If you’ve ever had trouble figuring out what to do with a bunch of vegetables, this episode is for you. Just in time for summer grilling season, Maddie talks to Abra Berens, author of the new cookbook Ruffage: a Practical Guide to Vegetables . Abra dishes on the link between how plants grow and how they taste, what to do about bland, squishy zucchini, and how to make summer veggies the centerpiece at your next barbecue.
82 – Passover in Prison
Lloyd Payne, 29, has been incarcerated since he was 14. In previous prisons, "we got made fun of for being Jewish, and for eating a certain way and practicing a certain life," he said. Now that he’s at California’s San Quentin State Prison, he can attend an annual Passover gathering with the Jewish community behind bars. We sent a reporter to this Seder to see what it was like.
81 – High Steaks
The American taste for beef is on the rise again. Oxford University scientist Marco Springmann discusses the impact of a hamburger-heavy diet on the planet, and what it would take to make a dent in our food-related emissions. Then we look closer at the promises of grass-fed beef. And then, we asked you, our listeners, why you became vegetarians. Some of your answers were pretty standard—and some were totally wacky.
80 – Helen Oyeyemi's Delightfully Sinister Gingerbread
Helen Oyeyemi's novel “Gingerbread” is a smart, fantastical story about three generations of women who share a recipe. The tea cake is at times delicious—and at times sinister. Oyeyemi tells us that she was drawn to "the mix of safety and danger all combined in one seemingly innocuous foodstuff." Later in the show, the Bite hosts get baking tips from an in-house expert.
79 – The Words This Food Critic Will Never Use
San Francisco Chronicle food critic Soleil Ho won’t use the word “ethnic” in her restaurant reviews: “The assumption that it doesn’t apply equally to people and cuisines associated with Europe or white America gives me such a headache,” she writes. Ho and guest Victoria Bouloubasis are part of a crowing crop of restaurant reviewers who are rethinking food criticism, and increasingly dealing with the bigger societal issues diners and food workers confront, from racism to labor to identity politics and environmental concerns. They talk with Tom about this new approach. And they discuss more food words that are outdated.