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“World Cafe” window display makes debut

SOLON– The display window at the Solon Public Library has a new exhibit – “World Café”– to celebrate the foods of the world. The display takes us on a journey to sample international flavors and is part of the summer reading program “One World, Many Stories.”
The wind rustles the bamboo, the red lanterns are lighted, and we are in the Far East, with exotic rice dishes, sushi, fortune cookies and a hot cup of fragrant tea. We follow the ancient Silk Road with the camel caravans and their cargo of precious spices, eat figs in the land of the Pharaohs, and wander the colorful markets and souks of the Middle East, where the legumes and lentils were the earliest of the cultivated crops and sustained ancient civilizations.
The harsh cry of a peacock tells us we are in India– land of curry, yellow saffron, ginger, and a white tiger. Africa is next, as a crocodile guards diamonds in a sandy river bottom, and we find coffee and chocolate and a thundering herd of zebra.
The fragrance of orchids and a flash of brilliant color from a flock of parrots tell us we are in the tropics, where we wade in clear blue water and eat mangos, kiwi, and pineapple.
We sit in an old olive grove in Crete, listening to the cicadas and watching Homer’s “wine-dark sea.” The smell of lavender becomes strong as we arrive in Provence, in the South of France, where we see the intense color and landscape that inspired Vincent Van Gogh. Then we’re off to a café in Paris, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, as we lunch on crusty bread and hard cheese, with a strong cup of dark coffee and perhaps a French pastry.
On to Italy and the fountains of Rome. It is a warm summer night at a taverna in Trastevere, and we eat pizza cooked in a stone oven, lasagna, and spaghetti, with cannollis and sweet Italian pastry for dessert.
The air turns hot and dry– we are in Mexico and Central America– where an armadillo ambles across the dusty road as a jaguar roars in the thicket. We eat tamales, hot peppers and tacos, and wash them down with a cold bottle of Mexican soda pop. We see maize, the crop of the Aztecs, and smell the piñon fires.
Back home to the USA– just in time for baseball, an ice cream cone, and a Fourth of July barbecue with corn on the cob, hamburgers, and sour cherry pie.
Don’t worry about the bill– the exhibit has money from all over the world scattered about the display, to pay for our feast at the world café.
The library has placed its extensive collection of world cookbooks on the table beside the exhibit. The display will run through July 23.
Bon appetit!