May 26, 2011
It seems that over the past few years, there have been a number of books that make us think about food, where it comes from, and how it impacts our health. I’m thinking of Michael Pollan’s many top-selling titles, Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat, Pray, Love, or Barbara Kingsolver’s Animal, Vegetable, Miracle… the titles are numerous and I’ve been impressed with nearly all of the “food books” that I’ve read over the past few years (in fact it’s become one of my genres of choice). Author’s Kurt Friese, Kraig Kraft, and Gray Nabhan make their own offering to the field with their recent title Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail with a new take on the food book.
Rather than focusing solely on the experience of food or its origins, Chasing Chiles takes a broader glance at the infamous chile pepper and its future in a world challenged by “global weirding” (a more robust term referencing the weather patterns created by global warming used by the authors). The authors follow the story of six different types of chile peppers within their indigenous locations in North America. During each of their pepper “hunts” the roving gastronauts (as they refer to themselves) explore the chile-laced cuisine of each region while taking the time to learn the history behind each species of pepper as well as to glance into its future.
Read the rest at Chasing Chiles – Book Review – Urban Times – Optimistic, Forward-Thinking.
May 17, 2011
Chasing Chiles co-author Kraig Kraft has a lot to tasy to his fellow New Mexicans about proposed chile labeling laws…
The news coming from New Mexico’s chile industry is disheartening. In 2010, a meager 8,700 acres were harvested, the smallest amount in 37 years. Facing stiffer competition from places overseas with cheap and abundant labor, and confronted with another prolonged drought, the future for New Mexico’s chile industry looks bleak.
While the recently passed House Bill 485, the New Mexico Chile Advertising Act, aims to protect the New Mexico chile by making it illegal for a person to “knowingly advertise, describe, label or offer for sale chile peppers as New Mexico chile, or to advertise, describe, label or offer for sale a product as containing New Mexico chile, unless the chile peppers or chile peppers in the product were grown in New Mexico,” it is too little too late.
U.S. marketplaces are flooded with cheaper produce shipped in from abroad: Fuji apples and grapes from Chile, garlic from China, cucumbers and tomatoes from Mexico.
Read the whole op-ed at ABQJournal Online » Hot Under Collar Over Fake N.M. Chiles.
May 6, 2011
Climate change is the issue of our time. Its ill effects will fall heaviest on the people who have least contributed to it: billions in the global south. But no one will escape the impact of the warming climate, and one place it will manifest most obviously is on our plates. If we look at chile peppers, for example, it’s easy to see how the negative effects of climate change have affected the food on our plates and the farmers behind that food.
In their new book, Chasing Chiles: Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail, authors (and self-titled “gastronauts”) Gary Nabhan, Kurt Michael Friese, and Kraig Kraft clear a path in the rubble on their beloved “spice ship,” with the chile pepper as their guide. You’ll never see hot sauce in the same way again. In this interview, the three spoke as a team, so I’ve conglomerated their answers to reflect their pepper-infused mind-meld.
Red teh interview @ Hot stuff: chile peppers, climate change, and the future of food | Grist.
May 5, 2011
When news about the hottest beer in the world, Ghost Face Killah, went national, the staff at Boulder’s Twisted Pine Brewing was a little nervous. After all, they’d named the beer, which is made with ghost peppers, after rapper Ghostface Killah from the Wu-Tang Clan without asking for his permission.
But this week, Wu-Tang’s manager called Twisted Pine founder Bob Baile and signed off on it. His only request: a couple of cases sent to New York.
Read the whole story at Ghostface Killah signs off on Colorado’s Ghost Face Killah, the hottest beer in the world – Denver Restaurants and Dining – Cafe Society.