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Playlist: News Station Picks for June '10

Compiled By: PRX Curators

 Credit: <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/35237096015@N01/7662520/">selva</a>
Image by: selva 
Curated Playlist

Here are June picks for news stations from PRX News Format Curator Naomi Starobin.

What Naomi listens for in news programming.

A note from Naomi:

They say you shouldn't go to the food store when you're hungry, or you may come home with more than you really need. Well, I went to PRX in a hungry state to forage for some picks for news directors this month and came up with -- not surprisingly -- stories about food. But I'm staying away from "you should eat this and not that" themes. Just food...memories of meals, how food is tied in with our emotions, and surprising tidbits from corners of the world. Have a snack and have a listen....and give your listeners a mouthful and an earful.

Iceland-What IS that smell?

From Rachel Louise Snyder | Part of the Global Guru Radio series | 02:50

You can practically smell the aged shark as we hear an Icelander describe how it's prepared and how much it stinks, and how much it's loved. It's got a name -- "hakarl" -- that's almost as hard for English-speakers to pronounce as that Icelandic volcano that blew its top recently.
This comes from independent producer/reporter Rachel Louise Snyder, and it's part of the Global Guru Radio series out of WAMU in Washington, D.C. It's under 3 minutes, which makes it easy to pair with something longer about food or travel.

Guru_logo1_small The Global Guru is a new weekly public radio show that seeks to celebrate global culture. Engaging and rich in sound, the 2:45 interstitial enriches our collective understanding of the vastness of human experience by uncovering the world one small mystery at a time. Presenting station is WAMU in Washington, DC and sponsored by American University in DC. Some of our favorite past shows include: How do Cambodians predict the harvest each year? How did Tanzania become the capitol of barbershops? How and why does Thailand categorize food? What is Iceland’s most feared culinary delight? How do you track a Tasmanian devil? 

David Bouchier Essay: The Absent Minded Gourmet

From WSHU | Part of the Essays by David Bouchier series | 03:44

David Bouchier, who (full disclosure) is a weekly essayist on WSHU where I'm the news director, and also hosts a classical music program, is not what you'd call a foodie. In this commentary, he claims not to linger over food or even remember much about meals he's had. But one day he comes upon an old collection of his favorite recipes, and it got him remembering. His tone is dry and witty, the commentary thoughtful. It's appropriate anytime.

David_small Some people remember every meal they ever ate, good or bad, and can tell you about them all in forensic detail. This is not my gift. Every memorable meal is quickly forgotten. I can only recall with an effort what I ate yesterday. When the dishes go into the sink my memory of the food goes with them. The person I blame for this is Adolf Hitler. When I was growing up during and after the Second World war food was scarce, and strictly rationed and there was almost no variety. In spite of my mother?s best efforts every meal, year after year, was pretty much the same. There was nothing worth remembering about this uninspiring diet, so I remembered nothing, and I have been remembering nothing about food ever since. This makes me anxious. I suspect that I have been cooking the same half dozen dishes for years and years without ever noticing the repetition. One of my favorite dishes is salmon marinated in bourbon, soy and garlic, and served with garlic potatoes and asparagus ? but for all I know I may have been cooking this dish every day since I found the recipe 1991. This could get boring for my more gastronomically gifted family and friends. So the other day I started browsing through our several shelves of cookbooks.But cookbooks tend to be unnecessarily complicated and demand ingredients that can only be found in Manhattan or Marrakech. The color photographs are also discouraging. My dishes never come out looking like that. However, hidden behind the books was a treasure trove, an old file folder in which I used to keep my favorite recipes. This was decades ago when I had a better memory, better digestion, and more critical friends. These old recipes were a kind of gastronomic memory bank. They weren?t very appetizing in themselves, most of them being scrawled on stained scraps of paper or torn from newspapers. [It was easy to identify the ones I had used the most ? they were almost illegible because of food stains.] As a cuisine you could only call eclectic ? in fact it was fusion cuisine, forty years before fusion cuisine was invented. The file allowed me to trace my progress, if that?s what it was, from fairly elementary cooking (how to boil an egg, how to cook all sorts of things in mushroom soup), through the various phases and enthusiasms of my gastronomic odyssey. Here were some recipes copied from a long lost book called The Impoverished Student?s Book of Haute Cuisine including forgotten favorites like Optimistic Casserole and Primordial Chicken. The recipes recalled my brief and unwise flirtation with Indian food, and my rather more successful effort at cooking the Chinese way. I even took a course on that, but could never quite get used to the balance between two hours of preparation and two minutes of actual cooking. I prefer slow cooking food, and was pleased to rediscover the gastroenterologists friend, the three day Cassoulet. I?m astonished in retrospect at some of the very complicated dinner party menus I attempted ? more than once judging by the food stains (or perhaps tear stains) on the recipes ? and at the discovery that things like stuffed mushrooms and salmon souffl? were part of my regular repertoire. Things have gone downhill in my kitchen, and the problem clearly lies with the chef. Fortunately I have this whole new trove of old recipes which are as fresh to me as if I had never seen them before. Tomorrow, perhaps Entrecote a la Bordelaise with Pommes Dauphinoise and braised celery, that sounds good. On the other hand a tasty piece of marinated salmon might be nice.

Southern Ties: Nourishment and Death

From Carroll Dale Short | 04:20

The first line of this reflection by Carroll Dale Short says it all: "I don't know why food and the cooking of food is so closely tied to death and sorrow in the Scotch-Irish heritage that I come from. I just know that it is." Short, an independent reporter/producer, writer and teacher from Jasper, Alabama, goes on to explain how memories of his grandmother and food and cooking are poignantly intertwined. Listeners who have lost someone they spent kitchen time with will understand and appreciate it. It is sweet and thoughtful, with some great culinary details.

Casserole_small From far before my memory, the cooking and serving of food as a way of salving grief in Southern culture have been a distinctive element of the way of life, here. 

What's Cooking? - Flowers

From World Vision Report | 05:10

This piece takes us to Mexico, where they eat flowers. Seriously, maybe you've had an edible nasturtium or a stuffed squash blossom once or twice, but in Mexico it's more widespread. Reporter Mary Stucky takes us to a village food market with a food expert, and it's all explained as we hear the sizzle and the "mmmmms."

The audio goes way beyond the ears to the eye and the tongue.
Try to listen without salivating too much...

This comes from The World Vision Report, a weekend news-magazine and daily feature show put of Washington state.

If you air this piece, please include a back announce saying "This piece originally aired on the World Vision Report." or "This piece came to us from the World Vision Report."

James Beard: An American Revolution [1 hour version]

From Melissa Waldron Lehner | 53:44

An hour about America's first food celebrity, James Beard. We hear from friends and colleagues who knew him and understood the era in which he defined American cooking.

Host Clark Wolf obviously has great enthusiasm for Beard and what he did for American cooking, and the conversation is convivial.

The piece is nicely produced by Melissa Waldron Lehner, a contributing producer for WNYC in New York.

It's an hour of good conversation and intelligent nostalgia. There's also a half-hour version on PRX.

Beardedited_small “Today American Cookery is at a crossroads somewhere between technology and tradition…While I do not overlook the grotesqueries of American cooking, I believe we have a rich and fascinating food heritage that occasionally reaches greatness in its own melting pot way…We are barely beginning to sift down into a cuisine of our own.” -James Beard, AMERICAN COOKERY In the 40s & 50s when the nation was reveling in American Jell-O salads, cocktail wiener canapes, and Pepsi-Cola Cakes, James Beard was busy cooking up local, seasonal American dishes, launching a revolution in food that is now only starting to be realized. Founder of the James Beard Cooking School in New York City and author of 22 cookbooks, Beard, who was known as “The Dean of American Cuisine,” proved to the world that delicious, fresh food could be found here in America and showed us how to enjoy simple, freshly prepared meals made with wholesome ingredients, paving the way for future food revolutionaries like Alice Waters. In this HOUR LONG DEBUT special [30 minute version also available on PRX], we will get a rare glimpse of the man behind the apron when friends and colleagues Ruth Reichl, Betty Fussell, Judith Jones, Clark Wolf and Marion Nestle gather together to reminisce about Beard’s life and talk about the enormous influences of this remarkable chef and his times. In addition, this intimate portrait of Beard will be enriched with excerpts from the James Beard Papers, letters written to and by Beard over the years, some from culinary pioneers such as MFK Fisher, Julia Child and Elizabeth David, among others. Funny, poignant and sometimes sad, they reveal the very private and personal dimensions of Beard’s life [who died in 1985] while also connecting the listener to the joys of food and cooking, reaffirming the value of close friendships and precious moments of everyday life.