food

Earlier this month, Wal-Mart trumpeted that it had beaten a goal it set five years ago: to open at least 275 stores in food deserts by 2016. That targeted expansion into "neighborhoods without access to fresh affordable groceries" came as part of the retailer's "healthier food initiative," lauded by — and launched with — First Lady Michelle Obama in 2011.

Florida agriculture officials have declared a state of emergency in Miami-Dade County, where an Oriental fruit fly infestation has the potential to attack hundreds of crops.

In a news release Tuesday, Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam said the first fruit fly was detected Aug. 26. Since then, 158 flies have been detected, many in the Redland area of the county.

Fruit flies lay eggs in fruits and vegetables. They're considered one of the world's most serious pests due to the potential economic harm. The fly attacks more than 430 different fruits, vegetables and nuts.

Marva Hinton / WLRN

The fall term begins Monday at Miami Dade College, and students on one campus will be able to take advantage of a special program to make sure their basic needs are met before classes start.

The college's north campus is teaming up with Farm Share, a nonprofit in Homestead that provides food to the needy, to give students free produce. The school also has a food pantry on campus where students can pick up non-perishable food items.

Steve Dolinsky

A cubano sandwich in Cuba? That might be hard to find. Food writer Steve Dolinsky says the sandwich was actually created in Florida.

But don't fret. There are many delicious culinary options available on the menus in La Havana. Black beans, rice, plantains, picadillo (a dish made of ground beef, olives and raisins) — you can have them all in Cuba. But Dolinsky has made some of his more surprising food discoveries in paladares — restaurants in people's homes.

The paladares started in the 1990s, when the Cuban government allowed private businesses to open.

Jason Howle / Flickr via https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

It's not only about shaming. Some restaurant owners and chefs in South Florida use their social media accounts to vent about competitors, try to locate dine-and-dashers and, yes, trash bad reviewers. 

Whether it's a personal profile or the brand's account, commenters seem to stand by the posters putting their guests on blast.

Rob O'Neal / Florida Keys News Service

The annual spiny lobster season opens Thursday, when commercial trappers can start pulling traps from the water and divers and recreational fishers can start grabbing the crustaceans.

"We never know what's going to happen until they make those first pulls and we see what the market's going to bear," said Bill Kelly, executive director of the Florida Keys Commercial Fishermen's Association.

Miami-Dade Adding Healthier Choices To School Menus

Aug 3, 2015
John O'Connor / WLRN

Miami-Dade school meals are going lean and green this school year -- with more veggies and heathier, low-calorie choices.

The district is adding smoothies made with Naked brand juices, greek yogurt and vegetarian lasagna.

But at an event Monday unveiling the new dishes, the district was most proud of its version of a Miami classic.

The “guavalito” is a whole grain, lower-sugar version of a guava and cheese pastelito, made by a local baker.

Interns Use Mangos To Turn Their Instructor Into A Miami Girl

Jul 24, 2015
Wilson Sayre / WLRN

A mango salad is a tradition that is mostly done in the summer. It’s derived from the Caribbean and the black culture. For Miamians no one questions what a mango salad is or how it came to be.

But this summer we discovered that our instructor Ms. Wilson Sayre had never eaten a mango salad. Ms. Wilson is from North Carolina and mangos don’t really grow there.

One day we were offered a plain sliced mango, with the skin still attached, to eat, but no one went for it. It was then that Ms. Wilson noticed something was wrong.

Graphic by Kenny Malone

Serendipity 3 on Lincoln Road, OTC in Brickell, Anthony’s Coal Fired Pizza just off the MacArthur Causeway and the 17-year-old Romeo’s Cafe in Coral Gables are among the 20-plus restaurants that have closed in the last few weeks.

One source told the Miami Herald it’s been a “bloodbath” in the Miami-Dade County food-and-beverage scene.

Rob O'Neal / Florida Keys News Service

While Americans all over the country were celebrating the Fourth of July with pies, and apple pie is considered a national emblem, Key Westers were devoting themselves to the island chain's signature fruit — the Key lime.

Craft Breweries Statewide Toast Repeal Of 64-oz Growler Ban

Jul 1, 2015
stuartwainstock/flickr

Beer enthusiasts can add one more independence day to their week.

Breweries are calling July 1 Growler Independence day. This past May the Florida Legislature repealed a 50-year ban on 64-oz. refillable bottles called growlers.

Anthony Cook / WLRN

  

  Ms. Cheezious’ gooey grilled cheeses made the food truck a household name among South Florida foodies within a year on the road.

But for a few months, fans have also been ordering Cheezious from a static location: The owners of the locally beloved truck opened a permanent eatery in February.

It’s located on Biscayne Boulevard in Miami, and its jam-packed grand opening suggested the the restaurant would have no problems handling its fanbase.

Mango Season! Who Has Them And Where To Get Them

Jun 4, 2015

When posts like these flood your news feeds, you know it's peak season for the king of fruit. 

Mangos ripen during South Florida summers. And because they tend to grow right in people’s backyards, it’s become a tradition to share them with friends, family and co-workers.

Scroll below for some mango shots from across South Florida, and share your mango photos with us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

Luis Hernandez / WLRN

It started with a trickle, a couple dozen people organizing signs and props at the Metromover station near the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Eventually, it grew to a few hundred. These were protestors from groups like Occupy Miami, Green Party of Florida and GMO Free Florida.

The groups were marching in solidarity for labeling of genetically modified foods, or what has become known as GMOs. One of the biggest manufacturers of GMOs, and the main target of the criticism from this weekend's protest, is Monsanto.

Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN

Hedy Goldsmith is the mastermind behind rich-and-salty chocolate chunk cookies, coconut lime macarons and praline panna cotta.

Until last month, she was the executive pastry chef with the Genuine Hospitality Group, which includes Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink and Harry’s Pizzeria (where you can still find the biscotti-of-the-day), among other Michael Schwartz restaurants.

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