Gravy (general)

When people think of New Orleans food, jambalayas, gumbos, and beignets usually come to mind. But with the arrival of thousands of Central American and Mexican immigrants after Hurricane Katrina in 2005, Latin foods are increasingly present across the city…if you look in the right places. In 2011, Dix Jazz Market, part of a vending space colloquially calledLa Pulga, opened in the Algiers neighborhood of New Orleans. With over sixty individual vendors and booths, you can find anything from knockoff soccer jerseys to used record players. Thirty of the vendors sell prepared foods, from tacos and carne asada to sopas and the classic Honduran dish, pollo con tajadas. Success fromLa Pulga led to the opening of a second market—the Westbank Pulga—just three miles away.

Meet Ivan, a vendor at the Westbank Pulga, who uses his profits to fund a support group for LGBT Latinx in the New Orleans area.  

Direct download: La_Pulga_Final_011018.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:25am EST

If you want to see the American future, visit Greater Houston, the nation's most diverse major metropolitan area and home to the South's biggest city. Since the 1982 collapse of the oil boom, the city's sprawling and overbuilt subdivisions have attracted newcomers, and their food traditions, from around the world.

Reporter Barry Yeoman spent time with one of those families—and particularly with John Marthand, an immigrant from Hyderabad, India, and his 14-year-old, U.S.-born son, Joshua. The Marthand men bond in the kitchen, often while cooking biryani, a rice dish with origins as international as John's adopted home.

Direct download: FINAL-Yeoman_Houston_3.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:10am EST

When most people sit down to enjoy a pour of whiskey, they aren't thinking about where the grain that it is made with comes from, nor do they think much about how it's produced agriculturally. Though spirits are distilled from wheat, potatoes, rice, and even quinoa, many don’t view the end result as an agricultural product. The discussion about composition of whiskey’s mashbill is usually where the conversation about the grain begins and ends, creating a disconnect between the way in which we perceive the food on our plates and the alcohol in our snifters. When we do start to engage with this aspect of spirits in a meaningful way, however, we can start to notice their terroir.Reporter-producer Shanna Farrell explores how whiskey can have a sense of place, as seen through High Wire Distilling Company's use of landrace grains in their spirit production.

Husband and wife duo Scott Blackwell and Ann Marshall founded High Wire Distilling in 2013, the first distillery in South Carolina since Prohibition. Their mission is to source the best possible ingredients to make small batch spirits. They work with the farm community, as well as with Anson Mills, to source the raw materials for their product. This is true of their Jimmy Red Bourbon, which has a terroir unique to the three farms on which it is grown. Their work in using landrace grains grown locally is a great example of the strong connection between spirit production and agriculture.

Direct download: Is_Whiskey_Food_-_Shanna_Farrell_FISHMIX_1.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:04am EST

Brunswick, Georgia's The Farmer & The Larder restaurant is forward-facing with its menu, while paying homage to an agricultural legacy that reaches back to days of Reconstruction. Rose Reid reports the story of self-described "CheFarmer" Matthew Raiford's family connection to the land, and how he and his partner, Jovan Sage, navigate a dual venture on the Georgia coast.
 

Please note: The Farmer & The Larder's hours have changed since this story was reported. For details, please visit the restaurant's website

Direct download: Farmer_and_Larder_v6.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:14am EST

For Hannah Drake, it all started with a trip to Dakar, Senegal.

The author, poet, mother, and native Kentuckian was transformed by the communal experience of simply preparing and eating food with other women.

So occasionally she gathers a group of women for dinner. All the women have to do is bring a dish, along with their mother or sister. The goal: To cook and eat a meal with loved ones, and share stories and recipes.

Reporter and producer Roxanne Scott brings us today's story.  

Direct download: FINAL-Scott_HannahDrakeEpisode.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:29am EST

When Hurricane Harvey unleashed 30 trillion gallons of rain on Texas last summer, thousands of evacuees and first responders needed to be fed. Restaurants and commercial kitchens were turned into relief operations, and residents hauled their grills to rescue staging grounds. The response was extraordinary.

Reporting this episode of Gravy, Barry Yeoman followed two Texans-chef Bryan Caswell and his wife and business partner Jennifer Caswell-as they coordinated a food caravan from their Houston restaurant Reef to the ruined coast. Along the way, he met an immigrant crabber, a military veteran who takes injured warriors fishing, and a volunteer for the Christian ministry Mercy Chefs.

Direct download: YEOMAN_FULL_SHOW4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 7:03am EST

Historically, African Americans played a central role in the nation’s agriculture system, and, through their labor and know-how on farms and plantations, in the very building of the American economy – particularly in the South. Of course, black people did much of that work in bondage, over more than two hundred years, followed by a century of sharecropping and tenant farming. Remarkably, in the early 20th century, black families owned 15 million acres, one-seventh of the nation’s farmland. Today, though, black farm ownership is down to about one million acres, and only one in 100 American farm families is black.

 This episode of Gravy is a sound portrait of an African American farm couple in North Carolina, Eddie and Dorothy Wise. For twenty years, they operated a small hog operation near the town of Rocky Mount, in North Carolina’s rolling Piedmont region. Producer John Biewen, host of the Scene on Radio podcast, visited the Wises many times in 2008 and 2009, and recorded Eddie and Dorothy as they went about their days and as Eddie worked with their herd of hogs. John assembled this documentary, which is mostly narrated by the Wises themselves.

 Update: In early 2016, the U.S. Department of Agriculture foreclosed on the Wises’ farm loan and evicted them from their land. The Wises accuse the USDA of systematic discrimination over more than two decades, saying that government officials set them up to fail and went out of their way to drive the Wises off. John Biewen tells that story in an investigative documentary, Losing Ground, produced in collaboration with Reveal and available on the Scene on Radio podcast.

 In September, 2017, Dorothy Wise passed away from complications of diabetes.

Direct download: WiseFamilyatWork_Gravy.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 8:42am EST

Striking up a conversation with a stranger in a bar is accepted, even expected. And storytelling is a big part of that engagement.

But when it comes to origin stories behind cocktails, Wayne Curtis has noticed a shift in focus over the last ten years. Hand in hand with the recent cocktail revival and the increased professionalization of bartending, an obsession with fact over fancy has emerged. “I started hearing a phrase in bars that I don’t think had ever been uttered before inside a bar: ‘What’s your source on that?’”

In this episode of Gravy, Wayne Curtis reflects on what’s lost and gained as cocktail and spirits writers—as well as curious consumers—seek out well-supported history over well-spun stories behind the bar.

Direct download: WayneCurtisRebroadcast_Final.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 6:37am EST

When you sit down for a meat and three in Montgomery, Alabama, say at the Davis Café, you choose from the menu and you get one plate all for you, but at a Korean table in Montgomery – or anywhere – your plates are all shared. And there are many of them. Meat and six or seven, you might say.

 

Since the Hyundai plant opened in Montgomery in 2005, Koreans have been moving there, some for work at the plant, but others because they see the growing community of Koreans and Korean businesses in this small capital city in Alabama. So, a small southern K-Town is cropping up in the strip malls along the Eastern Boulevard.

 

Reporter and producer, Sarah Reynolds travels to Montgomery to eat at several Korean tables. And Chef Edward Lee joins her – a Korean–American chef who made his name in Louisville, Kentucky. He borrows from Korean and American Southern cuisines to make collards and kimchi, grits and galbi. What’s happening in Montgomery reveals a shared hospitality and love of food between these two cultures.

Direct download: FINALKorea_SPR.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 10:03am EST

The American shad were once as plentiful in the water along the east coast as the buffalo were in the west. But after decades of overfishing and pollution, their numbers plummeted and Virginia outlawed commercial fishing of shad in the 1970s. Now, shad are returning to the Chesapeake Bay, due in part to scientists and waterman who have worked on a restoration project for the fish over the last twenty years. Shad are a keystone in the Chesapeake Bay ecosystem, a food source for animals as varied as other fish, eagles and dolphins. Helping them could help other species rebound, too.

The fish is also important for the Shad Planking, a Virginia political tradition that dates back to the 1930s. The event started in southeast Virginia with a few men gathering to cook shad on planks (where the name comes from) and talk politics. The Shad Planking eventually was taken over by the Wakefield Ruritans, a civic group, and grew to a popular event that would run out of tickets and have the governor flying in every April for the event. In recent years the numbers of attendees have dwindled. Like the shad, the Ruritans are trying to stage a come back, adding local wineries and breweries to attract a new crowd.

Direct download: Shad_4.mp3
Category:general -- posted at: 9:57am EST

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