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Heard, Read and Learned

January 19, 2014

Here’s the roundup up of my listening, reading and learning this week. My highlight this week was KCRW’s Good Food talking about Tsukiji Market in Japan.


When writing up my Norwegian fish post I remembered Signe Johansen talking about how Norwegian Christmas dinner is different. A frequent Christmas eve meal (the main celebration meal) is Pinnekjøtt – salted lamb ribs, steamed over birch twigs for a day. There was something important about the fact that the birch is alkali, but I have lost my notes and can’t seem to find the info online. Anyone?


Farming Today (BBC Radio 4)
I was right! There are automated milking machines where cows wear a transponder that tells the milking machine which cow and therefore how to milk it. I thought I’d heard about it ages ago and when I mentioned it to someone recently they were very skeptical, but it got another mention this week.

The Food Programme (BBC Radio 4)
 Three Inspirational Cooks 
The Food Programme re-visits 3 kitchens from 14 years ago.  These kitchens help people with mental illness, HIV and cancer. In particular the Sunlite community cafe in Stirling sounds like it does an amazing job of easing people into daily life and providing a caring structure to ease people back into work. It also plans to run classes for new mums.

KCRW Good Food (American) 1
 Inside Tsukiji Market; Ivan Ramen; Japanese Soul Food My favourite podcast this week.
Tsukiji in Tokyo is the biggest wholesale fish and seafood market in the world and it’s having to move for the Olympics. Apparently the store all the fish in iced water that is the temperature of the water it would swim in, which if you think about it, makes sense. The podcast talks about the tuna auction which now only allows limited non-trade visitors because it is so impressive.
Koji rice flour: is flour made from ground, dried rice that has been inoculated. Sounds odd but apparently it gives umami and sweetness in one. Koji can also be turned into salt, which brings out a bigger profile of flavours than regualar salt.

The Kitchen Cabinet (BBC Radio 4) 
Not currently on air – find old episodes here

The Kitchen  Cafe (BBC Radio Scotland) 
 Tattie scones, Valentine Warner on the Food & Farming Awards and the Loch Arthur Camphill Community.
It appears that there is a strong debate about ketchup vs brown sauce on tattie scones.
Loch Arthur Camphill Community won a F&F Award in 2011. It is a working community which includes adults with learning difficulties which makes cheese and other dairy goods.

The Splendid Table (American Public Media) 
 No Props 
Lynne spoke to food stylist Lisa Heathcote about the food on Downtown Abbey. In general it’s all real and has to be constantly refreshed because it’s out all day. She did use cream cheese, clotted cheese and food colouring to make fake smoked salmon mousse though.
Also on the episode, Rene Redzepi, Katie Workman of The Mom 100 Cookbook talks about picky kids and Michael Anthony, chef of New York City’s Gramercy Tavern, talks about bringing chefs’ tricks into the home kitchen.

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