of our road was the smiling face of my friend, Annah who had for us in the kitchen of her apartment a luscious bowl of fresh fruit.

Grateful for fruit in all colors of the rainbow,

Jenna and Michelle

Monday, August 9, 2010

Somebody's getting hangry...

Saturday, August 7th

After a night in the St. Regis Super 8 we headed east toward Miles City, MT where a KOA campsite awaited us. Our first stop was Missoula, a college town and the place we hoped would offer our first meal of the day. Guided by the map of the city obtained at our motel and our keen radar for palatable food we made a beeline for the University of Montana. Around here, we thought, there must be a satisfying and healthful breakfast. And we were right! We found the perfect place on the first try. Inside Justin’s Nob we found a vegetable-filled dish to which we added scrambled eggs and a slice of local bakery bread, toasted. AHHHH!!!!!! J*#&$*% C($%*$! Sorry for the interruption folks but Michelle nearly drove us off the road. Apparently cruise control makes her believe the car is on auto-pilot. I gently remind her that the Prius will not steer itself even if cruise control is enabled. There is still a certain amount of control that you must maintain.

As we were saying, this breakfast was the bee’s knees. Pardon my archaic expression but it was. Broccoli, zucchini, yellow squash, red bell peppers, and golden brown potatoes topped with eggs cooked to perfection and a fresh tomato salsa that nearly bowled us over. You think I’m exaggerating but I’m not. This was by far the best meal we’ve had on the road thus far and we made sure to tell the friendly and good-looking wait staff this fact.

Even the cinnamon rolls were freshly baked each morning and this was enough to persuade us to take one to go. Justin’s Nob we salute you. We’ll happily come back to try your grilled tempeh sandwich next time we’re in Big Sky Country.

The cinnamon roll was consumed about 2 hours later at one of the most attractive rest stops you’ll find anywhere. I mean this place had individual fully-equipped bathrooms. Your bathroom experience was your own. Mine, incidentally, was punctuated by the flushing of the automatic toilet. Apparently people in Montana spend no more than 10 seconds on the commode. Outside the lavatories on a picnic table overlooking the vast expanse of beautiful nothingness that is Montana we bit into our sweet treat. It was dry and didn’t offer much in the way of flavor. The raisins inside were non-functional offering no discernible benefit. But for a snack that cost $1.50 (no sales tax in MT) it was worth it.

For approximately the next 6 hours we snacked on a few nuts, some figs, whatever we had in the front seat. Michelle smartly packed the food bag waaay in the back of our vehicle out of the reach of bored not hungry fingers. But by the time we hit Billings Michelle was looking a little peaked and was definitely getting hangry. If you aren’t familiar with the state of hanger. It can be defined as generally irritability caused by a lack of sustenance. But with Michelle “general irritability” is an understatement. I knew we needed to get her fed and fast. Surely, Billings, a larger town as indicated in red in our atlas, would offer a wealth of choices.

The exit we took landed us in a bevy of large commercial strip malls. The only restaurant we found that was not a national chain was a Chinese establishment called the Jade Palace. I went in to use the bathroom while Michelle grabbed a menu. One look at her face when I walked back to the lobby and I knew we would not be eating here. But Michelle needed food so I soothed her savage appetite with a Raw Revolution bar, spirulina variety. A few quick bites and it was gone.

To prevent this blog entry from becoming a novel I’ll give just a quick synopsis of the rest of the night. After stealing some internet, we located a thai restaurant, eventually found it and ordered vegetarian egg rolls (which deceptively did not include the pumpkin advertised in the menu), a bowl of mushroom soup, and a plate of veggies and tofu in oyster sauce accompanied by brown rice. The soup was thin lacking the creamy coconut flavor we are used to, the egg rolls were generic, but the vegetable dish was simple and proved just what we needed at the time.

The night ended on a high note when we were greeted at our campsite by a delightful young fellow named Jacob who kindly lent us tent stakes (since we couldn’t find ours) and helped us set up the tent in a jiffy. Thanks, Jacob. Enjoy Yellowstone.

Wishing we were back in Justin’s Nob,


Sunday, August 8th

Some fermentation is best left to the professionals...

Friday August 6th, 2010

Many people may be late to start the day because they sleep in past the alarm, get stuck in traffic, or have trouble getting the kids ready in time to meet the bus. Michelle and I are late because of breakfast. A simple bowl of oatmeal or slice of toast just doesn’t cut it when we prepare the most important meal of the day. This day was no different. In commemoration of a year of breakfasts in Seattle, for my (maybe) last one in the Emerald City, Michelle prepared what has become our usual fare. Steel-cut oats (though I prefer old-fashioned) cooked savory-style, which means with pastured butter and nutritional yeast. The grain is accompanied by a sautee of kale, onions, and garlic...lots of garlic. Finally, the whole dish is topped off with a fried-to-perfection golden-yolked farmers market chicken egg. A dash of salt and generous sprinkling of freshly ground pepper finishes off the meal.

With a hearty breakfast digesting away, we packed up the car and pulled out of the driveway. Almost 2 hours later, we actually left the city of Seattle. If you area wondering what we were doing for all that time I’m not going to tell you. Not because it’s tawdry or salacious but rather boring. Our errands did, however, include 1 stop of the edible variety at Mighty-O Donuts. This vegan donut shoppe had been on our to-do list for some time but we never happened to find ourselves there even with a free donut with purchase coupon burning a whole in my pocket. With its circular structure the donut seemed the perfect metaphorical edible with which to toast our departure. But what variety?? Like every decision we’ve ever made about food this one took more than a few ticks of the minute hand on the Mighty-O clock. I was drawn to the Naked Cake donut for obvious reasons while Michelle leaned toward the chocolate enrobed chocolate species with a touch of peanuts for protein. The nutty addition was expected to help curb the rush of glucose into her bloodstream upon consumption of the sweet. This tactic proved unsuccessful as Michelle turned to me and said something to the effect of “ I can feel my blood boiling.” I “persuaded” Michelle to put the other halves of our donuts in a bag for later and we drove toward I-90 heading east.

In Seattle it is, for the majority of meals, our goal to eat as local as possible...obtaining groceries at one of the many farmers markets or the local food co-op. For the duration of our road trip we aimed to eat more like the locals..whatever that might be. We eased into this approach, eating our first meal at a rest stop picnic table. For lunch we would consume edibles made and brought from home. This is what we brought: Sandwiches consisting of home-made chickpea tempeh, home-made sauerkraut, Bubbies pickle relish, mustard, and baked kale layered between 2 slices of allergen-free Olive Bread from Flying Apron Bakery as well as a jar of steamed beets in a balsamic vinaigrette made in Therapeutic Whole Foods cooking class a few days earlier. Incidentally, the beet dish is meant to support a woman’s menstrual cycle. We excitedly put the sandwiches together and bit into our handiwork. The taste was surprising to say the least. Our palettes quite used to the store bought mildly fermented tempeh were startled by the sharp, pungent flavor elicited by the wildly fermented (moldy, really) tempeh we prepared in the back storage area of the Branner’s studio. We tried to mask the organismal taste of the tempeh by adding some of the onions from the beet salad and though this succeeded in adding visually appeal to our food it did little for the palatability.

As if this weren’t enough to make swallowing our lunch difficult, the kale leaves baked hours earlier had taken on a rubbery texture that required much more than the usual 30 bites before making it down the gullet. Kale gum comes to mind. Needless to say we were very thankful for the halves of Mighty-O donut we had saved from earlier as we desperately tried to rid our palettes of the unsavory flavor.

Back on the road, a few hours later, we felt the need to nosh. Breaking into our snack bag for the first time we chose a banana, dried figs, and roasted nuts. As Michelle drove I gingerly placed one of every nut variety into her palm. This sparked a discussion about why hazelnuts are also called filberts. Why does a nut need 2 names?

Later discussions brought about when consuming this mixture of brazil nuts, pecans, cashews, hazelnuts/filberts, and almonds included: Where do Brazil nuts grow? Does eating them help save the rainforest? Followed by a round of What’s your favorite nut? and What type of fat is in each nut? Are walnuts the only good source of omega-3 in the nut world? What about selenium? Zinc? Magnesium? You can see quickly where this was going. There’s a reason the dietitian I worked with in Hazleton General Hospital called her crew “the nutty bunch”.

It was clear to see that even though we were trying to be as open minded about the food we were eating as possible and not take it down to its nutrient composition actually doing this would prove nearly impossible. Case in point, dinner.

After our hearty lunch and subsequent snacks it was hard to imagine more that evening. For a moment we entertained the idea of stopping in Idaho for some potatoes and then in Kellogg, MT for some cereal. We chose the later, not for cereal of course, but because it was the closest exit and by that time we were hungry. Kellogg’s slogan, a town for every season, seemed promising and we were hopeful until we actually drove into town. Turns out, Aug 6-8 is reserved for a reunion for EVERY class that ever graduated from Kellogg High School. The local pub, Dirty Ernies was taken over by rowdy beer-drinking bunch and the only Chinese restaurant in town was occupied by members of the Class of 1958. Every other inch of Kellogg seemed deserted and we were ready to give up. Then we spotted the Moose Grill. A quaint white house with a wrap-around porch and a decidedly good-looking menu.

Once inside, we were seated in a dark corner at a very oversized table. To make a long story short this is what we ordered: Huckleberry Lemonade, Garden Linguini in a sherry-garlic sauce, and fish tacos made with grilled Mahi Mahi. Sounds decadent, doesn’t it? And to be fair, it was all quite tasty. Sure drinking the lemonade made me feel like my teeth were going to rot out of my head with every sip and by the end of the meal we were convinced that the sauce on the tacos was merely Miracle Whip and some cayenne powder smeared on a partially-hydrogenated flour tortilla but we’ll forgive that and the fact that the linguini was literally drowning in oil. Check please!

Getting back in the Prius we were greeted warmly by some crystallized ginger to help ease the impending digestive upset we were expecting. Luckily, we were wrong to suspect this result and woke up the next morning refreshed and ready for another day filled with eating on the road.

Cruisin’ at 95,


A New Beginning

In case you haven’t noticed I haven’t written a blog entry in quite some time. If this is the case, you haven’t been checking my blog with the fervor of commitment I require of all my readers (see Hungry Nutritionist Reader Bylaws) In all honesty, after the activity was no longer part of a class mandate, my motivation waned. But I am starting a new leg of this journey to achieve my RD and with this new beginning comes new enthusiasm for blogging! If you don’t believe this than would you believe that someone suggested it as a way of passing the time during the move across the country that this new leg necessitated. I do have other things to help me pass the time, or if not things, people and if not people than one person. Kindly accompanying me in this renewed blogging expedition is my girlfriend, Michelle.

Michelle and I will be documenting our journey across this fine land of ours in the only manner that befits a trip to a dietetic internship, by photographing and talking about the food we eat ad nauseum. It is my intention to uphold this blog even after I have arrived at my destination and Michelle has flown off into the proverbial sunset, but I’m not promising anything. So, in the meantime, do come along with us. I liken this trip to a high quality chocolate bar, delectable and bittersweet.

With a full tank of gas and an empty stomach we begin...


Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Banana Blog

You may have noticed that my last two posts came without one of my oh so artistic photographs of food. This is for two reasons (1) after a recent school project I sort of burnt out on food photography (the above photo was included in that) and need a small break to recover my creative mojo and (2) because I haven't really been eating anything lately. Aside from the Indian meal I described in the previous posting (which I don't have a picture of because I never remember to bring my camera to restaurants and sometimes feel as though I will scare the kitchen staff into thinking I'm some sort of inspector if I start snapping photos of my dinner plate) I have eaten little of anything over the past 3 days. But there is one food that I never really have an aversion to even when my insides are rejecting every other edible product imaginable. And that food is the humble banana. Humble, yes, for the banana has many accolades to boast about. It's America's favorite fruit according to Apparently American's consume more of the sunny yellow fruit than apples and oranges combined.

Turns out there's a lot about bananas I didn't know. Like the fact that the banana plant is not a tree at's actually the world's largest herb! Crazy, right? And the American love affair with the banana actually began in my home state of Pennsylvania in 1876. Now, I haven't yet found the time to corraborate any of the facts I'm gleaning from the website but I will do a thorough fact check and edit as necessary, don't you worry.

Until then I'll leave you with my favorite banana bread recipe so that you might prepare for National Banana Bread Day, February 23rd. This recipe comes from VeganMania! (that exclamation point is part of the title not an indicator of how excited I am about the recipe though it's pretty darn tasty):

1/2 cup brown rice syrup

1/2 cup canola oil

1 teaspoon vanilla

2 "eggs" ( I usually use an extra mashed banana or 1 tablespoon ground flax seed in 3
tablespoons of warm water)

1 cup whole wheat flour

1/2 cup oats

1/4 cup cornmeal

1/4 cup wheat germ

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup mashed banana

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Combine brown rice syrup, oil, and vanilla in large bowl. Beat "egg" with whisk and add to wet ingredients.

In separate bowl, mix together flour, oats, cornmeal, wheat germ, baking soda, and salt. Alternating with mashed banana, add dry ingredients to wet.

Oil and flour loaf pan and fill with batter.

Bake for 45-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean.

Let cool on wire baking rack before removing from pan and serving.

Go bananas!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Kentucky Fried Anything

Even when we aren't on any particular diet we do that to ourselves, don't we? We put different foods in little boxes labeled GOOD or BAD and as soon as we do we have to forcefully restrain ourselves from grabbing the BAD box and running off into the sunset with a load of Fried Chicken and Twinkies or maybe even a Fried Twinkie or a fried oreo or a fried Snickers's amazing what people are frying these days.

What is our obsession with fried foods?

I say "our" because I most certainly share this infatuation with things breaded and dipped in piping hot oil. Yesterday, I went out for Indian fare and ordered the vegetarian appetizer plate. Out came a glorious feast of fried flora. Rotund golden-brown samosas packed full of potato and peas and aromatic spices and then FRIED. Pakoras made of onions, potatoes and I believe some more peas, fragrant and delicious and FRIED. Finally something I hadn't had before and can't remember the name of, but I'm pretty sure it was mashed potato and peas formed into a pattie and then, you guessed it, FRIED. I'm surprised they didn't deep fry the bed of lettuce garnishing the plate. (Although to be truthful it probably would have made a prettier presentation as the iceberg greens were more than past their prime.) It was exactly what I wanted!

After the 1st pakora and about half of the samosa was gone I was beginning to feel the effects of my oil-soaked dinner as it began to reach my stomach. It was as if my digestive system had forgotten what to do with such foods as it sees them so rarely. Sure I could have stopped right then and probably not suffered anything worse than mild indigestion but the allure of the fried food item was too strong. I treated myself to another pakora, polished off the samosa and worked my way through the potato pattie. With fried food it's easy to use the excuse.."it won't keep in the fridge", as the reason you leave the restaurant sans doggie bag, but even if that veggie pakora came out of the chill tomorrow just as crispy as it came out of the kitchen it wouldn't make it through the car ride home.

What is it about fried foods? The answer lies in simple brain chemistry (is that an oxymoron?). Dr. David Kessler, former FDA chief, explains the phenomenon in his book "The End of Overeating". Here's a small taste...

"Highly palatable" foods -- those containing fat, sugar and salt -- stimulate the brain to release dopamine, the neurotransmitter associated with the pleasure center, he found. In time, the brain gets wired so that dopamine pathways light up at the mere suggestion of the food, such as driving past a fast-food restaurant, and the urge to eat the food grows insistent. Once the food is eaten, the brain releases opioids, which bring emotional relief. Together, dopamine and opioids create a pathway that can activate every time a person is reminded about the particular food. This happens regardless of whether the person is hungry.

Good thing that paragraph wasn't fried or you might just want to read the whole book...

If you want a bit of a bigger taste here's an article about it: Crave Man