Ham sandwiches, hot-pressed and gooey with cheese. Neat piles of black beans and rice. Grilled chicken.
This is the simple, filling fare served at Cuban restaurants around the world. And like the iconic, rusty Studebakers that line the streets of Havana, Cuban food hasn't changed much since the 1950s. The communist government's stranglehold on the economy, combined with the U.S. trade embargo, has meant that Cuban chefs haven't picked up the modern cooking techniques, or exotic ingredients, that have invigorated the cuisines of much of the rest of the world.
Today marks the start of an exciting project at All Things Considered called NewsPoet. Each month we'll be bringing in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's news.
The first poet to participate is Tracy K. Smith. She has received degrees in English and creative writing from Harvard College, Columbia University, and was a Wallace Stegner Fellow in Poetry at Stanford University. Her latest book of poems is titled Life on Mars.
In his State of the Union address, President Obama called on every state to require students to stay in school until they graduate or turn 18. "When students don't walk away from their education, more of them walk the stage to get their diploma," he said.
The White House cited studies that showed how raising the compulsory schooling age helps prevent kids from leaving school. And while some of that is true, some of it is also wishful thinking.
For New Hampshire Deputy Commissioner of Education Paul Leather, the president made the right call in his address.
Everyone knows what an Oreo cookie is supposed to be like. It's round, black and white, and intensely sweet. Has been for 100 years. But sometimes, in order to succeed in the world, even the most iconic product has to adapt.
In China, that meant totally reconsidering what gives an Oreo its Oreoness.
At first, though, Kraft Foods thought that the Chinese would love the Oreo. Who doesn't? They launched the product there in 1996 as a clone of the American version.
President Obama flew out to Maryland's Eastern Shore on Friday to fire up his rank and file in Congress.
House Democrats have spent the past few days in their annual retreat, regrouping and strategizing for the year to come. Lawmakers say their hopes for success — in the economy and in politics — depend on sticking together and sending the same message to Americans.
The International Atomic Energy Agency, or IAEA, is sending a team to Iran on Sunday to further look into the country's nuclear program. Here, Ali Asghar Soltanieh, Iran's ambassador to the agency, is shown at an IAEA meeting in Vienna on Nov. 18, 2011.
A senior delegation from the International Atomic Energy Agency visits Iran on Sunday in a renewed attempt to probe aspects of Iran's nuclear program that could be connected to nuclear weapons work.
For years, the IAEA has been trying to get answers to some very uncomfortable questions about Iran's nuclear program.
Iran insists it has only a peaceful, civilian nuclear program, and so far it has refused to discuss evidence that it is engaging in some nuclear weapons work. But international pressure on Tehran is growing.
Fresh from Thursday night's debate, the two leading Republican presidential candidates, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, traveled across Florida on Friday.
Gingrich and Romney spent the morning in Miami, where they are both looking to shore up support from Florida's Hispanic community.
Gingrich started the day talking to an influential business group, the Latin Builders Association. Later, he spoke before the Hispanic Leadership Network — a group devoted to building Republican support among Latinos.