FROM THIS EPISODE
The phrase “eating your young” implies a brutal and savage nature. Au contraire, says zoologist Bill Schutt. He’s studied cannibalism extensively in animals and humans and has found that it occurs much more commonly than we’d like to think. His new book is “Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History.” Squeamish listeners might want to turn down the volume for this segment; some of it might be disturbing.
OK, back to the realm of “Good Food.” You remember Tony Danza? He played a single dad, retired baseball player and housekeeper/boyfriend to Angela Bower on the 1980s TV sitcom, “Who’s the Boss?” Bet you didn’t know he now owns a cheese store in New York City. Alleva of Little Italy bills itself as the oldest cheese store in America, where they’ve been pulling and smoking their mozzarella in-house for 125 years. Now who’s the boss?
Next we return to our neck of the woods to sample hundreds of different cheeses. We wish! Seriously though, The Cheese Store of Beverly Hills has 500 different kinds of cheeses for every occasion. The shop celebrates its 50th anniversary this year, so we stopped in for a visit with owner Norbert Wabnig to learn how he started there and get a taste of his top three recommendations. Can you guess which ones?
If cheese ain’t your thing, consider gravlax, lingonberry jam and cod roe squeezed from a tube atop a slice of crusty bread. That’s what's on offer at Olson’s Scandinavian Delicatessen on Pico Boulevard. The shop switched hands from one Olson to another after it first opened its doors in 1948. It’s now owned by Christian Kneedler, who took over the deli roughly three years ago. He’s carrying on the Olsons’ tradition and giving Angelenos a taste of home.
Syria has long been on our minds since the Arab Spring protests first erupted throughout the Middle East in 2011, and even more so now with President Trump’s recent travel bans. Pulitzer Prize-winning food critic Jonathan Gold closes out this week’s show in Van Nuys, where he tries Syrian-style kobee — that’s ground beef and pine nuts seasoned with traditional spices that owner Wafa Ghreir stuffs and fries in bulgur. But that’s not all. Fateh, mjadara and m saren — tender lamb sausages served in a cinnamony broth — are also on Jonathan’s list of things to try at Kobee Factory and Syrian Kitchen. Find out more from his LA Times review.
Nermeen and owner Wafa Ghreir. (Camellia Tse/KCRW)