Soaring food prices, Macedonian cuisine, Lebanese pop-up, and tortillas
Eighteen months into the pandemic, the days of hoarding toilet paper are mercifully over. But that’s not to say there aren’t disruptions in the supply chain causing shortages on grocery store shelves, along with inflation. Laura Reiley reports on the business of food and why groceries are going to cost more through the end of the year. Gustavo Arellano is back with the annual Great Tortilla Tournament, which has been narrowed down to the Suave 16. Katerina Nitsou shares comfort food recipes from Macedonia that are perfect for the cooling forecast. LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison discovers homestyle Lebanese recipes made from a kitchen in Hollywood. And market correspondent Gillian Ferguson tracks down guava and perilla at the Santa Monica Farmer’s Market that are ripe for this Indian Summer.
African American farmers, freedom dues and discrimination, dirty rice
In her new book “We Are Each Other’s Harvest,” author Natalie Baszile brings together the narratives and histories of Black farmers in America. She co-hosts this edition of Good Food with Evan Kleiman, as they speak to those who are tied to the land and profiled in the book. “Farmers are living ancestors for Black people,” explains Baszile, whose personal history includes a connection to farming.
Clyde W. Ford provides a historical account of how the American government has failed Black farmers. Willie Earl Nelson and his son Adrain explain the discriminatory tactics deployed to deny Black farmers of capital to purchase land. O’Neal Bluefort remembers early days on his family’s tobacco farm and his grandfather’s final gift, and shares how he plans to continue his legacy. Baszile recounts a visit from her grandmother and her recipe for dirty rice. Finally, Naima Penniman, an activist behind Soul Fire Farm, reads her poem for future generations.
School lunch, breakfast burritos, Chez Panisse turns 50, inflammation
Photographer Lucy Schaeffer captures the nostalgia and personal memories behind school lunch. Internal medicine doctor Rupa Marya and research professor Raj Patel discuss the disconnect between health and social justice in their book “Inflamed.” Iconic chef and restaurateur Alice Waters celebrates the 50th anniversary of the groundbreaking Berkeley institution, Chez Panisse. LA Times restaurant critic Bill Addison runs down the best breakfast burritos in the city. Finally, cue the sweet peppers at the farmer’s market.
Rice: How we grow, cook, and eat it
Whether cooking basmati, jasmine or red, everyone has a way to make rice. Measure up to the first knuckle? Wash until the water runs clear? Stovetop or rice cooker with bells and whistles? This week, Good Food gets granular with rice — how it's grown, how it's cooked, and how it's eaten. Dr. Amber Spry opens her identity politics class each semester by asking students to share how their family cooked rice. Culinarian historian Michael Twitty shares how red rice came to the American South by way of Western Africa. Rice royalty Robin Koda documents her family’s legacy of growing Japanese rice in California. Matt Goulding explores the controversy over paella in Spain. The history of the rice cooker is explained by Anne Ewbank. Finally, Sophia Parsa is making tahdigs with her mother for this week’s edition of “In the Weeds.”
Nicholas Cage’s “Pig,” mythical food, snacks, beer
Books and movies have acted as a balm during the pandemic. Food writing provides a sort of fantastical consumption that requires using your imagination and wonder. In a new film starring Nicholas Cage, creators Michael Sarnoski and Vanessa Block worked with Portland chefs in creating the lead role of a truffle hunter in the Oregon wilderness. Science fiction writer Eli Lee taps into personal food memories and the familiar to create imaginary meals in her latest work. From “The Hobbit” to “Star Wars,” Leslie Bilderback recreates dishes described in favorite childhood stories and films in her new cookbook. Stuck on the couch, Folu Akinkuotu started a newsletter during the pandemic that combined her love of snacks and itch to travel. For this week’s “In the Weeds,” Beny Ashburn and Teo Hunter talk about what's on tap at Crowns & Hops, a Black-owned brewery in Inglewood. Finally, it’s apple season at the farmer’s market.