A Harte Appetite

Every Tuesday at 7:31 a.m. and 5:18 p.m., Tom Harte shares a few thoughts on food and shares recipes. 

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 also blends his passion for food with his passion for classical music in his daily program, The Caffe Concerto.

Local support for A Harte Appetite comes from Cyclewerx.

Candy Corn

Oct 30, 2017
Flicr user WsMom (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/)

Just about every major holiday in America is associated with its own signature version of what Jonathan Bartlett, author of The Cook’s Dictionary and Culinary Reference, calls “those sugary confections that feed our ‘sweet tooth,’ rot our teeth, and lift our spirits.”

At Christmas it’s the candy cane. On Valentine’s Day it’s the chocolate heart. For Easter it’s marshmallow Peeps. And come Halloween it’s candy corn.

flickr user Paul Joseph (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

"On every breakfast plate in the South, there always appears a little white mound of food. Sometimes it's ignored. Sometimes insulted. But without it, the sun wouldn't come up, the crops wouldn't grow, and most of us would lose our drawl." That's what Bill Neal and David Perry said in a little cookbook published a few years ago. They were talking, of course, about grits. And, at least from a Southerner's point of view, they didn't overstate the case by much. 

Perhaps you've noticed the recent newspaper ads for something called the "vinegar diet," which promises that you can lose weight without cutting calories or going hungry. The hitch is you have to drink vinegar several times daily. I haven't tried the regimen but I suspect it would sour me even further on dieting. Unless, however, I could substitute that most un-vinegar-like of vinegars, the balsamic variety.

I remember well the first time I went to Paris, more than 30 years ago. What impressed me most was not the Eiffel Tower or the Louvre. No, it was the bread. Crusty, chewy and full of flavor, there was simply nothing like it available at home at the time.


Oct 2, 2017
flickr user Janine (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/)

"I appeal to history," protested Napoleon Bonaparte as he was shipped off to final exile on St. Helena. History's ultimate judgment is still out on the diminutive Corsican, but I submit that from a culinary standpoint he deserves our gratitude. That's because were it not for Napoleon one of the world's greatest indulgences might never have been invented.