Tag Archives | Spring 2015 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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3mangos slide

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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Bread Baking slide

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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Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes, but tubers in the sunflower family.

Jerusalem Artichoke Soup, Gratin and Purée

A ray of sunflower to brighten your plate

Jerusalem artichokes are not artichokes, but tubers in the sunflower family.

Jerusalem artichoke. Sunchoke. Sun root. Earth apple. Whatever you call it, this earthy vegetable, the tuber of a species of sunflower, is a world traveler.

Enjoyed by Native Americans long before Europeans came to this part of the world, the Jerusalem artichoke was taken to Europe in the 1700s and quickly gained popularity. (The name Jerusalem artichoke, incidentally, has nothing to do with Jerusalem. It is said to be a corruption of the Italian word for sunflower—girasole.) Jerusalem artichokes continue to be an important part of French cuisine and are used throughout Europe. They are traditionally made into a distilled spirit in Germany. More locally, look for Sunchoke Brandy from KOVAL, the Chicago-based distillery.

Jerusalem artichokes form below the soil during the summer and fall, winter over well and are plentiful at Michiana farmers markets from February through May. They cook up into velvety soups and nutty baked dishes. (Note: Jerusalem artichokes contain inulin, which some individuals find difficult to digest. Start by eating small amounts.)

Selecting: Look for firm, crisp Jerusalem artichokes with smooth skin and no black … Read More

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PorkRagu

White Pork Ragù

Recipe by Brad Hindsley, Spire Farm-to-Fork (LaPorte, Indiana)

Serve this rustic ragù over your favorite pasta.

Serves 8

2 pounds pork shoulder, cut into 1-inch pieces
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, ground, to taste
⅓ cup olive oil, divided
1 red onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1 celery root, chopped
8 ounces white mushrooms, chopped
4 sprigs thyme
4 cups brown stock (our tester used beef stock)
2 cups white wine
1 tablespoon honey

Pat pork dry and season with kosher salt and pepper. Heat half of the oil in a 5-quart heavy pot over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Brown pork on all sides, 6–7 minutes, then transfer to paper towels to drain. Add remaining oil to the pot. Cook the onion, garlic, celery root, mushrooms and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir occasionally until softened, 4–5 minutes.

Return the pork to the pot with the stock, wine and honey and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered, stirring occasionally, until meat is very tender, 3–3½ hours. Using a whisk, break up the meat in the pot. Simmer ragù, uncovered, stirring frequently, 15 minutes.

  Brad Hindsley fell in love with the beauty Read More
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