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.

flickr user Mike Mozart (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/legalcode)

"He was a bold man who first swallowed an oyster," observed Jonathan Swift. He was right, but the first person to eat an artichoke was probably no less intrepid.

That's because food prejudices are hard to change. The notion that what one diner might consider disgusting, another might simply consider supper was driven home to me recently as I perused "Strange Foods" by Jerry Hopkins. One of the most fascinating books I've ever read, even if it doesn't contain many recipes -- and the ones it does include, like jellyfish salad and stir-fry bat, I'm not especially eager to try.

Archeologists have discovered evidence in tombs as old as 8000 B.C. that pancakes were a significant component of the ancient Egyptian diet. In fact, the cakes of the Old Testament were really pancakes. The basic pancake recipe in use today can be traced back to a Roman gourmet.

Smithsonianmag.com

Most of us have an image of the first thanksgiving that we learned in grade school:  of the Pilgrims sitting with the Indians at a large table with a white tablecloth celebrating the harvest together over a meal of turkey, cranberry sauce, and pumpkin pie.

foodnetwork.com

Ready for a fish story? While cruising through Alaska's Inside Passage, I visited a salmon hatchery in Ketchikan - the salmon capital of the world - and renewed my respect for these persistent and tasty creatures. 

cookdiary.net

"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. 

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