Author: Von Diaz

Announcing “Coconuts and Collards: Recipes and Stories from Puerto Rico to the Deep South”

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Cocina Criolla / Food / Gordita / Puerto Rico / Uncategorized

My three-year journey exploring Puerto Rican heritage and cuisine Julie-and-Julia-style through the cookbook “Cocina Criolla” has taken lots of different forms—from videos to radio to personal essays, and even a TEDx talk. This process of discovery led to my forthcoming book, tentatively titled “Gordita: Craving Puerto Rico.” “Coconuts and Collards” will be a collection of stories and a fresh look at Puerto Rican food.  My goal is to use storytelling and recipes to explore the […]

Gravy Podcast: The Pull of Pollo

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  Last December I spent a week in Northwest Arkansas, reporting a podcast for Gravy – The Southern Foodways Alliance’s podcast. There, I visited Springdale, Arkansas where I met animal welfare advocates, immigration activists, the owner of a famous local chicken restaurant, and nearly a dozen Latina poultry workers. I discovered a vibrant, organized, politically engaged, and proud Latino community – predominantly Mexican and Central American – in a place where few expected them to be in such large […]

Peanut Butter and Jelly, Hartwood, Japanese Artisans, and Tucson

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Some of latest interviews for The Splendid Table. The law of peanut butter and jelly? Why some flavors work well together “The more I thought about the things that I was eating that I loved, the more I realized that they all followed these laws,” says chef Justin Warner, author of The Laws of Cooking. Eric Werner on Hartwood restaurant: ‘We were just following our dream’ Mya Henry and Eric Werner turned their shared dream into […]

StoryCorps OutLoud

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When I’m not cooking or eating (or writing about cooking and eating), I’m a Producer at StoryCorps. For the past year I’ve been producing NPR broadcasts for our special initiatives including OutLoud—which records interviews with LGBTQ communities across the country. I’ve had the honor of meeting some amazing, fierce people who’ve taught me so much. Here are a few of those people: “I was worried that you liked me as a girl.” Gabe López, assigned female at birth, […]

Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History | TEDxPiscataquaRiver

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Art and Culture / Cocina Criolla / Food / Immigrants / Latinos / Media / Puerto Rico / Race / Videos / Women

This spring I was gave a talk about identity, family,Puerto Rican culture, and mofongo at TEDx PiscataquaRiver.  Watch it on YouTube, or read the full transcript below. [TRANSCRIPT]* Every Dish Has a Story: Mapping My Food History  I love mofongo… It’s a traditional Puerto Rican dish made by frying, then smashing green plantains, then adding garlic, olive oil, and chicharrón or fried pork skins. It’s super rico … really delicious. If you haven’t had mofongo before, maybe you’re looking at this image […]

Padres

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Immigrants / Latinos / Media / NPR's Morning Edition / Radio / StoryCorps

This past Father’s Day, I co-produced and co-hosted a podcast featuring some pretty awesome dads. Among them is Mario Loiseu, a Haitian immigrant who works two jobs, including long hours as a parking lot attendant in New York City. He does this to help pay for his 9-year-old daughter, Mabou’s, tutoring. She is a science and language prodigy, and is already studying college-level algebra. On the StoryCorps Podcast, I co-hosted an episode with Michael Garofalo […]

Tostones Rellenos with Black Beans and Avocado Sauce

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Cocina Criolla / Food

Even if you haven’t had much Puerto Rican food, you’ve probably had tostones. They’re a popular appetizer or side dish, made by frying, then smashing green plantains. Usually they’re served with a mojo, or garlic dipping sauce. My grandmother, who passed away recently, used to make tostones rellenos (stuffed tostones) with a special tool designed for making them. She used to fill them with whatever she had on had—tuna with capers and lime juice or picadillo […]

StoryCorps Broadcast: Albert Sykes and His Son, Aidan

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Race / Social Justice / StoryCorps

When I’m not cooking, eating, or making media about food, I’m an Initiatives Producer at StoryCorps. Listen to a recent broadcast I produced for NPR’s Morning Edition. Originally broadcast on NPR’s Morning Edition, and StoryCorps, on March 20, 2015. “What was going through your head when you first saw me?” StoryCorps is probably the only place you’ll hear a 9-year-old conduct an interview on a national radio program. That’s what happened when a fourth grader named […]