492: Sumac

Molly 0:04

I'm Molly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:05

And I'm Matthew.

Molly 0:06

And this is spilled milk, the show where we cook something delicious. Eat it all and you can't have any.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:11

And today we're talking about sumac.

Molly 0:14

That's right sumac is I bet most of our listeners have eaten sumac. But but just to make sure we're all on the same page, we're talking here about that spice that has that delicious, tangy, flavor and like reddish purple color. That is that shows up in all kinds of Middle Eastern cuisines.

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:32

Yeah, I like this is our new segment. Let's get on the same page. Let's say it's my favorite new segment that we discovered.

Molly 0:39

Anyway. And we're gonna have a special guest today, who is the author of the book, sumac recipes and stories from Syria. Yeah, but first because neither Matthew nor I

Matthew Amster-Burton 0:51

grew up in a sumac influenced household the correct

Molly 0:53

we're gonna give you our memory lanes. Ha, ha, well, so Okay, so strangely enough, in Oklahoma City. I feel like I got more I had more exposure to Middle Eastern cuisines than you would think. Which is still like not a lot, but more than you would Yeah, no, I

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:14

saw more than I did. Because you because you had Mediterranean imports, we

Molly 1:17

had Mediterranean imports. But also, there was a decent sized Lebanese community in in our neighborhood in particular. And my mom's dear friend, Hannah sada was a wonderful cook and introduced us as a family to a lot of basic food items that are, you know, foundational or typical in Middle Eastern cuisine. So sumac I think of Hannah as being a real sumac person is a tar and also like yogurt, cheese, labneh, stuff like that. So strangely, I first encountered sumac in Oklahoma City, and my mom, Tony Negroni, she's really into sumac.

Matthew Amster-Burton 1:58

Okay, what does that what does that look like?

Molly 2:00

Well, it means that like, she has many recipes in her repertoire that call for sumac. Okay. Like it is a I don't think it's an exaggeration to say that if my mother comes across a recipe in a cookbook that has sumac in it, she's going to make that recipe

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:17

does she know about this new cookbook sumac

Molly 2:20

I'm not sure if she does, but she will

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:22

after this episode. Okay, maybe tell her don't listen to this episode. In case you need a gift for her.

Molly 2:27

Oh, okay. Okay, great. Anyway, the best part is Matthew. I'm recording this from her house because we're things are loud at our house again this morning. Yeah, still doing some construction over there. So anyway, I am in the house of of Tony Negroni. sumac lover.

Matthew Amster-Burton 2:44

Yeah, and you're sitting in front of this is not a joke, a portrait of Bali as a young child. Like a painted portrait, not a photo.

Molly 2:54

And I didn't do this on purpose. I'm just in the only room that I felt would be soundproof enough and away from it. No,

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:01

it sounds it sounds great. And like having your younger self looking over your shoulder to make sure you're doing everything properly, is what we should all do.

Molly 3:09

That was the kind of child I was I was the kind of child that was watching everyone to make sure they did everything Pro.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:14

I remember one time when I was a kid, one of one of like, the my biggest asshole moments as a child, I was probably like, eight or nine. And like my friend, and I, like set up this like bicycle track, which was really like, you know, there was no track. It was just like a, like a loop that we would ride around like through by yard and like out onto the street and stuff.

Molly 3:35

And that is that's childhood.

Matthew Amster-Burton 3:37

It was so ill conceived because there are so many places where like, if two people were running at the same time, they would tangle with each other and fall over and get scraped in various places. But I was like, no, it has to be this way. This is how we designed it. Like we have to keep riding around this loop. Even though we're going to get hurt every time like I was such a piece of shit.

Molly 3:56

I don't know if I've ever mentioned on the show sort of my version of this kind of bicycle track you're talking about. I

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:03

want to hear about this. So

Molly 4:04

you know, because I ever rode horses as a kid, I would also

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:08

have a bicycle was a horse.

Molly 4:09

I would always set up like like a jumping course like at a horse show. But no horse with no horse. I would gallop around on my own two legs and jump over these obstacles I had set up for myself. Do you

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:26

have like a home movie of that?

Molly 4:28

I don't but I mean, I spent hours doing this for years like this was a typical. This was not like a one time thing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 4:36

I love it.

Molly 4:37

And I remember setting this up in the backyard I remember like which trees had like a little crook just in the right place where I could like prop up a yardstick there that then would be like, you know, also balanced on the back of a kiddie chair or something. And I would I would have specific courses so you had to take the jumps in a certain order and I had some friends who who were kind enough to come do this with me

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:02

was this dressage?

Molly 5:03

No dressage. dressage has no jumping. Oh, okay. I didn't know this was like showjumping.

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:08

Okay, but like human show jump human was dangerous game.

Molly 5:12

I don't know if you've seen there are videos on line of like a whole bunch of young humans, mostly female who have taught themselves how to canter on all four legs, meaning arms and legs, and jump over jumps. Have you seen this? This is

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:28

not what I've seen this and like, I don't want it I'm afraid what will happen if I google it? Do you

Molly 5:33

mean are you afraid of how it's gonna mess with your algorithms? Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:36

like, like, if I could have like less human female, all fours cantering. Like

Molly 5:42

my friend Riley told me about it and the two of us in a park not too long ago. tried it like to see how well we could do

Matthew Amster-Burton 5:53

this, but you have to practice as a child.

Molly 5:55

And Riley is like really tall. I mean, she might be like 510 and she has very tall ish. So you can imagine like, you know, I mean, I'm like five five and it was hard enough for me to like figure out what to do with my legs which were much longer than my arms but Riley is really grateful that when she gets it right

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:16

I'm like I'm like of exactly the age to like cause a serious injury by trying something dumb like

Molly 6:21

I mean imagine if you fell on your face because like really it's very easy to fall on your face

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:26

do yeah like it's it's less my face I'm worried about then then like my back yeah I feel like faces he

Molly 6:34

yeah backs once you're back.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:37

I'm Back Did you miss me?

Molly 6:41

unit once you once you mess up your back you never go back. Exactly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 6:47

That's right I show up. Before we get to my sumac memory lane. You know we did a live show a few weeks ago, on May 13. Like two weeks ago and if you were there, thank you so much. And thank you for donating to stop AAPI hate and the black and brown podcast collective. If you weren't there though, you can watch a video and pretend you were there. by going to our Reddit it'll be up until June 30 and that's reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk. It was fun.

Molly 7:15

It was It was so fun. But now we're talking about sumac and nothing could be more fun than that. So Matthew what's on your memory lane besides bicycle courses

Matthew Amster-Burton 7:23

I say try sumac Memory Lane doesn't go back very far like I kind of do of it and had had it in the form of za'atar the spice blend but like I've never like really like considered it as an ingredient on its own in my own kitchen until recently when I ordered some and now I have like a beautiful packet of like deep red sumac and white for the show. Laurie immediately took up the mantle as we like to say and made a snacking cake wood that was a rhubarb snacking cake with a sumac crumb. So it's like a sumac flavored crumb topping. It had the beautiful color and it also add the tangy flavor. And you know, we're probably going to like talk a lot about snacking cakes in a couple of weeks. But Watson has made a number of recipes from the book snacking cakes. And this was one of the best

Molly 8:13

awesome and then you've also gone to Yalla, right? Yeah, I live in Seattle i have i've gone once it was delicious.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:21

Yes, it's like a fantastically messy and delicious sandwich place. That is mostly I think Lebanese and Syrian inspired flat breads and assorted fillings and toppings they have a wonderful hot sauce. But they also you know they use they use za'atar in a number of things but they also have a sumac chicken that is like heavily like hanging sumac flavor that you can add to any sandwich and we did and it was very good.

Molly 8:47

Nice. So I got to do the research for this episode excited and um Wow, I can't believe how interesting I found sumac and maybe this is just because I've been really into gardening lately.

Matthew Amster-Burton 8:59

Oh, Molly's been so into gardening lately. Like I get I get like just a picture of a plant of just like pop up on my phone and he's out in the garden again. Yeah, that's right. Like 10 gallon gardening hat and do you like like fancy gardening gloves?

Molly 9:16

Oh, of course. Yeah, of course. Okay, anyway, so botanically sumac is anyone of like 35 species of flowering plants in the genus rousse and related genera in the family Matthew, you pronounce this card? Oh yeah. accardi at sea and accardi ac okay. So interestingly enough, this family also includes cashew, mango, Poison Ivy, poison oak

Matthew Amster-Burton 9:46

or sumac in nature like it can sting you right?

Molly 9:49

Yes. So all of these all the the plants in this genera are this family actually. They are I have like an irritant in them anyway smoke trees to which you see a lot here in Seattle I don't think I know. Nice them you'd recognize them if you'd see like just

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:11

come out of them at all times.

Molly 10:13

Wouldn't that be cool? Yeah look up smoke trees you'll recognize them if you see a picture.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:19

Yep, I've seen this in a smoke tree.

Molly 10:21

So lots of things like a wide variety of plants are related to to you know the plant that we get sumac the spice from, okay, so anyway, sumac grows in subtropical and temperate regions all over the world, especially in East Asia and Africa and a lot of parts of North America especially su max are up here we go Matt Matthew, I need you to be Mr.

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:50

Bhatt. No no.

Molly 10:53

As su max are dioecious shrubs and small trees. What does that mean? Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 10:58

so dioecious You know, I'm just gonna google it because I can't ever remember which one is which? Okay, I my guess was correct. dioecious is when they're separate male and female plants. Most plants are money she's so like, they've got like the, the, you know, all the parts in the same flower that they need to self pollinate.

Molly 11:18

Okay, all of these plants. All these sumac plants produce fruit that are that are drupes and remind me what drupes are cherries are drupes but what what makes it a drupe?

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:30

Is it like like is it is a peach a droop? Also? It's like

Molly 11:33

is it like things that have like a like a

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:35

cleft? It's things that have a cleft?

Molly 11:40

Open I see that see what I'm doing with my hands? Matthew, I'm

Matthew Amster-Burton 11:43

making a cloud use I do see yes, I can see your, my hands look like. Okay, so a drupe. This is just like off the top of my head, obviously. But I'm gonna say like, I'm guessing it's an indehiscent fruit in which an outer fleshy part or EXO carp surrounds a single shell, the pitch stone or pirating of hardened endocarp with a seed inside. Okay, and I'm just gonna, like go out on a limb and say they probably usually developed from a single carpal.

Molly 12:10

Okay. Okay, great. Well, anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:13

so so it's each like fruit.

Molly 12:15

Okay, but I'm, I think that they're smaller like chair. Oh, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:19

Like in terms of size, I mean, in terms of con formation,

Molly 12:23

and they have varying levels of hair at maturity. Surely, like you.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:28

You mean, like, like, over like my, like mature period have had various levels of hair.

Molly 12:33

Yeah, that's true. Yeah. And like you they also propagate by seed.

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:40

Wow. I mean, like, I've been tripping all over without without realizing it.

Molly 12:45

Drupe, Drupe Drupe. Anyway, no, um, you know, basically because like, birds and other animals eat these fruits and,

Matthew Amster-Burton 12:55

like, with birds eating my seeds.

To be To be clear, the beak is the problem.

Molly 13:12

Okay, anyway, they can also reproduce by, like, as a rhizome. Like,

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:18

shoot. Yeah, lateral stem.

Molly 13:20

Yeah, yeah, yeah. Anyway, um, today, we're

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:22

gonna be talking mostly can't believe you said rhizome. Again. The emails we're

Molly 13:26

gonna write, right? Anyway, today we're gonna be talking mostly about one particular member of this, of this genus, we're gonna be talking about rousse coriaria. Okay, okay. Because that is the particular plant that this spice that we think of as, like sumac. This this thing we know, as soon as that's probably the

Matthew Amster-Burton 13:49

species that I have in my spice packets. Exactly, exactly.

Molly 13:53

Yeah, people, you know, of course, grow this plant. Like, just because it's often pretty, but it's primarily used as a spice and beverage flavoring. Yeah, so what they do is they dehydrate the fruit. And can they grind it up and it makes this beautiful reddish purple spice. But interestingly enough, the fruits can also be used to make like a pink lemonade, even though it's like, like lemonade in quotes, because it's actually sumac aid, which is what it's sometimes called, never had

Matthew Amster-Burton 14:24

this. It sounds good. It's

Molly 14:26

interesting. Apparently, it's primarily in North America that this is made by whom? Well, I wonder. It seems to me that it must be a highly regional thing. I don't really know where but I do know that Native American peoples have also used the leaves and the drupes in combination with tobacco for like traditional smoking mixture. Okay. So I don't know if maybe one of its uses in Native American culture was then as like a beverage flavoring it that seems behind Likely.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:02

I mean, partly, it makes sense that like, it seems like any plant that's out there, people will try and do everything possible with it. Right. Right. Right. Which is, which is mostly cool. I think.

Molly 15:12

Another thing that's really interesting about this plant, I think, is that as you can imagine from the color of ground sumac spice, it makes a really good dye. Really good dye. Yeah. And it also it also has a lot of tannins in it. So it's often used in leather manufacturing as both a tanning agent and a dye.

Matthew Amster-Burton 15:34

Oh, that makes sense because I like tasted some like straight out of the bag this morning. And like that's, that's the thing that like, you know, it has that astringent quality. It's not just sour.

Molly 15:43

Ah, okay, Danny said it like straight out of the jar. Oh, you gotta okay. The particular plant that is used to make sumac, the spice rousse. coriaria is native to the eastern Mediterranean like northern Iran, but it's naturalized now like throughout the Mediterranean basin, which probably helps explain why it shows up in so many different Middle Eastern cuisines. So, in Arab cuisines, it's often used as a garnish on messes like hummus. It's also sometimes added to falafel, okay, in many different parts of the Middle East and in Asia, it is used in rice and in kababs, like in Palestine, Afghanistan, Armenia, Bangladesh, no, that's totally wrong, so on and so forth. And then it's often added to salads, which you can imagine like that really nice tangy lemon flavor, particularly in Armenia, Lebanon, Turkey, Syria, anyway,

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:41

feeling that our guests might have something to say about that.

Molly 16:44

Yes. Okay. Well, so let's, shall we, should we go talk to our guests? Let's

Matthew Amster-Burton 16:47

do it.

Anas Atassi. He is an entrepreneur and author who was born in Homs, Syria, and now lives in Amsterdam, and his passion for cooking and Syrian food inspired him to write sumac recipes and stories from Syria to preserve his family recipes and stories on us. Welcome to spilled milk. Hey, Mati. And Molly. Thanks

Anas Atassi 17:13

a lot for having me.

Matthew Amster-Burton 17:15

Oh, it's our pleasure.

Molly 17:15

So I was wondering, so we have had a chance to look through your beautiful book. And, and we are so excited to share it with our listeners. And the first question we had for you is, can you tell us more about the concept of Neff fosse? I'm not sure if I pronounced that right. Yeah. Oh, good. Okay. And, and how, how that informs your cooking and the recipes in the book?

Anas Atassi 17:42

Yes. So enough us in Arabic in Arabic, basically, it's an Arabic word. And in English, it means breath. And this, the people use this word, usually to compliment a cook. And it's usually like the biggest compliment you can give to a person if somebody is cooking with numbers. And usually what it really means is like if somebody was at cocoa, kind of have a really good sense of the ingredients and mixing the ingredients in the right way, but also the way of preparation. This is like the art of cooking, the passion that the person can bring to, to the food, the intangible that kind of translates into, like amazing, good taste. This is basically nothing. Excellent.

Matthew Amster-Burton 18:33

So where did you grow up? And what do you remember from from visits to Syria from when you were young.

Anas Atassi 18:39

So I grew up in Saudi Arabia, my parents said they were working there, then my dad had his business. And we used to kind of travel every year, at least once every year during the summer break. And, and luckily, my mom was a teacher. So she would get like a full three month off from the school. So we would like nine months in Saudi and three months in Syria. And we would spend the whole summer in Syria like full of celebration. And what's nice about the summer is really it felt like a series of celebrations, from weddings to graduation parties to birthdays, so and unusually all the like the, the celebration around the engagements and weddings, they all like squeezed in the summer, when which was quite a really special time.

Molly 19:37

So your book is called Sumac. And I wondered if you could tell us what sumac is and how it's made.

Anas Atassi 19:46

Yes, so sumac is a spice it is like a type of fruit, like, somehow like a berry type of looking fruit. That would basically be dried. And after it's dried, it would be kind of

Molly 20:04

ground up ground ground up. Yes,

Anas Atassi 20:07

exactly. Thank you. So and usually it stays like with a bit of course structure to it and it's not very fine. Yeah. And it has this really deep purple color into it. And the taste is very tanky and citrusy. And I heard a story actually from the old days that so much the old days used to be substituted for lemons when the house Yeah, you would use a bit of more sunlight to gather a bit of tankiness and citrus flavors to the dish.

Molly 20:44

I heard that in ancient Rome, they used it in vinegar rats, like we might now do with with lemon juice that they would use like the juice, I guess of the sumac fruit.

Anas Atassi 20:54

Exactly. I heard this tool.

Matthew Amster-Burton 20:56

Yeah. So cool. That's wonderful. So what what's the role of sumac in Syrian cooking today like in your cooking and in Syrian food in general? like where do we see sumac getting used?

Anas Atassi 21:07

Yeah, that's a really good question. I for me, I find sumac is very versatile, versatile and spice. It could be used like in soups in salads, but also in meats and fish even. So it's kind of it can add it into many types of of dishes. And what I like about it why some might wonder why I chose the title of the book. So Mike is not only the taste, but also for me the memories that are attached to this spice especially when I remember my mom going back to Saudi and stuffing my my in between my clothes jars of su Mei in order to bring from Syria to Saudi. But what I really like about this the spice is that there are many spices like a lot of black pepper, tumeric cumin, they're common in so many areas like east to west many countries in many cultures. But sumac is really much more concentrated in the Levant area. And of course in in Syria, and that's what I also like about it, it's quite more regional to to be live on area.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:26

Access. What's the word for sumac in in Syrian Arabic, we always try like learn learn the real word for something on this show.

Anas Atassi 22:34

Well, it is so much okay. So, so maybe I'm an English you would say to Mark Yeah, in Arabic, it's at Summa. Summa. Summa. Summa.

Matthew Amster-Burton 22:49

Okay, Su ma perfect. If someone hasn't cooked with sumac before what would you recommend that they make first like a recipe from your book perhaps?

Anas Atassi 22:58

Yeah, some it's something which is very simple like a salad for to wish for two shades of green salad. And it's quite common. Also, it's there's no real recipe for for footers, because it's like really a mix of vegetables, offseason and vegetables, whatever you have in your pantry or your fridge, you would cut those vegetables and then add some olive oil, some lemon, something of any great but also at the end, you would put a lot of sumach on top that says one that's a very, very good some of

Matthew Amster-Burton 23:38

you go into a Middle Eastern restaurant, you know, outside of the Middle East itself. And it's not billed as a restaurant from a from a specific nation or culture. Like what would would clue you in that the owners of the restaurant might be might be Syrian or from the Levant

Anas Atassi 23:55

huh? Yeah, that's a very good question. I think the variety of of, of dishes, especially the measures or the appetizers, if you see like, for example, homos, but Thomas is now like the most international English now even even more than french fries fries. Yeah, probably. Everyone is claiming homework. But at least if anybody everyone is enjoying homeless, I'm very happy that it is an international dish. But yeah, almost but also Hamada which is this spicy pepper paste with walnut dip.

Matthew Amster-Burton 24:42

That sounds really good.

Anas Atassi 24:43

Yeah, it's really good one and then Mattel Bell is another type of dish that that is also can give me a clue. But I think if but in general, I think the variety on the menu, it's definitely a trigger that this is a Middle Eastern or Syrian restaurant. I also remember when I used to be a child, many restaurants in Syria are, are common to have really a lot of a lot of dishes and some of the dishes like vary from Korean blood to pizza to Hamas do. The variety is, is very stretched even sometimes.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:24

That's wonderful.

Molly 25:26

Well, thank you so much. And just to so our listeners can find your book again, it is sumac recipes and stories from Syria and you can find it everywhere books are sold.

Anas Atassi 25:37

Yeah, so you can follow me on Instagram. It's very easy name, but my name is Anas Atassi And was really, really, really nice speaking to you, Molly and Matthew was absolutely pleasure. Thanks a lot for organizing this.

Matthew Amster-Burton 25:54

Thank you so much. We really appreciate it. Well, it was great talking with Anas. I hope I hope we can have kind of a summer of celebrations this summer. Me too. Maybe

Molly 26:05

I'll make some sumac aid. Yeah. All right. Okay, but we can I tell you a few more things about sumac that that haven't come up with identical things. No. Okay. At some edamame, okay. Yeah, yeah. Okay. So the word sumac comes from the Old French, which comes from the medieval Latin, which comes from Arabic, which comes from Aramaic the word sumach meaning read. Okay, that makes

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:32

sense. And I I think this may have been like, well, you were kicked out of the of the chat due to technical difficulties, but on us taught me how to say sumach in in Arabic.

Molly 26:44

Oh, dear. Did I do I did it badly, didn't I?

Matthew Amster-Burton 26:47

No, no, no, that wasn't that was not the point I was trying to make. I was I was just fine. I was just I was just saying the point I was trying to make that I was that I got some like special one on one time with the guest and you didn't.

Molly 26:59

My internet failed me for a minute there. Did you guys talk about the fact that sumac is is an ingredient in the spice mixture that are

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:08

only a little bit so let's let's talk more about what zat'ar is, is ATI, the word I think is the word for time, or is it or is at least related to the word for time so it's it's a, it's a spice blend that can like vary enormously, but like almost always has time and sumac. And I want to say one other thing that almost always appears in satara.

Molly 27:27

You know, producer Abby was recently telling us about I don't know if you remember this, she has really been enjoying making cacio e Pepe with za'atar from an ottolenghi recipe,

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:39

sesame seeds.

Molly 27:40

I was gonna say sesame seeds, but I was worried that I was confusing.

Matthew Amster-Burton 27:43

No, you're absolutely right with Dukkah. No, I mean, there, there are many spice blends. There are many more spice blends in the world than there are spices and so it's okay for the same spice to appear in more than one. Okay,

Molly 27:55

okay. You know, interestingly enough, so I got really curious as I was thinking about the prevalence of sumac in cuisines of the Middle East. And I was really curious about when you know, like the first place it shows up in recorded history of okay gang, or whatever. So I'm seeing that in recorded history. It shows up as having been used in ancient Rome as as an OS and I were talking about that apparently mature sumac fruits were known and used well before lemans ever were Oh, wow. All the way back to the time of ancient Rome. And then in medieval times, so you know, roughly the 1200s to the 14 house so they didn't even have lemon

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:39


Molly 28:40

I guess not. It became really popular. I think there's like a status thing among Western Europeans and was also often used in medieval medicine question.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:50

Is that the origin of the term mack daddy

Molly 28:54

I'm sure it is. Yes, yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 28:56

We've gotten to the bottom is originally sumac, daddy.

Molly 28:58

Yeah. Anyway, but um, but yeah, I find it so interesting. like to think about, you know, an ingredient that is so prevalent for us today, like lemons, right? So like when we describe sumac, we have a hard time even describing it without reaching for, like a comparison. Yeah, it's more recent, actually than Sumo. So

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:20

you think what, like lemons first started to come into koozie and people were like, you know, try this yellow thing. It tastes kind of like sumac like. Yeah, that's probably true.

Molly 29:30

I think I'm gonna start doing that now. Just to be annoying. I'll be like, Oh, yeah, you know what, I think this recipe could use a little sumac. Yeah, needs a little tangy now.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:39

I mean, I have a Mac here that I ordered. And so like, I'm gonna cook recipes from Manassas book, of course, but I think I'm still gonna have more so

Molly 29:49

excellent. So so you can start being that insufferable person who uses sumac instead of lemon.

Matthew Amster-Burton 29:55

Okay, Challenge accepted.

Molly 29:57

Well, this was really interesting. I had no idea Do you have any of this?

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:01

Yeah, no, I was I was as usual and nervous about this episode because it's ingredient that I knew very little about until now and now I'm excited to cook with it more

Molly 30:11

fantastic Matthew, it seems like it's time for sex.

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:13

I think it's time for segments. Let's start with spilled mail.

This one comes to us from listener Amy who says My name is Amy and I live in Chapel Hill North Carolina with my family I literally have no sense of smell my question is what kind of foods can I eat that have tremendous texture and make up for the lack of the sense of smell slash taste that I lack

Molly 30:37

so Matthew what what do you think of when you think of foods with tremendous texture Okay,

Matthew Amster-Burton 30:41

so a couple things came to mind and one is dole sought bimbibap so it's the the Korean rice dish mixed rice dish where you have rice that's crisped up on like a stone or cast iron surface and like you know, it's typically made in a restaurant like in a super heated stone bowl but you can easily make it at home using a cast iron skillet you get like a nice crispy layer on the rice and then you're topping it with like a variety of vegetables like you know bean sprouts and spinach and maybe like some chateaugay mushrooms you know meat can go on there but it's gonna have a variety of different textures like like you know, chewy textures and like stringy in a good way textures and and then of course as you as the rice crisps up and you toss it all together you get you get also like you know hits of crispy rice in every bite also.

Molly 31:32

Well I had one idea which is that one of my favorite food textures is the texture of Bell puri yeah Indian like sort of salad a snack mix kind of thing. I'm trying to think of so you know, it's got puffed rice and vegetables. You know? It is primarily I

Matthew Amster-Burton 31:54

dried noodles I want to say that something

Molly 31:57

else has that in it I think of primarily like puffed rice, but I love the texture of it. Sometimes I think I feel like I've also add nuts in it which also gives texture, I feel like bhelpuri would be really sad

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:11

yeah absolute texture point

Molly 32:12

of view.

Matthew Amster-Burton 32:13

The other thing that came to mind for me aside from like, you know, there are a variety of Chinese foods they're primarily eaten for texture like jellyfish and pig's ear that I think would be really good to give a try but also like American style rolled like Maki sushi rolled sushi. So I say American style because like I'm thinking like, not only will you get the textural contrast but like if you've got like, like a sushi roll with like, soft, chewy Rice was maybe a little crisp from the from the naughty. And then like a freshly fried, you know, shrimp tempura shrimp down the middle like you do you not only get the contrast of textures, but also like of temperatures as well, which I think it'd be really satisfying.

Molly 32:54

You know what I just thought of to, to our recent guests Hetty McKinnon, author of to Asia with love. We did a whole episode with her on congee or, or jook. Yeah. And she talked a lot about kind of the unconventional things that she likes to put on hers like kale chips, and I feel like she had some like mushrooms which would have a wonderful chewy texture, maybe even some sort of a nut situation. Yeah.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:19

Roasted beans, absolute

Molly 33:20

forage. I love the idea of that.

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:23

Alright, well I hope that helps listener Amy please let us know.

Molly 33:26

Good luck listener Amy. I hope we have we have offered some satisfying ideas. Matthew, I am really excited to share with today's cute animal.

So you know listeners if you were at our live show, you will have heard this conversation in which Matthew confessed to being a little bit burnt out on searching for cute animals. I don't know how anybody gets burnt out on searching for cute animals. I think this is like a defect of yours. Oh

Matthew Amster-Burton 33:59

yeah, for sure.

Molly 34:00

But our listeners have asked that cute animals you need to know continue and therefore I am going to be finding cute animals for a while. Today's cute animal is Chuck I now get ready. Chuck the prairie dog is an Instagram star. He does all kinds of prairie dog things like standing on his back legs in a field and looking around but the video that I wanted to share today, you know it's not long, but he does this incredible stretch. He's lying on the grass he stretches out his arms and legs there's a dog right there who sniffs his body Yeah,

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:33


Molly 34:34

oh my god. This stretchy does. It's so satisfying. He like he looks like he's doing like a Superman. Exactly.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:39

That's why I love that. That's when he was with Chuck is saying it's always Chuck Chuck's the prairie dog. Chuck's the a prairie chat. Yeah, yes. It's great. So it's followed.

Molly 34:51

Yes. So yeah, follow at Prairie chuck on Instagram.

Matthew Amster-Burton 34:54

This is delightful.

Molly 34:55

Yeah, there's also one, Matthew. I don't know if you can see this. It's the second one that's currently put He's sitting on a dashboard and he he ducks when the windshield wipers Come on. Okay, I'm watching it.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:06


Unknown Speaker 35:09

I love him.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:11

Oh, wow, okay. This is this is really reinvigorated my love of cute animals which I which I stopped loving. Okay, two weeks ago you know

Molly 35:19

also I found it strangely satisfying just to watch Chuck be a prairie dog like looking around the field, like strangely satisfying

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:27

so I think I kind of forgot that prairie dogs existed like his like guinea pigs and prairie dogs like I don't know. I don't know if there's room in my brain for both of those things.

Molly 35:36

They're different. I know they're different squirrels. Digital squirrels are different from prairie dogs and guinea pigs yet

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:41

I have I have heard about squirrels.

Molly 35:43

Okay, okay. Matthew this week you've got now but wow Yes, I do.

Matthew Amster-Burton 35:55

Am I now but wow is cartoonist Christine Mari who is on Patreon. And Christine is one of my favorite cartoonists and a couple years ago she wrote a great book called Diary Of A Tokyo teen. But for the last couple years she has been mostly doing comics on Instagram and she does stuff about identity and mental health and lots and lots of other stuff. That's always like you know, it's my it's the thing I always keep coming back to is like the intersection of like very real but also very funny and like I have like the greatest respect for people who can approach like really difficult topics without like losing the the the humor you know, some sort of like a Molly weissenberg for example. And we will link to Christine's Instagram, which is great, but if if you support her on Patreon, which we'll also link to I started doing it you'll also get special comics and live streams and more. So Christine Marie, awesome, great. Well,

Molly 36:51

this has been another information packed spilled milk information prairie dog and plant filled spilled milk just like we like them. Yep. And our producer is Abby circuit tele we've really made her work hard in this episode.

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:06

Yep, please rate and review us wherever you get your podcast wherever you get your podcast that wherever you get this podcast. The other podcasts are sold out there's a supply chain issue. Thanks again to auto tasi for being our guest this week. His book sumac is available wherever books are sold,

Molly 37:25

and you can you can chat with other spilled milk listeners on reddit@reddit.com slash are slash everything spilled milk

Matthew Amster-Burton 37:35

and until next time, thank you for listening to spilled milk. The show that droops the show that's droops well before the end of the episode, Molly Weisberg, Matthew Amster-Burton. And oh my god,

Molly 37:58

are you hearing this? No. Okay,

Unknown Speaker 38:02