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The Zest Podcast: Oxford Exchange Chef On Summer Produce; Plus The All-Important Mango

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In mid July, thousands of visitors attended the International Mango Festival near Miami  to sample mangoes, listen to lectures and buy trees. The Zest podcast correspondent Janet Keeler was there, and she takes us behind the scenes of the festival at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables for a conversation with Noris Ledesma, the curator of tropical fruit at Fairchild. The Colombian-born scientist explains why mangos are such an important crop for Florida -- and lets Janet sample some truly rare varieties -- including one that is extinct in the wild!

Plus, Architectural Digest named it the most beautiful independent store in Florida. Tampa’s Oxford Exchange was originally constructed in 1891, and today it serves as a mixed-use building containing a bookstore, a coffee shop,  coworking space and more, all while retaining over a century of charm with exposed brick, natural light and details like vintage horseshoes unearthed during renovations. A big part of its appeal is the restaurant, offering -- in OE's words -- fresh, simple meals that feature the best seasonal, local and organic ingredients  At the helm is Richard Anderson, who  recently sat down with The Zest’s producer, Dalia Colón, to share his culinary journey from dishwasher to executive chef. He also shares creative ways to use Florida’s  limited summer produce—including an appetizer recipe from the Oxford Exchange menu.

Try the avocado wedge recipe from Oxford Exchange!

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Robin Sussingham was Senior Editor at WUSF until September 2020.
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