Saying something is “just like chicken” has become something of a culinary joke by now, a sure sign the speaker lacks imagination or descriptive ability. Maybe so, but what if something is surprisingly similar to chicken? Especially when it’s not even meat? Cauliflower achieves such a feat when it’s prepared after the Lebanese fashion and… Continue reading Really, Just Like Chicken?
Not only do honeybees pollenate our crops, bringing the next round of fruits and vegetables, but they also produce a smooth golden nectar (honey) that enhances much of our cooking. Pretty amazing accomplishment for a small insect buzzing along happily. Here’s one of the culinary superstars now, taking nourishment not too far from the kitchen:… Continue reading Busy Little Honeybee
The table set before you makes use of all three, taking advantage of the agricultural bounty one finds in Georgia – the country, not the US state. Though home to some of the Caucasus’s towering peaks, the fertile valleys in between and the Black Sea coastline grant Georgia an abundance reflected in the country’s cuisine.… Continue reading Plums, Grapes and Pomegranates
As walnut trees are common in many parts of the Near Eat and particularly in forests throughout the Caucasus mountains, it’s not surprising the region’s people favor the flavorful nut the tree produces. Today’s dish, Chicken with Walnut-Cilantro Sauce, is one way cooks in Georgia (the country, not the US state!) make good use of… Continue reading The Mighty Walnut
After Rome fell in the fifth century, the empire’s eastern half thrived along the Mediterranean for nearly a millennium longer. As Byzantium, it brandished civilization’s torch, which kept the Dark Ages at bay until the Renaissance got its footing. Though the Byzantines faded into our collective past centuries ago, they left a record of what… Continue reading A Meal for the Ages
What if a successful afternoon of shopping the markets in a casbah, the Near Eastern equivalent of a town square, yielded a fragrant haul of cardamom, rose petals, almonds and pine nuts, and what if you were to take these flavorful aromatics and infuse a cupcake with them? Perhaps nobody has asked this question before… Continue reading Rock the Casbah!
Today the journal visits Armenia for the first time, and tries one the cuisine’s most prominent dishes, Tarragon Lamb Shanks. Providing instruction, a site dedicated to that country’s cooking, Hegnineh, suggests a surprising addition to the lamb shanks’ braising liquid – a whole bottle of beer! Although Armenia borders Turkey and is geographically, and to… Continue reading Unusual Spot for a Beer
Pizza’s appeal is nearly universal, likely because its supreme versatility allows boundless personal creativity. Diners choose toppings to match their own tastes and cultural preferences. There is no “wrong” combination. My own favorite mixture is pineapple and mushrooms. See? As such, pizza is the world’s most widely-loved import from the Italian table. True, but… Continue reading The Original
As we begin counting the months and, soon enough, the weeks until next summer, local produce is but a happy memory. For now. Just as time’s steady progress has moved freshly harvested fruit to the past, so too will it return eventually. However, as one of you has observed, we still have options, even now… Continue reading Mmmm, Lemony
As summer takes its full stride so does the humidity, especially this year. When it’s sweltering, stiflingly so, something cool, crisp and fresh is the perfect antidote. Yes, a salad is just what’s needed to put the mugginess on ice. Naturally, people living at the desert’s edge have learned a thing or two about counteracting… Continue reading Keeping Cool in the Sun