Arts & Culture

Interviews and stories about art, culture, music, books, food / dining and sports.

Stick the word "bread" behind my last name on a Google search. Go ahead. Do it.

What you'll find is a Czech food tradition rooted in Easter: a Czech Easter bread.

Mazanec is a sweet bread with rum-soaked raisins and dried fruit and topped with slivered almonds. It's round with a cross on top, to represent Christ. And it is eaten throughout the Holy Week.

With his coiffed, salt-and-pepper hair and stoic demeanor, Francois Fillon looks like a president out of central casting. The 63-year-old conservative, a former prime minister under Nicolas Sarkozy, is even serious and prim at his campaign rallies, where his passionate supporters clap and chant his name.

"I'm not asking you to like me, but to support me," he told one crowd at an April 9 rally. "We're not choosing a buddy. We're choosing a president."

Fillon is also a practicing Catholic, and the only presidential candidate who speaks openly about his faith.

In the middle of the Texas Hill Country, where barbecue brisket is king, a dinner crowd is throwing back crabcakes, fried oysters, flounder and stuffed shrimp.

Onstage is the establishment's owner, a 68-year-old Greek-American bluesman who's been performing for half a century. He is Johnny Nicholas and this is his Hilltop Cafe.

"Well, I spent all my money on a real fine automobile," he croons. "It's a custom ride, got a pearl-handled steering wheel."

When Easter And Passover Overlap

Apr 15, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

A Tussle Over Wall Street Sculptures

Apr 15, 2017

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

LINDA WERTHEIMER, HOST:

It's hard to imagine listening to Led Zeppelin's "Stairway To Heaven" without remembering the classic "No 'Stairway' — denied!" scene in Wayne's World. Once voted the No.

If you're in the mood for a snappy romance to vicariously bathe you in the pain and elation of first love, Becky Albertalli's The Upside of Unrequired provides.

Molly has a twin sister named Cassie, a summer job arranging knickknacks in a quirky boutique, and 26 crushes that have never gotten her anywhere. Cassie doesn't have this problem — she's the confident twin, and she takes what she wants from romance. Then along comes Mina, and suddenly Cassie is the sister with a crush. As Cassie falls for the first time, Molly feels more and more like she's being left behind.

In the spring, a cook's fancy turns to thoughts of eggs. They're everywhere at Easter time, in breads and pies and children's baskets.

Holiday chefs looking for last-minute ideas may find inspiration in these offerings from NPR archives.

Easter Egg Breads

Marie-Victoire Carvalho Sow is busy in the annex to her kitchen in Dakar, dishing out giant ladles full of a traditional Senegalese Easter treat.

It's called ngalakh – a delectable mix of millet, groundnut (peanut) paste, bouye (the fruit of the baobab tree, which is also known locally as pain de singe or monkey bread), sugar, vanilla essence and orange blossom.

She says every year, Catholics make this special food for Good Friday and it's savored over Easter weekend.

Throughout the day, New Yorker cartoon editor Bob Mankoff jots down ideas that strike him as funny: A door lies on a couch in a psychiatrist's office, and the psychiatrist says, "You're not crazy, you're just unhinged." Or, two guys crawling through a desert encounter one of those orange cones that says: "Caution Wet Floor."

For a man obsessed with humor, Mankoff found the perfect job — he's served for 20 years as the magazine's cartoon gatekeeper. He's stepping down from his post in May, but will continue to draw his own cartoons.

The period of anticipation preceding the release of Kendrick Lamar's fourth album, DAMN., was intense, brief but methodically built.

The Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington, D.C, has many artifacts connected to slavery. For one woman, visiting the museum this week was a literal homecoming.

Isabell Meggett Lucas was born and raised in a wooden house in coastal South Carolina. Slaves lived in that house during the 1800s.

The Smithsonian bought the structure and moved it plank by plank to the new African-American museum where it is now on display.

Pages