Photo credit: @julesdwit.
A not-for-profit media organization supported by people like you.
James Oseland, Alan Richman, and Louisa Ermelino talk about their life-changing food experiences. They’re contributors to A Fork in the Road, a collection of original stories from food-obsessed writers and chefs.
Growing up in Ohio, my mother would send me out to the garden to pick the reddest, ripest tomato I could find. She would cut it into thick slices, salt them and lay them on buttered homemade bread. Those sandwiches were food heaven.
I was traveling with my wife's family in Japan on the island of Awaji near the Naruto Straits. We stopped at an Onsen and had the best local Sea Bass clocked three ways. First as Sashimi cut off the fish while it was still alive. The flesh was so tender and buttery smooth. The second course they returned with the same Sea Bass, other side, grilled over wood flame. Smokey and slightly charred but still tender and fresh. The third time the Sea Bass visited our table he showed up in a Nabe pot as a stew. Not to waste anything the fish soup released the rest of the tender flesh including the delicious cheek meat. I was absolutely amazed at the freshness, efficiency and creativity of this local meal.
The Vegetarian chopped liver sandwich at B&H Dairy on 2nd Ave. A flavorful paste of unknown origin, a thick slice of tomato and equally thick cut onion between two giant pieces of fresh challah bread.
Staying with a friend in Rome... didn't have a lot of euro to spend on dining out, bought some local tomatoes and fresh pasta, went back to the flat and cut the tomatoes and had over the pasta with olive oil, sea salt and fresh ground pepper while gazing out on the streets of Trastevere ~ Epiphany!! Italian tomatoes taste SO much better than the average tomato we grow in the states, it's no wonder most Italian food tastes so much more amazing in Italy than here ~ it's their tomatoes!... although it could also be the ambiance...
Cool to hear my comment paraphrased on-air, but yikes, I was given a sex change!
um the best pizza in the world is in italy. dont believe me? go there. nyc pizza is fast food by comparison.
tom Li - it was a refresh issue with my browser. but thanks for being an A hole.
I think my epiphany is realiizing how lucky I was.
Breakfast at my Granny Sarah's house was grits, peppery sausage, scrambled eggs, and especially home made biscuits with butter from a woman's farm up the highway, and topped with my Great Grandmother Griggs's fig preserves.
My God, that was good.
Where can you buy the mangoes from India in NYC?
Also...a roasted vegetable plate at the old Grange Hall restaurant in the Village, in the 80's. Growing up in the Midwest, my vegetable experience was limited to iceberg lettuce and frozen Green Giant.
Gee Leonard you were always a snob but really to be so offensive as to say the French did it better and still do shows an ignorance of taste. So you like French food but to say it's "better" than another is pretty immature and stupid to put it simply. If you like sauces and butter and over worked food.
Illfg - a little impatient aren't you...you had to post your trite comment, not once but three times in under two minutes. What we do without moralists like you to set us straight?
Truffle ravioli in Siena. Life changing.
What did these people's parents cook?!!! I was lucky growing up in an Italian household. We ate almost everything. My friends looked at me strangely because they saw I ate artichokes!! Imagine an 8 y/o eating artichokes? Dun, ye-ess. I ate them and broccoli, loved it, broccoli rape, spinach (never understood the problem with Popeye and spinach) cauliflower, just about every vegetable available in Italian-American markets in the Bronx in the 50s that were available, my mother cooked and we ate them. We ate brains and sweetbreads and all meets. So this guy who ate fish sticks and hot dogs, that's what mom gave him, right?
My very picky son went to Paris after college and during my first visit there he cooked for me a steak with caramelized onions that I will never forget. The best surprise of my culinary life.
I was visiting Isla Mujeres the first time I tasted Yucatecan food. I believe I had chicken with cilantro and lime and that was it for me. cilantro and lime in the Ceviche too. Wowie Zowie. Cilantro and Lime forever!
with all the starving children and people in the world, this segment seems very self indulgent.
Funny that the first food mentioned was mango. I can still remember the first time I ate mango - it was at an Indian restaurant in London, in the late 1970s. They didn't have the sweet I wanted (ras malai) ready yet, and offered fresh mango instead. It was perfectly ripe and so delicious! A life-changing experience indeed.
Email addresses are required but never displayed.
Leonard Lopate hosts the conversation New Yorkers turn to each afternoon for insight into contemporary art, theater, and literature, plus expert tips about the ever-important lunchtime topic: food.
Sign up for the Book Club e-newsletter
Subscribe on iTunes
Leonard Lopate Weekend: Corruption, Kitchen Disasters & Obamacare
WNYC 93.9 FM and AM 820 are New York's flagship public radio
stations, broadcasting the finest programs from NPR and PRI, as well as a wide range of award-winning local
programming. WNYC is a division of
New York Public Radio.