Point of Origin

Point of Origin

Point of Origin is a podcast about the world of food, worldwide. From the makers of Whetstone Magazine. Each week we travel to the countries, cultures and culinary traditions that gave birth to what we eat and drink. The in-depth conversations and field recording are augmented by new explorations of ingredients and dishes in the context of their culture of origin. In addition to taking listeners around the globe, whether it’s to Indonesia for coffee or India for turmeric, the show’s mission is also to elevate the voices of indigenous people and women of color. Point of Origin is about deepening our understanding by going to the source, as the study of food, of its past and present, teaches us who we are and how we came to be.... Show More
August 29, 2019 47 min

When we talk about terroir, it’s usually in the context of wine, and the human and environmental conditions that influence the characteristics. But on a recent visit to California, writer and cook Jasmine Lee began to ask questions about this framing, inspired by an heirloom variety of rice with a beautiful name called, Kokuho Rose. Jasmine, who comes from a lineage of rice merchants in Hong Kong, wondered  whether it was possible to think about expressions of the land; ie, terroir, without thinking of about the history and politics of land use in the United States. If this heirloom rice is an expression of the land it was grown on, it is also an expression of the trauma and perseverance with the family who worked that land.  Next, Chef BJ Dennis tells us about his move to St. Thomas in 2004, where he encountered black folks from around the West Indies. Upon learning he was from the lowcountry, they preceded to share stories and insight about the Gullah Geechee, a distinctive culture of the  descendants of West Africa’s rice coast. The experience changed the trajectory of BJ’s career, catalyzing his calling as a chef and scholar of the culture. 

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