On this week’s Louisiana Eats!, we visit the Greek Isles without ever leaving the bayou. Holy Trinity Cathedral on Bayou St. John in New Orleans is home to the oldest Greek Orthodox community in North America. For over 150 years, this tight-knit community has combined food and faith in the traditional way of their ancient ancestors. For 42 years, Trinity members have welcomed thousands of visitors to their annual Greek Festival.
Tracing the roots of a widespread network of New Orleans restaurateurs back to one Greek island and one shared American story.
“Opa!” that’s the universal Greek exclamation of joy, and you’ll be hearing it a lot this weekend as the Greek Festival returns to the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Cathedral in Lakeview. But for some of those sharing in the opa spirit, the toast is about more than just the revelry of the moment.
In the mill room, a cavernous, chilly space in a multi-use facility in West Asheville, North Carolina, that used to be an electrical equipment plant, Kim Thompson takes out a marker and kneels down by a sack of freshly milled flour. She writes the type of flour, the date and often, something extra.
One day, it might be "panivorous" -- the word of the day she found on an app on her phone -- and its definition: "subsisting on bread; bread-eating." Another day, it might be a quote about bread, like the Danish proverb "art and knowledge bring bread and honor."
What do the fermented meat condiments of fifth-century China and the foam, scents and smoke used in molecular gastronomy today have in common? They are all sauces. Maryann Tebben, head of the Center for Food Studies at Bard College at Simon's Rock and author of Sauces, explains.
Depicted in the 16th-century paintings of Pieter Breughel the Elder and criticized by the 19th-century poet Charles Baudelaire, lambic beer is perhaps the oldest of the modern beer styles. Its funky, sour and wild taste is a result of spontaneous fermentation, a brewing method where the beer is exposed to naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in the open air.
If you have tried a Belgian lambic beer, then you have tasted the results of spontaneous fermentation. Lambic beer is exposed to naturally occurring yeast and bacteria in the open air, and matured in oak barrels for months or years (as opposed to other brewing methods, which use highly controlled single-yeast fermentations).
Author Andrew Lawler sits down with us on this week’s Louisiana Eats! to discuss Why Did The Chicken Cross The World, which is also the title of his new book. You’ll be amazed by the many ways that simple bird has impacted humanity over the ages. Even Queen Victoria gets into the act, with her fascination for fancy hybrid chickens helping to bring about the “chicken bubble.” Would you pay thousands of dollars for a clucker? Nineteenth century Europeans did!