Easter traditions in Haiti include kite flying, rara bands, and food. Soaring in the wind, simple, colorful kites express the longing to transcend the quotidian. And rara brings music, tapped out on metal instruments, many rough and angular, hewn from scraps of metal and old oil drums. As for food, Haitian Poisson gros sel (Rock … More Flying Kites, Rara Bands, and Poisson Gros Sel: Easter Season in Haiti
A New York Times columnist, Roger Cohen, wrote about getting lost while hiking in Spain’s Sierra de Guadarrama, his gripping story filled with an underlying and somewhat disturbing meaning. On the surface, it seemed like a story about luck. But I chose to see “Lost and Found in Hemingway’s Spain” as a treatise on Fate. … More Fishing for Meaning: Fate, Destiny, and Heimarmene
The Gulf of Mexico lies 60 miles southwest of here. A joy to behold on a clear day, no matter what time of the year, the water there sparkles with the intensity of a stash of De Beers diamonds. And the wetlands that lacing its edges harbor a most fascinating array of life, gems, if … More Mullets, Jumping into the Stream of Life
I didn’t know it then, but when I was much – heck, I’ll be really honest here and say a lot – younger, I began participating in a grand social experiment, one that I understand more with each passing year. Given my nature, the experiment naturally involved food. And that experiment began with a road … More The Food of Florida: A Grand and Ongoing Experiment
King Louis XIV did it. M. F. K. Fisher did it. The faceless man in Edward Hopper’s painting, “Nighthawks,” did it. Mr. Bean did it, too. And so did I. Daring to eat a proper meal alone in public probably ranks as one of the few acts that cause normally confident people to quiver a … More The Power and the Glories of Eating Alone
The kulebyaka should be appetizing, shameless in its nakedness, a temptation to sin. ~~ Anton Chekov, “The Siren” Fish dishes abound in Russian cuisine, in large part because of the Russian Orthodox Church’s strict rules on fasting during Lent other times of the year. But we cannot ignore the simple fact that fish thrive in … More From Mother Russia with Love: A Fish in Every Pie
© 2013 C. Bertelsen, including all photographs.
CYNTHIA D. BERTELSEN | Special to The Roanoke Times Sunday, September 29, 2013 At the fish market, the man in black hoisted a bucket of fish to his well-muscled shoulders and strained to keep from slipping on the algae-covered steps. Picking his way out of the churning water, he plunked the bucket down and grabbed … More Exploring the Delicacies of Indonesia, in the Shadows of the Volcanoes