FROM THIS EPISODE
Phillip Vowles has been growing vegetables in Wales for more than 30 years. But these aren't your average veg. His ginormous zucchini, known as marrow in those parts, are armchair-sized monsters that regularly top 100 pounds. We reached Vowles in the Vale of Glamorgan to find out how he grows his behemoths.
Music: (top) Music: "Hwyl Fawr I Pawb" by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci and (bottom) "Moons Beats Yellow" by Gorky's Zygotic Mynci
Fungi are among the oldest living things on Earth. Mycologist Paul Stamets believes they can be used to clean polluted soil, create insecticides and even treat smallpox and flu viruses. Christian Schwarz is one of the authors of the new field guide Mushrooms of the Redwood Coast. He gives us a primer on California fungi.
Music: "Hobo Strut"
This time of year, our farmers markets are full of red, purple, yellow and orange tomatoes — from pint-sized Sungolds to heirlooms to other more robust varieties for sauces. Since this summer's bounty will only be around for a few more weeks, you'd better stock your pantry now. At the Santa Monica Farmers' Market, Holly Jivin, the chef de cuisine at The Bazaar in Hollywood, explains what makes her a tomato purist, and farmer Pernille Carpenter, of Coastal Organics in Santa Paula, tells us about the love, blood, sweat and tears that he sows into each year's crop. Find more tomato talk on the Good Food blog.
Music: "I Travestiti"
Last month, the Chicago Tribune began to publish the findings of a nine-month deep dive into the Illinois pork industry. In recent years, hundreds of new industrial hog operations have popped up across Illinois, which is the fourth largest pork-producing state in the nation. Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter David Jackson headed up the Tribune's investigation, "The Price of Pork." Spoiler alert: Do not listen to this segment over a meal! We guarantee you will lose your appetite.
Music: (top) "Maybe I Know (Cover)" and (bottom) "So Voce e Eu"
Imagine warm, hand-shaped triangles of rice sprinkled or filled with salted salmon or Japanese pickled vegetables that are wrapped in roasted nori. These are onigiri or, as they are also called, omusubi. They're popular, easy-to-make Japanese snacks that Sonoko Sakai says are convenience store darlings and every mom's answer to bento-style sushi. In her new book Rice Craft, Sakai gives step-by-step instructions for how to make them at home. Find a recipe for her bacon and scrambled egg onigiri on the Good Food blog.
Jonathan Gold closes out this week's show with the scoop on where to find the best Asian fried chicken in Los Angeles. "There are so many chicken frying traditions all over Asia," says Jonathan, "every country has its own or many, many different kinds and we're lucky to have a lot of them." KCRW's Abbie Fentress Swanson and Camellia Tse made the rounds, drumstick by drumstick and wing by wing. Check out Jonathan Gold's world of Asian fried chicken in LA, mapped, on the Good Food blog.
Music: "Rusty Dusty Blues" by BB King
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.
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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