Episode 316: Feast of the Seven Fishes with Michele Scicolone
Italian cookbooks do not refer to it by name. It's not known by name in Italy. In fact, in the north of Italy it's unheard of, and the Catholic church does not recognize it. So what exactly is the Feast of Seven Fishes and how did it come to be associated with Italian-American Christmas Eve celebrations? Cookbook author Michele Scicolone helps shed some light on the search for the beginnings of this feast which just might be an Italo-American construct.
Episode 315: Street Food of China
Chinese cuisine's history dates back more than three millennia, and it's only in recent times that regional specialties beyond the usual Cantonese, Hunan, and Sichuan dishes have begun to arrive in the US. Still, one element of Chinese cookery that remains rare in the Western world is the most popular across China: street food. Author, photographer and food fanatic Howie Southworth aims to change that with his new book, Chinese Street Food, filled with history, recipes, stories, photos and more. He describes it as a celebration of a culinary culture.
Episode 314: The Cries of Street Food Vendors: 19thC Public Culture of Food in New Orleans
Ashley Rose Young, Historian of the American Food History Project at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, has long been interested in the foodways of America’s past. And when she’s not hosting live cooking demos to explore that history at the Smithsonian Museum, she is immersed in her study of the alternative foodways and food economies—specifically of New Orleans—which relied heavily on street vendors. This street vending became the domain of the enslaved or newly freed, disenfranchised population. And, like so many street vendors in cities around the world, their sing-song cries heralding the fruits, vegetables and sweets in baskets often carried on their heads, became the street music of late 19th and early 20th century New Orleans. Listen in for a sample of some of the cries.
Episode 313: Katie Parla Talks Classic Comebacks
On a recent trip to Rome, I met up with Katie Parla, Italian food and culture writer, to talk to her about her thoughts on the recent renaissance of old classic Roman dishes, particularly pasta dishes. She spoke about past, present, and what she sees in the future for the food of Rome.
Episode 312: Sicilian Influence in New Orleans Food Culture
In his recently published book, Creole Italian, Justin A. Nystrom explores the influence Sicilian immigrants have had on New Orleans foodways. His culinary journey follows these immigrants from their first impressions on Louisiana food culture in the mid-1830s and along their path until the 1970s. Sicilian immigrants cut sugarcane, sold groceries, ran truck farms, operated bars and restaurants, and manufactured pasta. Citing these cultural confluences, Nystrom posits that the significance of Sicilian influence on New Orleans foodways traditionally has been undervalued and instead should be included, along with African, French, and Spanish cuisine, in the broad definition of “creole.”