I listen to NPR on the way to work every morning and also in the afternoon drive home and each month they have a segment known as “Hidden Kitchens” by the Kitchen Sisters. The sisters are Nikki Silva & Davia Nelson, and are produced in collaboration with Laura Folger, Nathan Dalton, and interns, Alessandra Wollner and Eloise Melzer and the segments are mixed by Jim McKee.
Always a treat listening to each new segment of Hidden Kitchens, and the one that aired this morning entitled Birth Of Rice-a-Roni: The Armenian-Italian Treat, really interested me. Of course they all interest me because I have always been enamored with food history. The story goes back to the 1940’s and an Armenian woman Pailadzo Captanian, also known as “Grandma Cap” in San Francisco who made a rice and pasta pilaf and turned over her recipe to a local pasta company, who in turn gave it a name and a new boxed side dish for American consumers.
The online story also has the original recipe that Mrs. Cap made as well as a Baklava recipe.