Episode 107: Fried Foods Mini Episode with Lee Redd

Monday, September 17, 2018
Lee joins Winter on this week's mini episode (Happy Honeymoon to Sharon!) to talk about fried foods, especially ones you may find at your local state fair. We briefly talk about the history of frying foods and the science behind a good fried product, then jump into a "Would you eat it?" session. Yikes, that's a lot of fried food!

Let's taco 'bout it!


Photography courtesy of Blake Guidry
Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Food Nerd Shoutout: Thanks to Shannon J. for letting us know that's she's been listening to a lot of our older episodes--Lee does cook a lot for us! And shoutout to Yandary for sending us a link to some vintage cast iron pieces that someone was selling on Craigslist. If you need some new pieces to restore, check it out here!
  • There's a long history of frying things in oil, dating from the first written account in the Roman cookbook Apicius in the 5th century BCE. 

Run Time: 22 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

Episode 106: Cotton Candy

Monday, September 10, 2018
Because it's state fair time, we decided to talk about a requested topic (thanks, listener Chad!)--cotton candy! We get into the history of the World's Fair in 1904 and how it came on the scene and what was introduced at that World's Fair. It was historic. We also delve into how spun sugar was the precursor of cotton candy and how cotton candy is made. Fascinating! Plus, Sharon puts in her two cents on a rice cooker and Winter tells us about moon cakes.

Let's taco 'bout it!


Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Food Nerd Shoutout: Joyce S. told us she needs to eat some cheese after reading the Anthony Bordain quotation about cheese that our guest, Vanessa Chang, shared during her episodes on choosing cheese (listen here) and about the American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional exam (and listen to the other episode here). Thanks for commenting and supporting us, Joyce!
  • Let's Dig into the Kitchen Drawer: Sharon shares a "workhorse" of her kitchen: the Aroma 6-cup Rice Cooker. It even cooked a Lundberg Wild Blend (brown rice/wild rice combination) with no problems. Granted Sharon did guilt the rice cooker into doing its job and threatening to buy an Instant Pot instead (ha ha!). It's a kitchen warrior, in fact! (Winter tells her story of taking home a new Yamada rice-cooker on the plane as carry-on luggage! She won't give it up, even now that she has an Instant Pot.) Sharon's Rating: 5 out of 5 stars.



  • We're talking all about cotton candy on today's episode. Thanks for requesting this sweet and interesting topic suggested on Instagram by one of our listeners, Chad. 
  • When is your state fair? The Utah State Fair is happening right now! Don't miss the Blue Oyster Cult! ;) Or the Big Yellow Slide! Or the Dutch Oven Cooking Contest (hey Ned from Dutch Oven Daddy)!
  • Cotton candy was invented in 1897 by dentist William Morrison (a dentist!) and confectioner John C. Wharton. It was introduced widely in 1904 at the World's Fair in St. Louis, Missouri. This fair was also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. Attendance was about 19.7 million people.


  • Other things that were introduced at that World's Fair: the electric street car, the personal automobile, the ice cream cone, radiation therapy (Fensin light), the X-Ray machine, the "infant incubator", the wireless telephone (aka the radio telephone invented by Alexander Graham Bell), the teleautograph (precursor to the fax machine), Jack Daniel's Tennessee Whiskey (he got the gold medal for the finest whiskey in the world), the ice cream cone, puffed rice, and Dr. Pepper!
  • It was known as Fairy Floss at the 1904 World' Fair (and is still called Fairy Floss in Australia). They sold 68,655 boxes at 25 cents a box. That equals to about just under a half a million dollars in today's dollar!
  • In the UK, cotton candy is known as papa's beard. 


  • You can get different flavors, including blue raspberry, cherry vanilla, bubblegum, banana, chocolate, vanilla, watermelon, and maple syrup. There are much more contemporary flavors, such as lychee, 
  • National Cotton Candy Day is December 7 (or maybe July 31).
  • You can hear about how sugar changes in our caramelization episode here. The basic building block of sugar is carbon, hydrogen, and oxygen. The bonds holding the sucrose together will break apart when heat is applied. Hydrogen and oxygen will get together and form water, then carbon is left.
  • Spun sugar is the precursor to cotton candy, being made in the 15th century by Italian chefs.
  • The cotton candy machine consists of a funnel where the sugar goes, a heating element to warm the sugar to make it molten, and the outer bowl to catch the fibers of sugar that are flung out of the tiny holes in the funnel, and the centrifuge to spin the funnel at high speeds.







  • Introducing Interesting Ingredients: On September 24, 2018 is the Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival and moon cakes (not moon pies) are eaten. It's autumn (though the pumpkin spice hasn't really come out in full force yet), so this happens on the full moon of the 8th month of the lunar calendar. There are many legends surrounding this festival. 
  • Moon cakes are generally filled with lotus paste or black bean paste, though nowadays, there are much fancier and creative types and fillings.
  • Send us an email at hungrysquared@gmail.com.
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Run Time:

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

Episode 105: How to Choose An Artisan Cheese Part 2 with Vanessa Chang, ACS Certified Cheese Professional

Tuesday, September 4, 2018
We continue with our interview with Vanessa Chang, ACS Certified Cheese Professional, and she tells us her guidelines for choosing a cheese if you are new to the world of artisan cheeses. She also gives us a taste of producers and agers that she is excited about and shares some of the cheese combinations you can try at your next party. Sharon also talks about a camping French Press coffee maker and Winter tells us all about capers and caper berries.

Let's taco 'bout it!


Photography courtesy of Jez Timms

Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!




  • We continue our interview with Vanessa Chang for Part 2. If you haven't heard Part 1 with Vanessa, you can listen here.
  • What can I start out if I want to try artisan cheeses? Vanessa suggests asking questions, especially since you're trying to learn. There are no stupid questions. The only thing that cheesemongers may not totally love, are the know-it-all customers.
  • Tip 1: Start with what you know when it comes to choosing cheeses. For example, if you are used to block cheddar, tell the cheesemonger what you are familiar with, and he/she can suggest a mind-blowing version, that may be aged longer, maybe doesn't have annatto (used to color cheeses), or possible in wheel or truckle form.
  • By the way, all cheese has a place!

Photography courtesy of Chris Ralston

  • Tip 2: Acknowledge what makes a cheese good. There are different characteristics to cheeses that make them good. Don't go "ew" (you'll offend the cheesemonger)!
  • What is the crunch or those "freckles" in cheese? Vanessa tells us it's not mold. It's the amino acid tyrosine. As a cheese ages, the enzyme in the cheese breaks down fats and proteins (amino acids) and there is water loss as it ages, which causes the tyrosine crystals becomes more apparent.
  • Cheese-making is controlled spoilage (David Chang calls it controlled rot).
  • Rockhill Creamery is a US-based cheesemaker that does everything in the cheesemaking process.
  • What cheese producers are you excited about: Vanessa's desert island cheeses are alpine cheeses such as Comte (goes well with coffee). She especially loves the Marcel Petite Comte. Producers: Jasper Hill out of Vermont has a cheese called the Harbison that she likes. The side is wrapped in strips of spruce. (They also have a Cabot Clothbound cheddar cheese, which is also good.)

Photography courtesy of Marc Babin


Photography courtesy of Brooke Lark


Capers (front) and caper berries (back)


Run Time: 46 minutes

Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

Episode 104: The American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional Exam with Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP, Part 1

Monday, August 27, 2018
In Part 1 of our interview with Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP, we chat with her all about the American Cheese Society's Certified Cheese Professional (CCP) exam. Vanessa talks about why there is even such an exam, her previous experience in the food world that qualified her to take the exam, how she studied for the exam, and what the it entailed. It's pretty intense! Join us next week for Part 2 where she breaks down how to choose a cheese if you're a novice cheese eater. Plus, we talk about Whiskware's Pancake Art Kit and the spice star anise.

Let's taco 'bout it!


Photography courtesy of Damien Kuhn

Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

Let's taco 'bout it!

  • Food Nerd Shoutout: Our longtime friend, but first-time Hungry Squared podcast listener Josh let us know that he LOVES the jokes at the very beginning. Tee hee! Hey Josh, fan-of-dad-jokes! By the way, have you seen these dad joke competitions here and here?
  • Let's Dig into the Kitchen Drawer: Winter talks about Whiskware's Pancake Art Kit and how it A) doesn't quite fit into Winter's kitchen rules, and B) the shapes don't quite come out nice and clean. Winter loves the other tools by Whiskware, such as this snack container, but this art kit doesn't quite work for her. Winter's rating: 2 out of 5 stars.




Vanessa Chang, ACS CCP

  • "Anybody can love cheese. Anybody can learn to love cheese. If this girl who made pasta sauce with American Kraft singles can be come a CCP, anybody can learn to love artisan cheese." 
  • ACS CCP stands for American Cheese Society Certified Cheese Professional. This training and accreditation was started in 2012 by the American Cheese Society based in Denver, Colorado and is similar to the type of training and accreditation that a sommelier (wine) or cicerone (beer) would complete.
  • Requirements included having experience in the food specialty field and recommendations from those folks in the field. Vanessa was interviewed by Max McCalman (cheese appreciator and educator).

Photography courtesy of Darren Coleshill

  • Education is key to the designation of ACS CCP, for example, Jess Perrie of Essex Street Cheese, formerly of Beehive Cheese Company, and one of Vanessa's classmates, was a recipient of the Daphne Zepos Teaching Award.
  • PDO Cheeses, or protected designation of origin, were the main focus of the exam. But there is some emphasis on the pioneers of the American cheese movement such as Vermont Creamery, Capriole Goat Cheese, and Cypress Grove Cheese.
  • Milk from cow, goat, sheep, and some water buffalo is covered on the exam. 
  • New in 2018, there is the T.A.S.T.E exam through ACS. This is especially important for tradespeople, such as a cheese grader.
  • Vanessa shared this quote by Anthony Bourdain with our Hungry Squared listeners: "You have to be a romantic to invest yourself, your money, and your time in cheese."

Photography courtesy of Jez Timms

  • Introducing Interesting Ingredients: Sharon tells us about the spice star anise and how it's largely found in Asian cuisine. It's star-shaped with a strong licorice flavor.
  • This is where you can find Sharon's mulled wine and cider recipe on this holiday episode.



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    Run Time: 50 minutes

    Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

    Episode 103: Salt Part 2 with Darryl Bosshardt of Redmond Inc and Real Salt

    Tuesday, August 21, 2018
    Welcome to Part 2 of our interview with Darryl Bosshardt of Real Salt about salt. We talk about how the salt is harvested from the salt mine in Redmond, Utah, what the two meanings of Kosher mean regarding salt, and the makeup of different salts. Check out the first part of our interview with Daryl here. We also recommend our favorite microplane and talk about the kiwano melon.

    Let's taco 'bout it!



    Disclosure: Some of the links within these show notes are affiliate links, which means that if you choose to make a purchase, we will earn a commission, which helps support our show. This commission comes at no additional cost to you, our wonderful listener!

    Let's taco 'bout it!

    • Note from Winter and Lee: Thank you so much for your patience while we've taken a few weeks off due to the stillbirth of our son Brannan in July. We are heartbroken, but we love you guys and we felt so much love and support--thank you from the bottom of our hearts!
    • Food Nerd Shoutout: Thanks for sending us a quick note to let us know you like our new format, Bryan Lords from Word on the Main Street Podcast. Have you heard our guest episodes that we did together? Good fun! Listen to them here and here.
    • Let's Dig Into The Kitchen Drawer: Sharon loves the Microplane-brand microplane that Ike has used from his chef days. You can get either the fine or coarse microplane. Sharon's ranking: 5 out of 5 stars.




    • Have you listened to Part 1 of our interview with Darryl Bosshardt from last time? Make sure you listen to it to get all the good background first! And now onto our Part 2 with Darryl!
    • Unlike an evaporative method and adding anti-caking additives, Real Salt is "grinded" off the wall from the salt mine, then broken down and screened out to the correct size.  Check out this great video of the salt mine.



    • Kosher salt has two meanings: 1) It can indicate the size of the crystal: Kosher salt in the Jewish health-code sense, the Kosher salt is a larger crystal with less surface area. It is used to pull blood off of meat, but will not overly salt the meat, because of the smaller amount of surface area. 2) It can also indicate that it is certified and approved that the product is Kosher.
    • Real Salt has 4 different sizes: Powder (perfect for popcorn), Fine (great for everyday use), Kosher (larger crystal size), and Coarse (used in a grinder).

    Bags of Real Salt

    • Use a stainless or ceramic grinders if you are looking for one, so you don't have plastic bits ground into your food. IKEA and Oxo have nice spice ceramic grinders on the market.



    • Ninety-seven to 98% of salt is sodium chloride. The other 2-3% is usually magnesium chloride, potassium chloride, and calcium chloride. There are also trace elements found in the salt (here's the episode with Marysa about recommended dietary allowances). Real Salt leaves the salt as they find it.
    • What should home cooks should be looking for when choosing a salt (or other food products): 1) Know the source, 2) Find out what's been taken out of it, and 3) What have they put back in.
    • If you haven't tried Real Salt, go try it out! You can buy it on Amazon, Real Salt, Redmond Inc, and at your local natural grocer.
    • Introducing Interesting Ingredients: Kiwano Melon (or Horned Melon) tastes like a cross  between a kiwi, cucumber, and banana. You can eat the green jelly with seeds raw. Some people add the seeds to a salad or to a smoothie. Join us this week for our video!



    Run Time: 35 minutes

    Sponsors: We have no sponsors for this episode. If you're interested in working with us, please contact us. We'd love to partner with you.

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