Madison—and the World!
”Food is our common ground, a universal experience.”
I love traveling—here, there, everywhere.
Right now, we are in Madison, Wisconsin, where I can experience not only the unique qualities of Midwest living, but also all the openings to other cultures and cuisines that this town and state provide.
On Sunday, we went to the Madison Irish Festival where all kinds of music and dance groups performed at indoor and outdoor venues. “Bangers and mash,” corn beef and cabbage and beer were plentiful, and people watching was fun. Another night, we heard the University of Wisconsin Russian Folk Orchestra play many traditional folk tunes and classical pieces, as well as their concluding piece of “On Wisconsin,” but of course! I also attended a performance of 12 monologues on the theme of travel, both physical and emotional, called “Out in This World.”
And then there are all the ethnic restaurants in town—in just a week and a half, we have had food from Laos, India, Nepal, France, and Italy. Inexpensive, tasty travel—woo-hoo! And then there are the close by towns founded by immigrants from Norway (Stoughton), Switzerland (New Glarus) and Cornwall, England (Mineral Point) where their culture and cuisine shine.
Add on the traditional Wisconsin Friday night Fish Fry, the extensive Saturday Farmers’ Market around the capitol (photo above), and this upcoming weekend’s Bratfest, and any foodies can taste their way around this land and vicariously around foreign lands with great pleasure.
I also tasted two cheese treats that can be experienced outside of Wisconsin:
♥ SarVecchio Parmesan cheese made by Sartori, a Wisconsin based cheese company started by an Italian immigrant and
♥ Grilled cheese sandwich composed of Hook one year cheddar, provolone, red onion, mayonnaise, thinly sliced Honeycrisp apple, and avocado, on a hearty sour dough bread.
Along with all these wonderful food possibilities, there’s food for thought, too…after all, this is a university town. A new bookstore just opened three blocks from us. We have already frequented it often and helped support them!—and us. Two culinary themed books I purchased are:
♥The Osteria Papavero Cookbook by Francesco Mangano and Lindsay Christians, with tempting recipes from a good local Italian restaurant—Pasta Zucchine e Ricotta, La Ribollita (Tuscan Bread Soup) and Salame di Cioccolato (sounds like my kind of salame!)
♥The Smart Cookie, a delightful children’s book with fun plays-on-words and a teacher character named Ms. Biscotti—how could I not like the book! The two authors, Jory John and Pete Oswald, have written many other food-themed books, like The Good Egg, The Couch Potato, and The Cool Bean. I look forward to exploring those, too.
And there you have it, a smorgasbord of international fare found close at hand. Now if I could only remember to explore this way on our California home front in order to feel the foreign and new there, too. I will👩🍳💃🏽