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Playing With Food

A monthly program on unique ways of looking at everyday foods on the California Central Coast.

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  • First it was the pandemic in 2020 when supply chains were closed off. Then it was avian flu in 2022 when flocks were being destroyed. People bought chickens! The average American eats about 275 eggs each year. So, if they are in short supply or really expensive, someone with a decent backyard may want to build a hen house. Among those in the know, they are referred to as “backyard chickens”, but Playing With Food is focusing specifically on Urban Chickens…ones that live in the city where they might annoy neighbors or be involved in cock fights.
  • EVERYONE loves pasta! The Playing With Food Team met up with two Central Coast pasta makers: one commercial, and one in-house restaurant. And we made some delicious discoveries!
  • Olives are a delicious snack, and the come in so many varieties. But olives are inedible straight off the tree. But curing olives does not have to be that difficult, and Playing With Food learned how.
  • One would be forgiven for not thinking that Peruvian cuisine was popular on the Central Coast. But San Luis Obispo has TWO Peruvian Restaurants. And the next closest Peruvian Restaurant appears to be all the way in Thousand Oaks! The Playing With Food Team visited a small one-woman operation to explore Peruvian ingredients and flavors.
  • The craft cider movement on the Central Coast is producing cider where every barrel is unique in flavor and character. I just had to explore more, and I started in the orchard, and went all the way to bottle.
  • Agri-Entertainment is using agriculture for fun, education and profits.
  • Bees produce honey. It’s a simple process, yet infinitely complex! And it’s certainly fascinating! This is a look into the world of honey production…which includes a lot about bees.
  • Asparagus is grown right here on the Central Coast in Gonzales. A trip to an asparagus farm was an enlightening and delicious way to discover more about that which Louis VIX called the King of All Vegetables.
  • We use vanilla all the time in all sorts of cooking, especially baking and in ice cream. Vanilla comes from exotic places, but a major national brand is produced in Paso Robles. The Playing With Food team took a journey to explore just how exotic this ordinary, standard foodstuff is.
  • We get to enjoy spices from all of the continents right in our homes. And the Central Coast has its very own spice trader, a purveyor of origin-sourced, high-quality spices, based in Paso Robles.