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This week on Eat Your Words, host Talia Ralph gets into the meat and grits of Southern food with Francis Lam, Top Chef judge, food writer, and the editor of Cornbread Nation 7, an anthology of the best southern food writing in recent years. From its hazy geographic boundaries to the wealth and layering of cultures and tastes, the Southern United States is more than just a spot on the map. Lam -- himself a self-described honorary Southerner, hailing from New Jersey -- addresses some tough questions about the Dixie and its foodways. He also shares his own misguided preconceptions and stories about Southern hospitality. Is Virginia the south? Is Miami, Florida? Are you still Southern if you've lived in New York for the last 10 years? Yes, yes and yes, according to this expansive collection of writing. Curious? Craving some good quality barbecue talk? Tune in to this episode for more! This program was brought to you Edwards VA Ham.

"The idea of what it means to be Southern is in a lot of ways is the idea of what it means to be American - rightly or wrongly!" [05:00]

"I've intellectually come to realize you can't just broadly paint stereotypes of people and be comfortable with them. If you told me who I thought I would meet in Mississippi when I was 16, I'd be so embarrassed with what my 16 year self would say." [12:00]

"I think Southern food has become the national regional cuisine. We like the idea that it's a regional cuisine because it makes it seem more real. The fact that the South is perceived as being tradition minded feeds into that idea." [29:00]

--Francis Lam on Eat Your Words


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Tasteofthepast
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Kara Newman explains The Secret Financial Life of Food on this week's episode of A Taste of the Past. Linda Pelaccio invites Kara into the studio to talk about her book and the history of food commodities. What foods are traded on the commodity market, and how did commodity markets develop? Hear about the role of "the Butter & Egg Man" in food history and society, and learn about urban development in relation to food trading. How do commodity prices affect prices in the supermarket? How did items like pork belly and onions almost take down the Chicago Mercantile Exchange? Find out on this week's installment of A Taste of the Past! This program has been brought to you by Fairway Market.

"In terms of what makes for a commodity from a food perspective- either it's important for our survival, or something that we hold close to us emotionally." [11:30]

"The butter and egg man was the modern Wall Street hotshot." [14:25]

-- Kara Newman on A Taste of the Past


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Eat-your-words
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There may be no more appropriate guest for Eat Your Words than Celia Sack of Omnivore Books. Omnivore Books is a store and shop featuring new, antiquarian, and collectible books on food and drink. Omnivore connects the past to the present by offering centuries of knowledge on growing, raising, and cooking food. They offer everything from 19th Century agricultural guides to how to start a kitchen garden in a 21st Century apartment. They also host numerous events featuring chefs and authors talking about their passions. Tune in as guest host Briana Kurtz chats with Celia about the mission of Omnivore, their collection and some of her favorite food books. This program was brought to you by Rolling Press.

"It's been a real challenge figuring out how to sell books in this digital era." [05:00]

"I'm constantly trying to groom new collectors. One of the best parts of this job is trying to sell books to chefs that really appreciate them." [12:00]

"Blogs have helped a lot of authors get published. Publishers are looking for people that already have a platform and following." [17:00]

--Celia Sack on Eat Your Words


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