Last summer, a reader asked where she could find cardone (car-doan-ee). But this vegetable becomes available during the winter. Although it resembles overgrown celery, it cannot be eaten raw. Cardone is actually a cousin of the globe artichoke and is often served deep fried as part of a traditional Italian Christmas dinner. Once the outer stings of the stalk are removed, the cardone is cut into four-inch pieces. Then these are boiled in salted water until soft. Once cooled, the cardone is dredged in flour with salt and pepper, dipped in beaten egg yolks, and fried in olive oil. Cardone is currently available at many area Harris Teeter stores.
Buñuelo is a popular Latino snack which is also a tradition at Christmas, Hanukkah, and Ramadan in many countries. Buñuelos are fried, often round, wheat-based yeast dough, sometimes flavored with anise and covered with powdered sugar, cinnamon and sugar, or piloncillo, hot sugar syrup. Mexican buñuelos are flatter and are available during the holidays at Odalys Bakery (various locations) for 75 cents each. In Colombia, however, buñuelos are savory and filled with white curd cheese. The latter are made fresh daily at Delicias Colombianas, 212 N. Polk St., Pineville. They sell for $1 apiece.
Jan. 6 is Three Kings Day, a holiday celebrated in Mexico with the Rosca de Reyes, a sweet bread wreath filled with candied fruit.
These are available at Las Delicias, 4405 Central Ave., 704-568-2120. English is spoken here. Rosca de Reyes are available in three sizes at costs of $12 (for 10 people), $18 and $29 ("for a large party").
Looking for a food you can't find? Or do you know of other food items unique to the Q.C.? Whether it's regional foods or international, talk to me: email@example.com or 704-522-8334, extension 136.