10 BEST PODCASTS OF 2021 New York Times BEST FOOD PODCAST James Beard Awards Webby Awards
10 BEST PODCASTS OF 2021 New York Times BEST FOOD PODCAST James Beard Awards, Webby Awards

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How Prison Ramen Saved My Life

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May 31, 2021
How Prison Ramen Saved My Life

When Gustavo “Goose” Alvarez (above left) was 18, he was sent to prison for the first time. When he arrived, the other incarcerated men wanted to know if they could trust him — so they handed him a plate of cheesy tacos, and got to know him over that shared meal. From there, Goose learned all kinds of prison cooking tips, including how to use razor blades to boil water and the recipe for a coffee drink called a “Cadillac.” This week Goose shares some of the recipes from his cookbook, Prison Ramen: Recipes and Stories from Behind Bars — and the harrowing story of how that title dish saved his life.

Check out Goose’s new novel, The Pawn, and a couple other great stories about cooking in prison:

Interstitial music in this episode from Black Label Music:

  • "Midnight Grind" by Cullen Fitzpatrick
  • "Hot Night" by Calvin Dashielle
  • "Pong" by Kenneth J. Brahmstedt
  • "Broken Castle" by Bijou Basil
  • "Brain Wreck" by Bijou Basil
  • "Can't Bring Me Down" by Jack Ventimiglia
  • "Kenny" by Hayley Briasco

Photo courtesy of Gustavo Alvarez and Workman Press.

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