A Word On Food: Carnitas

The first time we tried to check out the place that inspired me to write this show it was closed. But that made sense in that it was New Year’s Day. I was prepared for that possibility. Heartbroken but prepared. I’ve long been a proponent of ‘word of mouth’ recommendations from our…

A Word On Food: Curry

Several years ago. Okay… Many … we were sitting on the verandah of a hotel overlooking Waikiki beach resting. The mighty Pacific Ocean purred like a Lamborghini in the shimmering distance. Earlier my wife, Janet and I had spent hours walking in Honolulu’s incredible Chinatown. A keen hunger was rising. Soon we…

A Word On Food: Menus

My friend Denny and I have been talking about menu collecting as of late. I love conversing with him about food and music. It might be fun to take the titles of the almost 400 ‘A Word On Food’ shows I’ve done, put them in one of those lotto spinners, take out…

A Word On Food: Birthday Cakes

It is the beginning of a New Year. The hopes we have for 2021 might be as wishful we’ve had for any year in our lives. I think it has been nearly universally acknowledged that last year was the toughest. And we are not out of the woods yet. But even though…

A Word On Food: Champagne

People of all faiths have woken today and know it is the day after Christmas. It is such an impactful holiday. The moments of hope for humanity touch deeply at times like these. It is a time that calls for the most magnificent celebrations and gratitude for life. As far as a…

A Word On Food: Dégustation Menus

As we now are ending the longest year of our collective lives it is time to end a number of things.  Of course there are loftier things to ditch. Discrimination, bullying, science haters and others. But one has to do with the particular field of work I chose to till in this…

A Word On Food: Tropical Fruits

Some years ago my wife, Janet … sort of like that acting thing Peter Falk did in his memorable role as ‘Colombo’ inclines to go back just when we are leaving a place. ‘Oh …. one more thing’. Why? Who knows. It is a trait you try not to be bothered about…

A Word On Food: Pumpkins

We had a very nice, very small gathering for Thanksgiving 2020. I hope you did as well. Virus testing was done by all in the preceding days. We greeted with masks and face turned hugs. We had our doors open for much of the day. Luckily it was good weather for that….

A Word On Food: Guavas

She stood at a bus stop … waiting. There was no room left in the canopied area of that bus stop. She was holding … something over her head with one hand to block the direct sunlight. As our car got closer I could make out her makeshift “parasol”. It was actually…

A Word On Food: Blackened Seafood

Very recently we went to a pop up at what is usually the restaurant ‘Navé’ in Coconut Grove. As 2020 arrived the team there were just getting underway with a menu featuring seafood and pasta complete with a special pasta production room. But then the pandemic struck. They closed entirely for awhile…

A Word On Food: Moros y Cristianos

I cannot say when I first had the combination of black beans and white rice often named “Moros y Cristianos”. But I can tell you where. Key West. Life changed for me on the Island I came to call home while still a very young man. The exotic nature of the Southernmost…

A Word On Food: Halloween

We already know that this Halloween will be different than it has ever been. This time the scary is real and it is not reserved for just one day. But … we have customs and traditions to keep. We can’t erase the things that give childhood it’s magic!  And oh what enchantment…

A Word On Food: French Dip Sandwiches

Though the origin has been disputed many say it went down this way.  “The year was 1918, and as Andrew Binder tells it, “Philippe Mathieu was making a sandwich, and the roll fell into the pan drippings of some beef. A customer (supposedly a police officer) was in a rush and said…

A Word On Food: Foraging

A few years ago my wife, Janet and I were at the farmer’s market on Biscayne when a young woman walked up to me and asked if I was Norman Van Aken. I nodded yes. She said, ‘Good. Can you wait a minute? I want to give you a book I helped…

A Word On Food: Chilies

The New World endowed the rest of the globe with one of the spices of life: chilies. The word comes from the Aztecs’ Náhuatl language. The Taino Indians called them ajíes, and in the Incan Quechua tongue they are known as uchu. The 1st of January is a festive occasion for the…

A Word On Food: Barbecue

Few food topics unites us and divides folks in the USA like barbecue. I am of the belief that it is because it touches us in a very passionate place. Our sense of hunger mixed with tradition. What we grow up with. The Chinese philosopher Lin Yutang wrote, “What is patriotism but…

 
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