Fruit Love Letters

Fruit Love Letters is a curious dive into the Anthropocene through fruit-colored glasses. Host Jessamine Starr may not be a botanist, historian, farmer or an expert on fruit, but as a chef in Atlanta she's ...more

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5

February 08, 2022 00:28:20
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The Beautiful Complexities of the Apple

“Writing to you is akin to writing a single letter to all the humans.” Humans have been tinkering with crossbreeds of apples for thousands of years. Gidon Coll, the owner of Hudson Valley Apple Project, shares some of the types he grows and why so few varieties of apples are available for sale at the store or from your local apple farmer. Luckily for Jessamine, she gets to sample some of the rare breeds Gidon grows on his farm. Then she has a conversation with William Mullan, a New York-based artist who elevated apples to his photographic muse. Topics covered in this episode: Min 1:55: Jessamine’s letter to apples Min 1:55: Intro and apple description Min 3:30: Meet William Mullan Min 4:00: Odd Apples portrait description & origin Min 6:00: Heterozygous attribute of apples Min 8:00: Apple trees adaptability to environment Min 9:30: Exploring diversity of apples Min 11:00: Meet Gidon Coll Min 12:45: How to graft Min 13:00: USDA Orchards in Geneva, New York and why apples are heterozygous Min 15:00: Apples and the founding fathers Min 16:00: The Golden Age of Pomology Min 17:30: The decline of apple varieties  Min 19:00: Apple tasting and the wide range of apple flavors  Learn more about this episode of Fruit Love Letters at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG and Twitter at ...

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4

February 01, 2022 00:31:14
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The Subtly Essential Ingredient for Equatorial Chefs

“Your tangy earthbound pulp, a portal to biological brilliance.” Tamarind is a key ingredient to the wheelhouse of many equatorial chefs. This week, Jessamine gathers in conversation Sam Fore of Tuk Tuk Sri Lankan Bites in Lexington, Kentucky; Parnass Savang of Talat Market in Atlanta, Georgia; and Maricela Vega of Chico, also in Atlanta. All three chefs are combining their familiar homeland foods—from Sri Lanka, Thailand and Mexico—with their current surroundings in the American South. Despite using the same fruit, the different ways tamarind manifests in their unique recipes is a fascinating testament to their ingenuity. Topics covered in this episode: Min 0:00: Tamarind Love Letter & Intro Min 2:26: Description of Tamarind Min 3:37: Meet Sam Fore Min 4:07: Sam discusses her Sri Lankan heritage & introduction to cooking  Min 6:04: Sam shares how she uses tamarind Min 8:14: How to make seeni sambol Min 9:18: Tamarind as a tenderizer  Min 11:09: Meet Parnass Savang Min 12:10: Parnass shares his journey to owning his restaurant Min 13:50: Thai food from scratch Min 15:47: Tamarind in Thai cuisine Min 16:42: Massaman curry recipe Min 18:39: Access to tamarind in Atlanta Min 19:44: Meet Maricela Vega Min 21:17: Chico’s efforts to bridge the gap between Mexico and American South Min ...

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3

January 25, 2022 00:29:03
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Cultivated or Wild the Blueberry Has a Story to Tell

"Even so, I cannot move away from my ‘self’/perpetually residing in a blueberry cave." Jessamine learns the history of both the cultivated blueberry and the native wild blueberry. For the former, she consults Kiyomi Locker, a historian for the Whitesbog Preservation Trust, birthplace of the cultivated blueberry. Through Kiyomi, Jessamine hears of Elizabeth White, the agricultural specialist who took the blueberry out of the woods and to consumers around the world. But just because most of us enjoy the cultivated blueberry doesn’t mean the wild one is gone. Brian Altvater and Holli Francis introduce Maine’s Passamaquoddy Wild Blueberry Company, the only Native-owned wild blueberry enterprise in the world. Clearly, there is space for both the wild and cultivated blueberry in our homes and our bellies. Topics covered in this episode: Min 0:00: Jessamine Starr recites her poem to blueberries Min 1:35: Intro and blueberry description Min 3:17: Meet Kiyomi Locker Min 3:30: Whitesbog’s history as a village and cranberry bog Min 4:30: Elizabeth White’s blueberry cultivation endeavors Min 7:00: Blueberry varieties and crossbreeding  Min 9:00: Blueberry plants: errors and successes Min 10:21: More explanations of blueberry varieties Min 12:25: Elizabeth White’s unknown legacy outside of Whitesbog Min 18:00: Meet Holli Francis and Brian Altvater Min 19:11: Health benefits of wild blueberries and how they grow Min 21:01: Passamaquoddy tribe history with wild blueberries and colonizer challenges ...

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2

January 18, 2022 00:33:04
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The Native Fruit Worth Remembering

“A perfume so intense it confuses the senses.” One of North America’s least-known native fruits, the pawpaw deserves a stage of its own. Jessamine chats with historian, writer and citizen of the Choctaw Nation, Devon Mihesuah. Having grown up eating pawpaws, Devon wants pawpaw fruits to be available to Indigenous communities for years to come. To explore a pathway to pawpaw preservation through cultivation, Jessamine speaks with Neal Peterson, a plant geneticist who has spent the last 45 years creating pawpaws for the future. Topics covered in this episode: Min 1:00: Jessamine recites her letter to pawpaws Min: 2:50: Jessamine gives a brief introduction to pawpaw Min 3:40: Meet Devon Mihesuah Min 4:40: Devon recounts her pawpaw past and present Min 6:40: Favorite ways to eat pawpaws Min 7:45: Role of pawpaws in Choctaw diet Min 9:15: Cultural knowledge regarding pawpaws Min 11:40: Foraging wild pawpaw challenges Min 13:30: Tribes revitalizing pawpaws and indigenous food sovereignty   Min 15:00: Devon describes growing her own pawpaw plants Min 17:00: Meet Neal Peterson Min 18:00: Neal recounts his first taste of pawpaw Min 19:30: Neal describes his research findings and method of past pawpaw breeding Min 21:30: Neal finds surviving pawpaw trees to begin his cultivation process Min 24:00: Neal explains the metrics evaluated to obtain his successful cultivars Min 27:00: Neal praises the rise of pawpaw excitement and compares its future to be similar to blueberries Learn more about this episode of Fruit Love Letters at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG and Twitter at @whetstoneradio, and YouTube at /WhetstoneRadio. Guests: Devon ...

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1

January 11, 2022 00:28:02
The Fruit the World Can't Help But Love

The Fruit the World Can't Help But Love

"Strand me on an island with one food, I always choose you." This is an impassioned ode to the mango. Host Jessamine Starr talks to mango expert Dr. Noris Ledesma, who fell in love with mangoes as a child in Colombia and has since spent much of her career studying this fruit. While both Jessamine and Noris share a great love for mango, Noris has made it her life's mission to ensure that it continues to thrive and make it to our kitchen tables. She has traveled around the world collecting mango species in an attempt to cultivate mangoes that can withstand everything from climate change and farmers' needs to the picky consumer's eye. Topics covered in this episode: Min 1:00: Jessamine recites her letter to mangoes Min 3:30: Meet Noris Ledesma Min 5:40: Why mangoes are so special to communities in Florida Min 8:50: Mango import process to the US Min 9:30: Growing mangoes in the US Min 12:00: Environmental and growing climate concerns and solutions for mango farmers Min 16:00: Purple skin mangoes to prevent food loss due to slight imperfections Min 18:00: Ways to eat mangoes from different regions Min 20:30: Limitations of mango varieties in the US Min 22:00: Mild allergic reactions to mangoes Min 24:00: Mango connections around the world Learn more about this episode of Fruit Love Letters at www.whetstoneradio.com, on IG and Twitter at @whetstoneradio, and YouTube at /WhetstoneRadio. Guest: Dr. Noris Ledesma (@norisledesma) ...

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January 10, 2022 00:01:00
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Trailer - Fruit Love Letters

Curious about what’s to come in WRC’s new podcast, Fruit Love Letters? Listen to host Jessamine Starr (@jessasminestarr) tell you all about it in this trailer! Mark your calendars for the launch of #FruitLoveLetters on Tuesday, January 11! ...

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