FROM THIS EPISODE
Five-year-old Olive Boog adores Julia Child's apple tarts. Her mother is KCRW digital editor Caitlin Shamberg, and together they make the tarte aux pommes at home using the Julia Child iPad app. Olive even has parts of the recipe committed to memory: "You take apples and you put them around the tart and then put some glaze on it and eat it. I love apple tarts because they taste like apples."
Olive's love of apple tarts got us wondering what informs the eating habits of children. Why do some kids crave apples or coconut while others reach for peas or cheese and crackers? We called up food writer and historian Bee Wilson for some insight. Her new book is First Bite: How We Learn to Eat.
If you haven't got it memorized, here is Julia Child's tarte aux pommes recipe. You can also watch Julia make her famous tarte tatin on The French Chef.
Music: "The French Chef Theme" by John Morris and "On Shoulders" (instrumental) by Chef'Special
Like walking and talking, eating is a developmental process. So what happens when your child can't or won't eat? Enter Dr. Mitchell Katz, director of the Children's Multidisciplinary Feeding Program at the Children's Hospital of Orange County. We asked him to walk us through how he teaches kids to eat.
Music: "Cities in the Air 2" by Pepe Deluxé
As we learned from Bee Wilson at the top of the show, we are not hardwired to prefer certain tastes and flavors. Eating patterns are instead shaped by a wide range of influences, from where we were raised to the foods we were served growing up. We asked two of our favorite food-fanatic fathers, Jonathan Gold and Lucky Peach editorial director Peter Meehan, what they are putting on their kids' plates.
Music: "Orange Skies" by Love
Pulitzer Prize-winning food writer for the LA Times Jonathan Gold takes us to Miàn, a new Sichuan noodle house opened by Tony Xu in San Gabriel. Chef Xu is responsible for the wildly popular fare at Chengdu Taste. Miàn is the Chinese word for noodles and Jonathan says there are several noodle dishes to try there. First up: the Chengdu zhajiangmian, a bowl of springy wheat noodles served with crumbled pork, chopped scallions, pickles, chile and soft peas that are imported from Chongqing. Other recommendations include the hot and sour noodles in vinegar broth, the noodles with chopped gizzards in a chile sauce, the Huaxing egg noodles with a fried egg in tomato sauce. And for dessert: minced pork dumplings.
301 West Valley Boulevard, #114-115
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Music: "Kermit's Second Line" by Kermit Ruffins
Hannibal Lecter may have eaten his fava beans with liver and a nice Chianti but at Good Food this week, fava beans will be eaten on ricotta toast. Fava beans are ancient plants that scientists believe have been cultivated as far back as 6000 BC. Often called broad beans, the legume is more pea than bean. It is still grown today for food and as a cover crop to prevent erosion and help return nitrogen to the soil.
In our neck of the woods, farmers like Francisco Garcia are bringing bushels of the bright green plants with pods, leaves, flowers and all to the market. Garcia gives Laura Avery the scoop on the best conditions for growing them at Valdivia Farms in Carlsbad. Chef Michael Fiorelli of Love & Salt recommends tossing the tender freshly shelled fava beans with olive oil, lemon juice and salt before eating them raw on ricotta toast. Watch out avocados, you've got some stiff competition. Find Chef Fiorelli's recipe on the Good Food blog. Fava bean tendrils are especially good on pizza too.
Music: "Worst Comes To Worst" by Dilated Peoples
We close out the show with something you adults might enjoy once the kids finally go to sleep: a stiff drink distilled from local ingredients. KCRW host Jonathan Bastian takes a trip to Ventura Spirits to find out how bay laurel, sage and strawberries grown on California's Central Coast are being turned into vodka and gin. Find a distillery near you on this handy interactive map.
Music: "The French Chef Theme" by John Morris, arranged by Richard Hayman