I always love to read those "man-on-the-street" columns in my local newspaper. It seems that frivolous questions rather than weighty ones inspire far livelier and intriguing responses. In the same spirit, I collar friends, relatives, and total strangers to ask them inconsequential questions on culinary matters.

Q: What food is your idea of the essence of spring?

Go To Word of Mouth Archive

Robin: Fava beans. I'm sorry to sound so yuppie. I know they're really trendy right now. I first saw fava beans on a cooking show so I went out and got some at the farmers' market. I brought them home, ate them and fell in love. My favorite way to eat them is raw with olive oil, pecorino cheese, and salt and pepper. When I went to Italy last spring that was all I ate. They serve them unshelled in Italy and the waiters were always sure that this blond American lady wouldn't know what to do with them, so they'd always ask if I needed any help.