Why Is Food So Beautiful?

May 11, 2016
Donna Muccio

At around 10 a.m. on any weekend morning, a line will start to form outside the popular Wynwood pop-up donut shop the Salty Donut. The shop has gained momentum through social media photos of its eclectic donuts. The woman behind many of those photos is Donna Muccio, who also photographs for another Miami restaurant, DIRT.


the Miami Herald

In some circles, instagramming pictures of your food is grounds for ridicule. But for food bloggers, it’s what brings home the bacon (all pun intended).

I spoke to local food blogger Sef Gonzalez, better known as the Burger Beast, about what it’s like to run a food blog in a now foodie South Florida.

How has the South Florida food scene evolved since you began blogging?

Pieology Makes Its Move To South Florida

Feb 29, 2016
John Power / WLRN

Remember that idea Cosmo Kramer of “Seinfeld” had to start a business where you make your own pizza pie?


Twenty-two years later the idea is now in South Florida.


Pieology is part of a growing food trend in America: making your own pizza and having it baked in a brick oven.

"You don't see this in Miami," said Natalie Stuart, a customer at the new restaurant. "That’s actually what brought me here.”


Joan-Ellen Deck

For the rest of this year, we're bringing you holiday scenes from South Florida homes during the holidays. The snippets of international culture are little homages to our hometowns' diverse ways of celebrating the end of another year and all the holidays that heralds.

As I write this, there are just two shopping days left before Christmas. That is plenty of time to grab armfuls of Publix-brand eggnog, if that happens to be the tradition in your house.

John O'Connor / WLRN

Last spring, Miami-Dade students at 10 schools planted new food forests -- large gardens filled with kale, tomatoes, passion fruit and more.

Some of those crops are ready now, and giving away what’s grown in the garden has become a big weekly event.

At Twin Lakes Elementary School  in Hialeah, students listen as their teacher tells them how to find a sweet potato.

“So this is the leaf we’re looking for," she tells them. "You follow the vine to the root. And then you harvest your sweet potato. OK?”

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

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.