Ari's Top 5

The best test is: do those served grow as persons: do they, while being served, become healthier, wiser, freer, more autonomous, more likely themselves to become servants? And, what is the effect on the least privileged in society; will they benefit, or, at least, not be further deprived?
—Robert Greenleaf


Another Look at Servant Leadership

A timeless philosophy that would be of great help here in the 21st century

One of the most common themes of the last six months is how different things are going to be after the pandemic. I keep hearing how we need new thinking to get out of the current situation. But the interesting thing to me is that there’s more than enough insightful old thinking already out there to help all of us move forward to more positive places.

In 1970, at the age of 65, Robert Greenleaf published the first of many pieces on what he had started to call “Servant Leadership.” In 1977 his full book, Servant Leadership was put into print. A decade or so later, Paul Saginaw read it. Shortly thereafter he passed it on to me to do the same. While the formal ideas and language around Servant Leadership were new to us, what we read was actually aligned with what he and I had already been quietly—almost unconsciously—thinking. Greenleaf gave us the words with which we could much more effectively put our partially formed thoughts into action. Our philosophy at Zingerman’s has evolved a lot since those early days, but Servant Leadership continues to be one of the centerpieces. Today, Greenleaf’s approach remains an uncommon—and yet, highly effective—way to work. If, and when, we put it to action, it has the power to alter almost everything that happens, in our organizations and our communities.

Here’s what I’ve been thinking of late. If Greenleaf’s idea of Servant Leadership was the norm, not the exception, in business and in our communities, the world would be a whole lot different place—kinder, more collaborative, and more effective. Greenleaf once said, “a good society would be dominated by the servant [leadership] idea.” I agree. If you’re drawn to what we do here at Zingerman’s; if you’re looking to build a more caring and coherent team at work; if you believe generosity and compassion can coexist with clear expectations and gentle but firm pressure to perform for the sake of the greater good, then Servant Leadership is one of the tools you might explore.

It’s eight or nine years ago now that we put Secret #23 in Part 2 of the Guide to Good Leading into print. It’s my look at Servant Leadership and the way we use it here at Zingerman’s, along with the six elements of Servant Leadership to which we hold ourselves accountable here. Here’s a small bit of what I wrote in the essay:

The phrase “Servant Leadership” may sound like one of those nice throw-aways they always write into the opening section of employee manuals. But please don’t let any perception of passivity fool you—Servant Leadership is very strong stuff. If you really live it, Servant Leadership changes everything. . . . Servant Leadership is, quite simply, one of the easiest ways I know to help make our organization more effective, and the world a better place in the process. Best of all, it’s free. You can make an enormous impact without investing anything other than your own intellectual and emotional energy.

The basic belief of Servant Leadership is that our job as leaders is—first and foremost—to serve our organization. To paraphrase John Kennedy’s magnificent, 1961 inaugural speech, “Ask not what your organization can do for you. Ask what you can do for your organization.” To those who already think that way, this statement might sound obvious, or even inevitable, but in my experience, it’s actually neither. In fact, in most traditional organizations the service flows in the other direction—the rest of the organization exists primarily to serve the needs of its leaders. In a servant-led world, by contrast, we do the opposite—here, we serve the organization. Instead of just being about the boss, Servant Leadership is about success for all involved.
Knowing me as many of you do, you might imagine that Robert Greenleaf was an active part of a Russian emigrant anarchist collaborative on the East Coast. But he was neither an immigrant, nor part of any New York intelligentsia. To the contrary, Greenleaf grew up in rural America. The man who developed the idea of Servant Leadership was born in the small Indiana town of Terre Haute in 1904, on the 14th of July, and he worked all of his formal, 38-year-long career with the rather mainstream AT&T. He was quite religious and most photos of him show him in offices or classrooms wearing a suit and tie. No protest signs, no sit ins, no arrests. And yet, mainstream as he might have seemed to a casual observer, Greenleaf was anything but a status-quo thinker. One AT&T president described him as the company’s “kept revolutionary.” I’m pretty sure Greenleaf wouldn’t have ever considered himself an anarchist, but there are huge overlaps with what he wrote about and what I would lay down as a core set of beliefs for myself. Over half a century ago, Greenleaf was concerned about the quality of life for people working in modern companies. He observed over and over again that there was “a decrease in creative and critical thinking and a separation of work and self by the worker.” It’s very much what later struck me as the “Energy Crisis in the Workplace” (Secret #19, in Part 2). He imagined Servant Leadership as a way to reverse that energy drain. It was intended to help both the organizations that used it and the people who were part of them. "I believe that people grow in these moral, perceptive, creative, and decisive qualities as they achieve the freedom to become themselves.” He was right. Servant Leadership has been shown over time to increase engagement, improve emotional health, and long term economics all at the same time.

Humility, a topic that is close to my heart right now, was both an integral element of Robert Greenleaf’s way of being in the world, and also of the philosophy he put forward to make the world a better place. I wrote in the new pamphlet, “Humility: A Humble, Anarchistic, Inquiry,” about 16 different methods in which we convey the value of humility and systemically reinforce it. One of them is Servant Leadership. Humility is a prerequisite for truly living Servant Leadership in meaningful ways. For himself, Greenleaf said, very humbly, “I’m just doing my part in my small way to help that necessary cultural change to happen.”

Speaking of doing his part, James Perry ran for Mayor of New Orleans on a progressive platform that was based on Servant Leadership. Perry shared,
Among the most important lessons I’ve learned from Dr. King is the example of servant leadership. A servant leader is one who offers an inclusive vision; listens carefully to others; persuades through reason; and heals divisions while building community. Martin Luther King, Jr. is an example of a servant leader. His life shows the extraordinary power of servant leadership to radically transform a nation. Our communities and our country need servant leadership more than ever. Deepening economic woes threaten the American dream for far too many working people. Racial divisions are embarrassingly persistent in too many aspects of our economic and social lives. Political despair is battering the uniquely American optimism that has made us a great nation. There are precious few servant leaders in our current political environment. Many elected officials are more interested in personal power, individual legacy, and financial gain than in the sacrifice and commitment that servant leadership requires.
In case you thought I pulled that out of yesterday’s paper, Mr. Perry wrote his piece ten years ago. It still stands now. Perry clearly makes the point that Servant Leadership is not new. And yet it’s anything but the norm. But it is life altering. James Autry, whose books had a big influence on me early on, said of Servant Leadership,
Once you recognize it and begin to work on it, you have to stop throughout the day and examine what your actions are. In order to be able to admit mistakes and to learn from others, no matter what their status . . . That's a huge leap for a lot of people. It seems simple to say it, doesn't it? But it's difficult for us to fathom how challenging that is for some people who act out of ego. Because you are saying, “Put my ego in the drawer and I'm going to ask how you think it should be done; you, who are seventeen layers down in the hierarchy from me.”
I’ve been immersed (though I still fall short regularly) with Servant Leadership for so long that I forget there’s any other way to lead. My mistake. Reading through the New York Times over the weekend I came across a couple of quotes from upper-level leaders along the lines of “Bosses shouldn’t ever carry their own bags. It makes them look too ordinary,” and “I’m not worrying about the community or the employees. My responsibility is really only to the shareholders.” Seriously? I guess former Senator Alan Simpson wasn’t off base when he said, “Those who travel the high road of humility in Washington, D.C., are not bothered by heavy traffic.” While it clearly is not the national norm, I believe that to truly create a meaningfully connected, healthy organization, Servant Leadership must be in place. The idea of it is embedded in #4 on the list of Twelve Natural Laws that’s in Part 1 of the Guide to Good Leading. (If you want to see the list of the Natural Laws, email me and I’ll send them your way. There’s much more in Secret #1.)

So what would happen if we were to make Servant Leadership the norm? What if it was standard procedure to put Servant Leaders in high-level roles in every organization? What if we taught it to ten year-olds so that by the time we were 20, Servant Leadership was so obviously a better way to work that we’d just as soon abandon it as we would drive on the wrong side of the road?

Servant Leadership is very much a different way of thinking. In fact, as I wrote in Secret #23, I believe it’s actually a different language for leadership. And as linguist Edward Sapir smartly observed, different languages lead to different ways of thinking. And without different ways of thinking, we will not, as I said above, get different results. Gretchen Whitmer said a few days ago, “Words matter.” I believe things would be better for all of us if we just made Servant Leader and “leader” into veritable synonyms. Semanticist Alfred Korzybski said succinctly, “Definitions create conditions.” At the Philadelphia Freedom Schools they call college students “Servant Leader interns” and high school students “junior Servant Leaders.” Imagine if you or I had internalized the idea of Servant Leadership by the time we were 22? Imagine if almost everyone had.

Actually, I can answer that directly. This is what Zach Milner, who started at Zingerman’s four or five years ago as a busboy and was just last week promoted to be a manager at the Roadhouse, shared on the subject.
Although it's seen as a promotion, true servant leadership sees it less about being vested with more power to tell others what to do and how to do things, and more about the opportunity to lift others up—their success defines how well you succeed. It isn't done for the fame, money, power, etc. What is the key motivation, above all else, with Servant Leadership? It is that of Love. Genuine love for those you serve. The best examples of Servant Leaders don’t see a hierarchy and decisions to be handed down to those they manage. Rather they see the problems that arise, know they cannot, themselves, possibly know all the answers, and then ask their team honest questions. This line of reasoning falls in line with showing humility—a Servant Leader is a person who strives to be humble whenever possible, as their example will trickle down to the rest of the staff and will become infectious. Servant Leadership is truly the only honest, morally good way to lead others in any setting. It allows all people from all walks of life and positions, from dishwasher to owner, to feel safe and loved enough to speak their minds and truly seek what is best for the whole, not just themselves. This can not only unlocks the potential of every single individual, but makes the group incredibly desirable to want to be a part of, drawing in other people with like-minded passions that will only make the group better over time...
One of the beauties of Servant Leadership is that anyone can do it. And it requires no one to do anything other than us. If we believe it’s the right thing to do, then all we need to do is start doing it. As Peter Block wrote, “We are the cause, not the effect.” What if you aren’t in charge but you like the idea? Just do it anyways. I don’t think anyone needs clearance from corporate headquarters to be kind or to treat everyone with dignity. We don’t need anyone’s permission to write a vision, to give great service to your team, to be ethically grounded in your decision-making, learn, teach, and go to great lengths to say thanks! There are no forms to fill out and no certificates that give you permission to proceed.

The principles and practice of Servant Leadership that Paul and I learned all those years ago from Robert Greenleaf’s writing changed our lives here at Zingerman’s. Clearly, Servant Leadership has done the same for many others—even if still a small minority—around the world. It embeds everything I wrote last week about humility into an effective, grounded style of leadership we can all put into action if we choose.

Robert Greenleaf died 30 years ago, at the age of 86, on Sept. 29, 1990. While his family might not have realized it at the time, he died on Yom Kippur, the Jewish Day of Atonement. Rabbi Nina Cardin writes, “One grand lesson of Rosh Hashanah [and Yom Kippur] is not that we have to be perfect, but that we are, and can continue to be, very good. It is sufficient if we strive to achieve our potential. It is only when we fail to be the fullness of who we are that we are held accountable.” Robert Greenleaf’s life fit that mold well. He set a positive pace for the rest of us, showing that although the mainstream of the business world didn’t yet see it, that there was another, better, way to work. So maybe we could take Yom Kippur each year to remind ourselves of what Greenleaf and others of his ilk shared with us, and recommit to being held accountable in the book of good leadership and good life? If we do that work effectively into the future, we might find that everything really will be different in the post-pandemic future towards which we’re all slowly moving.

P.S. Servant Leadership, along with Stewardship, Energy Management, Anarchism and Humility will be subjects that Maggie Bayless and I will be covering during our autumn Master Class. Seats are limited and the summer session sold out quickly. Get on the VIP list here to gain access to early registration and a special price.

First Flush Darjeeling 2019 from the Jungpana Estate

One of my favorite teas has just arrived in Ann Arbor

As we enter the final quarter of a year that’s clearly been a rather difficult one for everyone, here’s a small thing that’s been brightening my days. Drinking hot cups of the most recent crop of First Flush Darjeeling tea that just arrived last week from India. It’s been decades since I drank First Flush Darjeeling for the first time. There is no other tea, at least for my taste, that comes close to the edgy, exceptional, bright, and engaging flavor it brings.

If you aren’t familiar with Darjeeling, it’s the district in India that’s wedged up between the ancient kingdoms of Sikkim, Nepal, and Bhutan, in the foothills of the Himalayas. The name “Darjeeling” means, “Land of the Thunderbolt.” The town itself faces Mt. Kanchenjunga (which means, "Five Magnificent Snow Treasures"), the third highest mountain in the world at roughly 28,000 feet. By the long standards of Indian history, tea growing in Darjeeling is a relatively recent phenomenon, dating only to the middle of the 19th century. At the time, the town itself was tiny, used pretty much just as a resort and cool weather-escape by the country’s well-to-do classes. The mean temperature of the area overall is only a couple of degrees higher than London, but the region experiences a broad range of microclimates as you move through the seasons and up into the higher altitudes. The mountainous terrain makes planting and picking particularly difficult, adding a lot to the cost of Darjeeling in comparison to tea grown on more level terrain. Using the (all important for quality) Orthodox method that the best Darjeelings like this one use, plucking only the newest two leaves and the bud at the end of each branch. You need to pluck something like 11,000 shoots to make a pound of good tea. (See Zingerman’s Guide to Good Eating for more on the importance of protecting traditional Orthodox picking procedures. It’s a huge thing in the world of tea quality.)

This year the First Flush we chose is from the Jungpana Estate, located in the heart of the Darjeeling district in the northeast of India up near the Himalayas. The first tea was planted at Jungpana in 1899, a few years before Robert Greenleaf was born in Indiana, by a British colonist named Henry Montgomery Lennox. After a few changes of ownership over the years, the Kejriwal family took it over around 1956 and they continue to run it today. They do world-class work—Jungpana has long been known as one of the best gardens in Darjeeling and produces sensational teas. So much so that they’ve been consumed regularly over the years by the Royal Court in London. Jackson Konwinski and Grace Singleton at the Deli selected the Jungpana this year after taste-testing a bunch of different samples of 2019 Darjeelings. (And Kevin Gascoyne, our importer, tasted many dozens to narrow things down for us before anything arrived in Ann Arbor.) They did a great job. The tea is terrific. Topaz colored in the cup, subtly sweet, an elegant sharpness that makes me smile, and the kind of long clean finish I love so much. It’s got a lot of that Muscatel flavor that’s the hallmark of great Darjeelings. A bit of toasted almond or maybe pine nut too.

While Darjeeling’s name recognition has long been high, supply has always been low. All told—top quality and low grade combined—Darjeelings account for less than three percent of the tea grown in India. Of that Darjeeling, only ten percent or so is First Flush, and only about a quarter of that, in turn, can be counted on to be of top quality. Take note that far more Darjeeling tea is sold in the world than tea is grown in Darjeeling (yes, you read that right) so the more you know about the gardens where the tea was grown and picked, the higher the odds you’ve obtained the authentic article. Like olive oil, teas are generally at their most flavorful in the first few months after harvest. So, now’s the time to taste test this fine tea. On top of which, supplies are short. I’ll be drinking the First Flush Darjeeling regularly while we have it in. It won’t do away with all the world’s problems, but it does bring a delicious bit of calm, compelling flavor to brighten my mornings. Brew a pot, pour a cup, take in the aromas, breathe deep, sip slowly, and appreciate the day.

You’ll find the new Jungpana First Flush Darjeeling at the Deli. If you want to have some shipped to you, email and let us know what you’re looking for. 

Order Your Tea From the Deli

Fried Cheese Curds at the Roadhouse

A little of cheese heaven to put on your plate in the middle of the week

We only make these fantastic fried cheese curds once a week, on Wednesdays. Which means that if you’re opening this enews shortly after we send it out, you’ll need to either hop on over to the Roadhouse right now or make a mark in your calendar to come by next week. The other evening, a couple of customers were raving about them—which reminded me that though I can take them for granted, it would be wise for me to remember to write something about them and spread the word. “We’re in heaven” I believe is what they said when I asked how they were doing. I can’t guarantee that fried cheese curds are a direct line to a better afterlife, but they are a really good way to get some comfort and fill a craving for a high-end fried food once a week!

If you haven’t had them before, fried cheese curds are about as basic a building block of Wisconsin eating as you can get. They’re pretty surely what you could call “the national dish of Wisconsin.” Years ago, one of the line cooks at the Roadhouse called them “Wisconsin on a plate.” As one customer said, “What’s not to like? Really good fried cheese.”

In the Dairy State when people talk about eating curds, they’re referring either to freshly-made cheddar curds, or to those same unaged curds that have been deep fried. They’re dipped in a batter made with Pabst Blue Ribbon beer (which won its now famous blue ribbon at the Chicago World's Fair back in 1893), then deep fried and served with that same delicious Green-Chile-Ranch dressing that we put on the Fried Chicken Sandwich. The newsletter Belly du Jour said many years ago, “The only thing tastier than a fresh cheese curd is a fresh, fried cheese curd. State fairs throughout the Midwest serve up these golden bites of heaven all month long, but beware: one taste and you’ll be donning a cheese hat before you know it.” If you want to get a heavenly taste of traditional, regionally-based American food, definitely give ’em a try. 

Roadhouse Pick Up
Roadhouse Reservations

Rigó Jancsi: Hungarian Chocolate Torte from the Bakehouse

A whole lot of history and flavor come together in one beautiful piece of pastry

It’s been a decade or so now since we first started making Rigó Jancsi at the Bakehouse. If you want to enjoy a piece of pastry that culinarily, culturally, and romantically will whoosh you away from your current worries, come in to get some of this terrific late 19th century Hungarian torte!

If you haven't yet tried the Rigó Jancsi, check it out soon. It's a beautiful rectangular torte, covered in a thick coating of dark chocolate ganache, with the name—Rigó Jancsi—written in script across the top. The name, by the way, is pronounced ree-go yon-chee. It's named for a Hungarian-born, Roma violinist who fell in love with an heiress named Clara Ward. Unfortunately, she happened to be married to someone else at the time. She also happened to have been from Michigan—born in 1873, Clara was the daughter of E. B. Ward, who was Michigan's first millionaire. At 17, she married the Belgian Prince de Caraman-Chimay—a shocking act for a 19th century American. Social success aside, Clara clearly wasn't the type to stay put; high spirited and apparently wired for passion and adventure, she chose Rigó and romance over her husband and a more proper life as a well-mannered princess. (She ended up marrying four times in her 48 years.) Ward was quite the world headliner. Total Croatia News wrote, “Countless postcards featured her image, and there's even a legend saying the German emperor Wilhelm II banned her photographs in the German empire as he thought her beauty too provocative.” The "invention" of the cake came shortly thereafter, when a baker designed it in honor of the famous couple. Here you can see the couple, already a number of years after the cake first came out. Born in 1858, Jancsi moved to New York in 1911, where he lived through the Spanish flu pandemic. He died in New York City in 1927.

Reading the story of Clara Ward and Rigó Jancsi over a century later it may sound like just one only moderately interesting historical romance—a bit out of the ordinary but little more than another footnote to mention in the food world. But back when it happened—just a few years before tea was first planted at the Jungpana Garden—their relationship was a big deal! I was thinking about how to convey the full importance of the whole incident when I read George Lang's write up on the subject in his wonderful book, A Taste of Hungary:

On Christmas Day, 1896, all news about wars, catastrophes and such was overshadowed by the romantic elopement of a gypsy violinist and a princess. The gypsy primas (leader), Rigó Jancsi, was born in the poor Gypsy Row of Szekesfehervar, my hometown in Transdanubia, had in 1895 become the sensation of Paris. One day the beautiful, golden-haired Princess Chimay came with the Prince to the elegant restaurant where Rigó Jancsi was playing. The diabolical eyes, good looks and brilliant playing of the young gypsy mesmerized the princess.
If they’d had social media back in the 19th century Rigó Jancsi would surely have been all over it. The story reads like a plot for a Hollywood romance movie: 
. . . the big diamond ring the princess takes off her delicate finger and places on the gypsy's hand; secret meetings; her leaving the prince and two little children and running away with the gypsy fiddler. Their wedding, finally, was documented by a Papal Nuncio and witnessed by the American and English ambassadors. Hungary was saturated with gossip and excited speculations. Poets, short-story writers, journalists and old ladies' tongues were working overtime. One of the pastry chefs created a cake and named it Rigó Jancsi, and another created a torte under the same name.
While the story of Rigó Jancsi is told fairly regularly, the history of the Roma people is not. For me though, it’s a fascinating one. The Roma likely originated in northwest India—linguists and historians have traced their treks across Asia to Europe by tracking the layers of languages that are today blended in modern day Roma dialects. They arrived first in Europe in about the 6th century and remain the largest ethnic minority on the Continent. (They’re the only ethnic group that never tied itself to a geographical homeland.) Over the centuries, the Roma have been universally persecuted in Europe, in much the same way as were Jews. Paradoxically, the word Roma means “a person,” but they were rarely treated as such. While the story of Rigó Jancsi is romantic and swirls around royalty, much Roma history in Europe is tragic. Almost every indignity, legal bias, violence, and prejudice you’ve heard of elsewhere has been done to the Roma. Roma people were treated as animals, demeaned for their dark skin, made victims of violence, restricted in where they could stay and often killed in acts of casual but intentional violence. In Romania in the early 19th century there were over half a million Roma slaves. Emancipation came in 1855 and 56 and full rights were given in 1864. As has been true here in the U.S., the formal end of slavery never created actual socio-economic or cultural equity.

Being a musician was one of the rare ways “into” mainstream society for a Roma in that era. To put the Jancsi-Ward relationship in context, try to imagine maybe the niece of the Tsar running away and marrying a Jew in Russia of the same period. Someone from the most despised group in “good society” marrying one of the elite members of the mainstream was shocking news I’m sure.

On a lighter note, the cake itself is as good as the story. Seriously, good romance in every bite. Two layers of really tender, delicate chocolate sponge cake, sandwiched around a modest layer of chocolate rum whipped cream, brushed with apricot preserves, and then, finally, finished with a thick dark chocolate ganache. Rigó Jancsi, I realized upon further reflection, is more appropriately (given the story) like half a dozen violinists, all playing beautifully together, but each with its own slight spin on the main (chocolate) theme. There's both an elegance, and an edge, to it all that really resonates, without hitting you over the head—all the layers swirl, you swoon. Serve it at room temperature with a cup of the really terrific Tanzanian peaberry coffee. Taken with the history of the Roma people, the romance of Clara Ward and Rigó Jancsi in mind, every bite will bring delicious nuance and thought provoking complexity.

P.S. Want to make Rigó Jancsi at home? The recipe is in the Zingerman's Bakehouse cookbook!

P.P.S. Thinking past the pandemic? Zingerman’s Food Tours will happily take you to Hungary in 2021!
Get Your Tortas at the Bakehouse
Hungarian Baking Virtual Class

Watermelon, Feta, and Arugula Salad

A lovely legacy for autumn from my friend Daphne Zepos

This great salad is on my mind right now because both watermelons and arugula are at their best on the autumn Farmer’s market. My farmer-significant-other, who grows some exceptionally great arugula herself, was reminding me the other evening that this cooler weather is often when arugula is at its peppery best. And, the watermelons in the early autumn are cool and refreshing. The creamy tang of feta is a near perfect counterpoint. It’s a terrific trio of ingredients. Each brings its own personality; all three play well together; all three are amazing on their own and each, in the spirit of Servant Leadership, makes the others better for its presence. The fresh, floral fruitiness of the melon, the peppery green grassiness of the arugula, and the creamy tang of the cheese demonstrate why diversity is such a good thing!

Backing up probably 20 years, I learned this special salad from my good friend Daphne Zepos. Daphne died on the 3rd of July, 2012. The salad is one of the many gifts she gave me that still brings joy on a regular basis. (For much more on Daphne, see the Epilogue in Part 3. If you’re dealing with loss, as I was after Daphne died, it might be of help.) Daphne’s poetic description of the salad will probably give you as good a sense of who she was as anything else I can tell you. Here’s what she sent me when I asked her ten years or so ago to send me her favorite salad:

The salad is like a pyrotechnic. 

Watermelon and sheep feta sitting on a few leaves of mature peppery arugula.

My sister’s green olive oil from the island of Zakinthos.

Cracked black pepper.

4 black olives. They are all floating in the air. No plate. No fork.

If you’re feeling creative and inspired, run, free-form, with Daphne’s deliciously poetic instructions. With your creativity connecting with hers, I’m confident you’ll come up with something spectacular. It’s easy to put together. Fresh cubes of watermelon, crumbled up feta, fresh leaves of arugula along with strips of roasted red pepper and a few walnuts, and a few black olives if you like. Dress with olive oil, a sprinkle of sea salt, and a good bit of freshly ground black pepper. Fresh mint leaves or fresh (not dried!) basil leaves are a lovely addition as well. Toss and serve. It looks lovely and tastes terrific.

If you’d like a more specific set of instructions, email me and I’ll send the detailed recipe your way. In the spirit of both Rigó Jancsi and Daphne, French writer Edmond de Goncourt (who would have been Rigó Jancsi’s contemporary in the arts), wrote, “A poet is a [woman] who puts up a ladder to a star and climbs it while playing a violin.” Daphne, for sure, made that quote come alive in her too few years on the planet. And, in the context of this piece, this superfine fall salad is a bit of lovely poetry on the plate. 

Other Things on My Mind

The Roma people, their culture, and history have long held high interest for me. Here are three of my favorite sources:

Book: Bury Me Standing

Film: Time of the Gypsies

Music: "Marmaros"
Old Jewish music from Transylvania, played relatively recently by elderly Roma musicians who had performed with the Jewish tunes in the villages before WWII and survived the war. I love the music and the story.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this enews and you know someone else who might like it, please pass it along. Have questions about Zingerman’s? Write us at
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