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Food Comics, Flavor Maps, Poetry, Popcorn And Slaw

Cartoon drawing of Blue Deliquanti and Soleil Ho, with various insects on them.

Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho are the authors of the Young Adult Graphic Novel, Meal. (image courtesy of the artist)

“And there's also this vague apocalyptic narrative included in it. More than once I heard people say ‘well we'll all be eating this someday.’ “

On today's show, we talk with Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho, authors of Meal, a graphic novel about food, culture, love and entomophagy

And we explore research on food pairing and flavor networks. With Dr. Yong-Yeol Ahn,(he goes by YY). He’s a professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University and co-creator of a fascinating map of flavor networks.

We have a food poem from Yalie Kamara

Plus recipes from Jackie Bea Howard and Susan Mintert

What's Old is New Again--The Authors of Meal Discuss Food, Culture and Comics

Entomophagy, or, the practice of consuming insects for food, has been all over the food media world for years. Often you hear it talked about as a sustainable solution for the world's growing demand for protein.

My guests today have a different approach to the topic.

Blue Delliquanti and Soleil Ho are the authors of the Young Adult Graphic Novel, Meal. It's a story about restaurant life, traditional foodways and insect cuisine. Oh, and there's an LGBT romance, to boot!

Blue Delliquanti is a comics writer, illustrator and the creator of O Human Star.

Soleil Ho is a food writer the restaurant critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. She has been a co-host of the podcast Racist Sandwich, host of Bitch Media's podcast Popaganda and she currently co-hosts the podcast Extra Spicy with Justin Phillips. She has also cooked professionally in Minneapolis, New Orleans and Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.

In the interview, Blue and Soleil share stories about cultural traditions of raising and eating insects. They also talk about how comics have a way of making complex food topics comprehensible and making bugs look cute on a plate.

A map or diagram with circles of different colors and sizes and lines of different colors and thicknesses in a network between the circles.

Each node denotes an ingredient, the node color indicates food category, and node size reflects the ingredient prevalence in recipes. This map comes from an article by Yong-Yeol Ahn, Sebastian E. Ahnert, James P. Bagrow and Albert-László Barabási, published in Scientific Reports, December,2011.

Quantifying Flavor-What Data Networks Can (And Can't) Tell Us About How We Eat

Earth Eats Associate Producer Alex Chambers walks us through the work of Dr. Yong-Yeol Ahn,(he goes by YY). Dr. Ahn is a professor of informatics and computing at Indiana University and co-creator of a fascinating map of flavor networks.

Anthropologists Maddie Chera and Leigh Bush talk with him about what these networks can, and cannot tell us about cultural food pairing preferences.

Music On This Episode

The Earth Eats theme music is composed by Erin Tobey and performed by Erin and Matt Tobey.

Aditional Music on the show from the artists at Universal Production Music

Stories On This Episode

How To Eat Malombo Fruit

Yalie Kamara held the National  Book Critics Circle Emerging Critics Fellowship for 2017 (photo courtesy of the author)

Food memories are powerful, but that doesn't mean they can't be disputed.

Kroger Closes Two Seattle Stores After City Mandates Hazard Pay

Large yellow sign with the letters Q-F-C, with a crown on the Q

Seattle passed a hazard pay mandate for grocery store workers. Will other cities follow suit?

Jackie Bea's Brussels Sprout Slaw

The Brussels sprouts are only lightly cooked, reataining much of their texture and all of the fresh flavor (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Serve this slaw warm or cool, and consider making extra to enjoy throughout the week.

Susan's Caramel Popcorn In a Paper Bag

Two half-sheet metal baking pans filled with a single layer of caramel popcorn

Start with freshly popped popcorn in a brown paper bag, and you're minutes away from sweet and salty caramel corn.

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