Apr 12 • 36M

EP 39: Fisherman's Stew - A Savory Representation of Region, Culture, and Flavors

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Food lovers, Kim Baker and Leigh Olson, invite you on a storytelling journey exploring food memories, family recipes, food traditions, cuisines, cookery, and food history to discover how food connects, defines, and inspires us.
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Hunting, gathering, and fishing have played significant roles in the development of human culture. Thanks to a topic suggested by listener, Robin Ove, Kim and Leigh take a deep dive into brothy dishes that have come to define several cultures influenced by the art of fishing.

Fish have played an integral part in sustaining cultures around the world. In this episode, we take a closer look at several classic fish stews and how they have come to define a specific region and represent the communities and cultures who make them. Although similar in their foundations, each stew is characterized by the unique, local ingredients used.

Kim starts out our exploration into fish stews with a brief history into fishing. The ability of our nomadic ancestors to trap, catch, and subdue protein sources, aided in the development of our brains which in turn allowed us to create better systems to trap, catch and subdue protein sources. Nomads that had access to waterways discovered ingenious ways to prepare the catch of the day.

In Lepenski Vir, believed by historians and archaeologists to be the first city in the world, fish was a major food source.

Leigh discusses two regional classic dishes whose origins are directly related to the catch of the day, cioppino and washtub stew. These two fish stews, from opposite sides of the country, are classic examples of the influence of regional ingredients as well as the communities from which they sprung.

To continue the discussion, Kim recounts her ancestral heritage and flavor preferences of the Mediterranean. With Provence being her family's origin, bouillabaisse is the fisherman’s stew for which Kim waxes poetic, with a little help from Julia Child.

Julia Child in the French Chef Bouillabaisse A La Marseillaise episode

To round out our fisherman’s stew conversation, we end with a conversation about authenticity and accuracy and how these two concepts relate directly to chowders.

Please join in the conversation and let us know your thoughts on the best fisherman’s stew or your thoughts on authenticity or accuracy.

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Fisherman’s Stew Transcript

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