Poisonous, spiky, bug-eyed and edible: Lionfish are a prolific invasive species off the coast of Florida. Their voracious appetites are destroying native reef fish populations, leaving decimated reefs in their wake. Chefs and concerned eaters are attempting to eat their way through this problem. You can find items like lionfish sushi, poached and broiled lionfish, and lionfish dumplings on menus throughout South Florida. Reporter Wilson Sayre takes us to the Florida Keys to catch a few lionfish and see how much of a bite diners are taking out of the problem.
Virginia is often heralded as the birthplace of American wine. But from colonial times through efforts made by Thomas Jefferson, those efforts were seen as a failure. The archetypical image of wine country—arid, rocky places—is not what one thinks of when conjuring images of wet, humid, Virginia summers. But a few pioneering grape growers and winemakers have made huge strides over the past few decades, giving wine enthusiasts a taste for Virginia terroir. Reporter Wilson Sayre explores this history and evolution of wine from the Old Dominion.
For many people in the American South, sorghum is a condiment to be spread, like maple syrup, on top of warm, pillowy biscuits, pancakes, and cornbread. But for most of the world, particularly in West Africa, sorghum is a grain used much like rice or quinoa. There is a growing group of chefs, millers, plant breeders, and farmers that is trying to reconnect with the West African roots of sorghum and create gastronomic and growing opportunities in this region. Reporter Wilson Sayre explains how sorghum might again become a grain of the American South.
Ed Mitchell’s name has come to be synonymous with Eastern North Carolina wood-smoked whole-hog barbecue. From Wilson, North Carolina, he grew up smoking hogs and has tried to continue that tradition, using old techniques and traditionally farm-raised pigs. But almost since the start, Ed Mitchell’s barbeque journey has not been a straight line—business relationships, racism, and smoke have all shaped his rollercoaster ride.