Table Matters
Ganja-Acid
February 28th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart The name Ganja Acid combines the recreational sloth of marijuana with the cosmic distortion of the 1960’s most iconic chemical without offering any hint that it belongs to a four-seat psychedelic bar. A friend suggested my wife Rebekah and I visit it while on our honeymoon in […]
An Ode to Japanese Curry
January 10th, 2017, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart When Western eaters think of Japanese food, most think of sushi and ramen, but the Japanese have transformed India’s comforting curry into a national dish. Introduced by the British navy around 1868, the Japanese kept the standard British-style brown gravy — warm and aromatic, spiced but not […]
Please Tea Me
January 3rd, 2017, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart When an anonymous tea drinker named comfortablynumb decided to buy a new electric kettle, he asked Chow Magazine’s community forum for help. He’d owned a Chantal kettle. He’d owned a Wolfgang Puck. Both had broken, with one rusting and the other chipping enough to send bits of lining […]
Home Sweet Hummus
December 13th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart My Atta Joann bought her house in Skokie, Illinois the same year that I was born. My parents had been living in Michigan for quite some time after moving from Chicago, but even with a toddler and a full-time job, my mother would still come with the […]
Tacos/Takos
December 2nd, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart Set Wandering around Tokyo’s Shinjuku district alone one winter, on a research trip, I found a taco joint. No one who knows me was surprised by this. “Of course you found a taco joint,” my wife Rebekah said. “You always do.” I was raised in the Arizona […]
The Beer Harvest
November 23rd, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart Set The first time I have been to Valtellina was at the end of last year’s harvest season with three Italians, my other half and a couple of friends from the region. After running the Valtellina wine trail (a scenic marathon through the vineyards) we visited Chiuro […]
Ode to Canned Fish
November 17th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart Set Sushi is old hat in America. Since getting popular during the 1980s and ’90s, sushi has integrated itself into our everyday lives, appearing everywhere from mainstream grocery store cold cases to TV shows and corner restaurants. You see it in malls and on college campuses. Yet […]
Drinks to Shine the Moon
October 13th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was previously published on The Smart Set The 1920s in Shanghai enjoyed a period exactly like the hedonistic ’20s in the United States, or so I understand. I wasn’t around at the time, though my mother told me all about it. A Chinese woman with bound feet, she and my Italian-Dutch-Indonesian father foxtrotted […]
Cheddar Suns over Lettuce Mountains
October 6th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This essay was originally published on The Smart Set.  We’ll go to Del Taco, And order something macho. And when your lips go down to take a bite, Your face is covered in food but it’s alright, You know it’s gonna be good, you and me tonight. ─ Hunx and His Punx “Good Kisser” The day […]
The Laughing Dram
September 28th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This article was originally published on The Smart Set. If you delight in partaking of a dram of whisky, you likely delight in what I think of as whisky extracurriculars. There are some foods and drinks for which savoring them directly is the height of our experience with them, but any whisky buff will tell […]
A Fruit of Many Names
September 20th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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This article was originally published on The Smart Set. The past centuries, if not millennia, have been characterized by the unprecedented spread of certain plants to other continents. Crops such as bananas, tomatoes, potatoes, corn, and rice are classic examples. Many others did not require human help; their seeds were spread by wind and birds […]
The Eating Out Habit
August 29th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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When I was growing up in suburban New Jersey in the 1960s, my parents would announce periodically that we would be going to go out to dinner. When the announcement was made, the evening was imbued with a festive air. We dressed up — I have a recollection of patent leather shoes and crinolines. Eating […]
Tomato To-Dos
July 27th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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Eventually the heat will break. The leaves will fall, and the election will come and go. Winter will take over, and there will no longer be any tomatoes worth eating – unless you start planning now, that is. With tomatoes at their peak, now’s the time to begin preserving them for the less-abundant seasons to […]
Finding Nom Nom
July 12th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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Last winter I made the mistake of going to my doctor and agreeing to get a series of blood tests as a part of their “pro-active healthcare screening” initiative. In other words, we both knew I had terrible genes and she wanted to know if they (along with my borderline obsessive relationship with bacon) had […]
Weathering the Grapes
July 8th, 2016, 12:50 PM
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For over 400 years wine growers in Europe have kept meticulous records of the seasonal weather conditions in their vineyards. These records provide scientists material to study the changes in not only the weather over this period of time, but also the effect of rising temperatures on the timing of grape ripening and ultimately on the wines. […]