Welcome to our first episode! We are so excited for everyone to finally hear this thing we’ve been working on for the past several months. In this podcast, we have created a form of protest that educates, enlightens, and literally (and/or figuratively) feeds our audience.
We started with the history of Coca-Cola. The material that turned us on to this subject was a 2013 article in the Atlantic by Adam Clark Estes – A Brief History of Racist Soft Drinks. We quickly found a thread to the story after reading that the creator of Coca-Cola, John Stith Pemberton, was a Confederate soldier in the Civil War. What we discovered was not only the history of a drink, but the stories and struggles of a city and region.
Follow us through as we track Coca-Cola from its creation to its most recent issues with race relations. Along the way, we will treat you to the recipes of two different pies – a savory Green Tomato Pie and a Pecan Pie made with reduced Coca-Cola.
Podcasts have always been a bonding agent for Darryl and me. The typical adolescent conversation topic of have you heard this band seemingly evolved into the adult version: I was listening to this podcast…
Darryl and I would talk about podcasts having to do with business, marketing, murder, history, comedy, and science fiction. I would sometimes pitch him my ideas for podcasts such as the one I titled “What’s Your Problem?” – a podcast where I would randomly ask people what their problems were and we would hash it out. There was also an idea for a more serious podcast about passive participants in history, such as Carrie Buck or Henrietta Lacks.
It wasn’t until I got the nerve to ask Darryl about an observation I made that we discovered a topic that sparked both of our interests. When I pitched the idea of Butter Pecan, he loved it and immediately wanted to be a part of the show. I am thrilled to have him as my co-host, and we are both so excited for everyone to hear what we’ve been cooking up.
Traditionally, green tomato pie made during the Civil War era was a sweet version – kinda like apple pie. Initially I felt compelled to be accurate. Unfortunately, like a lot of history, to tell it plainly is often ugly and gross. Trust me, the O.G. tomato pie was no different. So instead we decided on this delicious, savory version!
1 cup water plus 2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar cold (make ahead and set in the fridge)
5 green tomatoes
½ pound of bacon
2 sweet onions chopped
Salt, pepper, cumin, garlic powder
1 tbsp cornstarch
1 cup of shredded cheese (we used ½ cup of Harvey’s Habanero Jack and ½ Sage cheeses)
1 cup of Mayo (unless you’re making mayo in the crib, use Dukes!)
I know, I know! Making pie crust seems daunting, but all you need is a delicate touch and very cold butter.
Start by mixing all the dry ingredients. Using a pastry cutter or fork, break up the butter into the dry mix until you start to see pea-size pieces. This will be totally worth the wrist workout, as the cold butter will ensure a flaky crust.
Next add the cold water vinegar solution little by little, working it together with your hands. Just enough for it to form a little mound. The idea is to see bits of cold butter worked in but not melted. Cut the dough in half. Toss one in the fridge and one in the freezer( You’ll need it for part 3 in our podcast series!)
**Preheat oven to 350
Place a skillet over medium high heat and sauté your bacon. As the fat starts rendering add the onions. Add the tomatoes once the onions go translucent and season the mixture. I kept it relatively simple with salt, pepper, garlic powder and cumin.
You’ll notice the water released from the tomatoes has made our filling thinner than suitable for a pie. Add a tablespoon of cornstarch to help thicken it back up. Turn the heat on low. Let it simmer. As it thickens, combine the shredded cheese and mayo and set to the side.
Flour a surface and roll out the dough a quarter inch thickness. Place in a 9in pie pan, delicately stretching and pulling your dough till it’s covering the pan. Par bake the crust for 5 mins. (That’s just enough to keep it from going soggy as you add the filling.)
Once you’ve par baked the crust, add the filling and top it all with the mayo cheese mixture, spreading it till it covers the whole pie. Staying at 350, bake the pie for another 20-25mins or until both the cheese and crust are golden brown.
Welcome to Butter Pecan Podcast – a podcast about the racist history of food, and how it affects the choices we make today. One part history, one part culinary: we investigate the origins of a food or food product, and then create a dish in order to flip the script and reclaim the space.
In the first mini-series, we take a deep dive into the sticky history of our favorite soda. Join us as we follow John Stith Pemberton and Asa Candler on their path to inventing Coca-Cola, to the company’s disregard of black people as customers and workers. In the cooking portion of our show, Darryl will cook up a Civil War era green tomato pie, and use Coca-Cola to sweeten a pecan pie.