Seed Bombs; Boysenberries; Rendering Plants; California Olive Oil
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What happens to unused meat and fat from a market or restaurant? They're sent to rendering plants. Dr. David Meeker explains what that is. Landscape professional Joel Karston shares the secret to growing food in straw. Zannie Flanagan is a farmers market pioneer in Australia. She describes the nascent movement down under. Good Food host Evan Kleiman visits We Olive in Long Beach, where she samples a selection of California olive oils with owner Debbie Brooks. Then, she tours Gene Bianchi's organic avocado farm in Temecula. Jonathan Gold explores Chiu Chow-style Chinese food in Alhambra. Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud have created seed bombs which promote guerrilla gardening in L.A. Boysenberries are a genetic cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. Pomologist David Karp has the details in the Market Report. And street-food vendor Nina Garcia shares the secrets of her special sauce.
Market Report ()
Laura Avery and David Karp
David Karp is a pomologist with UC Riverside. He also writes for The Los Angeles Times. Boysenberries are a raspberry / blackberry hybrid with a short season (only late May and June). It's related to the Loganberry, the Marionberry, and dewberries. Read David's article in the LA Times. Choose boysenberries that are dark in color. Find them in Mexico, Southern California and Oregon.
Daniel Mattern is the chef at Ammo Cafe in Hollywood. They are doing Sunday prix fixe dinners with a them. This Sunday, they're doing an Ode to Cherries. Their main course is roasted cherries with pork.
Ammo’s Balsamic Roasted Cherries
One of our favorite things to do with them is roast them in the wood-burning oven until they burst out of their skin and release their juices. Cooked this way the cherries make a terrific accompaniment for pork or duck, but they can also be served on their own as an appetizer with a nice spoonful of mascarpone.
For this dish, we prefer the juicy varieties such as Burlatt or Bing. Although a firmer cherry, such as the Brooks variety, holds up in the oven very nicely.
1 lb of cherries, intact (don’t pit or remove stems)
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1/4 cup good quality balsamic vinegar
Kosher salt and ground black pepper to taste
1. Place one of the oven racks in the upper section of the oven and preheat to 400°F.
2. Rinse the cherries with cold water and pad them dry gently with a kitchen towel.
3. Place cherries in a bowl and toss them with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, and season generously with salt and pepper.
4. Transfer cherries to a non-reactive baking dish (glass or porcelain are ideal) with the stem standing up. Preferably, the cherries will fit really close to one another. Cover the baking dish with aluminum foil.
5. Roast the cherries in the oven for 20 minutes or until they start to release their juices. Remove the foil, and place the baking dish back in the oven for another 5 minutes to allow the juices caramelize a bit.
6. Remove from the oven and let them sit for 5 minutes. Serve cherries as desired spooning on top a little bit of the juice.
Farmers Markets in Oz ()
Zannie Flanagan is a food activist in South Australia. She started the Willunga Farmers Market and just started the Adelaide Showground Farmers Market. Willunga is close to South Australia's wine region and has a climate similar to California. The market is supported by members. They pay $30 per year and get 10% off at market stalls.
Growing Food in Straw ()
Joel Karston is a landscape professional in Minnesota. He has pioneered a method of growing plants in straw bales. According to Joel, it's a different type of container gardening. The straw is conditioned, much like compost, before planting. Joel recommends planting from seedling rather than planting from seed. Bales only last one season.
Music Break: Un frere (Instrumental) by Frere Animal
California Olive Oil ()
Debby and Phil Brooks own We Olive in Long Beach. They specialize in California olive oils. Evan tasted the following oils during her visit:
Robbins Family Farm - Jesse's Harmony Blend
Owen's Creek - Sicilian Style
Hillstone Olive Oil - Arbequina
McEvoy Ranch - Organic Olive Oil
We Olive also sells olive oils in bulk. They have a number of varieties including organic Ascolano and Kalamata.
Trader Joe's also has several inexpensive oils. The President's Reserve Extra Virgin Olive Oil which is usually $5.99 for a 1 ltr bottle, should be used for cooking and some salad dressings. Trader Giotto's Sicilian Selezione, $6.99 for 500ml is good for drizzling.
Island Hopping with Jonathan Gold ()
Jonathan Gold is the Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Weekly. This week, Jonathan heads to Alhambra this week for some Chiu Chow cooking. He recommends the Hakka Chicken and the Prime Rib Fried Rice.
203 W. Valley Blvd.
Music Break: Under the Table by Peter Thomas
Recycling Meat and Fat ()
Dr. David Meeker is a Senior Vice President at the National Renderers Association and handles their scientific issues. The industry processes 59 billion pounds of unused livestock material. The material is used for cosmetics, explosives, toothpaste, pet food, pharmaceuticals and more. The NRA represents over 50 companies that has over 200 plants across the country. According to Dr. Meeker, rendering fats and proteins removes carbon dioxide and potential greenhouse gases from the environment.
A Visit to an Avocado Farm ()
Gene Bianchi owns a 10 acre avocado grove in Temecula. He grows Hass and Lamb-Hass avocados organically. Avocados are picked by hand.
Music Break: Upside Down by The Daktaris
Seed Bombs ()
Daniel Phillips and Kim Karlsrud are the designers of Greenaid, a candy machine for seed bombs. Seed bombs are packed with clay, compost and seeds. They're tools in a growing guerrilla gardening movement, which encourages people to grow flowers in abandoned lots and other barren locations. Danny and Kim hope people throw the "bombs" in an abandoned area and watch the flowers grow.
This map lists the location of Greenaid's candy machines selling seed bombs:
View Greenaid Vending Machine Locations in a larger map
Street Food Champion ()
Nina Garcia is one of the original Breed Street vendors. She sells homemade Mexican food near Breed Street in Los Angeles. She recently won the Vendys, a street food awards show. Follow Nina on Twitter. She makes quesadillas with a seed salsa.
Photo courtesy Serious Eats
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