Fernando Ramirez fries green plantains in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. The bananalike fruit are peeled, cut up, and fried, then flattened and fried again till crisp. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
A vendor outside Kigali, Rwanda, offers hard-boiled eggs for
sale. Mary Knox Merrill/Staff/File
Longtime New York City hot dog vendor Billy Douvris once told
the Monitor, “Everyone thinks I’m a millionaire – which is a problem.”
Delicacy Deep-fried sea horses are ready for diners at the Donghuamen
Night Market in Beijing. Andy Nelson/TCSM/File
A Panama City vendor of a fruit-flavored shaved-ice
concoction called a raspado tops one with condensed milk for a customer.
Mary Knox Merrill/Staff
Schoolgirls enjoy an after-school ice cream treat on
Takeshita Street in the fashionable Harajuku district of Tokyo. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Arnold’s outdoor drive-in restaurant in Decatur, Ind., still
features waitresses on roller skates. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
Mulkhan Singh prepares and sells jalebis in Delhi, India. Four
generations of Singhs have sold the doughnutlike pastries, which are fried
and then soaked in honey. Melanie Stetson Freeman/Staff/File
A customer in Athens purchases nuts at an outdoor market.
Street vendors in Delhi, India, prepare balls of dough that
will be baked in a traditional, charcoal-fired clay oven (right) called a
'tandoor.' The resulting 'naan' bread is being lifted from the mouth of the
oven. Mary Knox Merrill/Staff/File
Steered away from kids' fare as a child, he now demands only the best at every meal.
Photo illustration: Matthew Mead/AP
When my son Alex was 6, I was tickled to read his "about the author" blurb in his first-grade book. "My favorite foods are shrimp scampi and pesto pasta," he had written. As the food editor for an international daily newspaper, I felt vindicated. All those efforts to steer him away from typical kid foods, to cultivate an adventurous palate on a single mom's budget, were starting to pay off.