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Okracast from Southern Foodways Alliance
16 minutes | Aug 28, 2014
OKRACAST: Honduran Food in New Orleans
Welcome to OKRACAST, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance. This week, producer Laine Kaplan-Levenson takes us to New Orleans, where the Honduran community's presence is strong, though not represented in the city's mainstream culinary scene. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Aug 20, 2014
OKRACAST: Global/Local Eating
Welcome to Okracast, the SFA podcast! This week, we’ve got a Southern boy who eats globally and a West Coast girl who cooks Southern food. SFA Director John T Edge whets our appetite with the food memories of his childhood, and Fernay McPherson discusses her soul food business in San Francisco. Ms. McPherson’s family was part of the Great Migration, which brought millions of African Americans from the Deep South to other points in the country. Hers landed in California, where they brought soul food traditions to help anchor them as they adapted to the new region. Ms. McPherson’s interview is part of our Women at Work in San Francisco oral history project. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
10 minutes | Aug 14, 2014
OKRACAST: Southern Chinese
Welcome to Okracast, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! This week we’re meditating on Chinese immigrants to the South. First, Chef Wally Joe of Acre Restaurant in Memphis remembers the age of Chinese-owned grocery stores. These groceries were mainstays in the Mississippi Delta, run by Chinese immigrants who had come in search of better opportunities. “There was literally one on every corner—just like a Starbucks is now these days,” he says. Then SFA oral historian Sara Wood takes us to Portsmouth, Virginia to meet Patsy Wong. Mrs. Wong and her husband Haymond own Sing Wong restaurant, an establishment specializing in a dish called “yock-a-mein.” The yock of the Virginia Tidewater region is kin to New Orleans’ ya-ka-mein, and consists of lo-mein noodles, a protein, chopped onion, ketchup and a hard-boiled egg (optional). Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Aug 7, 2014
OKRACAST: Salty Sweet
Welcome to Okracast, the SFA podcast! Ahead on this week’s episode: author and Florida native Diane Roberts sings the praises of the Apalachicola Bay oyster. “Once you have one,” Roberts says, “you will never want another oyster. You will only want that oyster again and again.” Then SFA oral historian Sara Wood brings us to Fulks Run, Virginia to meet Ron Turner, the twelfth generation of Turners in Fulks Run. In 1949, Ron’s father opened Fulks Run Grocery in the Shenandoah Valley. Over the years, the grocery expanded to include a ham-curing house. Today Ron runs the business with his wife Peg, where they cure between 6,000 and 8,000 hams each year. Hungry yet? Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
10 minutes | Jul 30, 2014
OKRACAST: Ode to Grandmothers
Welcome to Okracast, the SFA podcast! This week’s episode is an ode to grandmothers. Cozy up to the table as Chef Bill Smith of Crooks Corner in Chapel Hill, North Carolina remembers dinner time at the table of his great-grandmother. Our oral history sample comes from Sara Wood’s interview with Ida Ma Musu. Chef Ma Musu owns Africanne on Main as well as Chef Ma Musu’s Cultural Cooking School for young girls, both in Richmond, Virginia. Mrs. Ma Musu was raised in Monrovia, Liberia, where her grandmother had moved as part of the American Colonization Society, a movement sending freed slaves back to Africa. In 1980, Mrs. Ma Musu fled war-torn Liberia, and came to the United States. In her interview, Mrs. Ma Musu remembers the profound influence of her grandmother. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Jul 24, 2014
OKRACAST: Duck Stew and Dried Shrimp
Welcome to OKRACAST, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! We’re in Louisiana for this week’s episode, from uptown New Orleans to the edge of the Bayou. Grab a pen and paper to take notes as Becky Currence, mother of James Beard Award winning chef John Currence, walks us through her recipe for wild duck stew. Mrs. Currence says that it’s one of the “first dishes John admitted to the world that he took his influence from me.” Oral historian Sara Roahen brings us to Grand Isle, LA, where Robert Collins is a third-generation shrimp drier. It’s a tradition Robert’s grandfather learned in the 1930s from Chinese shrimpers who lived and worked in the area. Mr. Collins talks about growing up in Grand Isle, joining the family business, and the challenges facing the dried shrimp business. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Jul 17, 2014
OKRACAST: Mothers and Chickens
Welcome to Okracast, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! This week, Desiree Robinson of Cozy Corner BBQ in Memphis, TN pays homage to her mother. Mrs. Robinson says that she started cooking at eight years old, and after all these years, she still loves her mother’s cornbread recipe. Also, SFA lead oral historian Amy Evans takes us to the Mississippi Delta for a visit with Leann Hines. Mrs. Hines owns Levee Run Farms just outside of Greenwood, MS, where she raises farm-fresh eggs as well as pastured poultry of all kinds. In 2007, Mrs. Hines fell ill. She was diagnosed with West Nile poliomyelitis and consigned to a wheelchair. Mrs. Hines discusses her battles with polio and how she’s modified her lifestyle—and farm—to accommodate. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
18 minutes | Jul 10, 2014
OKRACAST: The Resurrection of the Fish Pepper
Welcome to Okracast, the SFA podcast! Ever wonder what’s behind the revival of heirloom and heritage foods? This week, Tina Antolini takes us to Baltimore, where a small pepper called the “fish pepper” is making a comeback. The pepper’s significance stems from its racially-charged history: once favored in Baltimore’s African American community, the pepper began to wane in the early 20th century as African Americans embraced urban lifestyles. The fish pepper might have been completely forgotten were it not for the interracial collaboration of a black farmer, white chef, black historian and white historian. Listen on! Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Jul 3, 2014
OKRACAST: Lunch Counters and Civil Rights
Welcome to Okracast, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! This week we're commemorating the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the landmark legislation desegregating places of public accommodation. The law was largely made possible by courageous demonstrators who protested in public spaces like beaches, libraries and lunch counters. We'll hear from Joan Trumpauer Mulholland, a Civil Rights activist who participated in the dangerous 1963 sit-in at Woolworth's in Jackson, MS. Also, John T Edge, Director of the Southern Foodways Alliance, challenges us to consider the complex legacy of the Civil Rights Act of '64. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
11 minutes | Jun 27, 2014
OKRACAST: BBQ and Cocktails
Welcome to Okracast, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! This week, we're all about BBQ and cocktails—a perfect start to summer. Sara Wood brings us voices of women in BBQ, and Amy Evans speaks with Floria Woodard, the first African American bartender at the Court of Two Sisters in New Orleans. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
13 minutes | Jun 19, 2014
OKRACAST: Worldly Tastes
Welcome to OKRACAST, the podcast of the Southern Foodways Alliance! Our first stop this week: the Farmers' Market Store in Oxford, Mississippi. Short on local buttermilk or first-of-the-season corn? How about fresh goat meat or fermented black bean paste? Liz Stagg and Frank Coppola have served a diverse clientele since 2004, making the Farmers' Market Store a fixture in the town. Next, we serve up a sample of Rien Fertel's interview with Sylvester Collins, owner of Collins Dream Kitchen in Jackson, Mississippi. After countless years cooking in several Jackson-area restaurant kitchens—at times working as many shifts as two or three people—the mother of four saved enough to finance her own establishment, a small takeout joint. Twenty-seven years later, she’s in a bigger space, one with a buffet counter, dining room, and enough wall space to fill with Christian devotionals and the portraits of the men and women who guided her here. Hungry patrons will find smothered turkey necks, ham hocks, and meaty spaghetti; fried chicken, baked chicken, and cracklin’ cornbread. Now 74 years old, Ms. Collins doesn’t do much of the cooking, but she still seasons each and every plate that comes out of her Dream Kitchen. Visit www. southernfoodways.org for more.
13 minutes | Jun 12, 2014
OKRACAST: The Modern Mississippi Table
On this week's Okracast, chef Kelly English of Memphis, Tennessee talks about the upcoming Big Gay Mississippi Welcome Table. The dinner celebrates Mississippi’s LGBTQ community, and is a peaceful protest of the state’s recently signed Religious Freedom Restoration Act. Also, our weekly oral history sample comes from an interview with Greta Brown Bully. Greta met her future husband when her job required her to pay a visit to Bully’s Restaurant. The year was 1992, a decade after Bully’s Restaurant first opened its doors. She worked at a car dealership at the time and was following up on a payment owed by one of Tyrone Bully’s employees. Tyrone paid the balance on the spot. Greta started eating there regularly. First, she fell in love with the meatloaf. Her love for Tyrone grew from there. Together, they pursued a new vision for the restaurant. Today, Greta and Tyrone work together, serving up plates of seasoned-to-perfection chitterlings, tender oxtails, golden fried catfish, smothered pork chops, and fresh greens to their loyal customers. After over 20 years together, the duo is holding strong to their titles of “queen and king of Soul Food” in Jackson. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
12 minutes | Jun 6, 2014
OKRACAST: Jerry Kountouris of the Mayflower Cafe in Jackson, MS.
The Mayflower. A story of beginnings. An iconic American symbol of voyage, striving, and survival. It is befitting that George Kountouris and John Gouras chose the name the Mayflower Café for the small eatery they opened in down Jackson in 1935. The Mayflower began as a hamburger stand, started by a pair of Greek immigrants and friends from the deeply-Orthodox island of Patmos. Some years later — the history is cloudy — the Mayflower expanded into the neighboring beer garden to become a full-service restaurant. The original menu showcased the diversity of American foodways. There were sandwiches, some Greek items, Chinese dishes (including chop suey), and plates of soul food. But gradually, over time, and especially with the help of George’s grandson Jerry Kountouris, who took over ownership in 1990, the menu was streamlined to spotlight the now classic standards: broiled redfish, stuffed flounder, and the Mayflower Greek Salad (with fresh lump crabmeat). As the Mayflower nears its 80th year, it has become a part of the fabric of the American story. Visit www.southernfooways.org for more.
11 minutes | May 15, 2014
OKRACAST: Cliff Collins - Cliff’s Meat Market in Carrboro, NC
Cliff Collins started working in a local meat market when he was still in high school. After five years behind the counter, he decided to open a place of his own. The year was 1973. Thousands of pork chops and chicken breasts later, Cliff’s Meat Market, the last of the family-owned markets in the area, is still going strong. Cliff has built his reputation on quality, variety, and, above all, hospitality. Most all of his customers have been buying from him for years. Some stop in just to chat. Part of his secret, though, is that he isn’t afraid to change with the times. When his customers requested organic meats, he got them. When Latinos came to the Carrboro community, he hired them. Cliff’s is one of the only butcher shops where you’ll find beef sirloin next to marinated pork for tacos al pastor. And it’s certainly the only place you’ll find Cliff. Visit www.southernfoodways.org for more.
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