Celebrated chef José Andrés appeared on NPR’s “Talk of the Nation” Wednesday (read the transcript here) to plug his new pop-up restaurant, America Eats Tavern, located in the former Cafe Atlantico space in Penn Quarter. Proceeds from the pop-up benefit the National Archives and its exhibit, “What’s Cooking, Uncle Sam?” In the interview, Andrés discusses the various old-fashioned American recipes on the menu and their histories and also dishes up his plan to reintroduce Americans to a particular oft-forgotten fruit.
ANDRES: …. [the Archives] want to make sure that no dish, no ingredient, no person is forgotten like paw-paws. How that the most amazing American fruit, 95 percent of America, doesn’t know about?
[HOST NEAL] CONAN: Paw-paws.
ANDRES: We are bringing paw-paws. We have reference of Lewis and Clark crossing to the West, eating paw-paws. We have reference of early 1500s, Hernando De Soto, one of the first Europeans to come to Florida. I found a peace treaty between United States of America, 1826, and the Indian tribes of Illinois talking about who was going to keep the paw-paw groves. In September, you’re going to come to America Eats Tavern and you’re going to find paw-paws from Ohio, form[sic] Maryland, from Virginia.
Photo courtesy of the U.S. Department of Agriculture