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Because it’s strange and beautiful and hot, people from everywhere converge on Florida and they bring their cuisine and their traditions with them. The Zest celebrates the intersection of food and communities in the Sunshine State.

Miami Herald’s Carlos Frias on Cuban Coffee, Edible Iguanas & Winning the James Beard Award

Two cups of Cuban coffee

This week, we’re off to South Florida for a chat with the Miami Herald’s food and dining editor. Grab a cup of strong Cuban coffee and settle in for a conversation with Carlos Frías.

Listen to the episode

If you want to get to Miami, you could head south on I-95. Or even faster—just go online and read the work of Carlos Frías. He’s the Miami Herald’s food and dining editor and a James Beard Award-winning writer. We’d argue that Carlos could also add travel agent to his resume, because his food writing will transport you to Miami.

“It’s been such fertile ground. I never run out of things to write about,” Carlos says. “If I’m writing for a Miami audience, I want to write about things that are very Miami—things that you couldn’t write about anywhere else in the world, yet somehow hopefully still translate if you pick it up in Tampa or, you know, Los Angeles.

He writes about the Magic City like only a South Floridian could, from heartfelt stories about the intersection of food and immigration, to the offbeat trend of eating iguana meat. And of course, coffee.

“It’s the jet fuel that Miami runs on,” Carlos says. The city’s iconic coffee windows inspired Carlos’s 2019 podcast series, La Ventanita.

A former sports and features writer, Carlos is the author of Take Me with You: A Secret Search for Family in a Forbidden Cuba.

Resources mentioned in this episode:

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