And the Happy New Year Winner Is…

Forrest C. of New Mexico! We did a blind drawing the other day. Thanks to all who participated in the blog giveaway, and especially for sharing your stories of food & family, friends & memories. You can read some of those here – recollections of canning tomatoes and picking olives, Christmas dinner and Vietnamese hot […]

What a Piti

I’m thinking of piti. I’ve been thinking of piti since the air went cold last week and the temperature slipped to single digits. That’s the sort of weather for piti. But that isn’t how I had my first taste of this sheep-and-chickpea stew. It’s a specialty of Sheki, in Azerbaijan’s mountainous north. It’s a rich […]

Happy New Year!

Sailing Club, Kep, Cambodian coast, 2012.   Happy New Year to all! May 2013 bring much peace, good health and happiness (and maybe, if you’re lucky, a couple of those tropical drinks on a breezy coast for a happy-hour view of a monsoon storm rolling in). I’ll be back in a few days… with Rambling […]

Eating Around: A Visual Food Tour of Phnom Penh

This, my friends, is the market where we used to shop for groceries when we first lived in Phnom Penh oh so many years ago. But I barely recognize the Boeung Keng Kong market today. I remember wooden stalls, mud puddles and mystery stenches. The vendors were generous, and I loved the magnificent arrays of […]

Insomnia, Nostalgia: Notes on Becoming a Food Writer

A sleepless night recently led to reminiscing about becoming a food writer. That story is now in The Faster Times. It recalls my early proposal for an article on a Phnom Penh coffee shop. Gourmet eventually bought that story, but ran only a fraction of the piece as commissioned—all writers understand the constraints of space. […]

Morning Coffee, Winter Dark

Cold kitchen, hot kettle, northern light. I move with the light. December slows me down, and I feel like the distant sun: barely rising on these short, dim days before falling out of view again. I haven’t spent the 12th month so far north in such a long time. The alarm pries me from a […]

Ancient Chocolate

Aztec Warrior Chocolate, Kakawa Chocolate House, Santa Fe It’s amazing what the palate can forget. The Aztecs and Mayans drank their chocolate rich and frothy; mixed with chile, flowers and achiote to give it a distinct red hue. It resembled nothing of the solid uniform rectangles sold today. Mesoamerican cacao was an elixir, a status […]

Can a Civet Really Poop Out a Great Cup of Coffee?

We did a blind taste test to discern the flavors and aromas of civet coffee (or its best approximation), with surprising results. Turns out, there might be some substance behind the hype. Read the story in The Faster Times. Then consider getting yourself a coffee tree and a friendly civet.

Hemp Milk

It’s not what you think. Well—it is but it isn’t. That is indeed a pretty white glass of milk surrounded by the lovely green leaves of cannabis sativa. Marijuana milk. Pot juice. Call it what you will, but it won’t make you high. Though hemp milk is made from the pulverized seeds of the same […]