Tom Harte

Host - Caffé Concerto

Tom Harte is a retired faculty member from Southeast Missouri State University where he was an award-winning teacher, a nationally recognized debate coach, and chair of the department of Speech Communication and Theatre.

A founder of “My Daddy’s Cheesecake,” a bakery/café in Cape Girardeau, a  food columnist for The Southeast Missourian, and a cookbook author, he blends his passion for food with his passion for classical music in his daily program, The Caffe Concerto.

An inveterate traveler as well as a connoisseur of food and classical music, Tom has been to the five major continents and sailed the seven seas in search of great music and great cuisine, delicacies which he enjoys most when consumed simultaneously.  He also hosts A Harte Appetite.

Ways to Connect

Oh, Crêpe!

Apr 2, 2018
flick user stu_spivack (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

The French think they're superior to us when it comes to clothing, wine, and food -- not to mention romance! And, admittedly, they do have a way with each; and perhaps nowhere is French sophistication more evident -- at least in the culinary world -- when it comes to pancakes.

American pancakes are puffy, down-to-earth concoctions, sometimes inelegantly referred to as flapjacks, are usually served for breakfast.

French pancakes, or crêpes, on the other hand are thin, delicate, suave, and urbane -- right at home at the fanciest dinner party.

What Color is Your Chili?

Mar 26, 2018
Flickr user Marco Verch (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

As California restaurant critic Merrill Shindler observes, "Like politics and religion, nobody agrees about the one true chili." It's a dish that's easy to get into an argument over. For example, some people vehemently claim that real chili does not contain beans while others claim just as vehemently that it does and, what is more, they'll specify the particular type of bean which must be used. Some contend that pork, chicken, and even lamb can be used while others insist that true chili contains only beef.

Flickr user xlibber (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

It's the bane of alley cats, de rigueur decoration for newlyweds' cars, and the primary device behind many children's first telephone. But, according to The Wiley Encyclopedia of Packaging Technology, it's also the greatest influence ever on the food habits of the civilized world. It's the tin can.

For those of us used to modern conveniences, it's hard to imagine what life was like before the invention of the tin can.

Flickr user Jeff Kubina (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

“There are only two kinds of people in the world,” an Irish saying goes. “The Irish and those who wish they were.”

If you look around on St. Patrick’s day, you might think that’s true, for on St. Patrick’s Day Americans, regardless of their ancestry, will wear green, sing Irish songs, guzzle Irish beer, and dine on corned beef and cabbage.

But not in Ireland. There you’d be lucky to find more than a handful of packages of corned beef in any of the local supermarkets.

All Tied Up: Pretzels

Mar 5, 2018
flickr user Ana Ulin (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Not long ago I made a sojourn to Lititz, Pennsylvania, the birthplace of the American pretzel.  It's a town in the heart of Pennsylvania Dutch country not far from Philadelphia, another town that takes its pretzels seriously.

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