11.27.16: Lots of Leftovers

Nov 25, 2016

Now that the long, stressful, divisive election season is behind us, maybe it's time to talk about something that unites us in pleasure: food. Now, a cultural history of one food that makes everything a little bit better: butter. 

Plus, the resurgence of rainbow sprinkles. Whether you call them jimmies, funfetti or unicorn food, those brightly colored sugary bits that top cupcakes, cookies & ice cream sundaes, are having a bit of a moment. We’ll talk to a food writer from the New York Times about the current funfetti explosion.

Listen to the full show. 

Butter: A Rich History

Picture this: you're at the supermarket ready to check "butter" off your shopping list. You head to the dairy aisle, and see a few brands, Land o’ Lakes, Organic Valley, perhaps Kerry Gold—for those special occasions—and of course butter substitutes. No big decisions to face there, right? Food writer and pastry chef Elaine Khosrova argues that butter is much more nuanced than the grocery shelves may lead us to believe, both in flavor and history. Her new book Butter: A Rich History tells the story of this humble kitchen staple, from the ancient butter bogs of Ireland, through the butter-margarine wars, to the present.

The Rise of Funfetti

Here in the Northeast you may know them as "jimmies" others fondly refer to them as "funfetti", "rainbow sprinkles", or "unicorn food". Those brightly colored sugar candy pieces that coat cupcakes, sugar cookies, ice cream sundaes, and in Australia—inexplicably, toast—seem out of place in a world that currently embraces the natural and the organic, and eschews the artificial. But turning food into a festive rainbow explosion has become decidedly highbrow.

Julia Moskin is a New York Times dining reporter and she looked into the current funfetti explosion for the food section.

Related: The Funfetti Explosion

Make your own funfetti explosion cake! Here's the recipe: Rainbow Sprinkle Cake

Soup Swap

Winter is coming. It's getting steadily colder and darker, and the nation is still reeling from a presidential election that pretty well split voters down the middle. May be a good time for a healing bowl of soup. Virginia talks to Chef Kathy Gunst about her new cookbook: Soup Swap: Comforting Recipes to Make and Share

See more and print the recipe here: Potluck? Meh. Try a 'Soup Swap' Instead    

The Vegan Schism

Before it was embraced by celebrities, chefs and an estimated 16 million Americans, veganism meant radicalism - like the animal rights activists who throw red paint on women wearing fur.

A number of vegans have labored to distance themselves from that image - setting off a schism that's divided the movement for 15 years.  One camp follows the all-or-nothing imperative to eliminate the commodification and consumption of animals and animal products.  The other is working to make strategic, incremental changes in food policy, production and preferences. 

Chase Purdy is a New York based journalist who writes about food for Quartz. That's where we found his article about the divergent paths of the vegan movement.

Running With Springs

When you go from a walk, to a jog, to a run, what is actually happening? Is one just a faster version of another? A small group of bio mechanists says no. Once you get moving, it becomes a whole different animal. This story from the podcast "Sift", walks us through some research that explains just what happens to our bodies when we pick up the pace, and break into a run.

This segment was produced by Bishop Sand. You can listen to it again at PRX.org.