We order three forks and a slice of tiramisu garnished with fresh strawberries. The delicacy simmers in our mouths like Marcel Proust’s tisane, stimulating memory.

You tell us that black slaves hid watermelon seeds in their hair, smuggling their heritage out of Africa as a food to stave off starvation. Other foods grew out of circumstance and necessity. Kettle tea was the green water left over after boiling collard greens.

“Do you know how hush puppies got their name?” We salivate to know.

“A slave woman was frying fish for her master’s family. She rolled the cornmeal that flaked off the fish into little balls.

“When she snuck food out of the kitchen to feed her children, she’d throw the morsels at the dogs who barked to alert their master and she’d say, “Hush, puppies! Hush, puppies!”

Laughter becomes ambrosia. We quaff it down like cool water and take another bite of Italian dessert

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