WBEZ | vegetarian http://www.wbez.org/tags/vegetarian Latest from WBEZ Chicago Public Radio en Rabbit hops back onto the American table http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/rabbit-hops-back-american-table-110834 <p><p>As Americans become more discriminating about the provenance, treatment and sustainability of the animals they eat, the market has brought them pastured pork, heritage chicken and grass-fed beef.</p><p>But one of the most sustainable meats of all may still prove too cute for many consumers.</p><p>It&rsquo;s rabbit--and Kankakee County farmer Kim Snyder has recently joined the ranks of the more than 27,000 American farmers who raise them (up from just 4,300 in 2002).</p><p>But unlike most rabbit farmers, Snyder (who also raises pastured Berkshire hogs and Belted Galloway cows) is raising these lagomorphs on free range.</p><p>&ldquo;I&rsquo;ve been training them to range outdoors and it&rsquo;s been fairly successful,&rdquo; said Snyder who owns Faith&rsquo;s Farm. &ldquo;I have 32 acres and I&rsquo;ve seen them range off my acreage but they still tend to home in on my pond because I am their only continuous water source.&rdquo;</p><p>Snyder&rsquo;s target breed is the&nbsp;<a href="http://www.livestockconservancy.org/index.php/heritage/internal/silver-fox">heritage Silver Fox</a> a rabbit on the critically endangered list, which is why she chose them. &nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;If people taste this meat, which I think is superior to hybrid animals, then farmers will raise it,&rdquo; she explained. &ldquo;So it&rsquo;s truly conservation through consumption. You can see some breeds go from critically endangered ... to threatened ... to not being on the list at all.&quot;</p><p>So what does it taste like? Snyder invited a bunch of Midwest chefs out to her farm to help process them, cook them and taste for themselves.</p><p>&ldquo;I would say the meat is milder [than standard rabbit meat which tastes like slightly gamey chicken meat] because it&rsquo;s not been raised on pellets,&rdquo; she says. &ldquo;These rabbits eat hay and grass.&rdquo;</p><p>Letting rabbits roam around 32 acres and then trapping them when it&rsquo;s time to go to the butcher is not the most efficient way to produce meat. Some rabbits will inevitably be picked off by coyotes, minks and other predators. And others may avoid the traps. But Snyder--whom I&rsquo;ve known for five years and (full disclosure) now consider a friend--says she&rsquo;s committed to letting the animals lead normal lives for as long as possible.</p><p>As she prepares to start offering them to Midwest chefs, the farmer says she plans to charge about $10 a pound for her rabbits. And they&rsquo;ll arrive on a restaurant scene that&rsquo;s already hopping with rabbit dishes.</p><p>At Chicago&rsquo;s six-month-old <a href="http://www.osterialanghe.com/">Osteria Langhe</a>, in Logan Square, braised rabbit or &ldquo;coniglio&rdquo; has emerged as one of chef Cameron Grant&rsquo;s signature dishes. He says customers order about 100 servings of it a week.</p><p>&ldquo;They love it,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;We wrap it in pancetta and then slow cook it for about four hours and it just becomes incredibly moist. Then we sear it off to order and then cut it and put it on the plate with a sauce of sweet red and yellow peppers.&rdquo;</p><p>Grant lived and cooked in the Piedmont region of Italy, which is the inspiration for the menu at Langhe. There, he says &ldquo;they don&rsquo;t use chicken. So rabbit really is the chicken of Piemonte.&rdquo;</p><p><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/rabbit-1.jpg" style="height: 250px; width: 250px; float: left;" title="Chefs learned how to process, skin and cook rabbits during a recent event at Faith’s Farm in Kankakee County. (WBEZ/Monica Eng)" />Rabbit has also leapt on to the menu at <a href="http://tabledonkeystick.com/">Table, Donkey and Stick</a> in Logan Square. There, chef Scott Manley offers rabbit liver mousseline with sweetbreads but also a popular whole deboned rabbit cooked sous vide and then quick roasted to order.</p><p>&ldquo;So it comes out and it&rsquo;s sort of like a rabbit steak almost,&rdquo; he says.</p><p>The meat shows up in three dishes at Mercat A La Planxa downtown and even barbecued at Frontier in West Town. And at Glasserie in Brooklyn, a $76 rabbit entree has become one of the hottest meals in New York.</p><p>As more consumers seek out sustainable meat this fast growing lagomorph--no, rabbits are not rodents--fills the bill quite nicely. In fact, according to the<a href="http://www.fao.org/docrep/t1690e/t1690e03.htm"> United Nation&rsquo;s food organization</a> you can produce more than four pounds of rabbit meat with the same amount of feed it takes to produce just one pound of beef. Additionally, rabbits can start reproducing at just 6 months old.</p><p>Chicago&rsquo;s<a href="http://publicanqualitymeats.com/"> Publican Quality Meats </a>already sells pastured Berkshire pork from Faith&rsquo;s Farm. But general manager Darin Latimer says he expects Snyder&rsquo;s pastured rabbit to join the selection soon.</p><p>&ldquo;I think our customers will be OK with it,&rdquo; says Latimer. &ldquo;But I think the mass market will be harder to crack--mostly because of the adorability problem.&rdquo;</p><p>Indeed, the adorability problem remains a hurdle--even for some who don&rsquo;t mind eating other animals. Whole Foods Market learned this last month when rabbit lovers protested the store&rsquo;s pilot program to introduce rabbit to its meat counters. They argued that rabbits are pets, not meat.</p><p>Ironically, before introducing rabbit to select stores, Whole Foods spent years developing better <a href="http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/department/article/rabbit">animal welfare standards </a>for farms that raised rabbits. But, for many in the US, the meat is still too closely connected with pets, the Easter Bunny and even Bugs Bunny whose cartoons--<a href="http://www.ebaumsworld.com/video/watch/82297211/">think the Hasenfeffer episode</a>-- didn&rsquo;t do much for the image of rabbit eaters.</p><p>Even if American rabbit consumption never reaches World War II levels (when rabbits were considered a patriotic meat animal to raise in homes) or even to European levels, Grant and others think acceptance will only continue to grow.</p><p>&ldquo;I think it will,&rdquo; he says, &ldquo;It&rsquo;s a great, versatile protein that offers intrigue and excitement.&rdquo;</p><p><em>Monica Eng is a WBEZ producer and co-host of the Chewing The Fat podcast. Follow her at</em><a href="https://twitter.com/monicaeng"> <em>@monicaeng</em></a> <em>or write to her at meng@wbez.org</em></p></p> Tue, 23 Sep 2014 09:48:00 -0500 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/rabbit-hops-back-american-table-110834 Guidelines for Thanksgiving with a vegetarian http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/guidelines-thanksgiving-vegetarian-109268 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/main-images/thanksgiving.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><em>Disclaimer: The opinions expressed here are mine and mine alone. They do not represent the feelings of all vegetarians and vegans, many of whom follow a stricter diet than I do. Still, I hope it&rsquo;s helpful if you&rsquo;ll be in the presence of a vegetarian this Thanksgiving.</em></p><p><strong>1. Don&rsquo;t ask the vegetarian WHY they&rsquo;re vegetarian.</strong></p><p>Follow the politics and religion rule here, people. Most vegetarians don&rsquo;t want to explain his or her dietary choices. And honestly, he or she shouldn&rsquo;t have to. You don&rsquo;t see anyone asking cousin Jimmy why he didn&rsquo;t eat any of the broccoli. Maybe Jimmy just doesn&rsquo;t eat broccoli. Who cares what his reasoning is?</p><p>Vegetarians are like snowflakes in their reasons for why they don&rsquo;t eat meat. No two are alike. People seem to have a really hard time digesting that. (Pun intended.) They assume we all don&rsquo;t eat meat for moral reasons or because we love animals or because we want to save the planet. The truth is, it&rsquo;s all of those things and none of those things.</p><p>Also, most vegetarians don&rsquo;t want to convert you. And we definitely don&rsquo;t want to enter a debate where it is one person vs. a room full of carnivorous, judging family members.&nbsp; As much as you know going into the holidays that you&rsquo;ll never persuade your Uncle Randy to change his views on immigration, gay marriage and who really caused the government shut down, the vegetarian isn&rsquo;t looking to change your views on eating bacon whenever you want. Most vegetarians don&rsquo;t really care and they&rsquo;re not about to start on Thanksgiving of all days. (But I would be a bad vegetarian if I didn&rsquo;t bring your attention to <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2008/01/27/weekinreview/27bittman.html?pagewanted=all&amp;_r=1&amp;" target="_blank">this</a>.)</p><p><strong>2. Don&rsquo;t say the following things to the vegetarian &hellip; unless you want them to internally roll their eyes at you. </strong>(<a href="http://www.buzzfeed.com/jessicamisener/what-its-like-being-a-vegetarian-at-thanksgiving" target="_blank">Thanks for a few of these, BuzzFeed.</a>)</p><p>- Anything related to Tofurky. Just. Don&rsquo;t.</p><p>- Are you still doing that weird meat thing?</p><p>- Are you sure you don&rsquo;t want any Turkey?</p><p>- Don&rsquo;t you miss eating meat?</p><p>- Do you think you&rsquo;ll ever eat meat again?</p><p>- If you were on an island and you had to choose between eating meat and dying, would you eat it?</p><p>- How can you not like bacon?</p><p>- But it&rsquo;s bacon.</p><p>- Don&rsquo;t you ever crave bacon?</p><p>- I could totally be a vegetarian if I was allowed to eat bacon.</p><p>- Or better yet, just watch this and take notes.</p><p><iframe allowfullscreen="" frameborder="0" height="349" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/ILl3_jQNvsM" width="620"></iframe></p><p><strong>3. Don&rsquo;t make things unnecessarily NON-vegetarian.</strong></p><p>It&rsquo;s really very simple. And don&rsquo;t give me that &ldquo;everything&rsquo;s better with meat&rdquo; argument. It&rsquo;s just not. And it&rsquo;s not like Thanksgiving is a holiday in need of more calories.</p><p>Green Bean Casserole? Fantastic. No bacon needed.</p><p>Mashed Potatoes? So easy! Potatoes, butter, cheese, sour cream. Repeat.&nbsp;</p><p>Stuffing? Here&rsquo;s one that might ruffle a few feathers.<strong> Just use vegetable broth. </strong>It honestly tastes no different. It&rsquo;s really just salty water. Does it need to be a poultry byproduct? And if you claim you can taste a difference, well, you&rsquo;re just a jerk. This same argument applies to all soups.</p><p>Pillsbury pie crust has lard in it, you say? C&rsquo;mon. Make one from scratch. It&rsquo;s THANKSGIVING. And don&rsquo;t tell me in that beautiful mess that is the kitchen on Thanksgiving that you can&rsquo;t find time to throw together some flour and Crisco&nbsp;(<a href="http://www.peta.org/living/food/accidentally-vegan/">Did you know it&rsquo;s vegan</a>!?). You&rsquo;d be surprised by how many modern food products are <a href="http://www.peta.org/living/food/accidentally-vegan/">accidentally vegan</a>.</p><p>Here are a few examples pertinent to Thanksgiving: Arnold Premium Seasoned Stuffing, Betty Crocker Bac-o&rsquo;s Bacon Flavor Bits, Campbell&rsquo;s Franco-American Mushroom Gravy, Mrs. Smith&rsquo;s Deep Dish Pie Crust, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls (Original), Sara Lee Cherry Pie, Smart Balance Light Buttery Spread and Organic Whipped Buttery Spread.</p><p><strong>4. EVERYONE is secretly a vegetarian.</strong></p><p>Every year, one of the first dishes finished off at my family&rsquo;s Thanksgiving is the vegetarian stuffing. We&rsquo;ve come so far in our taste for vegetarian stuffing that I&rsquo;ve started doubling the batch. I&rsquo;m not making this up. And to further drive home my point, the second and third dishes to be completely consumed are green bean casserole and potatoes, respectively.</p><p>This phenomenon also occurs with pizza. In my experience, every time it comes time to order pizza, people either gripe about having to order an all veggie pizza or will say something like, &ldquo;Well, let&rsquo;s make sure to order a small veggie pizza so Becky has something to eat.&rdquo; But then something miraculous happens when all those circular, 20-inch, pies from heaven arrive&hellip; everyone wants a slice of the veggie pizza. It&rsquo;s the first one gone.</p><p>Bottom line: If it tastes good, people will eat it.</p><p><strong>5. Don&rsquo;t go ridiculously far out of your way to make something different for the vegetarian.</strong></p><p>There is SO much food available on Thanksgiving. I can all but guarantee the vegetarian at your Thanksgiving will not shrivel up and die of starvation. He or she really doesn&rsquo;t need a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. And please, for the love of everything good, don&rsquo;t make a giant pot of spaghetti (unless of course you&rsquo;re Italian and such dishes are part of every meal regardless of the holiday). Making a special, unrelated-to-the-occasion dish, just makes the vegetarian feel obligated to eat said sandwich or said noodles, leaving no room for all the other delicious options.</p><p>Also, dinner rolls.</p><p><strong>The next two are directed at vegetarians themselves&hellip;</strong></p><p><strong>6. Ignorance is bliss.</strong></p><p><em>(Disclaimer: I&rsquo;m about to commit a major vegetarian faux pax and will again pre-emptively apologize to all vegetarians and vegans who choose a stricter dietary plan than I do.)</em></p><p>I am a very social person and I deeply enjoy Thanksgiving, as well as many other large festive gatherings. It is because of this that I would rather you not tell me what is in the food that appears, to the naked eye, not to have meat in it. Please don&rsquo;t tell me you used chicken broth in the stuffing. Please don&rsquo;t tell me that my favorite French fries in the city of Chicago are cooked in animal fat (DMK, I&rsquo;m looking at you.) And please, please, don&rsquo;t ask if I eat honey &lsquo;because technically, bees are animals and if you don&rsquo;t want to hurt animals why would you consider eating honey or cheese or ice cream?&rsquo; I eat those things things because they taste good and I want to. (See #1, paragraph 1.)</p><p><strong>7. Offer to make something (and make it delicious).</strong></p><p>See #4, paragraph 3.</p></p> Wed, 27 Nov 2013 10:38:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/news/culture/guidelines-thanksgiving-vegetarian-109268 Taking sides: Let's talk turkey Thanksgiving Eve on the Morning Shift http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/taking-sides-lets-talk-turkey-thanksgiving-eve-morning-shift-103910 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8198891427/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lanlardpecanwhoe.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Chocolate pecan pie by celebrity pastry chef Eric Lanlard at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas in Waukegan, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></p><div class="image-insert-image ">This Wednesday, Thanksgiving Eve, I&#39;ll be on<a href="http://www.wbez.org/programs/morning-shift-tony-sarabia"> <em>The Morning Shift</em></a> with Tony Sarabia taking your calls to help solve your Thanksgiving food questions. To ask a question, please call 855-848-5551 or email <a href="mailto:morningshift@wbez.org?subject=Thanksgiving%20food%20question">morningshift@wbez.org</a> &mdash; and please remember to leave your callback number.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">I&#39;m not the only cook in the house. Did you know <a href="http://www.wbez.org/users/tsarabia-0">Tony</a>, also host of <a href="http://www.wbez.org/radio-m"><em>Radio M</em></a>, was once a pastry cook, at <a href="http://www.spiaggiarestaurant.com/">Spiaggia</a> no less?</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">As I mentioned at the end of the <a href="http://storify.com/WBEZ/morning-shift-48-three-stars/elements/50a3dbb6deae9e20312df3c8">show last Wednesday</a>, we&#39;re curious about not only your turkey questions, but vegetarian too, despite what <a href="https://www.facebook.com/wbez915/posts/10151332775551000">some Facebook commenters</a> might think. Vegan, gluten-free and all questions are welcome too.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">The only thing I ask: Please <a href="https://www.google.com/">Google</a> first. There&#39;s a wealth of knowledge out there. Yes, I&#39;ve cooked in Michelin three-star restaurants but when I have basic recipe questions, I too use my Google fu, and have found most reliable <a href="http://www.foodnetwork.com/alton-brown/recipes/index.html">Alton Brown</a>,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.simplyrecipes.com/">Simply Recipes</a>&nbsp;and my dear friend,&nbsp;<a href="http://www.davidlebovitz.com/">David Lebovitz</a>.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image ">Please feel free to post your questions in the comments below too &mdash; thanks.</div><div class="image-insert-image ">&nbsp;</div><div class="image-insert-image "><div class="image-insert-image " style="text-align: center;"><a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/louisachu/8198882695/"><img alt="" class="image-original_image" src="http://www.wbez.org/system/files/styles/original_image/llo/insert-images/lanlardpecanslice.jpg" style="height: 411px; width: 620px;" title="Chocolate pecan pie by celebrity pastry chef Eric Lanlard at Nielsen-Massey Vanillas in Waukegan, Ill. (WBEZ/Louisa Chu)" /></a></div></div><p>&nbsp;</p></p> Mon, 19 Nov 2012 11:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blogs/louisa-chu/2012-11/taking-sides-lets-talk-turkey-thanksgiving-eve-morning-shift-103910 Dyan Flores breaks down the myth behind a meat-filled Midwest http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-breaks-down-myth-behind-meat-filled-midwest-95678 <img typeof="foaf:Image" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/photo/2012-January/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-sox.jpg" alt="" /><p><p><img alt="" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/blog/insert-image/2012-January/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-sox.jpg" style="margin-left: 10px; margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 10px; float: right; width: 300px; height: 152px;" title="">Gaper's Block writer Dyan Flores takes issue with the&nbsp;<em>New York Times'</em> look into&nbsp;vegetarianism in the Midwest;&nbsp;"<a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2012/01/11/dining/a-vegetarians-struggle-for-sustenance-in-the-midwest.html?pagewanted=all">Meatless in the Midwest: A Tale of Survival</a>" was&nbsp;written and published last week by heir to the throne A.G. Sulzberger.&nbsp;Read an excerpt of Flores' thoughts, or listen below.</p><p><em>"After living in New York City for four years, I will concede that New York has superior bagels, taxi drivers and baseball teams. That's as far as I'll go. New York City is great, but as a born and bred Midwesterner, I refuse to buy into the Manhattan-is-center-of-the-universe hype. East coast snobbery runs rampant in the Big Apple, and as far as many New Yorkers are concerned, the Midwest is just a land of republicans, who are fueled by a diet of steaks and bacon grease."</em></p><p><audio class="mejs mediaelement-formatter-identified-1332483860-1" src="http://llnw.wbez.org/sites/default/files/dyan flores.mp3">&nbsp;</audio></p><p>This Saturday at the Horseshoe, you'll see Steve Waltien of the Second City main stage, Kate James of Schadenfraude, puppeteer Noah Ginex, and a tribute to the late Chicago comic Mike Enriquez by Ryan Patrick Dolan.</p><p><a href="http://thepapermacheteshow.com/" target="_blank">The Paper Machete</a>&nbsp;<em>is a weekly live magazine at the Horseshoe in North Center. It's always at 3 p.m., it's always on Saturday, and it's always free. Get all your</em>&nbsp;The Paper Machete Radio Magazine&nbsp;<em>needs filled&nbsp;<a href="http://wbez.org/thepapermachete" target="_blank">here</a>, or download the podcast from iTunes&nbsp;<a href="http://itunes.apple.com/podcast/the-paper-machete-radio-magazine/id450280345" target="_blank">here</a>.</em></p></p> Fri, 20 Jan 2012 15:34:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/onstagebackstage/2012-01-20/dyan-flores-breaks-down-myth-behind-meat-filled-midwest-95678 Something You Should Eat: Pani puri from Sukhadia's http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-08/something-you-should-eat-pani-puri-sukhadias-83377 <p><p style="text-align: center;"><iframe width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/20683767?title=0&amp;byline=0&amp;color=c40215"></iframe></p><p style="text-align: left;">In honor of Lent this week, we are going vegetarian. I realize a lot of people will be ordering pepper-and-egg sandwiches from their favorite Italian beef stands until Easter, but if you're looking for something a little more interesting, head to West Rogers Park. There, along Devon Avenue, you'll find Sukhadia's, a tidy little Indian snack shop offering both sweet and savory items. I've become enamored with their pani puri - a standard Indian street food snack containing chickpeas and potatoes, enhanced by sweet tamarind-date sauce and a surprisingly fiery mint-chile sauce. Even if you don't live near the neighborhood, <a href="http://www.sukhadia.com/il_main.asp">Sukhadia's</a> has a few other locations in the region, including one in Hoffman Estates. Sukhadia's is located at 2559 West Devon Avenue, 8100 Ridgewood Avenue, Skokie, and 1016 West Golf Road, Hoffman Estates.</p></p> Tue, 08 Mar 2011 12:00:00 -0600 http://www.wbez.org/blog/steve-dolinsky/2011-03-08/something-you-should-eat-pani-puri-sukhadias-83377