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Tagged with “eat this podcast” (8)

  1. A visit to Hummustown

    Eating is a political act, as Wendell Berry reminded us. Which is why I was very happy to sample the food on offer by Syrian refugees in Hummustown.

    Refugees selling the food of their homeland to get a start in a new life is, by now, a cliché. Khaled (in the photo) joined their ranks a year ago. But cliché or not, selling food is an important way to give people work to do, wages, and hope. If it’s happening on your doorstep, which it is, and the food is good, which it is, what’s a hungry podcaster to do? Go there, obviously, and report back. Which is why, a couple of weeks ago, I found myself, microphone in hand, waiting patiently in line for a falafel wrap.

    Truth be told, there aren’t that many Syrian refugees in Italy. The most recent official statistics put the total at around 5000 with a little over 600 in Rome. Hummustown is helping a few of them.

    https://www.eatthispodcast.com/a-visit-to-hummustown/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  2. How the Irish created the great wines of Bordeaux (and elsewhere)

    I confess, quaffing a Lynch-Bages or a snifter of Hennessy, I have wondered how it is that such fine upstanding Irish names come to be associated with cognac and claret. There my wonderings ended, until a recent visit to Ireland, where, in Cork and Kinsale, I found answers. Starting in the 17th century an intrepid band of Irish emigrants set out first for France, then the rest of Europe, and ultimately almost anywhere wines are made. And almost everywhere they went, the Irish diaspora had an impact on wine-making that belies the idea that the Irish know only about beers.

    The story is a complex one, built on tarriff wars, free trade and political union, with a touch of religious persecution thrown in for good measure.

    Sound familiar?

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/how-the-irish-created-the-great-wines-of-bordeaux-and-elsewhere/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  3. A brief history of Irish butter

    Podcast: Play in new window | Download The Butter Museum in Cork, Ireland, features on some lists of the world’s quirky etc. food museums but not others. It ought to be on all of them. This is a seriously interesting museum for anyone who likes butter, and in my book, that means just about everyone. (I refuse absolutely to say anything about the impact – if any – of butter on health, not least because there’s nothing certain one can say.) It sits next to the grand Butter Exchange, built when the Cork Butter Market sat like a colossus astride the global market. The Irish butter traded through Cork was done in by refrigeration, fell to the lowest level possible, and then emerged again after Ireland joined the European Union, by returning to the principles that made the Cork Butter Exchange great. The Butter Museum tells the whole story. This episode tells a bit of it.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/a-brief-history-of-irish-butter/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  4. When is a zucchini not a zucchini?

    People accused me of being a tease when I originally published that banner photograph up there and said that it was not a zucchini. It was, I admit, a deliberate provocation. It all depends on whether we’re speaking English or Italian. Because in English it isn’t, strictly speaking, a zucchini. It is a cocozelle, a type of summer squash that differs from a zucchini in a couple of important ways, one being that it hangs onto its flower a lot longer. So a flower on a cocozelle is not the guarantee of freshness that it is on a true zucchini. In Italian, however, it is a zucchini. Or rather, a zucchina. Because in modern Italian, all summer squashes are zucchine.

    Teresa Lust is a linguist and food writer. Harry Paris is a plant breeder who specialises in pumpkins, melons and the like. Together, they have just published a paper that pushes back the known history of the zucchini. They guided me through the somewhat convoluted history of true pumpkins in Italy.

    It’s a story of exploration, aristocracy and promiscuity. What more could you want?

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/when-is-a-zucchini-not-a-zucchini/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  5. A novel approach to food security

    It is so easy to forget that very few people know anything about plant breeding and how vital it is to having enough to eat. The time it takes, and the resources it needs — financial, genetic, human — are just not something most people know about. No wonder, then, that many people don’t quite grasp the urgency with which we need to get cracking now to breed crops adapted to predicted climate conditions.

    Susan Dworkin’s new book The Commons sidesteps that by hurling us 150 years into the future, to a world in which the failure to respond almost doomed our species to extinction.

    Huffduffed from http://www.eatthispodcast.com/a-novel-approach-to-food-security/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  6. Knives: the new bling

    Bling, the Urban Dictionary tells me, is an onomatopoeic representation of light bouncing off a diamond. Or a Bob Kramer original hand-made chef’s knife, which goes for $2000 and up. Of course some people might be able to justify spending that kind of cash on what is, after all, one of the key tools of the trade … if your trade happens to be cooking. But my guest today, Peter Hertzmann, says he sees lots of knives, maybe not quite that expensive, hanging on the wall in people’s kitchens, unused. “Kitchen knives”, he told this year’s Oxford Symposium on Food and Cookery, are “the new bling”.

    Peter teaches knife skills, has written extensively on the topic, and one of the things he is adamant about is that you never chop, you slice. Even if you’re pretty handy with a blade, you can probably learn a thing or two from his video Three Aspects of Knife Skills. I know I did.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/knives/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  7. Pasta

    There’s supposed to be this whole mystique surrounding “proper” pasta: how to cook it, which shape with what sauce, how to eat it, all that. And if you’re not born to it, you’ll never really understand it. Well, maybe not, but with a little effort you can get a whole lot closer to authenticity. Maureen Fant, a writer and scholar who has lived in Rome since 1979, has a new book out with her collaborator Oretta Zanini de Vita, making their Encyclopedia of Pasta a tad more kitchen-friendly. Sauces and Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way is a curious blend of the constrained and the relaxed … just like Italy. One of the things they’re relaxed about is shapes for sauces, which came as a bit of a surprise. One of the things they’re not relaxed about is overcooked pasta, which did not.

    There was so much else we could have talked about, and the book is a one of those cookbooks that is as much a good read as a manual of instruction. As for my beloved cacio e pepe, fashionable or not, I am greatly encouraged by the the news that “[t]his is not a dish to make for a crowd … The smaller the quantity, the better the result.” That’s all the encouragement I need.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/pasta/

    —Huffduffed by adactio

  8. Why save seeds?

    What, really, is the point of conserving agricultural biodiversity? The formal sector, genebanks and the like, will say it is about genetic resources and having on hand the traits to breed varieties that will solve the challenges tomorrow might throw up. Thousands of seed savers around the world might well agree with that, at least partially. I suspect, though, that for most seed savers the primary reason is surely more about food, about having the varieties they want to eat. David Cavagnaro has always championed that view. David’s is a fascinating personal history, which currently sees him working on the Pepperfield Project, “A Non-Profit Organization Located in Decorah, IA Promoting and Teaching Hands-On Cooking, Gardening and Agrarian Life Skills”. I first met David 15 or 20 years ago at Seed Savers Exchange in Decorah. This year, I was lucky enough to be invited there again, and I lost no time in finding time for a chat.

    David pointed out that immigrants are often keen gardeners and, perforce, seed savers as they struggle to maintain their distinctive food culture in a new land. That’s true for the Hmong in Minneapolis, Asian communities in England and, I’m sure, many others elsewhere. What happens as those communities assimilate? The children and grandchildren of the immigrant gardeners are unlikely to feel the same connection to their original food culture, and may well look down on growing food as an unsuitable occupation. Is immigrant agricultural biodiversity liable to be lost too? Efforts to preserve it don’t seem to be flourishing.

    Seed saving for its own sake, rather than purely as a route to sustenance, does seem to be both a bit of a luxury and to require a rather special kind of personality. John Withee, whose bean collection brought David Cavagnaro to Seed Savers Exchange and people like Russ Crow, another of his spritual heirs, collect and create stories as much as they do agricultural biodiversity. And that’s something formal genebanks never seem to document.

    http://www.eatthispodcast.com/why-save-seeds/

    —Huffduffed by adactio