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Linda Civitello recounts the history of Halloween, while Eddie Lin dines on strange sausages. Eric Nuzum share his obsession with blood-drinking vampires, Marion Nestle discusses melamine and how it entered the food supply and nutritionist Jill Jayne explains fear's impact on digestion. Plus, Andrew Steiner slices up stinky cheeses, Nat Bletter leads edible plant tours of New York's Central Park and Laura Avery has a fresh Market Report.

Simply Organic

Jesse Ziff Cool

Guest Interview The Market Report 6 MIN, 24 SEC



Peter Schaner of Schaner Family Farms travels from Valley Center in northern San Diego County and brings pomegranates this time of year.  A good way to get at the pomegranate's juicy seeds is to submerge the staining red fruit in a bowl of water, break it open and help the seeds out. As the pith rises to the top the seeds will fall to the bottom. Avoid the "prettier" fruits and look for the pomegranates with cracked skin, which signals that the seeds are swollen with juice.

Laura Avery also chats with Amelia Saltsman, who celebrates the hundreds of varieties of fresh apples by making an apple crisp. Fresh or candied ginger and corn meal make this type of crisp very delicious.

Apple Crisp with Cornmeal-Ginger Topping
Makes 8-10 servings

  • 4 to 5 lbs apples (use a mix of sweet and tart, melting- and firm-fleshed apples)
    2 Tablespoons honey, warmed
    2 to 4 Tablespoons lemon juice, dessert wine, or Calvados
    3/4 cup butter, cut into small pieces
    1 cup flour
    2/3 cup cornmeal
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 cup sugar
    1/4 cup golden brown sugar, packed
    2 tsps chopped fresh ginger or 2 Tablespoons chopped crystallized ginger
    Zest of 1 lemon
  • For topping: Fresh cream, Greek yogurt, or crème fraiche

Preheat oven to 400°. Peel, core, and quarter apples. Place in 3-quart shallow baking dish and toss with honey and lemon juice.

In a bowl, mix together the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugars, ginger and lemon zest. Using your fingers or a pastry cutter, work the ingredients until they come together in uneven bits, from the texture of cornmeal to pieces the size of peas. Sprinkle topping over apples and bake in preheated oven until topping is browned and fruit is very tender, about 1 hour. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream, yogurt, or crème fraiche.

© 2008, Amelia Saltsman, The Santa Monica Farmers’ Market Cookbook: Seasonal Foods, Simple Recipes, and Stories from the Market and Farm (Blenheim Press, 2007)

Music break: Mi Buenos Aires Querido by Hugo Diaz

Guest Interview Melamine 9 MIN, 1 SEC

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Marion Nestle, a highly respected professor of nutrition, food studies and public health at New York University, discusses melamine and how it entered the food supply. Nestle's latest book is Pet Food Politics: The Chihuahua in the Coal Mine. She also discusses food issues on her blog, What to Eat.

Music break: Mindelo by Chico Serra

Pet Food Politics

Marion Nestle

Guest Interview Stinky Cheese 7 MIN, 7 SEC

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Fromager Andrew Steiner highlights fine stinky cheeses and explains why they smell. He is the owner of Andrew's Cheese Shop in Santa Monica.

Stinky cheese sampling:
Epoisses de Bourgogne - From northern Burgundy; soft, runny and salty
Krummenswiler - Barnyard smell with Swiss flavors
Roccolo - Musty smell, firm cheese
Red Hawk -  Mildly stinky, very buttery
Timanoix - Rind is washed with a mixture of walnut brandy and brine; chocolaty flavor

Andrew's Cheese Shop
728 Montana Ave
Santa Monica, CA 90403

Music break: Mitternachts-Blues (Midnight Blues) by Bert Kaempfert

Guest Interview An Edible Tour of Central Park 7 MIN, 36 SEC


Ethno-botanist Nat Bletter leads edible plant tours of Central Park in New York City. He also shares his adventures grazing around the world. Nat will be leading a cultural and culinary tour of Bali this October.


Music break: Mrs. Robinson by the James Taylor Quartet

Guest Interview Vampire Tales 7 MIN, 45 SEC

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Vampire-obsessed Eric Nuzum talks about garlic as vampire repellent, drinking blood and other vampire lore. He points out that the vampire myth was created because of the rabies scare during the 19th century, which caused those afflicted to foam at the mouth and bleed.

Nuzum is the author of The Dead Travel Fast: Stalking Vampires from Nosferatu to Count Chocula and spends his days at National Public Radio.


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Vlad Dracula's grave

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Crazy monk in a blue dingy

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Crazy monk

Music break: Mustard Swing by Ton van Bergeyk

Guest Interview Strange Sausages 6 MIN, 31 SEC

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Fearless eater and Deep End Dining blogger Eddie Lin samples strange sausages at Brats Brothers Gourmet Sausage Grill in Sherman Oaks. He says to be sure to try the custom-made curry ketchup and smoked ketchup.

Eddie recommends:
The Wild West -- buffalo meat marinated in Burgundy wine
Swamp Thing -- smoked alligator sausage
New Zealander- spicy lamb imported from New Zealand
The Cajun - wild boar andouille sausage
The Aussie - ostrich sausage served with hot and sweet mustard

Brats Brothers Gourmet Sausage Grill
13456 1/2 Ventura Blvd
Sherman Oaks, CA 91423

8516 W 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90048

Music break: Mystery Train by Shawn Lee's Ping Pong Orchestra

Guest Interview Digesting Fear 6 MIN, 55 SEC

Nutritionist Jill Jayne explains how is digested and why fear impacts the body. A registered dietitian who is known as the Rockstar Nutritionist, Jayne teaches health education to children through music.

Music break: Night In Avoriaz by Francis Lai

Guest Interview History of Halloween 6 MIN, 11 SEC


Linda Civitello talks about the history of Halloween, how the pumpkin became associated with this holiday, trick-or-treating and candy corn. Civitello, who is on the culinary faculty at the Art Institute of California and teaches at the California School of Culinary Arts, is also the author of Cuisine and Culture: a History of Food and People.

Cuisine and Culture

Linda Civitello

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