Ari's Top 5

I’ve known rivers:
I’ve known rivers ancient as the world and older than the flow of human blood in human veins.

My soul has grown deep like the rivers.

—Langston Hughes

A black and white photo of a bridge spanning a river with trees behind it

A River Runs Through Us

A dip into the metaphorical river of history in our organizational ecosystems

I’m not sure that the image of history as a river is right for the ecosystem metaphor. Nor can I say with certainty that the ebbs and flows of my intellectual process won’t lead me to a different understanding in the future. I do know that moving through the metaphor in the last few months has gotten me thinking differently about the way I approach, assess, and assimilate history. In my session at ZingPosium next week, I’ll speak more about using the power of metaphor to alter how we think and what we do about it. As George Orwell pointed out, “A newly invented metaphor assists thought by evoking a visual image.” 

Though it’s rarely mentioned today, Orwell’s name at birth (June 25, 1903) was Eric Blair. He adopted his pen name of George Orwell at the age of 30. His decision was driven, in part, by a desire to better sell his books, but also because of his love for the Orwell River near which he was raised in rural England. Orwell’s name change is, in a way, an illustration of the metaphor: when he renamed himself after a river, he changed the course of his own history. In the process, he altered the way people perceived him in the present, changed the perception of his past, and went on to make a very different future. It’s hard to imagine 1984 being authored by “Eric Blair.”  And what would have happened to the adjective “Orwellian”? 

I wrote a lot about the importance of history in our organizations last August. It was a look at the value of sharing our organizational origin stories, and how important it is to teach the history of the products and services we sell. It’s also an encouragement to leaders to share our own stories (the people we work with like to know who we are and how we got here). If you want a chuckle, the essay also contains a couple of good history-major jokes from my friend and fellow history major John U. Bacon. While what I wrote last summer still resonates with me, my understanding of history in recent years is very different from what I would have told you growing up. Even at the time we opened the Deli in the 80s, my sense of history was still very linear. Back then, I imagined history as straight lines. Timelines and headlines with one leader leading directly to another, with clearly denoted dates that brought an end to one historical era or initiated the beginning of the next. Mostly, to my reading-biased brain, history was to be found in books. I didn’t yet know about Norman Maclean’s A River Runs Through It, in which he writes, “Stories of life are often more like rivers than books.”

Looking back, I ought to have made the connection between rivers and history a lot sooner. Given all the times that I’ve referenced Rebecca Solnit’s lovely lines—“Where does a story begin? The fiction is that they do, and end, rather than that the stuff of a story is just a cup of water scooped from the sea and poured back into it.”—it feels like one of those “belated glimpses of the obvious” we talk about so often at Zingerman’s. For whatever reasons, though, the image came up for me a few months ago after reading a bit of poetry from the award-winning Lithuanian artist and author Monika Vaicenavičienė. In her beautiful What Is A River?, a picture book about rivers and the interconnectedness of stories, she writes,

A river is a thread.
It embroiders our world with beautiful patterns.
It connects people and places, past and present.
It stitches stories together.

Like a metaphor, poetry has the power to change the way we think. As soon as I read those lines, I wrote down what had popped immediately into my head: “Is history a river in the ecosystem?” 

Instead of seeing history as a series of static tales of activities that already passed, the river idea focused me on understanding past, present, and future as being far more fluid. As I write in “The Story of Visioning at Zingerman’s: Four Visions, Forty Years, and a Positive Look to the Future,” how we enter a story alters our perception of it and also what we do with it. Charles Lippert and Jordan Engel say: “Where a river begins, and ends is not decided by nature. Rather, it’s a subjective process that often varies between indigenous and colonial cultures.” This new way of thinking is helping me to leave linear thinking behind. The river image allows us to be more imaginative about whether we are working in the past, the present, and/or the future. As Norman Maclean writes, “Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it.”

Vaicenavičienė continues her deep dive into the meaning of rivers:

A river is a meeting place
A river is a connection

History helps us meet and connect. The more effectively we share the complexity of our organizational history—the very human parts of the stories that don't make headlines, the struggles, the long arguments that finally ended in effective agreement, the challenges of imperfect managers and partners leading equally imperfect people, the emotional highs and lows, the financial successes and failures, the friendships, the tears, the new products, and the old problems—the more effectively we make manifest all of what Vaicenavičienė has described about rivers in the way we study and experience history. Her work reminds me too that when we ignore our rivers and our history, our lives will be poorer for it. What could be bringing insight and understanding can all too easily be ignored. Ironically, I live in a town that has a lovely river running through it, but it’s a river that a visitor would barely know to watch for. 

Vaicenavičienė’s bio says that her books are a place where “memories, legends, and real stories meet, creating poetic documentary narratives about interconnectedness and wonders of our world.” As I’ve come to see it, this is what history is as well. Like a river, it flows. We can swim back upstream to re-explore the places whence we came. We can easily get carried along in the currents. Like a river, both poisons and positives upstream will impact what happens downriver. Like a river, history looks different depending on where you stand when you view it, and also where you enter into it. Hopefully, like a river, all the streams of conversation hold together well. Looking at the PDF she’s made to accompany her lovely book, I smiled to see Vaicenavičienė write, “A river is a home, journey, history … many things.” 

The image of the river as history is, for me, a call to be present and appreciate the moment, while at the same time actively working to make a difference. It evokes emotion and incites new ideas. Russian American Anastasia Edel, writing last week about the sudden and extreme disconnection between the place she was born and the place she now lives and works, wrote: “I’m gripped, above all, by sadness. Our post-totalitarian dream of a peaceful, friendly future is over.” Whether we like it or not, we are all in the river of organizational history together. I aspire to make peace with the past, embrace our positives, and, in a new way I’d never before thought of, “get in the flow.” In the spirit of which, this sentiment from John O’Donohue calls to me:

I would love to live like a river flows, carried by the surprise of its own unfolding.

The river image resonates, too, because of this bit from Rebecca Solnit, who reminds us: “You row forward looking back, and telling this history is part of helping people navigate toward the future.” It also fits well with the idea of history as mystery; there’s a darkness to a deep river that can be hard to parse fully without coming closer and diving into the water ourselves to investigate. Embracing its mysteries, its flow, its magic, its healing powers, its ability to quietly carry us forward, and our own ability to—when we choose—swim against the current. Vaicenavičienė reminds us:

No matter how deep or how shallow a river is,
it has depths beneath its surface.
Something hides in the bottom of every river.

Like a river, a surface glance at our history from the side will give only a superficial understanding of what’s in it. Vaicenavičienė’s writing reminds me to look more deeply to see what important things our biases and beliefs might have led us to miss. I'm always drawn to, in this riverine context, people and places that are out of the mainstream. The small tributaries that don’t show up on many maps, but contribute greatly to the flow and health of the whole. Without them, the world’s great rivers would not be what they are. It’s why I try to give credit regularly to the many people the public likely won’t know by name, but who make the Zingerman’s ecosystem what it is. In world history, I love to look at places like Lithuania—little recognized, and rarely even acknowledged abroad—that have given the world not just the creative presence of Monika Vaicenavičienė, but also two women who have meaningfully influenced my life: Emma Goldman and my grandmother. 

I have had history particularly on my mind the last few months in part because it seems like we are coming up on some potentially hugely significant bends in the rivers of our worlds, and no telescope can tell us what we’ll find on the other side of approaching rapids. This reminds me as I write that I long ago started to compare leadership to white-water rafting—the metaphor holds. I look at the ominous Russian invasion of Ukraine, and closer to home, what surely seems to my biased brain as an existential threat to American democracy as we know it. Here at Zingerman’s, our historical river seems to be turning in positive and uplifting ways—we are close to completing our work on making the ZCoB a self-owned organization (much more on this soon) that will have the structure to enable us to continue to contribute in big ways to this community long after Paul and I are no longer “on the water.” 

The image of the river also reminds me that even if we feel like we’re standing still, things are continuing to move around us. The riverine reality of history is that, as per the now 2600-year-old quote from Heraclitus, “No man ever steps in the same river twice, for it’s not the same river and he's not the same man.” Even when we are wading back upstream, the river we are walking through is already different from the one that was there the day before. Like history, British naturalist Olivia Laing says,

There is a mystery about rivers that draws us to them, for they rise from hidden places and travel by routes that are not always tomorrow where they might be today. Unlike a lake or sea, a river has a destination and there is something about the certainty with which it travels that makes it very soothing, particularly for those who’ve lost faith with where they’re headed. … A river passing through a landscape catches the world and gives it back redoubled: a shifting, glinting world more mysterious than the one we customarily inhabit. … A river moves through time as well as space. Rivers have shaped our world.

In this sense, I like to look at the historical headwaters—the stories before the stories, the streams that feed the more famous rivers. To learn the history of our staff members, to study and share the history of our community. To make known that the Deli is in the historical Black neighborhood of Ann Arbor, and that Ann Arbor was once a stop on the Underground Railroad. To learn about events like Juneteenth that are only now finally getting the recognition they deserve. I want to honor that the land we live on was integral to the life of the Ojibwe people long before Europeans or African Americans arrived in what is now Ann Arbor, and to make it come alive by selling and serving wild rice, which still grows in the rivers and lakes of the region. The river, I realize, runs through each of us as well—human beings are over 60 percent water. We are all both influenced by that history, and we in turn impact it as well. With all that in mind, three main learnings come to me from the fluidity of the river as history metaphor:

1. We can go back upstream to tell our historical stories differently than they were previously told. 

In the spirit of Brian McLaren and Gareth Higgins’ great little book The Seventh Story, it’s clear to me now that we can spin the stories of our past in very different ways. The National Council on Public History says:

Historians recognize that individual facts and stories only give us part of the picture. Drawing on their existing knowledge of a time period and on previous scholarship about it, they continually reevaluate the facts and weigh them in relation to other kinds of information, questions and sources. … Just as with any important shared body of knowledge, then, history is always undergoing reexamination and reconsideration.

We can go back to rewrite what we have long held to be true. To wit, from a mainstream Western view from my childhood, the Europeans who arrived in the Americas were “brave explorers.” When I look now from the lens of the lives of Native peoples, I start to see the English, French, and Spanish invaders as little different than the Russian troops attacking innocent Ukrainian civilians. 

2. We have a chance to change the history that hasn’t yet happened

This is what I write about in the just-published “The Story of Visioning: Four Visions, Forty Years, and a Positive Look to the Future.” Writing a vision is telling the story we want to happen—the history of the future before it happens. Done well, what we write will inspire us, and those around us, to travel far down our historical river together. 

Individuals can change the course of history. Writing about Samella Lewis, the amazing African American artist who passed away a few weeks ago at the age of 99, Keasha Dumas Heath said, “She envisioned opportunities that did not yet exist for Black artists. And then she created them.” Small actions and events in the lives of individuals later turn out to have significantly altered the history that unfolded. Eighty years ago this week, Anne Frank got a diary for her birthday. A ZingTrain attendee shared how, twenty-something years ago, Rodger Bowser, then a cook, now a co-managing partner at the Deli, invited her to help him pick asparagus one day at a local farm: “It changed my whole idea of food.” She went on to study and manage food systems for a living. 

3. Damaged rivers—and history—can be restored

Here in Washtenaw County, the Healing Our Waters coalition says, “Restoring habitat and removing dams along the Huron River has restored its ecological health.” We can do the same with history. Hierarchy, exclusion, and consolidation of wealth can slowly be turned back into equity, dignity, and collective health. As Ohio State professor and co-founder of the exceptional “Teaching Hard History” podcast, Hasan Kwame Jones, says, “Slavery is hard history, it is hard to comprehend the inhumanity that defined it.” By embracing the painful realities of our collective past, we can better move forward together in a more positive shared future.

We have a lot more influence on how the river of history—past, present, and future—flows than I would have thought many years ago. We work to regularly remind everyone here at Zingerman’s, “You really can make a difference.” In the spirit of all this, my friend Pavel Hrica and the folks at Cesta Von are working to overcome the stigma that’s been attached to Roma people for so many centuries; and in the process, they impact the present reality of people’s lives here in 2022 and turn the river of history towards a more positive, dignity-based, future. Pavel wrote me this past weekend:

Maybe, I can share a nice story about one of Ukrainian refugees with you. She is about 30 years old. Like thousands of others, she came to Bratislava at the beginning of the war with her little son and mother. We helped them with accommodation, documents, and some connections. She is an actress in Ukraine and played there in their city theater. She and her mother like the work of Ingmar Bergman. So my wife and I took them to the theater to see a play about him. It was a life experience for them. I managed to find her work in the Bratislava theater, where she helps with props. She is learning Slovak quickly. She got to know the actors and the management of the theater. She received an offer and will play in one play. I'm so happy about that. But for me, real success will only be when these children grow up, not in poverty, mud, and exclusion, but able to live a more dignified life than their parents.

In the spirit of sunsets and sad, but inspiring, music that I wrote about last week, Nick Drake’s “Riverman” seemed a good way to close. In this context, the riverman (or river-person) becomes the historian in action: 

Going to see the river man
Going to tell him all I can

If he tells me all he knows
About the way his river flows

If you prefer soil to water
P.S. If you want to celebrate Juneteenth in the community, the annual Washtenaw County Juneteenth Celebration is coming up Sunday.
two hanging cured meats in front of a white tile wall

Red Wattle Country Ham from Allan Benton

A special once-in-a-long-while opportunity to taste some amazing traditionally-cured pork

Enjoy eating Prosciutto di Parma? Appreciate the amazing old-school country hams of Appalachia? Or maybe you just love great food and want to take advantage of what is probably a once-in-a-lifetime chance to taste something really special. For any or all of those reasons, come by the Deli starting tomorrow and ask for a taste. Make sure to take a few minutes to swing by soon and score a few slices of this very limited edition country ham from Eastern Tennessee.

I wrote a lot about Allan Benton in Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon. He’s on my mind this week, though, because Connor Valone who works—with wit, wisdom, and a wonderful sense of culinary history—behind the meat and cheese counter at the Deli reached out to tell me about this amazing ham he was about to cut into:

I wanted to let you know about a super special ham I got my hands on at the Deli that I'm preparing to unleash unto the world next week. Back in late February, [long-time Specialty Foods manager] Sean Hartwig and I traversed down to the Ham Belt, visiting some of our friends at Smoking Goose in Indianapolis, the affable folks at Broadbent and Newsom's in Western Kentucky, across Tennessee to Allan Benton, and finally rounding out our trip with a barn-stay with the Mattingly's at Kenny's Farmhouse Cheese.

This route, for those who don’t know it, is a bit of a holy road for American artisan food fans. You can try all those great products across the ZCoB pretty much every day. Nancy Newsom’s 18-month-old Kentucky country ham is on the Roadhouse menu this week as an appetizer with the great local asparagus from the Goetz family. And Kenny’s cheeses are at the Deli, Cream Top Shop, and on the Roadhouse cheese list. With that bit of context, I’ll let Connor continue: 

Deep within the yellowed walls of Benton's aging rooms I happened upon a few racks of heritage hams that Allan himself had sourced and cured. Heritage breeds have been extremely difficult to obtain since the onset of the pandemic, so I felt like I'd stumbled upon a goldmine at Benton's once I saw those red and black hairs on some seriously rustically trimmed legs. I eventually mustered the courage to ask Allan if I could purchase one of the Red Wattle legs for the Deli, which he coyly but generously acquiesced, so long as I didn't come hollering for another "secret ham" or continue to ask for his raw product source!

Weighing in at an impressive 23 pounds and change, the ham has a long, stocky leg, and is hoof-on, still showing off many of the signature burgundy hairs clinging to the skin- it's a beauty for those with eyes to behold it. Allan trimmed, rubbed, and hung the ham just before the holiday season in 2020, making this ham about a year and a half old!

Swing by and snag a few slices while we still have it. Cut thin, as Connor and his Deli counter colleagues can do, a quarter-pound goes a long way. It’s not on the Mail Order site, but we can surely ship you some slices—email us at

If cured pork catches your culinary fancy, you want to learn more about the subject, and eat some terrifically tasty-cured pork, the Deli crew are putting on a special Bacon 101 class on Saturday, June 18. You’ll get a taste of this rare and amazing new ham along with a host of other full-flavored cured pork finds.

Snag your slices
a loaf of peppered bacon farm bread with three slices cut and a partial view of bacon in a cast iron skillet

Peppered Bacon Farm Bread from the Bakehouse

Special bake this Friday and Saturday

While I’m on the subject of pork, if you’ve had Peppered Bacon Farm bread before, you already know how excellent it is. If you haven’t had it, well, there’s a first time for everything, right? The base, as you can tell from the name, is our very popular Farm Bread (naturally leavened, organic flour, with an 18-hour rise time), boosted with a healthy dose of Nueske’s applewood-smoked bacon and a good bit of freshly ground black pepper from Épices de Cru. Of the 50 or so special bakes we do at the Bakehouse over the course of a year, this one is our most popular!

Take a loaf, rip off a chunk, and eat it. If you buy one late in the day, right after it’s emerged from the oven, you may not make it home without eating half (or a whole) loaf, the smell is so good! If you’re eating it later, simply stick it in the oven (as is—not wrapped) for about 20 minutes at 350°F to get the crust nice and crisp and fill your whole house with some seriously world-class aromas. You might feel like you’re at Camp Bacon just from the smell.

Beyond that? Make a fried egg sandwich out of it—while asparagus is still in season, you could use it to make one of those tasty Honest Abe sandwiches that I wrote about a few weeks ago. It’s particularly good with egg salad. If you have any left (most people don’t), you can turn into grated bread crumbs that you can sprinkle over pastas, roasted vegetables, or salads. Use it for a grilled cheese with fresh goat cheese from the Creamery. Make toast and spread it with bacon-fat mayonnaise (recipe in Zingerman’s Guide to Better Bacon) for a sandwich made from the Pit-Smoked Chicken you can get from the Roadhouse. If bacon, peanut butter, and banana sandwiches (á la Elvis) are your thing, then it would make total sense to spread some peanut butter on it. Or maybe even better still, some amazing almond butter from Georgia! It makes really good croutons as well. Toast, spread with mayo, add lettuce and tomato and tin of those Nuri sardines. The Peppered Bacon Farm bread also makes delicious French toast—sort of like getting your slices of bacon and the French toast all rolled into one. If you want something really special, toast thin slices of it, and then lay on some of that great Red Wattle ham Connor procured for us! 

Buy some Peppered Bacon Farm Bread this weekend, June 17 and 18, at the Bakehouse, the Deli, the Roadhouse, or ship six or eight loaves to yourself or a loved one (Father’s Day deliciousness? The perfect bread for a bacon-lover’s birthday?) from Mail Order.

Ship a loaf to a loved one
P.S. Since this is Pride Month, the Bakehouse is making some lovely—and terrifically tasty—Rainbow Cupcakes. Chocolate cupcakes topped with a colorful rainbow of Swiss buttercream. The Bakehouse and Deli will be making donations to the Jim Toy Community Center in support of their work in the community. Swing by the Next Door Café and the Bakeshop and buy a bunch!

68% Zamora, Amazonia, Dark Chocolate Nibble Bar

A collaboration with chocolate-loving scientist
Zeke Emmanuel

I feel very fortunate for many reasons. One of them is that I live every day in a Zingerman’s world in which really good, traditionally-made, full-flavored food, thanks to the hard work of so many caring people in our immediate and greater ecosystems, is our daily fare. I never take it for granted that it is a rare and special opportunity to eat well every day. With that very high bar in place, still, every once in a while, something comes along that truly grabs my attention. I sit up all the straighter still when I know that the item at issue is only here for a short time, in very limited quantities. The Red Wattle ham from Allan Benton is a beautiful example. This amazing, newly-arrived chocolate bar is another—once it’s gone, it will really be gone. While it’s here though, it’s fantastic. 

I’ve shared bits and pieces of Shawn Askinosie’s story many times in the books and pamphlets I’ve written, and he and his daughter Lawren have told it lovingly in their book, Meaningful Work. When Shawn started Askinosie Chocolate back in 2007, the company was one of fewer than five bean-to-bar chocolate makers in the county. In the context of what I wrote about history, I see now that Shawn has been a part of, in essence, altering the river of cacao history, bringing together worlds that 50 years ago would barely have been connected in conversation. The story, instead, would have featured artisans in Paris, Brussels, or Turin, tales of superstar chocolatiers, in which the work of the men and women who grew, harvested, and cured the cacao would barely even have been mentioned. Because of a handful of folks like Shawn, the history of chocolate—both what we can eat today, what will come in the future, and how we perceive the past, has been made far more dignified. What was once wholly integrated into the industrial model has shifted into a more dignity-based story in which the role of the people who do the work to grow the cacao is acknowledged as essential. Through Shawn’s positive belief in people, commitment to helping everyone involved, and active efforts to make a more equitable cacao community, the world has been made better. The river that runs through this world of craft cacao is now cleaner, clearer, healthier, and headed for a far more positive future than hardly anyone would have imagined back when we opened the Deli in 1982.

Every chocolate Shawn has ever sent me over the years has been amazing. This one is no exception—it is a cut above and beyond. It’s the third round of cacao collaboration that Shawn has done with his friend Zeke Emmanuel. Zeke’s formal role for a number of years now has been as the Chairman of the Department of Medical Ethics and Health Policy at the University of Pennsylvania, but he’s been in the news a good bit in the last few years as an epidemiological expert trying to work on effective responses to the pandemic. Here’s what Shawn had to say: 

This started because Zeke was a longtime fan of our chocolate (he’s a huge chocolate aficionado), then he became a big fan of our business model. I traveled to Washington DC this past spring to work with Zeke on final flavor profiles for this project. Throughout the last year, we sent him a variety of beans and roasting profiles for him to sample and give feedback. It’s made from Criollo beans, which are considered the rarest and finest cacao. Ours is sourced directly from a single farm in Ecuador in the Amazon rainforest. The beans were lightly hand-roasted to perfection and mixed with ONLY organic cane sugar (along with house-pressed cocoa butter)—topped with Criollo nibs, it tells the entire production story in one bite. Zeke is widely considered a chocolate expert and has been a Good Food Award judge. We made a micro-batch and will not reproduce. Once these bars are sold out, they’re gone.

I love having the nibs from the cacao sprinkled liberally across the back of the bar this way. It makes for this amazing textural and flavor contrast that comes together beautifully as you eat it. You get the not-sweet, chewiness of the nibs. You get the creamy, complex, delicate chocolate-fruit of the rest of the finely conched and carefully crafted bar. The finish is super long and very lovely, with high notes embroidering the edges. It’s elegantly nutty, with a touch of butterscotch. In the French tradition, it’s a beautiful pairing eaten with a bit of Bakehouse baguette!

Grab a bar while you can at the Candy Store
hands holding a pint of Maize & Blueberry Gelato

A Quartet of Tasty New Cold Treats from the Creamery

SuperZingerman, Cheesecake, Maize & Blueberry Gelati, and Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet!

It’s not every week that your local gelato maker (if you have one) rolls out four really tasty new varieties! Not only that, but all of the Creamery’s gelati (though not the sorbetti) were made creamier than ever last month by the addition of whole eggs.

SuperZingerman Gelato – Growing up in Chicago, I never heard of “Superman” ice cream. In the wonderful nature of regional specialties, had my family driven five hours east to Detroit, we could have discovered it. Around here, I’ve learned in the last months, people are passionate about it. Named for the colors of Superman—blue, red, and yellow—culinary historians say it likely started in the 1920s, when Prohibition meant that Stroh’s had to shift from brewing beer to making other products, including ice cream. Here it’s made with vanilla, raspberry, and lemon. Swing by the Cream Top Shop and find out what all the sweet fuss is about. 

Cheesecake Gelato – This is one of those wonderful cross-ZCoB collaborations that we love. The handmade artisan Cream Cheese—made pretty much as it would have been back when the Stroh family was struggling to come up with that first recipe for Superman ice cream—is one of the key ingredients in the Bakehouse’s AmaZing Cheesecake. Now the Creamery has returned the favor, replicating the fine flavor of the cheesecake in the form of this new gelato by mixing the cream cheese in along with the Bakehouse handmade Graham Crackers

Strawberry Lemonade Sorbet – Mrs. E.E. Kellogg’s book, Science in the Kitchen, published in 1892, included a recipe for Strawberry Lemonade. (Kellogg was a suffragist and well-known spouse of John Harvey Kellogg.) Lemonade itself had been consumed for many centuries in the Middle East and Asia and was brought to the Americas by Europeans, a natural addition. One-hundred-thirty years later, you can now get the Strawberry-Lemonade combo in the form of this wonderful sorbet! Refreshing, light, and, as Mrs. Kellogg would have appreciated, ideal for anyone eating a vegan diet.

Maize & Blueberry Gelato - Two years after Mrs. Kellogg’s book came out, her husband’s company, Kellogg’s, introduced what we now know as Corn Flakes®. In the spirit of the honest and inevitable blending of truths that the river of history makes easier to manage in my mind, the origin story was argued about for years. Ella Eaton, John Harvey, and his younger brother Will all claimed credit. This new gelato combines what lovers of Corn Flakes (and fans of Christina Tosi’s Cereal Milk™) will know well—the flavor of the milk left in the bowl when the actual cereal is almost gone with the brightness of blueberries! A bit of breakfast turned into a delicious dessert.

Pick your pint

Other Things on My Mind


Like Monika Vaicenavičienė, Emma Goldman and my grandmother, poet Czeslaw Miłosz was born in Lithuania, before moving to Poland and, later in life, the U.S. Milosz once wrote, “When it hurts we return to the banks of certain rivers.” I’ve just recently stumbled on the magical recordings of Polish musician Karolina Cicha. Cicha and her colleague Bart Palyga have come together to record the traditional tunes from their home in the northeast corner of Poland. Płyta tatarska (“Tatar Album”), is the traditional music of the Tatar people. Yiddishland is the music of the Jewish community of the region which was so important before the Holocaust. 9 Languages has songs sung in Polish, Belorussian, Ukrainian, Russian, Lithuanian, Tatar, Romani, and a little bit of Esperanto—all of which were once widely spoken in the region. All are amazing!


Long-time Zingerman’s customer Michelle Segar has a new book out! I quoted Michelle’s first book (much of which was written working at the Deli's Next Door Café) No Sweat, in Part 4, The Power of Beliefs in Business. Her new work, The Joy Choice, is a much deeper dive into the positive power of seeking joy in our lives that I wrote about last winter. Check it out!!

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