In today’s podcast we’re going to explore the backlash against processed food in the late 20th century. We’ll see the rise of the health food movement and new dietary ideologies. And we’ll see how this ushers in a vibrant new era in food that creates things like artisan food producers, “slow food” culture, and farmers’ markets.
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Culinary Activities for this Episode:
• Vegetarian Tofu Chili
The 1960s and 1970s witnessed a range of new ingredients, many of which derived from Asian cuisines but were incorporated in interesting, new ways in conventional American cuisine in the interest of health, vegetarianism, or simply novelty. The following is one worth keeping and is in line with counterculture values. It will taste better if eaten wearing sandals and a tiedyed t-shirt—and listening to the Grateful Dead.
Take one block of extra-firm tofu, and crumble it up with your fingers, squeezing out any extra moisture. Heat a frying pan with a few tablespoons of olive oil, and fry the crumbled tofu on low temperature, stirring often, until lightly browned and crispy. Add to this a finely chopped onion, finely chopped green and red bell peppers, and a chopped serrano chili pepper.
Season with salt, cumin, and oregano. Continue frying until vegetables are slightly browned and the spices are fragrant. Next, add some ground chili powder or paprika. To this, add some vegetable stock, either canned or made from carrot peelings, onions, celery leaves, and other vegetable scraps. Also add some chopped tomatoes. Continue cooking until the tomatoes have fallen apart and the chili has thickened. Serve with brown rice.
Kaufman, A Short History of the American Stomach.
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