food

llovebutter / Flickr--CC

What inspires people in white collar jobs, or those just out of college, to take up farming? As the trend continues, we hear from people who have done just that about how it's going and whether they're finding whatever it was they were looking for.

Guests:

Jen Chen, KCUR

According to Erik Borger, the chef-owner of Il Lazzarone, there's a specific way to make authentic Neapolitan pizza. And he should know; his original Il Lazzarone restaurant in St. Joseph has been certified as authentically Neapolitan by the American Delegation of the Associazione Verace Pizza Napoletana.

Recently, our food critic Charles Ferruzza visited Borger's newest outpost in Kansas City's River Market to get the details on making an authentic Neapolitan pie.

Julie Denesha / KCUR

Excitement enveloped a small band of foodies on Sunday as they feasted their way through a tour of Kansas City’s unique food offerings. 

Julián Zugazagoitia, director of The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, helped organize the private tour for Spanish master chef Ferran Adrià, whose notes and sketches are on display at the museum in an exhibition called Ferran Adrià: Notes on Creativity. The tour started at the J. Rieger & Co. distillery.

Gunnar Magnusson / Flickr-CC

When you think of cheese, you might think Wisconsin's got the market covered, but a few local cheese producers say Kansas City has something special too.

Weston's Green Dirt Farm exclusively makes sheep's milk cheese and is one of only a few sheep dairies in the country to make its own cheese. Cheese made from different milks-- cow, goat and sheep--have different tastes. Sheep's milk cheese, for instance, can have a nutty flavor.

On Friday's Up to Date, we discussed these cheeses:

University of Missouri Kansas City

The University of Missouri-Kansas City will open a food pantry at the end of March in a step to combat food insecurity among its students.

College is often associated with ‘the freshman fifteen’, but with tuition costs climbing each year, many students are finding themselves unable to pay for food.

Angela Cottrell is the director of the Office of Student Involvement at UMKC, which will be operating the food pantry. She says that many students ask themselves a difficult question every day, "Would I rather have a meal or do I need that money to pay my tuition?"

Michael Cannon / Flickr -- Creative Commons

 

A Kansas City-based nonprofit organization says a recent poll shows widespread support for exempting some foods from the Kansas sales tax.

Ashley Jones-Wisner, state policy manager for KC Healthy Kids, says the survey conducted for the Kansas Health Foundation showed that 86.6 percent of Kansans supported exempting fruits and vegetables from the state sales tax.

The Wichita-based foundation helps to fund KC Healthy Kids, a nonprofit organization dedicated to reducing obesity among children.

Thanksgiving Breakfast Dance Facebook Page

On Thanksgiving morning, when people all over the nation express their gratitude by sleeping in or toiling away in the kitchen, several hundred Kansas Citians step out in their finest attire to head to a giant party — with live music, dancing, and heaping helpings of Louisiana gumbo.

For breakfast.

Malin Elmlid / thebreadexchange.com

Bakers all over the world experience the intoxicating smell of fresh baked bread, and many share their work with their communities. On this edition of Up to Date, host Steve Kraske talks with a woman who has traveled the world with her sourdough starter sharing it with people from Berlin to Afghanistan. 

Guest:

PortrayingLife.com / Flickr Creative Commons

  

Thanksgiving is just around the bend, and with it comes the influx of family, good food, and ... chaos. The pressure to get that turkey just right or having too many cooks in the kitchen at one time can make the  holidays  more than a little stressful. On this edition of Up to Date, Steve Kraske talks with three Kansas City chefs about their tips on maintaining calm in busy kitchens and how to avoid a full-blown culinary disaster. 

Guests:

Rules that require more information on meat labels may be on the outs.

U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack seemed to signal for the first time Friday that the rules are not compliant with World Trade Organization standards and must be fixed.

“We’ve done a 360-degree look and I can tell you that we do not think there’s a regulatory fix that would allow us to be consistent with the law, which I’ve sworn to uphold, and to satisfy the WTO,” Vilsack said.

Kate Hiscock / Flickr, Creative Commons

With eaters taking an interest in food extending beyond recipes, food writing is gaining a voracious audience. Food can be a character, or a source of potent metaphor. It can also tell us something important about ourselves and our society. Kansas City experts offer insights and recommendations.

Guests and their recommendations:

Cat Neville, founder, Feast Magazine

Matt Hodapp / KCUR

The chestnut harvest in Kansas ends during the first few weeks of October, and every year around that time 40 to 50 workers pick pounds of nuts from 1,500 chestnut trees on an orchard right outside of downtown Lawrence.

Since 1995, Charlie NovoGradac, also known as "Chestnut Charlie," and Deborah Milks have been cultivating, collecting and distributing chestnuts.

When the harvest is over, the orchard is covered in gigantic thorny cockleburs. As they ripen during the season, these prickly husks open and release the chestnuts.

Lady Dragonfly CC - >;< / Flickr, Creative Commons

Little-known fact: It's chestnut harvesting season in Kansas. So what's the scene at the local chestnut orchard? And how are chefs using the overall nut bounty in area kitchens?

Guests:

Lisa Rodriguez / KCUR

As the crisis in Syria and the Middle East persists, local grocer Ahmad Alhabashi works to make his store a place where the local Arab community can feel closer to home, despite being thousands of miles away.

Upon entering the Al-Habashi Mart in the River Market in Kansas City, Mo., guests are greeted with Arabic music playing over the radio, sharp smells of curry and cayenne waft through the air as they weave through rows and rows of the vibrant spices. Brightly colored products line the walls, many of the labels in Arabic.

Sylvia Maria Gross / KCUR

Pork butts to the left of us, briskets to the right: that's one way of describing Kansas City's culinary geography. Join us on a visit to a Kansas City home with a smoker out back, and a chat with a food photographer who traced Calvin Trillin's famous footsteps with his own burnt-end odyssey

Guests:

Luke Runyon / Harvest Public Media

Lunch time at Harris Bilingual Elementary School in Fort Collins, Colo., displays all the usual trappings of a public school cafeteria: Star Wars lunch boxes, light up tennis shoes, hard plastic trays and chocolate milk cartons with little cartoon cows. It’s pizza day, the most popular of the week, and kids line up at a salad bar before receiving their slice.

@AlysonRaletz / Twitter

One-year-old Szechuan peppercorn sauerkraut. A Jar of pickled Brazilian peppers that expired in 2012. And kimchi that’s been fermenting for 25 months.

Those are some of the things lurking in area fridges that Kansas Citians claim they still would eat.

“Older, the hotter!” Kansas City food blogger Jenny Vergara tweeted this week, along with a photo of her Malagueta peppers.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Grocery stores and restaurants serve up more than 400 million pounds of food each year, but nearly a third of it never makes it to a stomach.

With consumers demanding large displays of un-blemished, fresh produce or massive portion sizes, many grocery stores and restaurants end up tossing a mountain of perfectly edible food. Despite efforts to cut down on waste, the consumer end of the food chain still accounts for the largest share of food waste in the U.S. food system.  

Wikipedia, Creative Commons

We live in a world where there's something remarkable about a clean plate after a meal. But that's just one small piece of the food waste equation. Visits to farms, a meat processing plant, a compost heap, grocery stores and Kansas Citians' kitchens help us understand why there's so much food nobody's eating. 

For more information about food safety, check out this handy chart from the USDA.

KCUR's Gina Kaufmann

You know how sometimes you stumble across a word you've never heard before in your entire life, and then suddenly, the word is everywhere? That happened to me with the pawpaw.

I was born and raised in Missouri, so discovering in my thirties that a random fruit with a made-up-sounding name is considered my state's own banana? That came as a shock (though, to be fair, it's also known as the Indiana banana and the West Virginia banana). 

Heirlooms Passed Down By Seed Savers Exchange

Sep 10, 2014
Sarah Boden / Harvest Public Media

Most vegetable seeds today are bred by seed companies to be hearty and easier to grow. They’re created by cross-breeding different varieties and selecting for specific characteristics.

Heirloom seeds, though, are different. Like your grandmother’s engagement ring or a dusty old photo album, heirloom seeds have been passed down through generations.

Elle Moxley / KCUR

A popular frozen custard shop in Kansas City, Mo., could close after an outside real estate company didn't renew its lease for its Brookside location.

Foo's Fabulous Frozen Custard has been in the same storefront on Brookside Plaza for more than two decades. But owner Betty Bremser learned last week that First Washington Realty Inc. in Bethesda, Md., the company that owns much of the neighborhood shopping district, didn't plan to renew her lease at the end of this month.

Kristofor Husted / Harvest Public Media

Late summer in the Midwest is tomato season. For tomato growers around that country, it’s time to pick their bounty and calculate their earnings.

While sun and rain might be free, tomato farmers have to carefully weigh everything else they put in to growing their crop. Research and the development of new tools – from novel seed varieties resistant to diseases to additional fertilizers – has changed the input costs for growers.

Bigstock

Change is coming to the poultry industry, but not everyone is happy about it.

Alyson Raletz / KCUR

Summer: it's hot, it's time for a vacation and it's delicious, juicy tomato season.

But not all tomatoes are created equal. And they're not all the same price, either. 

Tell KCUR: How much did your tomato cost?

On an upcoming segment of our daily talk show, Central Standard, we’re investigating the variation in price and quality of tomatoes you can buy in grocery stores and farmer’s markets.  

purpletwinkie / Flickr-CC

  When you imagine what it's like to be a chef, you might picture toiling in a hot kitchen, with order requests coming in left and right. In reality, not every chef works in a restaurant.

On Friday's Up to Date, we talk about the other professional opportunities chefs have, from creating recipes for corporate food giants to experimenting with food in a lab.

We also take a look at what speakers and activities you can join at this weekend's American Culinary Federation's national conference.

Guests:

High Plains Food Coop

 

Thanks to early interest shown by chefs and small-scale area farmers, Douglas County, home of the University of Kansas, developed into one of the pioneer locations for the U.S. local food movement, which has been steadily gaining in popularity over the past 15 to 20 years.

Interest in local food is now so entrenched there that a recent consultant’s report concluded that the movement was at risk of stalling as it has become “relatively mature” with “well-established demand across a fairly broad spectrum of markets.”