An Original Culinary Travel and History Series Exploring the Vibrant, Untold Food Stories Hidden in Rural and Small-town America

Premiering on PBS stations nationwide in Spring 2024 (check local listings) 

CHICAGO, March 5, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Take the ultimate 13-week road trip through the nation’s backcountry to explore the regional tasty traditions and rich food heritage of our country with America the Bountiful, airing on public television stations/PBS affiliates nationwide starting April 1, 2024 (check local listings). Presented by Chicago PBS station WTTW and distributed by American Public Television, this original series – hosted, created, and produced by TV personality Capri Cafaro – takes viewers through personal chronicles of farmers, artisans, restaurateurs, and home cooks by way of the food that they grow, produce, and eat.

America has always been and continues to be a cultural culinary melting pot of Old World heritage enriched by immigrants who introduce their own food traditions. Cafaro, host of the award-nominated podcast and radio show, Eat Your Heartland Out and author of the cookbook United We Eat, along with Credo Nonfiction Director and Executive Producer Jesse Roesler, sweeps across the country to explore how German and Swiss immigrants shaped the culture of Wisconsin’s beer and cheese legacy, the ancient history of wild rice in Minnesota, and the storied past of the oyster in modern-day South Carolina.

America the Bountiful highlights the vibrant yet widely untold food stories of the farmers, chefs, and artisans that help to shape what Americans eat and make this country bountiful.

Season one episodes:

  • Wild Rice in Minnesota (Episode 101) – The most sacred food of the Anishinaabe people has become a prized ingredient in the upper Midwest and beyond. Capri digs into the history of the “food that grows on water,” see how it’s harvested and processed, sample decolonized cuisine that includes wild rice at the James Beard award-winning Owamni with Sioux Chef Sean Sherman and even taste how wild rice shows up at the “Great Minnesota Get Together” fair where Capri is joined by Andrew Zimmern.
  • Pears in Oregon (Episode 102) – Pears got their start in Oregon back in 1847 but wasn’t named the state fruit until 2005. Capri visits an orchard owned by a Japanese American family whose founders were held captive in an internment camp during World War II, and she learns different ways pears can be prepared.
  • Oysters in South Carolina (Episode 103) – Capri explores the storied history of the oyster in modern-day South Carolina that was once enjoyed by the first Americans and was a critical ingredient in Gullah Geechee foodways. She harvests oysters with members of the Gullah community, enjoys a traditional Gullah oyster dish, and shucks oysters alongside women who have been perfecting the art of hand shucking for generations.
  • Chiles in New Mexico (Episode 104) – Chiles are the backbone of Southwestern cuisine and are celebrated throughout the region. Through a colorful New Mexico road trip, Capri traces the history and current state of chiles from Santa Fe to Hatch and beyond. She is hosted by a multigenerational farm family both in the field and in the kitchen, stops by a roadside haunt that serves chiles in everything…including milkshakes, and helps judge a chiles tasting contest.
  • Apples in Virginia (Episode 105) – No fruit helped build America more than the apple, often referred to as “our democratic fruit.” Recently, there’s a movement underway to return to some of the original varieties that apple connoisseurs say taste better than what is typically found in grocery stores today. Capri discovers the story of the apple is as complex as American history itself by visiting with a horticultural historian from Monticello and with a foodways interpreter who brings the stories of enslaved persons to life.
  • Pheasants in South Dakota (Episode 106) – Capri travels to South Dakota to witness a pheasant hunt, and samples a famous pheasant sandwich that can trace its origins back to World War II.
  • Blue Crabs in Maryland (Episode 107) – Maryland has been synonymous with crabs since the 17th century. Join Capri off Maryland’s Eastern Shore with an all-female crabbing crew as she harvests crabs in her own pot, and gets out her apron to enjoy a feast with two sisters who started a crab business in Baltimore.
  • Corn in Arizona (Episode 108) – Corn is a sacred food for all indigenous tribes of Arizona, but many of the original varieties of corn have been lost since the time of colonization. Capri meets with a handful of farmers and organizations who are carrying on these traditions with a variety of memorable ancient and modern foods from blue, yellow, and red flour-making maize.
  • Ramps in West Virginia (Episode 109) – Known for their pungent smell and uniquely delicious flavor, ramps have been foraged across North America for centuries. Also known as spring onions, ramsons, wild leeks, wood leeks, and wild garlic, North American ramps (Allium tricoccum) are a member of the allium family and have been celebrated in Appalachia for centuries, where there is a strong tradition of foraging a variety of greens, mushrooms, and wild vegetables. Capri forges for ramps in the West Virginian hills with a local family and celebrates the self-sufficient nature of Appalachian culture at a few seasonal ramp dinners and festivals.
  • Pecans in Georgia (Episode 110) – By the 1950s, Georgia had become the country’s leading producer of pecans and remains the largest pecan-producing state in the nation to date. Capri meets Shirley Sherrod, civil rights activists and founders of the New Communities Agricultural Co-Op who explain the important role of African American farmers to the pecan industry in Georgia.
  • Maple Syrup in Vermont (Episode 111) – One of the oldest food traditions in America is tapping trees for sap and boiling it down for that prized natural sweetener, maple syrup. Vermont has long been a mecca for the practice, and is now innovating with maple syrup in incredibly fun and delicious ways. Capri learns how maple syrup is made with a family who use traditional methods to harvest sap and make syrup and gets a glimpse of how maple producers are experimenting with flavors.
  • Cheese & Beer in Wisconsin (Episode 112) – Wisconsin is known for its cheese – and its beer. Both serve as a guide to how German and Swiss immigrants shaped the culture of Wisconsin we enjoy today. Capri meets one of the first women to own a brewery, artisan cheesemakers whose grass-fed cows bring Wisconsin terroir to life.
  • Cranberries in Massachusetts (Episode 113) – Indigenous people have been harvesting and eating wild cranberries for millennia, and the berry remains an integral part of the Bay State’s cultural and culinary landscape today. Capri learns how indigenous groups use cranberries in traditional cooking, puts on her boots and enters a family-owned cranberry bog on Cape Cod, and samples a variety of cranberry-inspired dishes.

This series is a glimpse into the often-overlooked small towns and rural communities in America that have molded our country’s shared experiences,” said Capri Cafaro, America the Bountiful‘s Host and Executive Producer. “Through the lens of food, we are highlighting these powerful stories and building an appreciation for the diverse cultural traditions that unite us all. I hope viewers will learn more about their neighbors,and become inspired to explore America’s backroads.”

America the Bountiful is sponsored by American Farmland Trust.

For additional information, to view the trailer and episode highlights, visit:

About Capri Cafaro
Capri Cafaro is a radio host, cookbook author, and the creator, executive producer and host of America the Bountiful. She is also the host of the award-nominated podcast and radio show, Eat Your Heartland Out, which airs on Sirius XM Radio and distributed by the Public Radio Exchange (PRX) for NPR affiliates spotlighting the intersection of food and culture in the American Midwest. Her debut cookbook United We Eat received international acclaim and features recipes that tell America’s unique delicious past while bringing people together over food.

Currently, Cafaro is a contributor to Great Lakes Now from Detroit Public Television; a folkways reporter for Inside Appalachia, a show from West Virginia Public Radio syndicated on NPR affiliates; and has been featured in HuffPost, Daily Mail, Variety, BBC Food, Food Network online, and Taste of Home, among others.

About Jesse Roesler
Jesse Roesler, Creative Principal and Executive Director of Credo Nonfiction, is an Emmy and James Beard award-winning filmmaker whose work has moved millions via SXSW, The Travel Channel and The New York Times. Jesse is currently showrunning several new streaming docuseries for Chip & Joanna Gaines’ Magnolia Network, and his series The Wild Harvest (streaming on Tastemade as Field, Forest, Feast) was recognized by The James Beard Foundation with food media’s highest honor.

About American Public Television (APT)
American Public Television (APT) is the leading syndicator of high-quality, top-rated programming to the nation’s public television stations. Founded in 1961, APT distributes 250 new program titles per year and more than one-third of the top 100 highest-rated public television titles in the U.S. APT’s diverse catalog includes prominent documentaries, performance, dramas, how-to programs, classic movies, children’s series and news and current affairs programs. Midsomer Murders, America’s Test Kitchen, AfroPoP, Rick Steves’ Europe, Pacific Heartbeat, Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street Television, Front & Center, Lidia’s Kitchen, Kevin Belton’s New Orleans Kitchen, Simply Ming, The Best of the Joy of Painting with Bob Ross, James Patterson’s Kid Stew and NHK Newsline are a sampling of APT’s programs, considered some of the most popular on public television. APT also licenses programs internationally through its APT Worldwide service and distributes Create®TV — featuring the best of public television’s lifestyle programming — and WORLD™, public television’s premier news, science and documentary channel. To find out more about APT’s programs and services, visit

Media Contact:
Kara De Los Reyes

SOURCE American Public Television