Why do Haitians eat squash soup on New Year’s Day?

By Jack Drees The New Year is celebrated by a series of traditions in the United States and around the world. For some, it’s a lively party on New Year’s Eve. For others, it’s the Times Square Ball Drop. For Massachusetts, it’s fireworks over the Boston Harbor. Haitians celebrate the New Year by enjoying a special soup. It is one of the first dishes they eat in the calendar year, and a tradition that reminds them of the liberation they have achieved. Haitians gained independence on January 1, 1804 after a 13-year revolution against France. Their independence arrived after the only successful slave revolt in history. Haiti became the second independent nation in the Americas and the first in Latin America. Yearly, in honor of the country’s freedom, the nation’s people and those with Haitian roots enjoy Soup Joumou, or squash soup. During France’s colonization of Haiti, Soup Joumou was often eaten by colonial masters and plantation owners. In many cases, this dish was prepared for these higher-class individuals by the slaves. While the masters […]


Oven On: Baking during a time of stress

By Sandra G. Ndengue As Malden and the rest of the state shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, I sought comfort in baking.  I’m not alone. A story posted by CNBC declares that “everyone is #quarantinebaking their way through the coronavirus pandemic.”  My adventures in quarantine baking has not only taught me a lot about how to bake the perfect loaf of banana bread, but has emphasized the importance of family connections and that there’s one source I can always count on – my mom.  Let me explain that banana bread has become an obsession of mine. Last year I decided to opt for a healthier diet so banana bread became my daily bread. Two slices of bread accompanied with low fat vanilla yogurt and oat fruit cereal serve as my breakfast.  I usually bought the banana bread at my local grocery.  But then came the stay-at-home recommendations. I reduced my trips to the grocery store and the few times I have been there, banana bread has always been sold out. So, I made the decision to make […]


Pizza fuels the American immigrant experience

By The Staff of Neighborhood View  As one of America’s favorite foods, pizza has a special place in our collective hearts. Malden is no exception. We estimate there are at least 40 to 45 or shops/restaurants here that sell pizza. Overall, Massachusetts has the 4th highest per capita ratio of pizza restaurants to residents (3.43 per 10,000) of the 50 states, according to Pizza is more than a cheesy treat. It is a reflection of the waves of immigration that has shaped America.  Whether you got your first taste after reading all of your books as part of Pizza Hut’s Book It program or during a birthday party, pizza has proved to be a loyal and tasty treat.  It’s all the things we love: cheesy, warm, gooey and outright addictive. According to, 94 percent of Americans eat pizza regularly and more than 5 billion pizzas are sold worldwide each year. Americans have typically tried pizza as early as age 2, according to the Chuck E Cheese pizza chain. Pizza has also become a universal cuisine. Some love […]


Malden Reads kicks off dining series at Henry’s Patio

Due to the snowstorm on March 14, the Malden Reads Community Dinner at Henry’s Patio has been re-scheduled to Tuesday, April 4. Plan to join fellow community members on this date for an evening of great food, company and conversation as part of the Malden Reads 2017 community dining series. Henry’s Patio is located at 80 Broadway in Malden. Reservations must be made by April 2. If you enjoy a relaxed, casual atmosphere and a full bar, this will be an event you can’t miss. The event will feature a limited menu with a choice of a chicken, steak tips, or haddock prepared in a variety of ways by the chef, an appetizer, side vegetables and dessert. The cost is $20, not including tax, beverages, and tip. Meats and fish are procured from local quality markets such as McKinnon’s, the Maplewood Meat Market and the Maplewood Fish Market. Henry’s Patio has been re-imagined from its former incarnation (“The Patio”) as a cozy neighborhood spot serving up fresh, tasty food and drink in a relaxed setting. […]


TV SHOW: “What’s New? Malden” for September

In the September edition of Neighborhood View’s What’s New? Malden: In the September 2016 edition of Neighborhood View’s “What’s New? Malden.” Get a taste of Malden’s newest restaurants including Sillari’s Pizza on Medford Street. Go behind the scenes at the Alliance for Community Media’s national convention and learn about Malden Overcoming Addiction’s plans to launch a new monthly show with sober coach Paul Hammersley. Co-hosts Sharon Fillyaw  and Sam Baltrusis from MATV’s Neighborhood View talk about community, pizza and their spooktacular Halloween edition scheduled for October in this monthly TV show. The monthly program airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays, Noon Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on MATV’s Channel 3 on Comcast, 28 (Verizon).


Expert Larry Cultrera discusses Malden-area diners

Larry Cultrera, author of two books on classic diners, said it was love at first sight when it comes to his life-long passion. “The writing was way down the road from my initial interest,” Cultrera told What’s New Malden. “I was interested in diners from the time I was a little kid, probably four or five years old. My dad told me about diners, that they are actually pre-fabricated restaurants. They look somewhat like railroad cars but they’re not railroad cars or converted railroad cars.” Cultrera, who grew up in Medford and is currently living in Saugus,  said he would love to spot diners when his father drove him around the Boston area. “I noticed all of the diners that we had at that time in the ’50s and early ’60s,” he recalled. “And as time went on they started to disappear. By 1980 I was getting into photography and I started photographing diners as a documentation type of a thing.” Over the past 36 years, Cultrera photographed more than 800 diners. The 63-year-old author […]


TV SHOW: “What’s New? Malden” for August

In the August edition of Neighborhood View’s What’s New? Malden: See what’s on tap at Idle Hands Craft Ales,the new brewery and taproom that just opened up on Commercial Street. Travel back in time with “Classic Diners of Massachusetts” author and local expert Larry Cultrera. Learn about about a hair art event by Raw: Boston artist Shannon Leigh slotted for August and go on the hunt for Picachu in Malden thanks to the latest Pokemon Go craze. Co-hosts Sharon Fillyaw  and Sam Baltrusis from MATV’s Neighborhood View talk about hair, diners and Pokemon Go in this monthly TV show. The monthly program airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays, Noon Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on MATV’s Channel 3 on Comcast, 28 (Verizon).  


Idle Hands opens brewery and taproom in Malden

Mmmm, beer good. When Idle Hands Craft Ales was kicked out of its Everett home last summer to make way for Wynn Resorts Casino, co-owner and brewer Chris Tkach expanded operations to the more spacious location at 89 Commercial Street which is a stone’s throw from the Malden Center MBTA station. Idle Hands had their grand “re-opening” on Thursday, July 7 and Tkach, along with his wife Grace, are happy with the results. “We were desperate to find a new location, so we put out feelers to a lot of cities and towns,” Tkach said. “We reached out to Kevin Duffy and sure enough, we found this wonderful property right here. It’s a perfect fit for what we’re looking to do.” The result? Pure craft beer success. Idle Hands Craft Ales has perfected their complex amber-color concoctions and local restaurants, like Nicole and Bryan Palazzolo from Mystic Station, plan to team up with the local brewery by providing food options and food trucks will regularly offer some mobile meals to hungry patrons. Hours for Idle […]


TV SHOW: “What’s New? Malden” for July

In the July 2016 edition of Neighborhood View’s What’s New? Malden: Satiate your sweet tooth with Malden’s newest shop on the block Hoff’s Bakery, stay safe this summer with tips from Malden’s former fire chief Jack Colangeli who will also chat about his Italian eatery Jack’s Ristorante. Did you know that Malden was a major player in the American Revolution? Get the lowdown. Also, Neighborhood View’s Liz Taegel talks about juggling her show “Release The Sounds” with the responsibilities of being a new mom. Co-hosts Sam Baltrusis and Sharon Fillyaw unleash the fireworks with the July 2016 edition of “What’s New? Malden.” The monthly program airs 6:30 p.m. Fridays, Noon Saturdays and 7 p.m. Sundays on MATV’s Channel 3 on Comcast, 28 (Verizon).