The U.S. has access to 94,000 miles of coastline, and nearly half the population lives less than ten miles from the sea. Yet 91 percent of the seafood Americans eat comes from abroad. In contrast, a third of all the fish and shellfish we catch are sold to foreign countries. What is keeping us from eating from our local waters? Norman B interviews New York Times best-selling author Paul Greenberg who’s new book American Catch: The Fight for Our Local Seafood examines the logic-defying problem with American seafood consumption. Greenberg deftly explores three quintessential American seafoods: The New York oyster, the Gulf shrimp, and the Alaskan sockeye salmon. We may believe that we are what we eat, but Greenberg argues that we do not eat what we truly are. We are an ocean nation, the author says, yet we eat a minimal amount of seafood in comparison to meat and poultry. Study after study has touted the benefits of a diet rich in omega-3s from fish, and we have access to a wealth of nutritious, local food options, but we opt out.
Whisk(e)y is in the midst of a huge renaissance. Ten years ago, the United States housed sixty-nine craft distillers; today, there are more than four hundred. Exports of Scotch whisky grew 12 percent just last year. Sales are skyrocketing, and specialty bars are popping up around the country, from New York City to Chicago to Houston. Whisk(e)y expert Heather Greene, author of Whisk(e)y Distilled: A Populist Guide to the Water of Life will explain to Norman B, (who admits to being a novice) the mysteries of Whisk(e)y, the crucial importance of “nosing” Whisk(e)y and the spelling.
Professional journalist and amateur drinker Bianca Bosker didn’t know much about wine until she discovered an alternate universe where taste reigns supreme, a world of elite sommeliers who dedicate their lives to the pursuit of flavor. Astounded by their fervor and seemingly superhuman sensory powers, she set out to uncover what drove their obsession and whether she, too, could become a “cork dork.”She visits underground tasting groups, exclusive New York City restaurants, California mass-market wine factories, and even a neuroscientist’s fMRI machine as she attempts to answer the most nagging question of all: What’s the big deal about wine? Bianca Bosker joins Norman B to talk about her new book Cork Dork – A Wine-Fueled Adventure Among the Obsessive Sommeliers, Big Bottle Hunters, and Rogue Scientists Who Taught Me to Live for Taste.