The Salt What's On Your Plate

In Jerusalem, Syrian Orthodox Christian Nadia Ishaq prepares her burbara porridge with boiled what kernels, raisins, dried plums and dried apricots, topped with ground coconut in the shape of a cross. The holiday honors St. Barbara, an early convert to Christianity whose story is echoed in the Rapunzel tale. Daniella Cheslow for NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Daniella Cheslow for NPR

Support NPR

Support NPR

NPR Shop

Support The Programs You Love

Wrapped in gold and silver foil, chocolate gelt are often handed out as a little treat for children (and adults) during Hanukkah. Turns out, the tradition is rooted in real money. iStockphoto hide caption

itoggle caption iStockphoto

With over 700 pages and 600 recipes, Mexico: The Cookbook, attempts to document exhaustively the country's varied regional cuisines. Recipes in the book include (from left): potato and chorizo tacos; divorced eggs with tomatillo sauce; and tikin-xik fish, a grouper dish from the Yucatan Peninsula. Courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini-Huff and Phaidon hide caption

itoggle caption Courtesy of Fiamma Piacentini-Huff and Phaidon

Akutaq or agutak — also known as Eskimo ice cream — is a favorite dessert in western Alaska. It's made with berries and frothed with fat, like Crisco. Al Grillo/AP hide caption

itoggle caption Al Grillo/AP

"Greek coffee" may be a matter of national pride in the Mediterranean nation. But increasingly, Greeks are embracing espresso, an imported brew, as their cup of Joe of choice. Pawel Loj/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption Pawel Loj/Flickr

Edgar Meadows has been growing Bloody Butcher corn, an heirloom variety, for generations. The name Bloody Butcher refers to the flecks of red mixed onto the white kernels, like a butcher's apron, Meadows says. Roxy Todd/West Viginia Public Broadcasting hide caption

itoggle caption Roxy Todd/West Viginia Public Broadcasting

Elaborately decorated skulls are crafted from pure sugar and given to friends as gifts. The colorful designs represent the vitality of life and individual personality. Karen Castillo Farfán /NPR hide caption

itoggle caption Karen Castillo Farfán /NPR

Author Mimi Thorisson and her husband, photographer Oddur Thorisson, moved their six children and dogs from a Parisian apartment to a farmhouse in the Médoc region of France. Oddur Thorisson hide caption

itoggle caption Oddur Thorisson

Taqueria La Delicia is a lonchera, or food truck, that parks near a Lowe's Home Improvement store in New Orleans. The owner is Honduran, and so are many of the day laborers who eat there. Laine Kaplan-Levenson/WWNO hide caption

itoggle caption Laine Kaplan-Levenson/WWNO

Watch your back, small Texas cafes. Beef brisket (from left), convenience store taquitos and chicken fajitas are taking over Texas. jeffreyw/Flickr; John Burnett/NPR; jefferyw/Flickr hide caption

itoggle caption jeffreyw/Flickr; John Burnett/NPR; jefferyw/Flickr

Definitely not traditional: two colorful takes on porridge, from Friday's London Porridge Championships. Dai Williams/Courtesy of the National Porridge Championship hide caption

itoggle caption Dai Williams/Courtesy of the National Porridge Championship

Eat, Drink And Be Scholarly: The Southern Food and Beverage Museum's new, permanent home in New Orleans is designed to help answer many questions — including "How does it taste?" Stephen Binns/Courtesy of SoFAB hide caption

itoggle caption Stephen Binns/Courtesy of SoFAB

Sherman is still experimenting with the type of food he'll serve in the restaurant. Recently he made this walleye filet with sumac and maple sugar, a white bean and smoked walleye croquette and toasted hominy. Becca Dilley/Courtesy of Heavytable.com hide caption

itoggle caption Becca Dilley/Courtesy of Heavytable.com