Great Taste LIve-BagelsI was really excited to welcome back Aaron Hall, an amazing baker and owner of The Local Crumb in Mount Vernon.  Aaron bakes bread and bagels for numerous restaurants including Rapid Creek Cidery and is a regular at both the Iowa City and Mount Vernon Farmer's Markets.

His bagels are outstanding, and I know several native New Yorkers who are converts.

On Tuesday, November 7 we spent an hour at Green Building Supply talking and making bagels and had plenty of fun.  It looked like they were not that difficult to make.  You can watch the video on the Fairfield Media Center's YouTube site HERE.

  • Wed
    May 13
    6:00 pm -
    7:00 pm
  • Fri
    May 15
    6:00 am -
    7:00 am

What's Happening on Great Taste?

Francis ThickeOn the KRUU airwaves and streaming Wednesday, May 13 at 7 pm I chat with restaurateur/author  Joanne Chang about her new book, Baking with Baking with Less SugarLess Sugar  followed by a discussion with Francis Thicke, owner of Radiance Dairy and member of the National Organic Standards Board (NOSB).  This show will be rebroadcast Friday, May 15 at 7 am.

Soil Mode-Elaine InghamThe Soil Food Web was created by Dr. Elaine Ingham, who was my guest on last week's show.  If you missed the broadcast, I'll put a link to it in the next post.  It's critical that everyone understands the need to respect the soil on this planet.

Beer Can Quail-Hole in the WallHole in the Wall dessertHole in the Wall in Des Moines (1501 Grand) is one of my favorite spots anywhere to enjoy a meal full of unexpected tastes and varied textures.  It was fun to talk last week with the genius behind the always-changing menu, Zach Gutweiler, and savor every bite of his beer can quail, two kinds of Chinese buns, asparagus, brussels sprouts with vegan chorizo, and his take on the classic fudgsicle.  Plan your trip to coincide with when he opens at 6:30 pm.  He's even enhanced the Hole in the Wall dining experience by adding TV trays to go along with the plastic chairs!

  • Wed
    Jan 02
    7:00 pm -
    8:00 pm
  • Fri
    Jan 04
    7:00 am -
    8:00 am


Happy New Year to everyone!  I'm looking forward to a tasty one.

RugelachWe're going to set the stage for Great Taste's programming in 2013 with a treat that celebrates tradition, family, and baking.  Al Davis' father started baking rugelach commercially in 1939.  The crescent-shaped pastry's origin is unclear, but it definitely is part of the Ashkenazic or Eastern European Jewish kitchen culture.  The word "rugala" is Yiddish, probably derived from a Polish word meaning horn or corner.  Its food heritage may come from a Romanian pastry.

Wherever or whenever it came from, the little bites of dough, butter, cream cheese, and various fillings are delightful and addicting.  Al's bringing some just-baked rugelach to the Hy-Vee Club Room, plus he'll teach us how to prepare the pastry in our home kitchens.

Heli (right) and classmatesWarning:  Eat before you tune in!

It is with the utmost concern that I begin this blog post with the above admonition.  Over the years, I have issued this same counsel many times, and always with a valid reason.  After all, every Great Taste listener is important to me. 

For over four months in San Francisco, our own Heli Claire Witherspoon has been learning the ancient art of turning flour into delicacies that captivate the eyes and taste bCakesuds.  We'll explore with Heli and her friend, Alden Hockett, the rigors of the baker's craft, what critical pieces of information they've picked up, and get some tips on baking at home.

In the second half of the show, Molly Aronica reports in from New York where she is the restaurant editor for the popular blog, The Molly AronicaDaily Meal.  I'm determined to find out during our discussion what it takes to put together a comprehensive blog post on a daily basis.  Also, Molly was kind enough to put together a list of her favorite casual New York dining spots recently for some friends of mine.  She'll share those recommendations, in case you're planning a trip to the Big Apple.

As always, food in the studio for those lucky folks who stop by.  Streamers, you can listen here to the most delicious 60 minutes on the radio.

Eric and Denyce Rusch


New Year's resolution to eat healthier and have more fun in the kitchen? GREAT TASTE is here to help you along.


Eric Rusch
, co-founder with his wife, Denyce, of Breadtopia will share some tips guaranteeing an easy road to successful baking.