The Prod is coming out of hiatus in celebration of everyone's favorite, National Banana Day... even if we're celebrating a little late. We're joined by special guest, Pamela Riemenschneider the Retail Editor for Blue Book Services. Pamela is the expert writing on what trends are taking place in the supermarket that the whole produce industry is reading. We harness the expertise that has gotten her the attention of the whole banana growing public to discuss why millenials could kill the banana, how much a banana costs and why, and if the rumors are true that bananas are about to go extinct.
In the finale of this first season of the Producast, George indulges his love of broccoli with Loree Dowse of Mann Packing about broccolini: where the product came from, how it got it's name, and how it found its way from obscurity to the produce aisle (and POTUS' lunch) in ten years. The conversation reveals the next hot item to be released this year, and how Loree and team are planning to introduce it to America.
Yes, we're walking to the cheese aisle- not because we've abandoned the fresh stuff, but because we know that cheese can be the perfect compliment for fruits or for vegetables... that is, if you know the right pairings. We check in with the Prod's Senior Cheese Correspondent (and longtime friend of the Prod) Colleen McDonnell. Colleen tells us what a day in the life of a cheesemonger is like, how to pick the right fruits and cheese for your cheese platter, what cheese to put on your potatoes, and more. There are more cheese facts than we can fit into one podcast. It's almost too much.
We're talking about fresh produce here... so what does that have to do with temporary tattoos? George gets the full story when he talks to Jenna Weiler, the creater of Tater Tats, about the inspiration that led her to create this whimsical product. Their conversation about local farms, CSA's, and what it means to be connected to your food source reveals that there's a lot more to Tater Tats than what you see at first glance... but they're just as fun as they sound.
Mushrooms. They aren't animal, vegetable or mineral. One of the funkiest products in the produce aisle is the topic in this episode of the Prodcast, where we explore why this item is so polarizing, and try out the trend of "blending" mushrooms into other dishes by seeing if Ginene Mahoney (George's sister, who doesn't care for mushrooms) can detect the mushrooms in a blended mushroom/beef meatball. Then, we peel back the mystery of the mush with Pete Wilder, from the ToJo Mushroom company, who uncovers how they grow, why they're good for you, and why you should consider shrooming the next time you're in the produce aisle.
Fall is swinging into full gear, but the Prodcast family can't let go of summer, and our favorite summer food, watermelon. And when you want to talk watermelon, you best go to the queen. We spend some time with the National Watermelon Queen, Madison Laney, who tells us how to rise to the highest level, and what it's like to reign. After George waxes eloquent on why pageants are more than they seem in pop culture, we check in with one of America's newest fans of watermelon, 1 year old Andy Szczepanski. His dad, and interpreter, Jack Szczepanski, tells us a little about why watermelon is perfect for a precocious toddler.
Hope you're hungry, and excited for the third episode of the prodcast! As the summer season starts to come to a close on the Prodcast Family garden, George reflects on the best ways to use your bumper crop of cucumbers, and spends some time catching up with long time friend Al Murray on his 33 year career with the New Jersey Department of Agriculture. They talk about how Al was a steward for the program during it's entire tenure, and how the state's Ag marketing program has grown, changed, and supported the farmers over that time.
Welcome back for our second episode, where we'll talk about how to embrace using fresh herbs, and in more than just parsley potatoes! In this episode we call our favorite Greek, friend of the Prod Paul Tsikitas, and fresh herb expert Amy Johnson from Patty's Herbs to hear about how to use fresh herbs in everything from salads to cocktails, and how to make the most of fresh herbs when we get them home from the store.