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Episode 9: Canadian Edition

Posted by Joan Chang

In this episode of The Main Ingredient...Khalil looks at the undisputably Canadian dish of poutine at La Belle Patate in Victoria.

Meeru Dhalwala, co-owner of Vij's in Vancouver and Marie-Claude Lourtie, food columnist for Montreal's La Presse both discuss what Canadian food really is.

John Gilchrist, food reviewer in Calgary talks about the so-called "Chinese" ginger beef and its surprising origins in Calgary.

Khalil turns to cod tongue and talks to Harold Brown, owner of The Cellar Restaurant in St. John's about the regional nature of much Canadian cuisine.

And Paul Moore, an Edmontonian expat working for the CBC in London explains the British take on Canadian food at the Maple Leaf Garden pub.

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The Main Ingredient airs Mondays at 11:30 am/3:30 pm NT and Fridays at 7:30 pm/8 NT on CBC Radio One. You can also catch us on Sirius Satellite 137.

 WEB EXTRA:

If you haven't gotten enough of ginger beef ... here is an extended version of Khalil's interview with Calgary food reviewer, John Gilchrist.

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Episode 5: Illegal and Extreme Eating

Posted by Joan Chang

On this episode of The Main Ingredient...Khalil does some "underground" dining with a group of Vancouver cooks known as The Wandering Spoon and talks to them about why they're circumventing the established dining world -- and city bylaws.

Thumbnail image for mangosteensmall.jpgWe also talk about "radical hospitality" with Seattle resident Michael Hebb, a pioneer in the underground dining movement. He tells us about everything from creating music just for dining to hosting a dinner along the I-5.

Peter Jon Lindberg, editor-at-large for Travel + Leisure Magazine talks about the ulimate in illegal dining experiences -- the ortolan bunting. He also shares his stories of smuggling exotic fruit into the United States.

 

absinthesmall.jpgAnd Rodney Goodchild, sales and marketing manager for Okanagan Spirits gives Khalil a taste of absinthe.

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 The Main Ingredient airs Mondays at 11:30 am/3:30 pm NT and Fridays at 7:30 pm/8 NT on CBC Radio One. You can also catch us on Sirius Satellite 137.

 

WEB EXTRA:

For more chat about revolutions in the restaurant business ... here is an extended interview with radical host Michael Hebb.

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Episode 4: Backyard Barnyard

Posted by Joan Chang

chickenphoto.jpgIn this episode of The Main Ingredient...Khalil explores growing veggies and fish all in one tank with Dan Fox, Fisheries and Aquaculture Technician at Vancouver Island University.

Andrew Moyer, self-described "urban chicken person" in Victoria talks about why he keeps them and what regulations are doing to urban chicken ownership.

And we take a look at urban beekeeping with Graham Evans, director of housekeeping and apiarist at the Fairmont Waterfront in Vancouver.

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The Main Ingredient airs Mondays at 11:30 am/3:30 pm NT and Fridays at 7:30 pm/8 NT on CBC Radio One. You can also catch us on Sirius Satellite 137.

Episode 2: Failures and Successes

Posted by Joan Chang

baby carrot small.jpgIn this episode of The Main Ingredient...Khalil talks to Toronto-based food trend consultant Marion Chan about how baby carrots became a huge marketing success.

And Lynn Dornblaser, new product trend expert at Mintel International discusses the marketing disaster of Crystal Pepsi.

Mukul Devichand from BBC Radio 4 and the World Service in the UK uncovers a bizarre marketing attempt in China.

And Cornell Idu from Rogers Chocolates in Victoria explains the trials and tribulations of creating new products the public will actually like.

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The Main Ingredient airs Mondays at 11:30 am/3:30 pm NT and Fridays at 7:30 pm/8 NT on CBC Radio One. You can also catch us on Sirius Satellite 137.

Episode 1: "Yummy" vs. "Yucky"

Posted by Joan Chang

On this episode of The Main Ingredient...we meet Greg Smith, a Victoria-based entomologist who's growing mealworms in plastic tubs in his house and throws a dinner party, where Khalil gets a taste.

Khalil chats with Jerry Hopkins, a Bangkok-based writer and author of "Extreme Cuisine". He tells us about -- among other things -- serving his wife's placenta to his friends.

We find out about "supertasting" with Valerie Duffy, registered dietitian and professor at the University of Connecticut.

And Victoria-based freelance journalist Adrien Sala tells us about the efforts to reconnect urban Natives with their traditional cuisine and overcoming the psychological barriers to indigenous foods.

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The Main Ingredient airs Mondays at 11:30 am/3:30 pm NT and Fridays at 7:30 pm/8 NT on CBC Radio One. You can also catch us on Sirius Satellite 137.

Khalil's thoughts on mealworms

Posted by Joan Chang

Some of Greg Smith's edible critters (Submitted by Greg Smith)
When I arrived at Greg Smith's house, it was like arriving for any other summer barbecue.  Lots of people...lots of food...kids playing...parents chatting.  It looked fun.  But microphone in hand, I knew what I was really in for.  Greg Smith was going to cook me some mealworms.

Greg is a scientist for the feds.  He's a bark beetle specialist so bugs are part of his life.  He grows mealworms in tubs, feeds them oats and fruit and on this night he had a Ziploc bag full of them in his freezer. He cooked them with a bit of a butter and garlic and they writhed in the pan from the heat.

Part of thing with mealworms, I think, is forgetting what they really are.  To that end, Greg's wife had made some cookies.  Delicious, but then the mealworms were hidden inside.  In the case of the sauteed buggers, it's harder to move beyond the 'yuck' factor.  After grabbing a few though I realized that they actually do taste OK.  In fact, they taste like butter and garlic.  The outer shell kind of gets caught in your teeth a little but they really are good.

Greg's wife refuses.  So do some guests.  But many take a taste.  And some kids dive in... because I presume little ones don't have some of the psychological hangups that grownups have.
 
In the end, I figure, anyone should be up for trying something new.  After all, mealworms aren't harmful. They taste good and they are part of SOMEONE's culinary vocabulary.  So why NOT eat them?  Isn't proclaiming a distaste for something before trying it exactly the thing that our parents taught us not to do?
 
-Khalil