The domestication of the turkey probably first took place around 2000 years ago in south central Mexico, possibly for their feathers and ritual value rather than their meat. Their rise to the top of the American festive table came much later, not with the Pilgrims but with Charles Wampler, whose efforts to promote turkey raising started Rockingham County, Virginia, on … Read More
As Thanksgiving ebbs into memory and Christmas looms on the horizon, Eat This Podcast concerns itself with the turkey. For a nomenclature nerd, the turkey is a wonderful bird. Why would a bird from America be named after a country on the edge of Asia? The Latin name offers a clue; the American turkey is Meleagris gallopavo, while the African … Read More
These days, every little town and village in Italy has its sagra or festa, a weekend, or longer, in celebration of a particular local food. Although they have a whiff of tradition about them, most of these are relatively recent inventions, designed to attract tourists as much as honour the food and cement community relationships. I was surprised to learn, … Read More
Kazakhstan stretches across Central Asia from the Caspian Sea in the east to China in the west. The country is famous for many things – it is the largest landlocked country in the world, says Wikipedia – but among food and plant people it is most important as the home of the apple. The name of the former capital, Almaty, … Read More
It is so easy to forget that very few people know anything about plant breeding and how vital it is to having enough to eat. The time it takes, and the resources it needs — financial, genetic, human — are just not something most people know about. No wonder, then, that many people don’t quite grasp the urgency with which … Read More
As people in North America prepare to give thanks and devour unimaginable quantities of food, we go to the heart of the matter. Why are turkeys called turkeys?
In next week’s show, more about the American contribution to poultry culture.
In the 1930s the Italian fascists decided that floats laden with giant grapes would be the vehicle to drive forward Italian nationalism. Hear how in next week’s Eat This Podcast.
Ben Reade recently got back from a trip to Kazakhstan, in search of the original wild apples. Last time we spoke, he was sharing bog butter. This time, bears, and how they may have helped to domesticate those apples.
The whole show will be published next week.