Archive | Features

Girl with Fish slide

Journey to Malawi

American flavors, African roots

By Brette Ashley Jackson

In 1923, my maternal great-grandparents, Percy and Arlethia Heath, moved from Wilmington, North Carolina, to Philadelphia. Like the nearly seven million African-Americans who relocated between 1915 and 1970 during the Great Migration, they ventured there for work and a better life.

Like many before and after them, they held on to their Southern culture, most notably in the foods that they ate. New Year’s Day, for instance, was ushered in with a plate of black-eyed peas that was believed to bring prosperity. But this quintessential Southern dish is actually of African origin, and, like so many foods that hail from the South, its history is linked to the transport of Africans to the Americas.

In the introduction to High on the Hog: A Culinary Journey from Africa to America, cookbook writer and food historian Jessica B. Harris writes about her first experience traversing the markets of West Africa, observing how familiar vegetables and fruits—okra, black-eyed peas and watermelon—made evident the connection between the foods of Africa and the foods of the descendants of Africans who were forcefully taken to the Americas centuries ago.

Her book examines the staple foods that have … Read More

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A New World Awaits at Los 3 Mangos de Michoacán

Passport, airfare not required

By David Seymour, with Joel Barrett | Photography by Peter Ringenberg    Los 3 Mangos de Michoacán
2102 W Western Avenue
South Bend, Indiana  

Succulent green foliage illuminated by a blazing sun. Perfect waves in crystal clear bodies of water. Trees and market stands showing off their colorful bounties of comestible goodness.

Not your ordinary ice cream: tickle your taste buds with mango shaved ice with spicy syrup and chile powder (shown), or goat’s milk caramel, queso (cotija cheese) or tequila ice cream.

Now that I have your attention… Make at least one local stop before planning your long-awaited escape from yet another never-ending Midwest winter. South Bend’s new Mexican ice cream shop, Los 3 Mangos de Michoacán is well worth a visit. Aptly named for a state in Western Mexico that produces the magically delicious fruit, this fabulous ice cream parlor has more than meets the eye.

On our first visit, bright lights and warm glows of color greeted Joel and me as we approached the storefront, conveniently located a few moments from downtown in the Western Avenue corridor. Not knowing what to expect, we quickly surveyed the landscape—with me in the lead because of my … Read More

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Cool Cuisine in Kalamazoo

It’s always a marvelous night at Food Dance

By Sarah McKibben  

When you get the urge for a regional culinary adventure, where should you go? If you head north and west, not too far away, you’ll find some of the richest farmland in the country and gustatory pleasures to match in Kalamazoo, Michigan. This small city is a craft food and beverage lover’s delight and the top attraction is its acclaimed farm-to-table eatery Food Dance, which has been serving fresh, local and ethically sourced food for more than 20 years under the sure hand of owner and executive chef Julie Stanley.

Top: Food Dance market sells breads and pastries made on-site, fresh-cut meats, craft chocolate and a carefully curated selection of wines and cheeses. Below: Seasonal and locally sourced ingredients, like this pasta special with asparagus and poached egg, take the lead at Food Dance. Photos courtesy of Food Dance.

Everything served at Food Dance—from the ketchup to the croutons—is made from scratch, with as many local ingredients as possible. From the baked goods made one floor below the main kitchens to the meat butchered in-house, despite serving some 3,000 meals a week, Food Dance keeps it homey.

The welcome … Read More

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More Than Just a Coffee Break

In Sweden, fika punctuates the day

By Leah Schroeder 

Take Time to Fika

Functioning as both a verb and a noun, the concept of fika is simple. It is the moment that you take a break, often with a cup of coffee but alternatively with tea, and find a baked good to pair with it. You can do it alone, you can do it with friends. You can do it at home, in a park or at work. But the essential thing is that you do it, that you make time to take a break: That’s what fika is all about.

—From Fika: The Art of the Swedish Coffee Break, by Anna Brones and Johanna Kindvall, available for pre-order now at www.betterworldbooks.com

Photo by Leah Schroeder.

My family and I were thrilled to find ourselves in Sweden this past summer. Besides fantastic furniture design, beautiful landscapes and friendly natives, during our three weeks in Sweden I discovered a new love of a daily Swedish ritual, fika. In Swedish, fika simply means “to drink coffee,” but it is much more than that.

I have lost track of the many times I experienced fika last summer. I enjoyed fika on a … Read More

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Beer Spoken Here

Talking—and tasting—home brews with the Kosciusko Kettleheads

By Logan Miller | Photography by David Johnson  

When I walked into the dimly lit “Mad Room” in Mad Anthony’s Lake City Taphouse in Warsaw, Indiana, I found an almost medieval scene: 22 homebrewers at a circle of tables, each presenting a few of their creations. I had come to meet the Kosciusko Kettleheads: Warsaw’s homebrew club.

Among the homebrew community, the Kettleheads, who were founded in 2010, have a reputation for pushing the boundaries of traditional styles of beer. I quickly learned that the reputation is well deserved.

Keeping It Light

Among the homebrew community, the Kettleheads have a reputation for pushing the boundaries of traditional styles of beer.

“We don’t take ourselves too seriously,” said Jason Rich, a founding member of the Kettleheads, as he poured me a sample of his oak-aged saison with a grin. “We pay close attention to beer quality and educating brewers who want advice, but we don’t adhere to strict beer styles or rigid guidelines.”

As I handed my own Chinook SMaSH (single malt and single hop) to Rich to be included with the tasting schedule, a few batch titles caught my eye: Rum-Soaked Oak-Aged Coconut … Read More

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Roast Chicken slide

Not Your Ordinary Bird


Roast chicken goes from ordinary to extraordinary with the addition of clementines, fennel and tarragon.

 

Classic Roast Chicken and
Four Variations Worthy of a Feast

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis | Photography by D. Lucas Landis  
With a little preparation, a roast chicken offers great rewards. Our Classic Roast Chicken and four variations are recipes worthy of a feast—even if it’s a Thursday night.
Whole chickens abound in most meat community-supported agriculture (CSA) subscriptions and are available at your local farmers market. Our recipes will work well on a bird that has lived a good life and may not be as fatty as a typical grocery store bird.
An added bonus: Roasting a whole bird means leftovers! Use meat for making salads or sandwiches or toss the bones in a stockpot and make your own homemade chicken stock.

 

Classic Roast Chicken

Serves 4–6

1 (3½–4 pound) chicken
¼ cup kosher salt
4–5 garlic cloves
½ lemon
3 stalks tarragon
3 stalks thyme
½–¾ cup white wine
4 tablespoons butter, melted

On a large plate, place the chicken and dump the salt all over the bird. Using your hands, try to get as much salt to stick to the flesh and … Read More

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View More: http://ashleydru.pass.us/ediblemichiana

Raising the Chocolate Bar

Single-origin, small-batch—
and like nothing you’ve ever had before

Chocolatier Hans Westerink began roasting and processing his own cacao just over a year ago in his family’s South Bend, Indiana, home.

By Maya Parson | Photography by Ashley Dru  

Burnt sugar. Tobacco. Olive. Cultured cream. The flavors of Violet Sky chocolate stopped us in our tracks. Our chocolate-tasting party sampled a dozen varieties of single-origin bars from around the world (including some from among the biggest names in craft chocolate), but it was the chocolate made by Hans Westerink in his family’s South Bend, Indiana, kitchen that had everyone exclaiming, “Wow! What is that?”

Weeks later, our recipe editor confided, “I can’t stop thinking about the taste of that Violet Sky chocolate.”

She wasn’t alone. I was also hooked. I knew I needed to find out more from Hans—and sample more of his phenomenal chocolate.

‘Purity and Beauty’

I met with Hans in his parents’ home in the historic Harter Heights neighborhood. Hans and his wife, Alison, both 26, have their own home nearby, but Hans uses his parents’ well-equipped kitchen and basement to craft his chocolate. (He is in the process of setting up a commercial kitchen.) I ask … Read More

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salad

Salad Days

Keep fresh, green veggies on your plate all winter

By Tara Swartzendruber-Landis | Photography by D. Lucas Landis  

Fresh greens are a wonderful way to bring a fresh bite to the winter plate as well as a lighter way to eat around the holiday feasting season. Head to the market in the winter months and you will find kale, spinach, salad mix, romaine, bok choy, arugula and other fantastic varieties to liven up any winter brunch, lunch or dinner.

How to buy: Greens should be fresh looking, not wilted, and should smell fresh.

How to store: Take greens home and wash them thoroughly. Remove any wilted or decaying leaves. Dry them well. Store them covered. Greens should keep in the refrigerator for several days to a week.

Greens pair well with: anchovies, apples, bacon, basil, beets, black pepper, blueberries, cheese, chilies, coriander, corn, croutons, curry, Dijon mustard, eggs, fennel, garlic, ginger, green beans, green onions, ham, leeks, legumes, lemon juice, mushrooms, nuts, oil (olive, nut or sesame), oregano, parsley, pasta, peaches, pears, potatoes, red onion, sage, salt, seeds (pumpkin, sesame, sunflower), strawberries, sweet potatoes, tarragon, thyme, tomatoes, vinegar.

Hints for making a great salad:

• Think about your toppings and … Read More

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Barman Jason Bodley of Oak & Alley (Warsaw, Indiana) defines craft as attention to detail, creativity and constant innovation.

what is craft?

Michiana Artisans Explain What Craft
Means to Them

Barman Jason Bodley of Oak & Alley (Warsaw, Indiana) defines craft as attention to detail, creativity and constant innovation.

 

 Craft connects us with our origins—the Earth—and the people who developed and honed their abilities over time. Their skills and their knowledge and passion are passed on to us. Then we make the craft our own, combining tradition with innovation, and inspire others. Craft brings people together in the present moment to experience something, new or old, strange or subtle, but beautiful.

Those around us, our community, local and global, take part and enjoy the craft, giving purpose and drive to its existence. These connections create an experience that transcends manufacturing or business—something deeper, more real and far more interesting.

—Hans Westerink, chocolatier,
Violet Sky Chocolate, South Bend, Indiana

Craft is defined by the brewers association as small, independent and traditional. I would add that it is paramount to me that we strive to brew beers as flavor-forward as possible. We adhere to tradition, but we also buck it to push new boundaries. Craft is taking pride in your trade and striving for the highest-quality ingredients to produce an exemplary

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beer soup

Cooking with Beer

Who says you can’t have beer for dinner—
or dessert?

  Photography by D. Lucas Landis  

Cooking with beer is as simple as using wine or stock. In Belgium and Britain, where little wine is produced, beer is often used for cooking. When braising with beer, think about balancing its bitterness with fat, salt and something sweet like caramelized onions or carrots. It really doesn’t matter which beer you use—as long as it is bitter.

—Jennifer McLagan, from Bitter: A Taste of the World’s Most Dangerous Flavor, with Recipes, Ten Speed Press, September 2014
 

Beer Soup

Though this soup is simple, its flavors are surprisingly complex. The beer and the well-toasted bread add bitterness, while the cream balances them. Don’t forget freshly grated nutmeg; it adds to the flavor. Followed by cheese (a good cheddar, perhaps) and a salad, it makes a light dinner.

Serves 4 generously

4 cups beef stock, preferably homemade
1 cup amber beer
⅔ cup whipping cream
1 tablespoon dark rye flour
Sea salt
Black pepper, freshly ground
Nutmeg, freshly ground
4 slices country-style sourdough bread, well toasted

Pour the beef stock, beer and cream into a saucepan. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a gentle … Read More

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