Delray Beach Public Library

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Florida Foodways: The Intersection of Food & Culture

Florida Foodways: The Intersection of Food & Culture

Ten Foods that Define FloridaWednesday, April 14 @ 1 pm
Dr. Gary Mormino, professor, author and food historian from the University of South Florida, St. Petersburg will present a program on the culinary history of Florida. In this illustrated talk, he will discuss how old tastes and new flavors evolved. He asks audiences to consider the following questions: Should Florida’s official state pie be Key Lime, sweet potato, or pecan? The first Thanksgiving took place in St. Augustine, not Plymouth. What was on the menu? Why was corn, not wheat, the staff of life in Florida? Why did Floridians once consider grouper an inferior fish? And for the locals, what agricultural crop was Pompano Beach known for?

Free; registration required. The Zoom ID and password will be provided with registration confirmation.

Chef Norman Van Aken: A Floridian Cooking LifeThursday, April 22 @ 6:30 pm
Chef Norman Van Aken, author of numerous cookbooks, restaurateur, and the only Florida chef to be inducted into the prestigious James Beard Foundation’s list of “Who’s Who in American Food and Beverage” will talk about his culinary love affair with Florida and do a live short cooking demo featuring a dish that highlights some iconic Floridian ingredients. As a chef, Norman Van Aken is best known for introducing “fusion” into the lexicon of modern cookery. He is also known as the “founding father of New World Cuisine” – a celebration of Latin, Caribbean, Asian, American, and African flavors.

Free; registration required. The Zoom ID and password will be provided with registration confirmation.


From Boiline to the Black Drink: The African Heritage in Florida’s International CuisineWednesday, April 28 @ 6:30 pm
Diane M. Spivey is an author and culinary historian who has devoted more than forty years to the study and recording of African American food traditions and cooking. In this engaging presentation, she examines the African culinary presence in Florida. Based on extensive research, the presentation explores Africa’s culinary entrance during the age of the ancient Moundbuilders, eighteenth century Black Seminoles, as well as present day immigrants.

Free; registration required. The Zoom ID and password will be provided with registration confirmation.

From Micanopy to Miami: Florida’s Many Jewish FoodwaysTuesday, May 4 @ 7 pm Margaret Norman, Engagement and Collaboration Coordinator at Temple Beth El, Birmingham, Alabama, is a specialist in Southern Jewish history and foodways. From 19th century agricultural utopias to the influence of snowbirds and Soviet refugees, from Jewish deli to kosher hotels, and the founding of the famous Joe’s Stone Crab, the history of Florida Jewish foodways is as complex as it is fascinating. In this program, we’ll explore how Jewish communities have shaped and been shaped by Florida’s many foodways and ask how we can read into food stories big questions about the history and culture of a people and place. This session will include an overview of key dynamics, places, and events in Florida Jewish foodways, and allow time for audience Q & A.

Free; registration required. The Zoom ID and password will be provided with registration confirmation.