Translating “cheesecake” into Polish

When you think of Polish food, pierogies and kielbasa may come to mind. But Liisa Ecola’s Chicago grandmother broke the mold: she is remembered for her cheesecake. Large numbers of Poles began arriving in Chicago in the early 19th century when unrest rocked their homeland. Today, they are among the city’s three largest European ethnic …

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Tongue tied: Dishes from back home may leave you speechless

Tongue? Seriously? It’s hard to think about cooking an entire beef tongue no matter how trendy it may be to “use the whole animal.” When I lived in the San Francisco Bay Area I discovered tacos de lengua (tongue tacos) at Taqueria Cancun in the Mission District. I ate them at least once a week, …

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The shaved-ice man brought endless summer

  Every summer of my childhood, the same ritual repeated itself. Scott Styer, the local shaved-ice man, would turn his truck down the sloping drive of my neighborhood pool in Potomac, Md., and switch on “The Banana Boat Song” over the loudspeaker mounted to the roof rack of his Toyota truck. Scott ran a seasonal …

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Monterey Bay offers fish for the whole family

During a recent Skype session with my 3-year-old granddaughter who’d just moved to Carmel, Calif., I heard all about the Monterey Bay Aquarium and the amazing octopus with his great, big TENTACLES! When I visited recently, the aquarium and fish market were high on our “to do” list, so off my daughter and I headed …

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