Larb. Green papaya salad. Sticky rice. Historically, the food of Laos has flown under the radar in the U.S., often taking a back seat to more popular dishes from Thailand; but all of that is changing as young chefs take the reins, introducing the cuisine to an increasingly inquisitive American palate.
Among those young upstarts is Alex Hanesakda, owner of SapSap, a food-based business through which he has introduced the food world to both food products and experiences that underscore both Lao flavors and traditions. In this week’s podcast, we talk with Hanesakda about his career path, from growing up cooking with his family in his hometown of Burlington Wisconsin to launching his own company. Along the way, he shares insights into his approach to Lao fare, the reception he’s received along the way and his plans for the future.
During the podcast, we also conduct an online taste test of one of SapSap’s newest products, a Lao hot sauce.
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Lori Fredrich (Lo) is an eater, writer, wonderer, bon vivante, traveler, cook, gardener and girlwonder. Born and raised in the Milwaukee area, she has tried to leave many times, but seems to be drawn to this quirky city that smells of beer and alewives.
Some might say that she is a little obsessed with food. Lo would say she is A LOT obsessed with food. After all, she has been cooking, eating and enjoying food for decades and has no plans to retire anytime soon.
Lo's recipes and writing have been featured in a variety of publications including GO: Airtran Inflight Magazine, Cheese Connoisseur, Cooking Light, Edible Milwaukee, Milwaukee Magazine and the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, as well as on the blog Go Bold with Butter, the web site Wisconsin Cheese Talk, and in the quarterly online magazine Grate. Pair. Share.