Interview with Cookbook Author & Baker Extraordinaire,
Duff Goldman

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Duff Goldman Notes

In this episode of Eat My Globe, our host, Simon Majumdar, challenges one of his Food Network pals and legendary baker, Duff Goldman, to name 5 people from baking history who deserved to be raised to the Eat My Globe Culinary pantheon. Inevitably, Duff being Duff and Simon being Simon, they head off on some fun tangents.

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TRANSCRIPT

EAT MY GLOBE

INTERVIEW WITH COOKBOOK AUTHOR & BAKER EXTRAORDINAIRE,

DUFF GOLDMAN

 

INTRO MUSIC

 

Simon Majumdar (“SM”):

Hi everybody, and welcome to Eat My Globe, a podcast about things you didn't know you didn't know about food.

 

Now, those of you who are long-term listeners will know that alongside regular episodes, I like to invite in, sometimes experts and sometimes kind of my mates from the Food Network to have a chat with me. And I sometimes set them a challenge.

 

Well, today, I've got someone who’s both. Both an incredible expert at his profession, and also someone I know really well from the Food Network, and I know you all admire. Now, usually, I go into a long introduction about this person, but this person is so well-known that for me to do that I think would be dumb for you, and that'd be really insulting for him.

 

So can I just introduce you to the man who made me my first ever s’more, my only, ever s’more, the one and only Mr. Duff Goldman.

 

Hello mate.

 

Duff Goldman (“DG”):

Hey, how's it going?

 

SM:

It. . . it’s going really well. I am so thrilled that you're joining me. Not only because I know you're so busy all the time and you're always running around, but we don't get to see each other very often.

 

I always say to people because they think if we do Food Network stuff, that we all see each other all the time. We kind of ride around in a minivan solving mysteries together.

 

DG:

Live in one big house.

 

SM:

Yep, that's it like The Monkees, and we don't. So, it's actually, this is a real thrill for me just to kind of get to see you.

 

DG:

I don't think haven't seen you since my wedding.

 

SM:

I don't think we have actually seen each other since your wedding. I mean, we've swapped texts and all of that, all of that kind of nonsense.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

But we haven't seen each other. So, to see you on here with your rather wonderful beanie, we'll put the picture up on Instagram.

 

So, I'm really super excited that you came on to take part in what I like to do as my little culinary challenge. Are you up for like, a little, a little challenge?

 

DG:

Yeah, let's hear it.

 

SM:

I know. I know.

 

So, what I often do is I go to people when they come on and I say, I want you to name five people to join the Culinary Pantheon, to be restored, as it were, to the Culinary Pantheon. People who may have been forgotten. People, people may not know, but have done something really remarkable, but have been lost to the kind of annals of history.

 

And obviously with you, what I did was I said, well, you know, people from the history of baking, that's what you've got to know. You obviously know more about that than probably just about anybody else on this planet.

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

SM:

And I'm sure you know lots of people. So, I suggested you come up with five kind of possible candidates to go into the Eat My Globe Culinary Pantheon.

 

So, have you had chance to think about this and if you did, what kind of criteria, what would you do? So how would you even begin such a process? Cause there's, there's hundreds of them you could put in there?

 

DG:

Well, you know, I the, there's so much, I mean, I think, you know, one thing you got to do is start to kind of separate, uh, you know, the myth from the reality, you know, because there's a lot of things, you know, you hear the, like bagels, for example, uh, you know.

 

The story that I've heard was that they were invented by, uh, the, uh, Polish bakers, um, to celebrate. . . Oh man, I forget a Stanislaus or one of those Eastern European, you know, kind of Holy Roman Empire sounding names of some guy who was like really into horses. And so they, uh, they, they, the bakers at Warsaw, uh, made bagels to, uh, to be the sha. . . , you know, in the shape of his stirrup. And that was, uh, bagels were invented. I don't buy it.

 

SM:

It's that. . .  I, I did some research into this myself once. I will tell you the, the letters “B” and the letters “S” come into play pretty quickly on that one. I will just say.

 

It is, it is one of those great urban myths up there with, you know, prisoners in Massachusetts rioted because they ate too much lobster. . .

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

SM:

. . . or, you know, it's, you know, Marco Polo brought pasta back from China. Or, you know, kind of culinary lies that are great fun.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

So, I, so I'm hoping that the rest of your suggestions are a little better than that. Otherwise, this is going to be a bit of a damp squid.

 

DG:

Sure. Sure.

 

Well, so, okay. Um, let's. . . So, my first one, I don't know who this person would be. I don't know his or her name. I don't know, you know, but I do know that they come from the Fertile Crescent and these would be the first kind of Neolithic, you know, people that baked bread.

 

And I think that these were the, the very, very first people. Now they were actually, uh, I don't know, let's call them “Og,” right? It's a good name for a, for a. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

Og. Yeah. It’s. . . You could be a man or a woman.

 

DG:

Right? You know, maybe you'd live in it. Maybe you're a troglodyte. Maybe you live in some kind of settlement who knows.

 

But the people, I would say the very first people that started harvesting grain and turning it into something good. And I think that that was probably what, 11,000 years ago, I think they found, um, I was just reading about this. They, they found, um, little pieces of flatbread, uh, about, uh, you know, 11, 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent where they were, uh, that, like, I think this was even before we were actually practicing agriculture. But these were, you know, harvesting wild grains, crushing them up and turning them into bread, which I think is. . .

 

SM:

So, this is almost before the first community started being developed. People were making two things that I've seen anyway, bread and beer. And the big argument right now is, was beer first or was bread first? Did one lead to the other? You know, you have this argument that sometimes people had bread. It got hard. They left water on it overnight to soften it. It kind of fermented a bit. They drank that water and went, Ooh, that's nice. And then they kind of got the very proto beer.

 

The other side of it was that they had the beer and it was more like a porridge than, uh, the beers that we would know today. And then they started eating that yeasty kind of solid bit at the bottom. And that was the beginning of bread.

 

So, there's this kind of both sides to it.

 

So first of all, what, let's talk about it from beer or bread, uh, which side of it would you come down? I'm guessing I know which, given what you do for a living.

 

DG:

Well, I. . . Yeah. I mean, I would definitely say the bread. I think that, you know, I think like fermenting, fermenting grains, you know, in order to drink them in order to get a buzz, I think probably came later, you know. That’s. . . I feel like that's a secondary, uh, you know, a secondary sort of need that we have, you know, but like first we need to just eat, you know? So, I think we had these grains, like, what do we do with them? Let’s crush them up, mix them with some water, put it in the fire and see what we get. Oh, that's nice. You know, we'll eat that. And then, uh, you know, I think somebody probably left it around, but I don't know. I mean, like, you know, what about sour dough? It's sort of, that's, it's skate in that line in between bread and beer. So yeah, I'm going to say bread. I think bread came first.

 

SM:

I think that now. . . I would probably still go down the bread route. But let's talk about the type of bread that they had then. What's the process? You imagine you get grains, you find them wild and you go, oh, and that's my Neanderthal for you.

 

DG:

Oh.

 

SM:

Oh.

 

And what, what happens between that? And, you know, the magnificent breads that everyone's been baking, we're filming this during pandemic. What's the notion between that and all these incredible breads that you make and everyone makes, but seeing that grain and taking that to another kind of level, where you've you realize that something kind of edible. What's. . . what do you imagine that process would have been like, because you're obviously playing with these ingredients all the time.

 

DG:

Sure.

 

Well, I think, um, you know, they probably started to have to, uh, they probably just started eating them, right? Right off the stalk. I mean, you know, it's a grass. And you know, their wheat did not look like our wheat. Uh, you know, it's very different. Um, but I think that, you know, all, all basic cereal grains and grasses kind of look the same. Um, so I would imagine that they were probably eating them and probably the first thing they were doing was drawing them out and realizing that there's a brand, there's a husk that they would have to get rid of. So, they would have to thresh the wheat, get rid of the husk, you know, and that exposes the, you know, the germ and the endosperm. And that's where you get, you know, flour from, you know, and I think that, you know, they were probably, you know, the first thing they were doing was just grinding the stuff up and turning it into something that they could eat.

 

You know, when the grains are whole, I don't know if you've ever tried, like, eating, like just a, a wheat berry, um. . .

 

SM:

Yep.

 

DG:

You know, but it's not great. You know, you got to do a lot to it. You got to cook it down, you know, cook it like a porridge. You know, or something like that. But I think that, you know, I mean, they were grinding stuff, you know, 15,000 years ago, 16,000 years ago, they, they found, you know, grindstone. So, I think that they were already, they knew that they had to grind things down just to be able to process them just as, you know, as people. You know, cause I don't think that they were like their, their cooking was that sophisticated that they were like able to make like, you know, a really good shrimp and grits, you know.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

SM:

I, I have to say, I've got to, I mean, even though part of me thinks it's a slight cheat to have A. N. Other from history as, uh, to go into the Culinary Pantheon, I guess almost you could think of it like the, the, you know, the unknown soldier. It's like someone who did something great in the past that changed the way we ate. And bread obviously is so fundamental to most civilizations, you know, to the Romans who gave it away -- bread and circuses to stop riots, to, you know, the free breads that they gave away in Britain during medieval times. It's so fundamental that the first people who discovered that for want of a better way of putting it, I think are definitely in the Culinary Pantheon. So, one-nil. Good job.

 

DG:

I think also, you know, you might want to like maybe put a, another sort of unknown hero to put in. There would be the first person who ever, uh, ever eat a snail, you know.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

‘Cause who ever looked at a snail was like, um, I'm going to eat that.

 

SM:

Well, I guess that's with a lot of things that you. . . You know, I always think of that. You know, when you see certain dishes from around the world and you think, how the heck do they come up with that? It's like the rotten shark meat, meat in Iceland that they bury and they, and then you eat it and this thing smells like death. But you go, at some point, some Viking thought, you know, this was a great idea. So yeah, with bread, it's a fairly, at least it's a fairly safe one. It's not like someone like got something really weird. So, I think that's a really terrific start.

 

So, but then I think we'd go on a little bit into kind of a bit more into recorded time for your next window.

 

DG:

Yeah. Yeah. I would say, um, you know, so for the next one, um, I'm going to say. . . This is really exciting. So, when I, when I started baking, I was in college and um, when I was working in this restaurant called Savannah and there was a, there was a little like a prayer card that somebody years ago had taped to the oven. And it was this prayer card for Saint Honoratus, San Honoré. And, uh, I was like, why, you know, what is this, I mean, I'm Jewish, you know, I don't really have a lot of saints in my life.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

I started doing some research and it turns out that San Honoré is the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. And I think that he, he's a, um, you know, a great one for the, for the Pantheon. It's got a cake or, yeah, he's got a cake named after him that was put together by, uh, the Chiboust bakery, I think in the 1800s, you know, where like Chiboust, which, you know, crème Chiboust was named for, you know, it was, you know, invented at the Chiboust bakery in Paris, um, and, uh, his, San Honoré’s, um, there was a church in Paris that was sponsored by a very wealthy baker.

 

And, uh, this was in, I believe the 1300s. And this is how San Honoré became the, the patron saint of bakers and pastry chefs. He was a pretty important guy and, uh, you know, he definitely belongs there. And I got those San Honorés. Delicious.

 

SM:

Well, we're going to talk about the cake in a moment cause he, I know he watches over all of you. I'm a great believer coming from an Episcopalian. . . High Episcopalian background, great believer in your saints and what they do for us. So, uh, I'm not sure I have a patron saint, but I'm pretty sure they're out there.

 

Now the things I liked about him. First of all, great pastry chef and he was from Gaul. He was from France. So, I mean, I think it's, it's a French connection with pastry, I think, starts at the very beginning cause he was around in about the third, fourth century. Uh, so we're talking to someone very early on in the kind of history of Christianity. And so, I liked that fact about him.

 

What I like about it is he had, he was in a, a battle to become the patron saint of bakers. I don't know if you know this. So, uh, the, there were two people who were up to be the patron saint of bakers. One was Saint Honoratus and the other was Saint Lazare.

 

Now this is a really interesting one. Patron, uh, bakers, the one disease that they were really see . . . I love this. I'm telling something to a baker now about bakeries, but this wasn't about the actual cooking process.

 

The one thing they were, they were really subject to, uh, when in the 17th century, 18th century, when he became a saint was, they were subject to, uh, uh, leprosy. That was a big thing with bakers in France and Paris, particularly, in that period. And so, Saint Lazare was the, also the patron saint of lepers. And so, they wanted to choose him and there was actually a big kind of rupture and about it, uh, who, which of these would go and be the patron saint of bakers.

 

But then what happened was when St. Lazare apparently was buried. . . or you. . .  I, I'm not making this up.

 

DG:

I’m listening.

 

SM:

I could see him. . .  

 

When he was buried. He was partly carried or part. . . one of his robes was carried on a Baker's paddle, which fell into the ground and stuck. And the, the kind of myth is, that it sprouted and became a tree. And it may have been where the church was then later built. And that also on the day he died, which was during a huge drought, obviously death to all bakers, it poured with rain and the drought ended. So that was kind of what they decided in the end.

 

And then in, I think it was in 1659, he was kind of, he won and Saint Lazare stayed just as the, uh, just as the patron saint of lepers. So, I love these stories because the, the history of the battles and people fought over this, I mean, literally fought in the streets over who the bakers, which one. . . Then there were obviously facts given that we're recording this and we're coming up to an election, given that they're fighting over this, they were doing it probably at the same way.

 

So that's interesting. But, now I've dropped a little bit of history in there.

 

DG:

I'd love to unpack there. Hold on. First. . .

 

SM:

There's a lot, there is a lot.

 

DG:

Why were the bakers getting leprosy?

 

SM:

I think it was one of those that had caught on in a, and we could talk about this in COVID in a certain con. . . you know, very tightly knit area. And what was happening is it was just going between the bakers because they were so closely compacted. . . .

 

DG:

Ah.

 

SM:

. . . in. And because it was a, it was a touchable disease. And so, if you touch the paddle or you went into a flour mill, or you went into, you were, it was spreading just. . .  particularly amongst this community. You know, it was the Baker's disease at this particular point. So, uh, luckily you don't have that now when you're filming, which is great.

 

DG:

Right. Yeah. I haven't seen leprosy in a while. Now, the other thing is I, that, what I read was that, uh, San Honoré was, um, uh, came from a wealthy family. And, um, he had like, you know, there was household staff. There were, you know, there was a majordomo. There was butlers, there was, you know, this kind of thing. And he had, um, you know, uh, a cook. You know, there was a cook in the house. And, um, they, when, when San Honoré was. . . they, they were trying to make him the, the Archbishop of Reims or Amiens something like that.

 

SM:

Yep, Amien, I think.

 

DG:

Amien, right? And, uh, and so the cook said, I don't believe it, uh, you know, that not him. And, uh, if, if, if God wanted him to be the Archbishop of Amien, uh, she had a baker, she had a peel. You know, a wooden. . .

 

SM:

Uh huh.

 

DG:

She said, God could turn this back into a tree. She stuck it in the ground, and it turned into a Mulberry tree. That's what I heard.

 

SM:

Which is, either way, great stories.

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

SM:

But before, before we move on from him then it is probably 25 years since I last had, uh, cay, uh, the cake named after him. So, can you, for people who haven't tried it, I remember it with great glee from a trip to Paris, but can you tell me a little bit about what, how you would make it or what it is? Cause I, I, I love hearing you talk about cakes. ‘Cause it just makes me feel like I'm eating them.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

So, I just, I want to, so I've got to ask you to talk about lots of, lots of food during this as well.

 

DG:

That’s great. I love it.

 

So, a, um. . . . Gateau San Honoré is not like a traditional cake. It's uh, so a Gateau San Honoré, what they do is you roll out some puff pastry. And then you cut a circle, however big you want the cake to be is as the base of it. And then, um, you pipe, uh, pâte-à-choux um, around, onto the puff pastry, and then you bake the whole thing. The puff pastry bakes, and then also the bakes and they baked at the same time. Um, and then, uh, you, the, the, the, the pâte-à-choux that stuck is sort of there, um, you know, you have this sort of pastry shell, and then you fill that shell with a crème Chiboust, which is a crème patisserie, pastry cream, um, folded with traditionally a merengue. But. . .

 

SM:

Wow.

 

DG:

Now most of the, most crème Chiboust in the States and sort of, you know, in modern era is pastry cream just folded with whip cream. Um, but it's a little more stable when you do it with a nice merengue. It's like a really high ratio of sugar.

 

Um, and then you pipe more, uh, pâte-à-choux into cream puffs, bake them off, fill them with the crème Chiboust and then dip them into, uh, caramel, hot sugar. And then, um, just, just like you would with a, with a, um, uh, croquembouche. You dip them in the sugar and you stick them onto the cake with the hot sugar. And so, it's. . .

 

SM:

Just build it up.

 

DG:

Yeah. So, it's like this crunchy, you know, it's got like the hard sugar and the pastry and the puff pastry and the crème Chiboust, which is delicious. One of my favorite of the classical French cream.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

Oh my gosh. Uh, yeah, I may have to stop now. Just go and have a moment in another room.

 

[Laughter]

 

Fantastic. Those, those great cakes. I, I mean, I just, ah, I can't, I've got to have to try and find one.

 

DG:

I love French pastry.

 

I just love French pastry.

 

SM:

You know, what I love about French pastries is they're so unapologetic. Do you know what I mean? It's like, there's no, they, they go, you're eating cake. There's no, you know, it's not naughty. It's just like, it's indulgent. And you could imagine being kind of Louis XVI sitting kind of, you know, on his bed, on his chaise lounge eat, being fed, you know, choux pastries filled with whatever. I mean, you just, it has got that indulgence to it. And the way you describe it. But also, the amount of technique that goes into every level of that. There's no way you could do that unless you have real training. You can’t play at that.

 

DG:

Yeah. You really do. You know what I mean? Just even, I mean, even if you know how to make puff pastry, which is pretty difficult, you know, and you know how to make, uh, uh, pâte-à-choux still baking those things together, you know, I mean, they both start out at a really high temperature and then you want to turn the temperature down, so you dry them out and they get really, really crispy. Um, but baking those things together requires a very deft hand and a good knowledge just of your oven, you know, to really know what you're doing.

 

SM:

Wow. Uh, yeah, definitely not, not something I could do with my very, very rough, rough puff. I shall, I shall quickly blitz over that.

 

DG:

[Sound]

 

SM:

And nah, please, please. Don't. Yeah. My, my baking is yes, it's sad. Um, but let's, we're going to have a row now.

 

DG:

Okay.

 

BREAK MUSIC

 

SM:

Hi everybody, this is Simon Majumdar, the creator and host of the Eat My Globe food history podcast. Now, those of you have been listening to the podcast since we began over two years ago – nearly 50 episodes so far – will know that we have never sought out sponsorship for the podcast. It’s very much been a labor of love. However, along the way, a large number of people have approached us suggesting they would like to support the podcast. And so, we have opened up a page on Patreon dot com to allow those of you who listen regularly to do just that. Any support we will get will allow us to purchase research materials, buy ingredients for recipes, and maybe, when we can get out and about, to bring you some very special in-the-field reporting. But, and this is really important. This is not just a one-way street. For varying levels of membership of our Patreon club, there will be access to fantastic Eat My Globe swag, including that incredible chopping board so many of you have written to me about, recipes based on historical periods about which we chat each week, video shout outs, signed pictures, and even along the way, some very special episodes just for members. So, if you’ve enjoyed the episodes of Eat My Globe you’ve listened to so far, and would like us to make many more into the future, do head over to www dot Patreon dot com slash Eat My Globe and consider taking out a membership. Any support will be much appreciated. Remember, that’s www dot Patreon dot com slash Eat My Globe. So, thank you very much, and keep listening.

 

 

SM:

We're going to have a row of your next one. Not because the person you've chosen, who I think was a, uh, you know, obviously a person of good renown, but because of what it, what it started, something that I re, well, maybe won't have a row. Something, I really dislike something that just the whole concept of annoys me.

 

DG:

[Inaudible]

 

SM:

But, but on that good start.

 

[Cross Talk]

 

[Laughter]

 

I don't think, I don't think with this particular item, anybody really won. No, but anyway, I use I've now I've started you off from that very low point. Why don't you tell us what, uh, what, uh, you, your number three.

 

DG:

Okay. So, my number three is Amelia Simmons who wrote the very first American cookbook. Right. Now, I think it's really exciting. Um, first of all, I got, I need to pull up, um, uh, the full name. If you have it there, the full name of the cookbook?

 

SM:

It's, it's called, “American Cookery on the Art of Making Viands, Fish, Poultry, and Vegetables, and the Best Modes of Making Puff Pastries, Pies, Tarts, Puddings, Custards, and Preserves, and All Kinds of Cakes from the Imperial Plumb to Plain Cake Adapted to this Country and All Grades of Life.”

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

It's so good. It's so grandiose.

 

[Laughter]

 

SM:

And your new book is Kids Baking.

 

DG:

Kids Baking.

 

[Laughter]

 

SM:

You should, you should be ashamed of yourself. You weren't even, you weren't even trying.

 

DG:

It’s called, Super Good.

 

SM:

Uh, but now the reason you're mentioning her is why, why I think we're going to have, we're not going to have a row. We won't row. But we'll have a little. . . You gave me my first ever s’more. I've never going to row with you, but, uh, but she gave a recipe for one thing. And it's more the concept of this thing that drives me bananas and particularly was very much in fashion when I first moved to the US about 10 years ago. Do you know what, so what was that recipe?

 

DG:

Uh, so, uh, cakes baked in little cups.

 

SM:

Yeah. A light cake to bake in small cups. The cupcake. The cursed cupcake. Now, which side are you on the cupcake battle?

 

DG:

I hate cupcakes.

 

SM:

Oh, oh, we’re mates then. That's good. I thought we were good. I thought we were going to have a right old Barney, but no.

 

DG:

I don’t really hate cupcakes. It's not that. . . I don't hate. How can you hate a cupcake? I just, it's just like, all right, come on. You know, I mean, here's the thing. I can't hate like cupcakes. What are the nice things about cupcakes is that it's one of the things that really gets people interested in baking. It's one of the first things that, you know, kids can do, and they, you know, they can start with a cupcake relatively easy, you know, they're pretty forgiving and your cupcakes can really evolve and you can do really wonderful and cute things with them. And it's great. It's great. I’m just over it.

 

[Laughter]

 

SM:

Talk about. . . tell people, you know, who may have blanked the memory of the . . . the great cupcake invasion, as it were, from their memories that about 10 years ago, when I came over here to the US to, you know, to move here for the first time. And I remember being taken by my, my lovely wife, to a cupcake store that had an ATM dispensing cupcakes.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

I mean, where did all of this start? Why do people suddenly get into this big cupcake mode? They were TV shows. . .

 

DG:

Sex and the City.

 

SM:

Sex and the City?

 

DG:

Sex and the City.

 

So, they. . . Sex and the City had the Magnolia Bakery on it, right. Magnolia Bakery in New York City, which is a fantastic bakery, by the way.

 

SM:

Yes, it is. I've been there.

 

DG:

Fantastic bakery, but they had these cupcakes from Magnolia, and then it just became from there, it was like a thing. Cupcakes. So, it was like this whole thing. And it was like super cute. And I was like cupcakes. And they, like, they evolved. I mean, they really got kind of ornate, you know, cupcakes got a little crazy and they're very packageable and they're stylish, and you can do all kinds of flavors and you can fill them with things. And the nice thing about a cupcake, it's like, you know, it’s start to finish, you know, it's like, you know, if you're going to listen to an album, you know, that's like, you know, like reading a whole book, you know, that's like, you know, listening to an album is like getting a cake. Right. But you know, now we don't download albums anymore. We download songs. Right. And so, a cupcake’s like a song start to finish. There it is. I got it. Cupcakes.

 

SM:

It’s like five minutes. And you would get a tray with about eight different types with all kind of swirls.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

It, it, they were pretty, they, and what I found, this was the crazy thing I always found about cupcakes, even from really good places. They all ended up tasting the same. I'd like take a bite of this. And there was supposed to have a bit of flavor here in a bit. And I was like, maybe I'm just missing it. But in the end, they all just tasted of sugar to me. And they were so sweet. And so, um. . .

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

. . . over the top.

 

DG:

So, a lot of times what's happening with cupcakes is that, um, people are making an American buttercream, right. So, it's basically just butter and powdered sugar whipped together, a little bit of milk, a little bit of vanilla, a little bit of salt. Uh, but you know, that's basically it. And what people were finding is that the more sugar that they would add to the butter, the stiffer it would become. And so, the kind of the less susceptible to fingerprints and bumps that the cupcakes would be. So, you would jack up the butter with a ton of sugar in there, and then they were easy to, easier to package. Um, you know, I, for the longest time, I just, like, we made Swiss buttercream in my bakeries. That's what we made. That's what I liked. That's what I wanted to serve. And it, it was like, it was like, you know, it was, it was a, what is, it was like the, it was like the, uh, it was, it was like, it was like Sisyphus, you know.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

I just, I couldn't, I couldn't get people to understand that Swiss buttercream is delicious. They just didn’t. They want American buttercream. So that's what we make now. . . [Laughter] . . . is American buttercream.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

People just didn't want it, you know, and it's, it's loose and it's smooth and it's silky and it's beautiful and people just didn't want it. They want an American buttercream.

 

SM:

Okay. Well, we'll have to start, I think, a move towards Swiss buttercream from now on, from now on I'm on your side.

 

But let's talk a bit before we go on to, let's have a decision to decide if Amelia Simmons is going to be in this Culinary Pantheon because of unleashing the hellscape of cupcake trend on us. And I think that should be held against her.

 

DG:

It is.

 

SM:

Despite the fact she had an amazing, uh, title for her book. Let's just talk about this because a lot of people ask me how these trends start, and we've seen it a lot in baking, possibly more than any other food stuff. Whether it's people standing in line for a cronut, people standing in line for cupcakes, or people did use to stand in line for hours and hours you're, or whether it's, we've seen it with food trucks and people going and standing in line, that's not so much dessert base. Why do you think people, and it tends to start from the United States. What is it, do you think about kind of the American culture and kind of trendsetting about America that makes particularly younger people kind of want to go for that? I've. . . I'm asking you a psychological question now, but I'm just interested in what you think.

 

DG:

You know, I mean, I, you know, I think that a lot large part of it is social media, right. And baked things tend to be cute. Right. Tacos tend to be cute, you know, you can make sort of cute things, snackable, snackable, things for snackable content. Hate that word, snackable.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

Snackable.

 

SM:

That’s. . . Definitely don't do a book called, Snackable.

 

DG:

No, I won't. But, but that, like, I think that, that is one of the things like, you know, you get like a beautiful donut that's been, you know, covered in, in, uh, Captain Crunch cereal, you know, like something like that. It just sounds so good. You know, that, that's the kind of thing, you know, you put that on Instagram. All of a sudden I was like, oh, I want the donut with their cereal on it. It sounds great. You know, so I think that's, that's one thing of it.

 

But I think beyond that, you know, I think that, you know, especially, um, Britain and America, we just have. . . there, there's something about baking that is very nostalgic. And even if it's not actually nostalgic for somebody, if somebody came from a family, they didn't do a lot of baking, but it feels nostalgic, you know? And there's something just comforting about the fact that, like, this was a thing that took a process to produce this, you know, nothing really sort of like, you know, th, there's there's, I mean, there's a different kind of warm feeling you get from like a good steak, right. But there's something about, you know, baking a, you know, a loaf baking, uh, a muffin, uh, you know, something that just, it feels like we are taking a bite of a time and a place that just feels better than where we are right now, you know.

 

SM:

I think right now that's definitely the truth. And I, I bake bread and trust me, my bread would probably make Ug, who we mentioned, or, Og as we mentioned earlier, very unhappy. But I still go at it and my process, and I like having fun doing it because it is that process of actually doing something, this why I spend so much time apart from the fact that that's what we do for a living. I spend so much time just in the kitchen now. Because it's the one place I feel kind of safe in this kind of crazy world.

 

Now, okay. Let's talk about whether we're going to allow Amelia Simmons, because you could be someone who has created the greater good, but you unleash, it's like Pandora's Box. You unleash horror on the world. I, I have a problem. At least you didn't create the rainbow bagel under which case we'd have just stopped the interview right now. You'd have gone home. I'd have made it go and stand in the corner in shame. But I, I'm, I'm tempted not to allow her in, although she did, she, she probably didn't know she was going to be responsible.

 

 

DG:

I want to, I want to make a case for Amelia.

 

SM:

Okay, make a case.

 

DG:

Um, I, you know, a couple of things, first of all, she was an extraordinary woman. Uh, so Amelia Simmons, uh, she was an orphan and, uh, she was, she was basically uneducated. She was a domestic, you know, she worked in somebody’s house. She was a cook. And the, the fact that she was able to in the 1700, 1600, 1700s, she was able to gather the resources, uh, and, you know, take the time to actually write a cookbook and have the presence of mind to sounds like understand sort of historically where she was. I think to me, it was really amazing. Um, I think that, uh, you know, I mean, it was, the world was stacked against her and she wrote this book and it was really well received. It's sold really, really well for, you know, 50, 75 years.

 

And then, you know, other people started writing cookbooks, but I mean, this was the first American cookbook. And I think it's in, uh, it's in the Library of Congress, the Library of Congress designated as one of 80 books that shaped America. And I think pretty great. Yeah. I think that's pretty great.

 

You know what, I just, you know, there's something about like, you know, th, th, like this was a time of huge change. I mean, the colonies are crazy and there was a lot going on, and this was a new, exciting time, you know, for people. And I feel like, like, like this book or Amelia Simmons' book was almost like a culinary, uh, Declaration of Independence, you know, I think that this was something where she was like, okay, England, you know, thanks for all the techniques that you, that we've got here. Thanks for teaching it, you know, all these things that we've sort of, you know, we, we've learned from cooking and baking in the old country. We're in America. And here we are, we're not, we're not, we don't use oats, weirdos, we're using corn. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

. . . you know. And so, she started, she was taking all these British techniques and making American things with it. And I think that, that right there, it just sort of like, it was like a, it was like the, the, the delicious side of the Declaration of Independence, which I think is pretty, pretty cool.

 

SM:

Uh, no, it, it is. And you know, my half American side now, he says, has to agree. The other half of me is obviously shaking my fist at you in anger, but, uh, because you've won the battle. So, Amelia Simmons, she enters the Culinary Pantheon, the Eat My Globe Culinary Pantheon.

 

I. . .

 

DG:

I think my thing about Amelia. . .

 

SM:

Uh, you've already won. You don't need to keep. . .

 

DG:

You know, I just, I need to make sure because I feel like you're not convinced. Um, but, uh, so Amelia Simmons was, uh, was the first sort of proponent of, um, using a chemical leavening agent. So, um, you know, in the old country, they were either, you know, things were leavened by, um, either sourdough, yeast or, uh, mechanically leavened with air, you know? Um, and, uh, so Amelia was using this stuff called Pearl Ash. Pearl Ash, which was the, you know, a precursor to baking soda. And, you know, I think that's very exciting. I think she also invented the word cookies.

 

SM:

Wow.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

I, you should have come in with that at the beginning. I don't think we'd have needed the last 15 minutes of argument I'd got. Yep. Cause I love me a cookie.

 

DG:

And. . .

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

I’m not done yet. I think what's also really exciting. Now my culinary Alma Mater is the Culinary Institute of America. Um, and I went to the one in, in Napa Valley at St. Helena, the original is in Hyde Park.

 

SM:

Yes.

 

DG:

And it sounds like that's where she was from. Now, the book was really big in New England, but, uh, a lot of the, a lot of the terms in a lot of the, um, a lot of the terms, a lot of her glossary used a lot of Dutch words. And so, a lot of people think that she was from the Hudson Valley. And so, I think it's pretty exciting to think that the very first American cookbook came from an author from the Hudson Valley, which is now the home of the Culinary Institute of America. I like that.

 

SM:

I said, you you've won. You've won. I am, I am battered, and I am on the ground. And you have, you have defeated me very much like the War of Independence.

 

So, there you go. We've come back. We've gone back in history. Thanks. Thanks very much.

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

SM:

Now, talking of leavening with air, I think that takes us into your next suggestion, because I think we've got someone here who, if, when you tell us, cause I'm, you know who you've got next and we could talk about something that I think is one of America's great contributions to the world, uh, as opposed to what we just talked about and a really remarkable lady, but also from a very American culture. And I think created, so why don't you start us off? You know, I've done some research on this as well, and I'm really excited to talk about this.

 

DG:

So, uh, Maria Anna Fisher. Uh, she was, she, she lived from 1819 to 1911 in Philadelphia, I believe, right? And she sold biscuits. She sold biscuits for 12 and a half cents a pop, and eventually was able to buy a 14-room house in Philadelphia. Uh, she, she, uh, bought a lot of other property all over Philadelphia and rented rooms out and stuff, and, um, gave a bunch of money to, uh, to charity and never in her entire life raise the price of her biscuits. They were always 12 and a half cents.

 

SM:

And that's one of the things about her that I really love because she saw this just as soon as she did, just to give some background about it, to people who may not have heard about her, and you do have to go. . . And this is the kind of person I love to have in the Eat My Globe Culinary Pantheon. So, there's no argument here. The moment I read about her is . . . .

 

She was, uh, an African American. Uh, she was as, as far as I can tell, and it's hard to find, free born. So, she started selling these biscuits. She was an entrepreneur. And in that stage, you're talking about an African American woman in the United States at the beginning of the 19th century. So, becoming an entrepreneur. . .

 

DG:

I thought she was 14.

 

SM:

And she started being, yeah, she was, I mean, very, very young. Um, and we don't know much about the rest of her life because often people didn't necessarily write about African American women of that period with the depths that they, we've got some very little, uh, but she started, as you said, selling these biscuits.

 

And she sold them to the point that when she died, she had $70,000, which is a colossal amount of money. She bought other houses all over the United States. But what I thought was interesting here, and maybe we could talk about this.

 

Two sides. One, I'd like to talk about the baking side, because obviously that's who you are and to talk about the biscuit and the scone and the origins of biscuits, which I, you know, I found out came from we'll, we'll, we'll talk about that. And the second side is to talk about the African American influence on particularly Southern cooking initially, but the United States, because I think it's been obviously a profound one, and there's another person I'm going to mention here, who actually, they found out was the first African American woman to publish a cookbook in the United States and was actually in, um, was a pastry chef. And she ran a pastry shop.

 

Uh, so perhaps let's talk about biscuits first.

 

DG:

Sure.

 

SM:

And let's talk about your, kind of, why biscuits to me, I think, a really great biscuit, and you talked about leavening with air, which is one of the things that they did. And then they used that, that Pearl Ash to leaven them as well, and where, where biscuits came from. I don't know how much you've talked about the history, but, and then I can tell you the little bit that I found out.

 

DG:

Well, the best biscuits are flaky and fluffy, right? It's nice. When a biscuit. . . When you can take a biscuit and sort of pull it apart a little bit and kind of see leaves, right? Not in the sense that you would see it like with puff pastry, but it's kind of the same concept. And now when I make a biscuit, I actually do fold my dough, which a lot of people don't do, because I really want to make sure that I get some leaves in there. You don't want to do it too much. Then you start getting chewy biscuits. Um, but the best biscuits, you know, are real, they're fluffy, but they can also kind of come apart. Now don't hate me. But personally, I think one of the best biscuits in America, Popeye's biscuits.

 

SM:

Oh, I'm not going to hate you.

 

DG:

That is a fantastic biscuit. Really buttery and salty on the outside and really kind of crispy. They're really soft in the middle and it comes apart. Those are delicious biscuits.

 

SM:

Can I throw in my fay. . .? So, when people ask me about my favorite of that kind of fast foodie, I love me a Bojangles biscuits.

 

DG:

Oh, Bojangles.

 

SM:

I love me a Bojangles biscuits.

 

[Cross Talk]

 

DG:

[Laughter]

That gives me a Bojangles.

 

SM:

I love 'em. I don't know what it is. There's something about ‘em. It may be the salt content or the butter. I don't know what it is, but I love biscuits.

 

Now I come from Britain where we still argue about whether we say scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “on”] or scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “own”]. I say scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “on”], which was the kind of upper-class way of saying it. Scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “on”] was the lower-class way of saying it.

 

DG:

Right. Right.

 

SM:

But I was just brought up saying scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “on”]. And they're very different, but people often try to. . . ‘cause they look similar.

 

DG:

Yeah. But they're really not the same thing. Really not.

 

SM:

Uh, the, what I've, what I've heard. And I don't know if you know about this story, is that the biscuit. . . They both obviously come from. . .  obviously biscuit in Britain is something very different. It's like a harder version of a cookie. And they both come from that. . . the Latin biscotus, which meant twice cooked. Yeah. It comes from the Latin that they used to make in Rome, things with bread. And they would cook them twice to make them hard so they could be transported. And on Royal Navy ships and the ships that they would have brought over on things like the Mayflower and other ships, they would have these biscotus or a hard tack – they call them biscuits – that they would eat off. They would break them. They would dip them into soup. Now what, but they use some yeast on them. When they came to the United States, they didn't have yeast or certainly they didn't have a great deal of yeast. There might've been some wild yeast. They weren't . . . . And so, they started using leavening, leavening with air and then leveling with Pearl Ash. And they began to rise. So, you have the, one comes from the other, and this is the theory that I, I've kind of discovered as it were out there. I don't know whether that makes sense to you from a baking point of view.

 

DG:

Well, I mean, the yeast is everywhere, right? It's on everything. It's on my face. I mean, yeast everywhere. So, I, you know, it's, I, it's not like they didn't know how to harvest yeast, but I think it could have been just, we, we had a different palette, you know? And I think that maybe, uh, you know, maybe we just didn't like things as sort of sour, as funky, you know? And so, we wanted something that was, you know, a little lighter maybe, or maybe we had worse teeth, you know. I just, I don't know, like scones, I feel like scones are, are like hard tack. Scones are like, they're harder than biscuits. They're more. . .

 

SM:

They shouldn’t be too dense.  But they should be more crumbly rather than flaky.

 

DG:

Yeah, you know, I just, I feel like, you know, like, like scones, like you have to dip them in tea or something, you know.

 

SM:

Or jam and cream.

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

The Cornish way.

 

DG:

But biscuits… yeah, I, you know, I just, I love biscuits. I don't love scones.

 

SM:

Yeah. I'm a big, I'm a big scone [Ed Note: Pronounced as “scon” like “on”] fan, but then I was obviously brought up that way.

 

DG:

Right.

 

SM:

But let's, before we get into another argument, one of the things I wanted to talk about with Maria Anna Fisher is obviously she comes from the African American community. And I think it's worth recognizing, as we like to do on Eat My Globe, the contribution of African Americans to American cuisine as the way we see it now. I mean, right now people are falling in love with kind of new Southern cooking while most of that is, or are certainly a huge amount of that is informed by African Americans. And I think in the pastry area, we've talked about France, of course, which in many ways is kind of the spiritual home of great pastries anyway, but in terms of comfort and domestic, I think a lot of it comes from the African American community. And I wanted to know your view.

 

So, until fairly recently, people thought that the earliest cookery books were written in the 1860s by African American women, the first African American cookbook. Again, and love, a full, a full load of words here. “A Domestic Cookbook Containing a Careful Selection of Thoughtful Recipes for the Kitchen by a Mrs. Malinda Russel, An Experienced Cook.” And so, she was a woman who was born free, again, who traveled all over the country, but for a long time ran a pastry shop. And so, in there, there are recipes for biscuits. There are recipes for tarts. There are recipes for pies. Across. Um, this. . . what's really interesting about her is these weren't recipes that she necessarily learned in kitchens or plantations. These were ones that she developed herself and she'd been to pastry school. She'd done all kinds of really interesting things. So, I just thought that was interesting because it tied in with Maria Anna Fisher as well. You see these African American women as entrepreneurs, which is not something that we necessarily think about so much when we think about that period. And I wonder just if you had any thoughts about kind of you've experienced the kind of African American contribution and some of the dishes you've tasted, some of the things you've been down south, you know, you've mentioned Virginia, some of the things that you find out there that you kind of have made an impact on.

 

SM:

Hmm. Oh, well, certainly biscuits and also, uh, certainly cornbread. Uh, corn breads, you know, uh, just a staple, a Southern staple. My first fine dining job. Um, I was, I wanted to be a chef. I, I, you know, I went in, I was like, I wanna, I wanna work here. And the chef took a look at my resume and it was like McDonald's and burger king and a pizza place. And she's like, you don't know how to cook. And I was like, come on, I know how to cook. And she's like, I'll tell you what I'm gonna teach you how to bake corn bread and biscuits. And, uh, I did that for two years. Baked corn bread and biscuits. And I got real good at it.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

But, uh, it, it was a, the restaurant itself was called Savannah. Now it's called Charleston, It moved. Um, but it's a, it's kind of a, uh, like really fancy low country, you know, cuisine. So, you know, shrimp and grits, collard greens, you know, all like the menu itself is very, very Southern, but really, really awesome. Like, delicious. Um, I think one of my favorite things that I learned how to make there was a benne seed biscuit. Benne seeds. . .

 

SM:

Oh.

 

DG:

. . . um, are, uh, uh, it's um, I guess it's like an American Sesame seed. Um, they're like, like Sesame seeds, just a little bit smaller and you would, you would make a, you would make a, uh, a roll. So, you'd make a dough and it would have a bunch, a lot of cheese in it. A ton of cheese and all these seeds.

 

SM:

Oh wow.

 

DG:

And you would roll it up and, and, uh, roll it up in plastic wrap and you'd refrigerate it. So, it got really cold. And then you would slice it into these, you know, they're a little bit bigger than a quarter and, uh, but thick, you know, probably, you know, maybe a third of an inch thick. And then you would, uh, you know, slice them up and bake them off. And they're just super buttery, little cheesy crackers. They were delicious.

 

SM:

Oh my gosh. The thought of that just makes me so happy. Tell me again, the name?

 

DG:

Benne seed. B. E. N. N. E.

 

SM:

I'm going to have to go and look that up and find out what those are.

 

What I love about this podcast is when we have people on who we're interviewing, there's always something I had no idea about. And I like to think of myself as a fairly well-read person who goes out there and studies. And then you've just introduced me to something that I've got to go and find. And I've got to go and find someone who makes them. So. . .

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

They well. . . That, that the, the only other person, I was good to mention it here is, do you, if I was to ask you, you may not know this, ‘cause I didn’t until I went and did my, did my little research.

 

Alexander P. Ashburn. Have you ever heard of that name?

 

DG:

Does not ring a bell?

 

SM:

And he's potentially one of those people who could come in on the back of Maria Anna Fisher. In 1875, he patented the first biscuit cutter. So, there you go.

 

DG:

Wow.

 

[Laughter]

 

Amazing.

 

SM:

Yeah. See, I guess this is why we call it things you didn’t know you didn’t know. ‘Cause you don't need to know this, but now you know it, you, you, it's better that you do.

 

DG:

Yeah, absolutely.

SM:

Okay. Number five.

 

DG:

Number five.

 

Now I actually had the joy of learning how to make this dish from this man's sous chef.

 

SM:

Wow.

 

DG:

Yes.

 

SM:

Okay.

 

DG:

It was very old. Paul Blange from Brennan's in New Orleans who invented the Bananas Foster.

 

SM:

Uh, now, one of my favorite dishes. And I will tell you that everyone sitting in this room, including my lovely wife, Sybil, who, you know, and our producer, April, we have eaten that dish in Brennan's together when we've been on a food research trip to New Orleans and had them make it. And it is one of those great theatrical. . .

 

I love food served at the table, you know. Before all of this pandemic stuff, when people could get close to people, I wanted to open a restaurant called Gueridon where every single thing was served at the table from a cocktail at the beginning to even the napkin being warmed at the end to wipe your hands. And so, everything in between. I would never have got any money to do it. But Bananas Foster to me. . . tell, well, you tell people what Bananas Foster is in case anyone out there hasn’t tried it.

 

DG:

Okay. So, Bananas Foster is, uh, so it's bananas chopped up, uh, and fried in butter, brown sugar and Cointreau. And then, uh, you know, fry, fry, fry served in a dish with vanilla ice cream, and then the sauce kind of spooned over top of it.

 

SM:

It is, as a dish, it's, it's one of my favorites. It's perfection with that hot and cold of the ice cream, the sauce dribbling over the ice cream. I mean, if you like that experience to me, it's the best, but for me, two things, one is, as I said, is the table-side service, which I think makes everyone in the place want to have it. And the second is, this dish is one of those great examples that we get throughout culinary history of people naming dishes after people. And we see them in Delmonico's Lobster Newburg. Or, you know, we see it in, with Escoffier. We see, oh yeah, Chicken a la King. We see all kinds.

 

DG:

Caesar’s.

 

SM:

So, Caesar’s Salad is a perfect one that we all, you know, eat every day or people certainly eat a great deal.

 

What about desserts? Let's see. Can you tell me, because I, I got to put this person in there anyway, because Bananas Foster, I mean, you can't argue. I think there's no argument.

 

DG:

Classic. It's delicious. It's perfect. Uh, you know, I mean, just the history of it. I mean, you know, like New Orleans port city, you know, you get all these bananas, they were coming up from the, from the tropics. They didn't last very long. It was bananas. You had to do something with them. A ton of bananas and they figured out some really, really good dishes to do with them. Also, a hummingbird cake was another one of those sort of, one of the was, uh, uh, it's, uh, I think, uh, originated in Charleston, South Carolina and, uh, you know, also a port city and, um, you know, they had all these bananas. What do we do with them? They made hummingbird cake.

 

SM:

Oh my gosh, I'm going to have to, I've never had hummingbird cake. So, there you go. Even more. I, I've loved. . .

 

The thing I love about Paul Blange is he kind of created the dish with Mrs. Brennan, but not at Brennan’s. So, they actually created it before Brennan’s, I think, even opened. It was called, Vieux Carré, was the restaurant that they were at when they invented it. And then they moved over and they had Brennan’s and the whole breakfast at Brennan’s thing, which is one of the great things to do if you go to New Orleans. And I never, I will say this now. I think New Orleans, it's the greatest eating city in the United States bar none. I don't, you have to work really hard to eat badly in New Orleans. You have to work really hard. And for, you know, I'm a cocktail drinker, so cocktails as well.

 

But let's talk. . . you know, my challenge to you, just a bolster  putting Monsieur Blange into our Culinary Pantheon, can you name any other great dishes of desserts that are named for people?

 

DG:

What about a pavlova?

 

SM:

Created by Escoffier.

 

DG:

Right. For a ballet dancer?

 

SM:

Yeah. Han. . . Hannah. . . Anna Pavlova.

 

DG:

Right.

 

SM:

A ballet dancer.

 

So, I love. . . so there's. . . what do you think about this notion then of naming dishes after people? Have you done, have you named dishes after people?

 

DG:

I've never had. Well, no, actually, no, that's not true. So, when I started Charm City Cakes, um, what I would do is I would make a cake for somebody, uh, you know, for the wedding and then I would take a picture of it and I would put it in sort of our book of cakes. And what I would do is I would name each cake, the bride’s maiden name would be the. . .

 

SM:

Oh, that's lovely.

 

DG:

And so, then they would come in, but oh yeah, that was, you know, back when I was, you know, Julia [inaudible]. You know, that was a real, real cake, by the way, I had dogwoods all over too. But yeah. So, all the, all the cakes were named after the brides.

 

[Laughter]

 

SM:

I think that's a really, really lovely idea. And even if I had dismissed some of the people you suggested I would now put them back in, ‘cause I think that's a really charming idea from Charm City Cake.

 

So. Okay. So, I'm going to ask you now because it's my show and I can do this. If you had to make a dish and it was the Simon Majumdar or the blah-blah-blah Simon or the blah-blah-blah well, not Majumdar, you wouldn't have enough icing, but if it was blah blah Simon, what would it be?

 

DG:

Okay. The, so does the Majumdar. . .

 

SM:

Don't say something dark and bitter.

 

DG:

[Laughter]

 

I think it would be. . . Hm. I think it would. So, what I would do is I would make a puff pastry and, but I would season it with a little cardamom.

 

SM:

Ooh.

 

DG:

A little cardamom. And then I would probably have like a few. . . Let’s. . . I would, I would probably do a base of puff pastry, some kind of cream, maybe with some mangoes and some, and like a mango rum cream. And then I would probably do really thin leaves. So, I would do some leaves of filo dough. And I think I would probably like, you know, big, you know, like kind of, you know, layer them up and I would probably put like a nice little like pistachio streusel in between all the, all the layers. So, then I would top it with, uh, with some, some kind of like a, like a, like a rum raisin ice cream or something.

 

SM:

Oh yeah. My favorite.

 

DG:

Rum raisin, a little gold leaf. So yeah. So, puff. So, a cardamom puff pastry, mango rum, crème Chiboust, and then, uh, leaves of pistachios, uh, leaves of filo dough pistachio and then rum raisin ice cream and a little bit of gold leaf because that dessert is interesting and complex and. . .

SM:

Aww.

 

DG:

. . . and worth getting to know.

SM:

Excellent. Excellent, great. A great answer.

 

Now I'm going to, hopefully we'll have some more fun. I have three questions that I ask people at the end before I then ask you to share all of your knowledge and how people can find you. And what about your books and everything else.

 

So, are you up for this little bit of a challenge?

 

DG:

Alright, I'm up.

 

SM:

Let's do it. Now, if you were a baked good, what would it be?

 

DG:

Oh.

 

SM:

Or it could be a baking implement also.

 

DG:

If I was a baked good, I think I'd be like, uh. . . You know what I'd be? I'd be like, uh, like, uh, a good loaf of like a, like a German sour rye bread, you know?

 

SM:

Ooh.

 

DG:

‘Cause I'm just like sorta stout, you know, but I'm real dependable. I'm always there.

 

SM:

[Laughter]

 

DG:

You know what I mean? I'm kind of a, I'm sort of a plow horse, you know. I kinda just get the job done no matter what it is. I feel like I'd be a, I'd be a good loaf, a dark sour rye.

 

SM:

Great answer. And I love a nice sour rye.

 

DG:

Me too. Me too.

 

SM:

I'd be very happy. . .

 

DG:

The show that I just wrapped the uh, the AD was from Lithuania. And. . .

 

SM:

Oh, I love Lithuania.

 

DG:

Yeah. We were talking about Lithuania. You know, we were talking about the food obviously. And uh, you know, you're saying how much you, you know, he like, oh, I love the bread. I just missed the bread. And I made him three loaves of a dark, dark Lithuanian. . .

 

SM:

Oh.

 

DG:

. . . a bunch of caraway and pretzel salt on the top. But I had it going for about like eight days. It got real, real sours. Just delicious.

 

[Laughter]

 

SM:

I’ll give you a little, a little, uh, tip that I picked up when I was in Lithuania. In all the bars, they actually take the crusts, if they don't use the crust from the bread, and they deep fry them and they serve them in a little twist and put, when you have a beer.

 

DG:

Huh. Make you thirsty, you can drink more beer.

 

SM:

Yeah. It's salted, salted. And it's so good. ‘Cause it's this amazingly sour rye that you have with your beers. Amazing.

 

Okay. If you could select any single meal or any period in history in which to experience a meal, what would it be?

 

DG:

You know, you know what I want, I would want to have, I would want to have a meal in Genghis Khan’s yurt.

 

SM:

Oh.

 

DG:

Like a big. . . with a, went all, with all the, all the generals and everybody there. A big Genghis feast. Roasted meat and fermented mare’s milk. You know, he just, you know, drinking Kumis and what's the other one, the Kumis, there's another. . .

 

SM:

Oh.

 

DG:

. . . uh, another Mongolian gross alcohol.

 

SM:

I've, well, I've been, and I've spent time in Mongolia and I've been, stayed overnight in yurts and oh yeah. Yeah. And they. . . When you first go into a yurt, the first thing that you have to do is on the side of the tent is, uh, a big bag made out of a stomach, a cow's stomach or a yak’s stomach, and that's where they put the milk every morning when they milk it from the, and they, uh, you mix it when you come in. And part of your kind of thank you for being invited for dinner, as it were, is you kind of mix it 80 times and you have to mix it. And then you say, thank you. And then they give you a big bowl. And this, uh, milk has 5% alcohol content. And actually, Mongolians can, sometimes some of them have the very high levels of cirrhosis because of the alcohol content of this fresh, of this fermented milk. But it's an amazing country. Usually, you would love it when you go.

 

DG:

Oh, I can go. It's always captivated my imagination. And I feel like a meal with Genghis Kahn and all those guys and a big yurt. .  I bet it would be awesome. I bet. . .

 

SM:

When, when you go outside of the, uh, Ulaanbaatar, it immediately just becomes wilderness. And you've never felt more alone, in the nicest sense, like, yeah. Solitary and it's, it's incredible. I'll send you, I've got some incredible pictures of the people just flying their Eagles off the mountains in the morning and riding along on horseback with no saddles, you know, in the morning standing up as they're riding. ‘Cause they're just, yeah. They’re built with the horses. . .

 

DG:

Yeah.

 

SM:

It was incredible.

 

Um, okay. Finally, in the fun question, what would you consider to be the most important food invention in history?

 

DG:

I would say probably pasteurization.

 

SM:

Okay. Love that.

 

DG:

Now. I don't know. Here's the thing, I'm a Luddite, right. I, I like cooking meat on fire. I don't like computers. I don't like phones. I like banging drums and roasting things, you know? And like, you know, I think that, I think pasteurization on the one hand has made so much food available to still many people, which is, you know, I think a really important, you know, uh, an important invention in just the world of, you know, food and, you know, the people that consume it. Um, but you know, also detrimental, I think to a lot of flavor and a lot of, um, you know, eating what's around us as opposed to anything we want, you know, so I either, I think it's a double-edged sword, but I think the good outweighs the bad.

 

SM:

I think that's a great suggestion. So that is definitely in there.

 

So now before we let you go, and I, first of all, first of all, I just have to say, thank you. I know how busy you are right now. You've been filming. You have a, you know, you have a little one on the way. I know how much you've got going on. So, for you to take the time to do this, to share your, you know, your knowledge with everyone and your experience and just your, your charm, uh, is, is something really special. So, I want to say how much I appreciate it.

 

DG:

This is my favorite podcast. And I'm not just saying that.

 

SM:

Oh.

 

DG:

I love this podcast. I listened to a few, like I got a few, like, there's some, like, there's one called, uh, what is it that there's the, uh, oh, just called Disgrace Land. And it's just bad. It's, it's rockstars behaving badly, really good. Uh, you know, that's a good one. He was a couple of other, you know, randoms I listened to, but every, like, you know, sometimes you listen to a podcast, you listen to, you're like, ah, that one was okay. I have never listened to an episode of Eat My Globe. And I'd be like, nah, that was all right. Every single time I learn so much. So, thank you.

 

SM:

Well, well, you've definitely, this time contributed so much, so thank you.

 

So, if people wanted to, uh, follow you on all the social medias, I'm sure there's plenty of them anyway, but a lot of people will listen to this. If they don't, they should follow you. And also, you know, if they want to contact you, if there's books, I mean, anything you want to tell us.

 

DG:

Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, all that stuff. It's just Duff Goldman. The bakery is Charm City Cakes. So, yeah. So, uh, you know, if there's a, if there's an event that I'm going to be at, you know, it'll usually be on Charm City Cakes. My own, my personal ones, like there's business stuff, but it's usually just like, oh, look at this bug that I found in my backyard. I don't know if you follow me, but like, it's not about it's. I mean, there are cakes, it's a lot of based stuff. It's a lot of other stuff too, you know?

 

Um, and then let's see, I have a brand-new book just came out called, “Super Good Baking for Kids.” Um, it is not just for kids.

 

SM:

It really isn’t. I've got a copy. I love it. Love it.

 

DG:

Yeah. You know, I just, like, there was something about like all these, like kids cooking books that I just felt like were really, um, just pedestrian. I dunno, elementary. They were, I think they, like, I, I work with kids every day and I know what they're capable of. I see them making pâte-à-choux. I see them making Gateau San Honoré and they're 11 years old and I'm like, they can handle what's in here. I mean, there's yeast and doughnut. There's a, there is a blitz Puffin there there's, um, you know, there's deep frying, there's decorated cakes. You know, there's a lot of stuff that, you know, adults that have never baked will love this book. It's really good.

 

SM:

Fantastic. Well, everyone should go and check out if you're not following Duff, go and do that straight away. Um, and that's it. Thank you so much Duff. I really appreciate it.

 

DG:

Oh, thank you very much.

 

OUTRO MUSIC

 

SM:

Do make sure to check out the website associated with this podcast at www dot Eat My Globe dot com where we will be posting the transcripts from each episode, along with all the references and resources we used putting the episodes together, in case you want to delve deeper into each subject. There is also a contact button, so please do let us know if there are any subjects that you would like us to cover.

 

And, if you like what you hear, please don’t forget to subscribe, recommend us to your family and friends and give us a good rating on your favorite podcast provider. That really makes a difference.

 

Thank you and goodbye from me, Simon Majumdar, and we’ll speak to you soon on the next episode of EAT MY GLOBE, a podcast about things you didn’t know you didn’t know about food.

 

CREDITS

The EAT MY GLOBE Podcast is a production of “It’s Not Much But It’s Ours” and “Producer Girl Productions”

 

[pah pah pah pah pah]

 

and is created with the kind co-operation of the UCLA Department of History. We would especially like to thank Professor Carla Pestana, the Department Chair of the Department of History and Doctor Tawny Paul, Public History Initiative Director, for their notes on this episode. Also, a huge thank you to Sybil Villanueva for her help with the research and the preparations of the transcripts for this episode, which can be found on the website.

Published Date: June 21, 2021

For the annotated transcript with references and resources, please click HERE.