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Earth Eats: Real Food, Green Living

Local Walnuts Transformed Into A Festive Craft Spirit

Randall Sciba and Chris Dollar are the labeling crew for this particular Nocino bottling day in October (Kayte Young/WFIU)

This week on Earth Eats we’re sure to get you into the holiday spirit with a behind-the-scenes look at the making of a walnut liqueur. Earth Eats visits Cardinal Spirits on bottling day.

Watching the Nocino fill the bottles, 6 at a time, is mesmerizing and satisfying (Kayte Young/WFIU)

Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington Indiana. This time of year they release their beloved Nocino. I Spoke with co-founder Adam Quirk and several other members of the Cardinal team, in late October about the process behind the Italian-style, walnut liqueur.

At harvest time, Cardinal puts a call out on social media for volunteers to help prepare the green walnuts for the Nocino (photo courtesy of Cardinal Spirits)

Nocino is made with Cardinal’s own vodka, green walnuts and botanicals like star anise and orange peel. These walnuts come from special family trees in Fort Wayne, Indiana. They are English Walnuts, less common in Indiana that the Black Walnuts littering many Hoosier’s backyards. Hear all about this local, seasonal spirit–including ideas on how to drink it–on the podcast.

Also this week, just in time for Hanukkah, Chef Daniel Orr has a spicy twist on traditional latkes. His are made with sweet potatoes.

Music on this episode:
Nervous by Actual Figures from Love is Not Enough

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

Stories On This Episode

Curried Sweet Potato Latkes

Jazz up your Hanukkah celebration this year with a new twist on traditional latkes.

Chris Resnick’s Nocino Sour

Nocino is a seasonal spirit made from local green walnuts. It's great on its own or mixed into cocktails like this one from former Cardinal bartender, Chris Resnick.

New Cache of Food Industry Documents Reveals Decades of Health Policy Influence

More than 32,000 of food industry documents have been collected into a searchable public archive at the University of California at San Francisco.

Supreme Court Not Likely To Hear California Egg Lawsuit

The Department of Justice this week recommended the Supreme Court not hear a lawsuit brought by 12 egg-producing states, after California banned the sale of eggs produced in confinements smaller than the state's new requirements.

Kayte Young

Kayte Young discovered her passion for growing, cooking, foraging and preserving fresh food when she moved to Bloomington in 2007. With a background in construction, architecture, nutrition education and writing, she brings curiosity and a love of storytelling to a show about all things edible. Kayte raises bees, a small family and a yard full of food in Bloomington’s McDoel Gardens neighborhood.

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