Thursday, April 9, 2015

California Foodways: The Winemaking Monks of New Clairvaux

Aired on The California Report Magazine on April 3, 2015:

and on NPR's Morning Edition April 9:

In a tiny Northern California town called Vina, there's a winery that's definitely off the beaten track. That might be because this region's better known for olive groves and cattle ranches than grapes. For these, vintners, though, it's spiritual work.

California Foodways: Chinese Border Food

Aired on The California Report Magazine March 28, 2015.

If you ask people in the city of Mexicali, Mexico, about their most notable regional cuisine, they won’t say street tacos or mole. They’ll say Chinese food. There are as many as 200 Chinese restaurants in the city. North of the border, in Imperial County, the population is mostly Latino, but Chinese restaurants are packed. There are dishes in this region you won’t find anywhere else, and a history behind them that goes back more than 130 years.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

California Foodways: Native American Tribe Bets on Olive Oil

Aired on KQED's The California Report Magazine on December 7, 2014.

Northern California’s Capay Valley is bucolic, with ranches, alfalfa fields and small, organic produce farms that have earned this valley a reputation as an agricultural gem. It’s pretty serene, except for the huge casino complex (with a 200-room hotel, 10 restaurants and a golf course) in the middle of fields. That casino probably saved the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation, whose numbers dwindled to just two families after missionaries, settlers and Gold Rush prospectors arrived and the tribe was removed from its land.  The casino attracts an average of 2,000 visitors a night, swelling the valley’s population and traffic.  It’s caused tension between local farmers and the tribe.  Now, though, the Yocha Dehe’s investing casino earnings in agriculture, especially in olives, one of California’s new hot crops.  Tribal leaders say that being in the same business as their neighbors is helping to mend fences.