Photo: Santa Barbara spot prawn (Camellia Tse)
FROM THIS EPISODE
Shrimp is the most popular seafood eaten in the US. Americans consume 1.3 billion pounds of it each year, which amounts to roughly four pounds per person. But very little shrimp eaten here comes from local waters: Thailand dominates the market and half of the country's shrimp exports end up on American tables.
Two years ago, a team of Associated Press reporters discovered forced labor and human trafficking in the supply chain. The AP has been publishing the findings since then in a remarkable multimedia series called "Seafood from slaves." The project was awarded a Pulitzer Prize earlier this year.
Martha Mendoza, a national writer for the AP, takes us back to the moment when she and her colleagues decided to focus their collective investigative reporting lens on the Thai shrimp industry. Tune into our show in the weeks ahead to get the scoop on her next big exposé in the series, to be published later this month.
Music: "Cañamo Medico" by EarthRise Sound System and "Green Arrow" by Yo La Tengo
The downside to knowing more about where your food comes from is that nagging moral sense telling you it's time to make a change. So if we want to eat shrimp that is grown sustainably and locally, what are our options? We get some answers from Paul Greenberg, a journalist who can make a book on seafood as engaging as any mystery novel. He wrote the James Beard Award-winning book Four Fish: The Future of the Last Wild Food and American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood.
While we're on the subject of sustainable seafood, head to the Good Food blog to see what's for sale at Cape Seafood and Provisions. Michael Cimarusti, the chef and co-owner at Providence and Connie & Ted's, opened Cape Seafood in West Hollywood with his team in March. We're still thinking about the Santa Barbara spot prawns cooked in piles of 500-degree kosher salt and rosemary that culinary director Brandon Gray cooked for us at the shop. Outstanding.
Music: "Bus Stop Boxer" by The Eels
Live leeches, cow brains and dried manure. Matthew Biancaniello ate them all before finding his way to LA's craft cocktail movement. Now he forages and scours farmers markets to source 15-ingredient Bloody Marys and concoctions that feature uni and emu eggs. Biancaniello's favorite recipes are compiled in his book, Eat Your Drink. Find a recipe for his “Lost in Laos” cocktail on the Good Food blog.
Music: "I Mean You" by Thelonious Monk and "The Message" by Grandmaster Flash and the Furious Five
Nothing says Labor Day like BBQ. Kansas City, the Carolinas and Memphis have all got their own styles. Then there's Texas. The Lone Star State has at least four kinds of 'Q all by itself, says Robb Walsh, three-time James Beard Award-winner and member of Foodways Texas. He breaks down the styles for us, clues us into why BBQ is eaten on Juneteenth and on how Upton Sinclair's The Jungle changed the lives of pit masters everywhere. A second edition of his Legends of Texas Barbecue bible is available wherever books are sold.
Music: "Texas Flood" by Stevie Ray Vaughn
More From Good Food
NAFTA and Mexico, coastal California, and a Queens food tour Trump has called NAFTA the “worst” trade deal in history, but professor Alyshia Galvez says it’s Mexico’s food system that bears the brunt of it. Santa Barbara is home to some of California’s greatest seafood and produce, as Jason Paluska and Pascale Beale know all too well. Plus: a culinary tour of the New York’s most diverse borough, and novelist Jervey Tervalon dedicates a poem to his late friend Jonathan Gold.
The 'Fuerte Four,’ nixtamalization, and eggplants Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament is this Sunday and our judges are faced with the ultimate decision: corn or flour? Bill Esparza talks tortilla makers in the LA area. And did you know that inside your tortilla is an ancient process, perfected over centuries? Also, L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls a Guadalajara taco crawl with Jonathan Gold. Plus: some tips on cooking eggplant, now in season.
Plastic straws, Persian cuisine, and Meathead Goldwyn What does the history of plastic straws tell us about U.S. capitalism? Growing up in Tehran, Naz Deravian watched her parents entertain with classic Persian dishes; now she’s carrying on the tradition in LA. Stressed about cooking brisket this Rosh Hashanah? Help is here. Plus, Zach Brooks stops by to discuss Jonathan Gold’s review of Vespertine.
Jell-O and feminism, ‘Losing Earth,’ vertical farming A new book examines the intersection of American feminism and Jell-O. This Labor Day, throw some desserts on the grill. Nathaniel Rich dives into the consequences of ignoring climate change warnings. Does vertical farming yield the same nutrient content as open air agriculture? Also: Tien Nguyen remembers Jonathan Gold’s impassioned defense of San Gabriel noodle shops, including Nha Trang.
LATEST BLOG POSTS
Taste California’s coast with Santa Barbara veggies Santa Barbara’s microclimates make it home to some of California’s best seafood and produce. Jason Paluska, executive chef at The Lark, showcases the region’s eclectic culinary style in his cookbook “Around the Table: Recipes and Stories from the Lark in Santa Barbara.” Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, Grand Finale: And SoCal’s Best Tortilla Is… Wow, what a great time yesterday at KCRW’s Inaugural Great Tortilla Tournament! Throngs of people lined up to taste samples from our Fuerte Four Finalists: Kernel of Truth and Taco… Read More
Gustavo’s Great Tortilla Tournament, week 4 recap: Behold SoCal’s four best tortillas! The bracket has been narrowed, the comal is heating up, and the tortillas are being filled for this Sunday at LA River and Gardens Center in Cypress Park! Find out who the final four are and don’t forget to RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, and live music. Read More