Contributed a profile of the Togolese millet/sorghum home-brew tchoukoutou to Gastro Obscura. Tchouk was “the drink” (la boisson) to locals in my Peace Corps community in Togo, providing everyday refreshment as well as playing a featured role in formal rituals.
“Hominy, Frybread, Ramps, and a Casino: Evolving Cherokee Foodways” investigates the recent history of Cherokee foodways and examines lifestyle changes brought to the Eastern Band by the construction of Harrah’s Cherokee Casino.
Earth Flavors, the project profiling local ingredients that I’ve been producing the past couple of years, is coming to a close. I just posted a final reflection article on the site, identifying some tenets of western North Carolina’s “locavorian terroir.” Read it at earthflavors.net, or the final version in Mountain Xpress here.
When you think of St. Patrick’s Day, Leprechauns and potatoes may come to mind. But the Irish aren’t the only people to think about the little people. Many cultures have their versions of small, magical folk. And no matter where they live, fairies have to eat, too — right?
Article on food trucks — the closest the US has to street food? — in last week’s Mountain Xpress.
This audio piece I produced on “philosoforager” Alan Muskat, founder of No Taste Like Home, will air on APM’s The Splendid Table this weekend. Muskat connects foraging with regaining a sense of home in this life:
“I would like to communicate through wild foods this feeling that the Garden of Eden is real, and it’s a choice we’ve made, we make every day, to take what’s freely given as a gift, or to struggle to do it ourselves to replace it with what we think is better.”
Muskat’s foraging philosophy has prompted me to connect sense of home with my artistic philosophy of bricolage. Learn more in my Earth Flavors profile of lambsquarters, which features Muskat.
On the trail of fairy potatoes, a.k.a. air potatoes, cinnamon vine, shan yao, and Chinese yam, I run into several interesting characters. #EarthFlavor20. Also in Mountain Xpress here as “Fairy food: WNC’s wild air potatoes satisfy appetites, feed imaginations.”
The following audio piece is a fairy potato treasure hunt incorporating elements of Cherokee, Celtic, and Chinese folklore and a bit o’ magic:
Thai fire, Sicilian silver, German red: The world of garlic is far more exotic than one might expect from perusing the supermarket aisles. Root Bottom Farm owners Morgan and Sarah Decker are working to spread the word about the diverse types of the pungent, flavorful bulb that can be grown in Western North Carolina. #EarthFlavor19
The latest Earth Flavors profile is up, on the wild green and edible seed called lambsquarters (first known to me as unnuca). Thanks to Alan Muskat of No Taste Like Home for sharing his foraging philosophy and prompting me to connect sense of home and bricolage.