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The Food Programme

Smoke, Fire and Flame: Trends v Tradition

The Food Programme
The Food Programme

The practice of smoking is one of the world’s oldest food preservation methods, but which techniques are catching fire today, while other processes risk being extinguished?

We hear from producers bringing diverse barbecue and smoking techniques to new audiences, as well as those keeping traditional processes alive.

Leyla Kazim visits Cue Point to hear from Mursal Saiq and Joshua Moroney about their unique ‘British Afghan Fusion BBQ’ that brings an inclusive style of smoking to a wider audience while drawing on diverse culinary heritages. Melissa Thompson, writer, cook and author of Motherland, discusses the central role smoke plays in Jamaican cuisine, and why food and history in the Caribbean are so intertwined.

Author of the Barbecue Bible and Project Smoke, Steven Raichlen, traces the history of smoking from its Palaeolithic origins to present day, and argues that cooking with fire was one of the greatest technological advances in the history of humankind.

Helen Graves, editor of Pit Magazine and author of Live Fire, explains why she has made it her mission to champion the broad range of diversity in open fire cooking, and the reasons she tends not to follow the trend of US-style barbecue.

Producer Robbie Armstrong heads to Fèis Ìle, Islay’s annual whisky and music festival, to hear about the renaissance of peated whiskies with Ardbeg’s visitor centre manager Jackie Thompson. He speaks to Arbroath smokie producer Iain R. Spink about reviving ancient methods on the verge of being snuffed out. Christian Stevenson, better known as DJ BBQ, tracks the popularity of US grilling and smoking in the UK.

Leyla and Robbie sit down to taste some smoky drinks, while pondering the future of traditional methods, and how to balance the world’s love for peated whiskies with peatland restoration.

Leyla discovers that while some processes born out of necessity may be less popular today, it’s clear the practice of smoking is showing no signs of dissipating.

Presented by Leyla Kazim. Produced by Robbie Armstrong.

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