TDS #5 Interview With Food Blogger Sarah Topar, Pie And Then Some

 
Sarah TOPAR image for TDS Episode Five.jpg
 A 30-second microwaved marshmallow. Chewy!

A 30-second microwaved marshmallow. Chewy!

 Chicken and rice at Mia Patria in Des Moines, Iowa

Chicken and rice at Mia Patria in Des Moines, Iowa

 Pork and rice at Mi Patria

Pork and rice at Mi Patria

In this episode, we begin where the interview ended. My guest, Sarah Topar, is a food blogger and friend who sat down with me over lunch at a local Ecuadorian restaurant in Des Moines, Iowa, called Mi Patria. We talked about her favorite foods, recipes, and the essence of what sharing food means. And just as we finished up our conversation, Sarah mentioned her little pleasure of enjoying microwaved marshmallows. Thirty seconds later, the result is an instant, gooey dessert.  

THE ANCIENT ORIGIN OF MARSHMALLOWS

The history of small things often enhances their value. Marshmallows have a rich background. Each bite of the fluffy, chewy confection you eat today hails from 2000 B.C. Egypt where the root of the mallow plant (Althaea officinalis) was discovered. This herb was native to parts of Europe, North Africa and Asia where it grew in marshes. (Get it? Marsh-mallow.)

Egyptians considered the edible root of the plant sacred and medicinal, and reserved it only for the most regal or godly to consume. In the 1800s, the mallow plant was picked up by confectioners in France where it was whipped up and mixed with egg whites into candied lozenges. Later, the mallow was replaced with gelatin, and by the 1900s candy makers in the U.S. were producing marshmallows for mass consumption.

FOOD MEMORIES AND INSIGHTS BY SARAH

As we settle in to visit about Sarah’s blog and her reflections, Sarah explains her discoveries of what it means to create a dish and share food with others. The details of her favorite food story involve a pie, a dog and an episode of Oprah Winfrey. You’ll hear Sarah’s account of how these details weave together to produce a rich life lesson.

FOOD IS…

Sarah is earnest in thinking and writing about life and meaning. Between easy-to-follow recipes and sumptuous photos of food, she reveals her thoughts on the latest book she’s read and travel experiences that have given her pause. You’ll take away food for thought and some solace, too.

PIZZA AND NEW HAVEN

“I find it weird that pizza is such a significant thing in Connecticut. I guess I see the pilgrims of New England in my head and can’t fit the reality that immigrants came there from everywhere, including Italy.”

Sarah confirms that pizza is taken very seriously in her home state. Folks either favor Pepe’s Pizzeria or Sally’s. Care for your pizza to be a bit more avant garde? New Haven’s Bar Restaurant and Dance Club has made crafting pizzas with unusual toppings, most notably mashed potatoes, a staple. But where people may disagree on the #1 pizzeria in the area, completing the meal with an Italian ice from Libby’s works for everyone.

THE MEANING OF SHARED MEALS

As Sarah and I both warmed up and filled up on our lunch, the conversation took on more compelling themes. Her “Food Is” reflections provide a lovely and thoughtful conclusion.

 

THE DELICIOUS STORY IS:

I love the podcast format which offers access to the voices and ideas we can listen to anywhere, anytime. As I continue to craft The Delicious Story episodes, improving interview skills, crafting audio, and working to help people find us, I’m convinced that our mission to capture the stories of people and their food stories will warm the hearts of our listeners.

Care to be a guest? Reach out to me at sherry@storiedgifts.com.

 

A MENTION OF STORIED GIFTS

We are a personal publisher of life histories. We capture and craft the stories of people, families and businesses into compelling content to share with those who matter most. Through interviews, research and creating archives of images and memorabilia, we work to preserve legacies to connect people through the power of story. Please check out our services at Storied Gifts.