Over the past several decades as the growth of artisanal foods has exploded, a greater appreciation for the ”terroir" aspect of coffee, beer, wine, chocolate, cheese, and other foods has given rise to a ”craft" culture that includes a developing pricing system supportive of continued growth. But, one major food group-grains, is lagging behind this surge. What is different about the bread culture in the USA; a culture that is achieving well-earned understanding and recognition, but not at a pace even close to many complementary food groups?On the most recent "Eater Update" podcast (check it out on iTunes, Overcast or your favorite podcast app), Modernist Cuisine co-author, Nathan Myhrvold shared his thinking on this complex problem:”Bread is something that our society tried to relentlessly get to be cheap. And oh my God did we succeed. Wheat is cheaper than dirt.If you take a loaf of bread, whether it is artisanal bread or supermarket bread, the amount of your money that went to the farmer is about five cents. ... Now, that is screwed up."On this week's show I hope we can plant seeds that will add to the cultivation of our own small, but growing, local grain economy, and countless others around the States. Assisting us in reaching this objective are Amy Halloran, author of The New Bread Basket, and David Kaisel of Northern California's Capay Mills. In the studio, I'll be joined by Breadtopia's Eric and Denyce Rusch, along with Run of the Mill Organics Dean Goodale. Please tune into the live broadcast on KRUU or the stream Wednesday at 7:00 PM and Friday at 7:00 AM. All times are Central Daylight Time. Next week Great Taste is LIVE from Green Building Supply on Tuesday, April 4, at 7:00 PM. Our guest is Neerja Maheshwari, and the focus and tastes are from the Indian state of Rajasthan.
Long before Bram Stoker popularized the use of garlic in his classic 19th century novel, Dracula, Romanians had been using it for centuries to repel evil in a variety of forms.
The actual origins of the cultivated plant have never been clearly established though it's probable descendent is from the species, Allium longicuspis, which can be found in Central and Southwestern Asia.
But what really interests us about garlic is EATING it. Contrary to its popular use in Italian/American restaurants as a main ingredient in almost any dish (read that as "all you can taste is garlic."), garlic is amazing as a subtle flavor element though it can take a leading role as in the classic pasta dish, aglio (garlic), olio, e peperoncino. That's what Kathy will prepare in the studio along with bruschetta w/roasted garlic.
Ever wondered about the steps required to open a top-notch dining establishment? Chef Matt Steigerwald has gone through the process multiple times, including his current initiative with Wilson's Orchard. Join Matt and me on this week's broadcast, and learn about the creation of Rapid Creek Cidery. I am certain you will find it inspriring and insightfull to listen as he describes the process of building a concept, menu, suppliers, and staff.
I'm super excited as I'm back in the KRUU studio for the first time in many weeks. At the outset of the show, I welcome back certified health coach, and beauty editor, Jolene Hart. Jolene is someone who really understands that eating is critical to inner and outer happiness. Her new book, Eat Pretty, is replete with guidance that will uplift you 365 days of the year, and support your quest for a more positive lifestyle.
Jolene does not subscribe to one particular style of dietary recommendations or way of living. Rather, she has distilled from her personal experience, research, and client relationships concentrated nuggets of information designed to enhance anyone's well-being. Though the book's admirers tend to be female, I believe its tips work for any gender. Tune in, and let Jolene inspire you.
REMINDER: GREAT TASTE LIVE AT GREEN BUILDING SUPPLY
TUESDAY, JANUARY 3 AT 7:00 PM
with CHEF ERIC FROM EVERYBODY'S CAFE
Last week's visit with Tenaya Darlington author along with her brother, André of Movie Night Menus, inspired me to replay the following show about movies and food. If you want to curl up on the couch with a great food flick read on.
It was so much fun discussing food in films with Caroline M. Grant. Caroline and her collaborator, Lisa Catherine Harper, are the editors of The Cassoulet Saved Our Marriage, a fascinating book of diverse essays focussed on "true tales of food, family, and how we learn to eat."
Caroline is an avid movie lover so we spent the hour talking about some of our favorite films where food plays a role like Aing Lee's Eat Drink Man Woman and its Westernized counterpart, Tortilla Soup. Dinner Rush, The Big Night, Moonstruck, and others were part of the banter before time ran out. We had many other films on our list, but I'm curious how the ones we ended up talking about fit in with your favorites. Let me know. Send your comments to email@example.com.
Caroline's kids also nominated their favorite food film.
Whenever I think of chestnuts the first image that pops into my mind is a street vendor in Rome selling fresh roasted marroni (chestnuts) in little brown bags. The smell of a wood fire wafts into my nostrils, and my heart fills with longing to walk the streets of Roma on a cold December night with my wife, and stroll from piazza to piazza experiencing the wide variety of stalls filled with a myriad of items for Natale.
Next I am transported to a small woods in Cerro, a tiny town above Verona at the foot of the mountains. Our family is walking with Severina, our Italian mother, and she is instructing us on how to find and pick up chestnuts. She turns the leaves over with her cane uncovering more and more of the prickly cases that encase the nut. We stuff our bags full, and head to her apartment to roast some, and get warm.
It may not be quite as romantic, but John Freeberg, Michael Havelka, and a few other folks joined me at Green Building Supply on Tuesday, December 13 for our own local chestnut festival. John turned out a quite delicious apple/chestnut soup. Also, he made a chestnut hummus, a chocolate cake with chestnuts, and the live audience enjoyed a triple cream cow's milk cheese (Trillium from Fox River Dairy)with a honeycrisp apple, and hot spiced apple juice.
Michael Havelka talked about the chestnut, its history in the States and Iowa, growing chestnuts for profit, and John chimed in about preparing them in numerous ways. We also tackled such lofty topics as the future of agriculture with Avi Pogel, Dr. Thimm, Chef Eric, and one or two other folks contributing to the lively discussion.
Next month join me and Chef Eric from Everybody's Cafe LIVE at GBS at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 3.
Interviews either click or they don't. Luckily, most of the time, they flow smoothly. Some times they flow like they could go on forever.
It was a real pleasure talking with Julia Turshen, and I actually discovered the "why" near the end of our discussion. Sorry, I can't give the revelation away, but I hope you'll listen and find out for yourself.
Julia has co-authored cookbooks, many for top-notch chefs and cooks like Mario Batali and Dana Cowin, and even the actor, Gwyneth Paltrow. She even hosted her own radio show for a time, Radio Cherry Bombe, on the Heritage Radio Network. Small Victories is her first cookbook, and it is an intimately personal tome full of stories that accompany each recipe.
JAKE GRATZON OF OLD CAPITOL FOOD COMPANY, JENNIFER KNOX OF SALTLICKERS, and Mary Adam, astounding local cook were guests on Tuesday's LIVE Great Taste at Green Building Supply!
Listen to the show on KRUU at 7:00 PM Wednesday or 7:00 AM on Friday.
Rosie Witherspoon from the At Home Store joined me Tuesday night at Green Building Supply for our montly GREAT TASTE LIVE show. We talked and cooked together, and Tom Allen surprised us by dropping by, joining in on the fun, and singing a song about the Boston Tea Party.
We built the show around a few critical utensils that will help you cook more effectively and easily. We featured silicone spatulas from GIR, Gefu's spiralizer, cheese grater, and mandoline, plus a cool jar lid that makes pickling in small batches a breeze.
Steve Katz is a renaissance man, cook, writer, recipe developer, attorney, musician, and a deep thinker concerning the role of men in the kitchen. Rosie Witherspoon, owner of the At Home Store, met Steve at the International Housewares Show this past March, wrote an article about him for the Iowa Source, and joined me this week in a discussion with Steve about gender and location specific (men in the kitchen) behavioral characteristics. Men (and women) get ready. You will be nodding in agreement with each observation Steve makes.
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