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FROM THIS EPISODE

The Fuerte Four 4 MIN, 15 SEC

Gustavo Arellano’s Great Tortilla Tournament is right around the corner, which means our bracket is approaching its climactic finale. Now down to the Fuerte Four, our judges have found the best tortillas in Los Angeles and aren’t holding any opinions back. RSVP for a day of micheladas, tortilla art, music, and games at the LA River and Gardens Center this Sunday, September 16th.

Tortillas in Los Angeles 4 MIN, 30 SEC


The team at La Princesita packages their freshly made tortillas in their
Boyle Heights factory. Photo by Rosalie Atkinson/KCRW.

Curious what makes an trophy-worthy tortilla? Evan Kleiman was, too. To prepare for the upcoming tortilla tournament, she asks Bill Esparza to share his James Beard Award-winning wisdom on the landscape of tortilla making in the greater LA area.

Market Report: Eggplants 7 MIN, 51 SEC


Eggplants of all shapes and sizes are going fast at the market. Photo by Joseph Stone.

Cooking eggplant can be tricky. Lior Hillel from Bacari shares tips on avoiding greasy, overcooked eggplant. Farmer Chow Her from Fresno Evergreen explains the wide variety of eggplants grown in California.

Making masa 7 MIN, 26 SEC

At Boyle Heights’ Carnitas Uruapan, Eddie de la Torre sells the fresh masa for his brother’s delicious tortillas at Guisados, the taqueria next door. He details what goes into the process of making perfect masa and what to cook with it.

The ancient chemistry inside your taco 15 MIN, 51 SEC

When you bite into a taco, huarache, or a fresh corn tortilla, you’re tasting the results of an ancient chemical process called nixtamalization and dates back to 1500 BCE. The science podcast “Distillations” went into this process in 2016. Rigoberto Hernandez reported from Philadelphia.

Daniel Hernandez: Jonathan Gold on El Parian 8 MIN, 1 SEC

We continue to remember Pulitzer Prize-winning writer Jonathan Gold. L.A. Taco’s Daniel Hernandez recalls taking Jonathan and his spouse Laurie Ochoa on a taco crawl in Guadalajara, Mexico. Hernandez says Gold’s photographic memory of street tacos in Mexico informed his review of the Guadalajara-style restaurant El Parian in Los Angeles.

Guerrilla Tacos 8 MIN, 30 SEC


Sweet potato tacos with almond salsa from chef
Wes Avila’s first cookbook. Photo by DYLAN + JENI.

How is “a fat kid from Pico Rivera, turned DJ, turned teamster, turned fine-dining cook, turned DIY -food-truck chef” changing the taco game in LA? In October 2017, Evan Kleiman spoke with chef and taquero Wes Avila to learn about his career, recipes, and brick-and-mortar restaurant that recently opened in the Arts District after months of anticipation.

Guerrilla Tacos

Wesley Avila

CREDITS

Fan favorite Burritos La Palma’s buttery flour tortillas have advanced into the final four. Photo by Rosalie Atkinson.

Host:
Evan Kleiman

Producers:
Nick Liao
Rosalie Atkinson
Joseph Stone
Laryl Garcia

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