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Mangoes have dazzled palates across the globe for centuries with their aroma, taste, texture, and seemingly endless shapes, sizes, and colors. In Miami alone there are over 250 varieties. Miami-based writer, critic, poet and educator Jen Karetnick is the award-winning author of nine books, including three this year alone: the recently published book Mango and two volumes  Prayer of Confession and Brie Season about to be released.
Jen’s nickname, Mango Mama, could not be more appropriate! Jen lives on the last acre of a historic mango plantation with her husband, two children; three dogs; four cats; and fourteen mango trees!  By the time July comes around, Jen uses mangoes in the most unexpected ways, in just about everything, cocktails, smoothies, savory and sweet dishes.
Along with her own recipes which she has developed over the years, the book Mango features recipes from a group of Jen’s buddies who happen to be Miami's most celebrated chefs.
From smoothies to cocktails, from mango blintzes to jerked grouper with mango-fig chutney, and mangozpacho (mango-infused gazpacho)--this book is  the ultimate book on Mango. It is delightfully written, based on serious research and highlights  all those chefs and mixologists who are striving to use our local products in their cuisines.
Click here for Jen’s recipe for frozen mango sangría, or “Mangría,” 

Have a waiter shave some truffles over your pasta and the price goes up astronomically. And the truffles we are referring to aren’t the kind you buy at Godiva. We are talking about a fungus grown on the roots of trees where soil and weather conditions are ideal.  Since the times of the Greeks and Romans these fungi have been used in Europe as delicacies, as aphrodisiacs, and as medicines. They are among the    most expensive of the world's natural foods, often commanding as much as $1500 per pound for Black truffles from Périgord – the most prized truffle in France–, and the legendary white truffles from Alba in Piedmont, Italy.

But, as Betty Hutton would have said in Annie Get Your Gun (back in 1950):  “anything you can do, we can do better.”   And  Susan Rice Alexander,  CEO/President of Black Diamond French Truffles, Inc and Susan Rice Truffle Products has set to prove it by developing one of the largest commercial truffle orchard in America focusing on  the Black Diamond French Périgord Truffle. 

truffles 001We had interviewed Susan in 2008, when she was just starting her truffle farm and we are thrilled to catch up with her and see what has happened since the time she started out as a real estate entrepreneur and purchased a 90-acre farm in Vass, North Carolina, for the timber in 2006. Over the course of the years, she gradually expanded the farm to about 300-acres making it one of, if not the largest truffle farm in the US.

 

Listen as Susan Alexander talks about the business of growing truffles in the USA, the dogs she uses to find the truffles and the reality of farming behind the magic of the truffle. 

 


 

   

 

 

 

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