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Get authentic recipes and stories from around the globe.

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  • 10/22/13--09:10: Upside-Down Cakes
  • There's a genius to upside-down cakes: Cooked with a layer of fruit and sugar at the bottom, they're flipped before they're served, for a gorgeous presentation and a rich, caramelized flavor.

        







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    There's no better lunchtime pair than a warm, melty cheese sandwich and a bowl of tomato soup. Mix and match with these 8 comforting recipes.

        







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  • 10/22/13--12:00: 12 Simple Fall Dinners
  • These recipes take advantage of the flavors of the season while staying simple enough to serve as a quick weeknight dinner or weekend lunch—from no-cook salads and sophisticated sandwiches to warming pasta dishes and vegetable sautées.

        







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    Wet-Hopped BeerEnlargeCredit: Aaron Lloyd Barr October is a great month to be a beer drinker. Not because of the hyper-rich pumpkin-spiced ales that crowd the market, but because the month heralds the arrival of über-fresh wet hop seasonal brews, made with hops used within 24 hours of being plucked from the fields, a process that captures the volatile oils and sticky resins that almost instantly begin to fade after harvest. (Think of the difference between using fresh herbs in a dish and dried ones.)

    These aromatically awesome brews are delicious fruits of the annual American hop harvest, a crop found mainly at Oregon’s Willamette Valley, but also in parts of Washington State, sections of Michigan, and upstate New York. During the harvest, the vast majority of hops are dried and then processed into tiny, shelf-stable pellets that brewers use throughout the year in everything from light-bodied pilsners to spicy, fruity IPAs. But a small percentage of the harvest is used for wet hop beers.

    Their ephemeral nature means wet hop beers display over-the-top aromas of fresh-cut grass, springtime gardens, and ripe citrus. One my favorites is also one of the oldest available: Sierra Nevada's Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, a wet hop beer first made in 1996 and brewed every harvest season since then. The brewery uses two kinds of hops, Centennial and Cascade, both known for their floral, grapefruity qualities. In tandem, they produce a beer that, despite its assertive hoppiness, is surprisingly delicate. It’s a beverage best consumed as quickly after bottling as possible; the fresh hop flavors dissipate within a matter of weeks.

    This year, Sierra Nevada released a second wet hop seasonal called DevESTATEtion Ale, a happy accident resulting from the brewery’s failed barley crop this year—too much rain yielded lower-quality, protein-rich barley that couldn’t be used for the annual Estate beer, an ale typically made from ingredients grown exclusively on-premise at the brewery. Instead of cutting their losses, Sierra Nevada redesigned the beer as a yin to Estate’s yang, a polar-opposite black IPA (a relatively new category of rich and robust hoppy ales). DevESTATEtion gets its autumnal, forest-floor spice from dark roasted malts and a streak of lightness from piney estate-grown Chinook and Cascade wet hops. It makes a great pairing for rustic fall dishes—think a wild mushroom ragout, something that, like the beer itself, is dark and earthy, but brightened with fresh green flavors.

    Sierra Nevada Northern Hemisphere Harvest Ale, $4.99/24 oz. bottle at specialty beer stores and gourmet grocers throughout the US, all fall and winter.
    ABV: 6.7%
    IBUs: 67

    Sierra Nevada DevESTATEtion Ale, $8.99/24 oz. bottle, at better beer stores everywhere, October until it runs out.
    ABV: 6.7%
    IBUs: 67

        







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    D.O. Rueda is located in the heart of the historical Castilla y Léon region of Spain, and produces Spain's favorite white wines.  Rueda's zesty white wines are mostly derived from the regions signature grape, the Verdejo.  Verdejo grapes are known for their acidity and minerality, a combination which enables Rueda wines to pair well with a large variety of foods from spicy cuisine to ceviche.  Rueda wines are incredibly versatile, food-friendly, and most importantly, delicious.  They are great for parties and easy on the pocketbook.  Try Rueda today!  

    If you are in Miami on November 12, 2013, head over to Spain's Great Match, where you can sample Rueda firsthand alongside 200+ Spanish wines, and tapas, from eight critically acclaimed Spanish restaurants in Miami.


        

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    EnlargeCredit: Todd Coleman SERVES 4-6

    INGREDIENTS

    3 oz. pancetta, cut into 1″ matchsticks
    ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
    1 large yellow onion, cut in half, cored, and very thinly sliced
    2 lb. celery stalks, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2″ lengths
    ¾ cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand
    Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1. Put pancetta in a 6-qt. saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat renders, about 12 minutes. (If the pancetta begins to brown too fast, reduce the heat to medium-low.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain, and set aside.

    2. Add the olive oil to the pan, and return to medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, tomatoes, and ¼ cup water, and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan with lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until celery is very tender, about 1 ½ hours.

    3. Divide the celery with its juices between serving bowls, and sprinkle with the reserved pancetta. Serve hot or at room temperature.

        







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  • 10/23/13--10:08: The Keepers of Tradition
  • El BajioEnlargeCredit: Penny de Los Santos

    I vividly recall the first time my father took me to lunch at El Bajío in the working-class Mexico City neighborhood of Azcapotzalco back in the late 1970s. There was the smell of fresh tortillas hitting the griddle and the sound of cleavers chopping meat on thick wooden boards as I feasted on a soulful dish of mole de olla—a guajillo chile broth bathing juicy hunks of pork espinazo (backbone) and thick slices of zucchini. I can still see the chile-red stains left on my fingers from picking the tender meat off the bones.

    Fast-forward to 2013: After wolfing down a piquant bowl of chicharrón en salsa verde (pork crackling in green sauce), I track down El Bajío's owner, Carmen "Titita" Ramírez Degollado, to offer my praise. Ramírez Degollado, who founded the restaurant with her husband 40 years ago, says the credit is entirely due to her kitchen's mayoras.

    She introduces me to Sandra Olvera, who runs the back of the house with a combination of resolute kindness and clear instruction. She is the chief mayora, a position that exists only in Mexico. It dates back to the 18th century, when women ran the staff kitchens in haciendas, which were usually plantations or factories. Like any good mayora, Olvera was raised alongside the stoves. "El Bajèo was my school, my first job, and probably my last one," she says.

    Olvera's co-chef, Elia Rodríguez Bravo, puts the final touches on a fragrant pot of rice as half a dozen women in white dresses and head kerchiefs attend to bubbling pots of black beans and stews like the chicharrón en salsa verde I enjoyed earlier. "No shortcuts, no bouillon cubes, none of that. Just hands with sazón," Rodríguez Bravo assures me; the sazón, or “secret touch” that cooks have, is the pride of a true mayora.

    With an undying devotion to authenticity and regional flavors, Ramírez Degollado and her mayoras serve some of the best traditional Mexican dishes in the city. "People come here to eat something they know," she tells me, “something they have loved for years—that's what we give them.”

    When Ramírez Degollado and a group of investors started an ambitious expansion, which has so far placed ten branches of El Bajío around the city, I worried for my childhood favorite restaurant. She now works with an executive chef, Josep Rivera—a Spaniard and, even more surprising, a man—who oversees operations for all the El Bajío restaurants. Still, it's the mayoras who continue to uphold the traditions they've spent lifetimes mastering. I'm skeptical about this, at least until my wife and two kids join me for lunch at the Polanco branch. Here, I watch my seven-year-old twin boys gobble up puffy black bean—filled gorditas infladas and order a deep bowl of mole de olla for myself. As my fingers stain red, I'm comforted to know some things never change.


        

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  • 10/23/13--10:30: Fall Finger Foods
  • From mushrooms stuffed with chorizo to kale tarts to crispy sweet potato crostini, these 20 hors d'oeuvres and finger foods are a perfect start to any fall gathering.

        

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  • 10/23/13--13:00: Daikon Recipes
  • Long a staple in Asian cuisines, daikon's versatility seems endless. Slightly bitter, with a light, crunchy texture, it's a great complement to rich meat dishes, or simply serve it on its own. Try it grated and lightly dressed, pickled, added to stews and soups, mashed and formed into cakes, and more.

        

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    When "La Grande Dame de la Rue Sherbrooke" first opened its doors on New Year’s Eve in 1912, it was the first hotel in North America to bear the name Ritz-Carlton, an undisputed jewel of a first class residential hotel, and the epitome of style and elegance. Heads of state, movie stars, and royals stayed here. It was a favorite of President Taft’s. Liz Taylor and Richard Burton married in the royal suite in 1964. After a four year and $200 million renovation project, the Ritz-Carlton Montréal reopened in 2012 for its centennial celebration, refreshed and ready for its next hundred years.

    Everywhere you look in Montréal, you'll find exquisitely preserved 17th century edifices beside sleek modern buildings, an entrancing juxtaposition of past and future, and the renovated Ritz-Carlton seems to fit in perfectly with both eras. Echoes from 1912 abound: the building's original façade was restored, the lobby's original grand curved staircase was preserved, as were the marble fireplaces in the hotel's suites, and you can still see the lovely carved mail chutes on each floor. At the same time, the hotel is wholly 21st century: Motion sensors in each room activate lights when a guest enters, and the thermostats remember your preferred temperature settings. Shades are raised and lowered with a brush of a finger on a touchscreen panel. Heat sensors tell the staff if a room is occupied or vacant so they can freshen rooms without disturbing guests.

    During my stay, my room is a marvel of modern luxury, with rich, dark hardwood floors and lavish white bedding, and a flat screen television above an antique fireplace—either of which can be activated with the push of a button. An embossed card notifies me of the available pillow selection for the bed (eight different kinds). There are heated marble floors in the bathroom, a rainfall shower head, and an impossibly deep lounging tub. I would never want to leave this room, but it's soon time for dinner, and the siren call of Maison Boulud is too tempting to resist.

    As part of the extensive renovation, accomplished chef and restaurateur Daniel Boulud has taken over the hotel's restaurant, and the dining experience is appropriately flawless. A clever layout has the restaurant partitioned but still spacious, sleek but still cozy. A glass wall keeps the kitchen visually open-concept, but mutes the sound. The fireplace is modern and angular, but with a warm copper base. Private dining alcoves are stylish and chic, with handmade touches like patchwork fabric walls and chandeliers made of cocktail glasses.

    And the food, mon dieu, the food. Chef de Cuisine Riccardo Bertolino runs the kitchen with a masterful touch, and the courses are a symphony of expert talent. I'm treated to an eye-opening three-part amuse-bouche of porcini and baby arugula in walnut oil, a crisp fried artichoke heart in garlic, and a delicate arancini with mint. This is the essence of cuisine classique; the food is brilliant in its subtlety, with deftly blended flavors complementing each other in a quiet and elegant poetry. Tender raviolini filled with rich egg yolk, topped with earthy morels and an airy ail-des-bois foam are a revelation. Seared bay scallops with confit tomatoes and a potato puree are a simple bliss. My main course is a kind of deconstructed paella, with black cod, octopus, chorizo-stuffed baby squid, mussels and spot prawn (all sourced from British Columbia) atop a bed of savory herbed fregula, so artfully presented it seems a pity to disturb it. My boyfriend's superb duo de Boeuf, with braised short ribs, grilled tenderloin, mushrooms and bordelaise sauce is, we're told, "classic Boulud."

    Our desserts arrive—a decadent chocolate coulant with caramelized milk ice cream and fleur de sel, and a crisp limoncello sorbet paired with a layered hazelnut tart and praline wafer. The Cesaria Evora song playing in the background intertwines with the sounds of soft English and French conversation around us. The food, the wine, the company and the dancing copper light of the fireplace have me completely under their spell. I float up to our room satisfied, entranced, and head over heels in love. —Sarah Becan
     

    IN THE AREA

     
    • Parc du Mont-Royal: The "mountain" that gives Montréal its name is just a few blocks from the Ritz-Carlton, and the green space that surrounds it is a beautiful and expansive city park. Interconnected walking paths wind through the trees, and transport you to a small lake, a sculpture garden, and a number of overlooks with stunning views of the surrounding city. The park offers skiing, sledding, and snowshoeing in the winter, and sports and festivals in the summer. If the weather's nice, check out the George-Étienne Cartier Monument on the eastern side of the park - a group of talented hand-drummers has been gathering here every Sunday to improvise together since the late 70's. It's always free, and there are dancers, and street vendors, and the atmosphere is exciting and infectious. lemontroyal.qc.ca

    • Rue Sainte-Catherine: If you're here to shop, Saint Catherine Street is an immense and eclectic shopping corridor, with large malls and department stores on every block. You'll find high-end designer shops as well as small boutiques, and there are plenty of cafes and taverns if you need a rest. If you follow it further northeast from the Ritz-Carlton, it takes you to a brilliant pedestrian plaza and the museums, theaters and concert halls of Montréal's Place des Arts.

    • RÉSO: There are a number of places on the neighboring streets of Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine to access the RÉSO, Montréal's vast underground network of tunnels that connect hotels, restaurants, shopping malls, apartment complexes, universities, the Palais des Congrès, and several metro stations. You can explore almost five miles of downtown Montréal without ever leaving its climate-controlled corridors, which is a definite plus on a frigid winter day - or a sticky summer one.

        







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    customer at A1 Bakery, DandenongEnlargeCredit: Peter Tarasuik Dandenong, an emerging suburb about 20 miles southeast of Melbourne, is the city's most culturally diverse hub, heavily populated by expat Lebanese, Greeks, Uighurs, and descendants of Afghan camel drivers who first landed in Australia during the 1860s gold rush. The outstanding markets, bakeries, and cafés concentrated on the blocks along Lonsdale Street testify to the neighborhood's vibrancy, a signal of Australia's increasingly polyglot foodways.

    A1 Lebanese Bakery
    At this bakery-café, display cases are heaped with honeyed sweets, while in back, ovens turn out pizzas topped with za'atar, a mix of wild thyme, spices, and sesame seeds. Try the cardamom espresso with znoud el sit, a tubular cream-filled Lebanese pastry.
    201–203 Lonsdale Street. 

    Dandenong Market
    Established in 1866, this farmers' market and food hall reflects the area's diversity, offering everything from Asian longan fruit to the Afghan grapes known as sultanas. Stop by Sam's Spice & Grocery stall, which specializes in aromatic spice blends, nuts, and dried fruits.
    Cleeland Street. 

    Marmara Halal Meats
    Offal is prized at this Halal butchery, where hijab-clad housewives discuss dinner plans with the staff. Refrigerated deli cases contain beef tendons, standard cuts, and kebab marinades. The sausages, including sucuk, paprika-spiked ground lamb, are prepared in-house.
    266–270 Lonsdale Street. 

    EnlargeSahar Takeaway
    Be sure to stop by this Afghani takeout for its succulent lamb and chicken kebabs, grilled on long skewers over a bed of glowing charcoal by owner Reza Akbari.
    252–254 Thomas Street. 

    Salang Restaurant and Café
    Kabul natives Nargez and Saleem Bahrami bake garlicky naan and pumpkin-stuffed flatbreads. Don't miss the ashak, plump leek dumplings topped with a hearty tomato and kidney bean sauce, dollops of tangy yogurt, and dried mint.
    345 Lonsdale Street. 


        







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    Scenes from traveling and eating in Alentejo, Portugal. By Jean Anderson, author of the story The Food I Dream Of in our November 2013 issue

        







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  • 12/13/13--09:00: Polar Harvest
  • feature-fishing-for-alaskan-crab-man-with-crab-1200x800EnlargeCredit: Corey Arnold
    It's the beginning of a brutally cold crab-fishing season in January off the coast of Alaska, and the sea is steaming from the clash of 18-degree air and 33-degree seawater. Freezing spray coats every inch of our boat with a translucent layer of ice. On days like this, crabs must be landed quickly and sorted into the onboard holding tanks before their limbs freeze and snap off like deadwood. Our ship, the Rollo, is 107 feet long, with a royal blue hull that towers above the water, guarding against the notoriously huge waves of the Bering Sea. The six-man crew, of which I am a deckhand, includes a cook, an engineer, and a deck boss, but all double as fishermen during the harvest.

    feature-fishing-for-alaskan-crab-boat-500x750EnlargeCredit: Corey Arnold Our first crab pot of the day—a seven-by-seven-by-three-foot cage—soars toward the surface, pulled by a line that pops and whines as the pot ascends. Forty-eight hours earlier we baited it with chopped herring, two whole codfish, and a jar that slowly trickles out sardine oils. If we're lucky, the pungent scent will have attracted our quarry: Chionoecetes opilio, or opies, as we call them. Snow crabs. They're nomadic crustaceans that scurry in huge schools across the seafloor, feasting on dead fish and other invertebrates, including members of their own species. They're highly prized for their sweet, succulent leg meat.

    The pot explodes out of the water and slams wildly against the side of the boat. A thousand sharp, slender jointed legs protruding through the webbing are the telltale sign of an exceptional catch, and we all erupt in hoots and hollers of triumph.

    Once on board, the pot's contents are dumped into a spiny heap that could fill a truck bed. The pile writhes as the opies try to untangle their daddy longlegs appendages, and all hands step up to separate the undersize crabs and females from the legal-size males. We drop legals into a holding tank below deck and the rest into a chute leading back to the sea.

    Later in the year, in October and November, we'll fish king crabs, enormous creatures weighing seven pounds and sometimes more, whose purple-brown glossy shells are covered in sharp spines. But these opies, which we fish from January to March, are just one to two pounds each. They have smooth shells, foot-long slender legs, and humanlike faces, their rigid mouths set in an eternal expression of indifference. There is a window of less than two seconds when picking up a crab before a viselike pincher will seize your finger, so we sort quickly, measuring each crab with a plastic yard stick to determine its fate.

    feature-fishing-for-alaskan-crab-matthew-sullivan-500x750EnlargeCredit: Corey Arnold Two massive wells beneath the hatches keep the crabs alive on board. On a good trip, we can fill the tanks to their combined capacity of 180,000 pounds in as little as 72 hours of around-the-clock work. We'll deliver the crabs alive to processors in Dutch Harbor, where they'll quickly be butchered, the legs and claws separated from the body in clusters that will be steamed, frozen in brine, and shipped to grocery stores and restaurants around the world.

    Even though we're miles from the nearest restaurant ourselves, one of the perks of being a commercial crab fisherman is that the luxurious meat we're being paid to harvest is also a key component of our maritime diet. Few people on earth get the chance to savor Alaskan crab this fresh. Aboard the Rollo, between pulling crab pots, we devour panko-encrusted crab cakes, crab ceviche layered with fresh cilantro, crab-topped pizzas, crab with spaghetti, crab with eggs over easy, crab everything—you name it, we've tried it. Every day, even in 30-foot seas when the kitchen is awash with utensils that have fallen to the floor, Brian, the ship's cook, boils crab legs in a stockpot held firmly in place over an electric burner by a grid of metal brackets and sets them out on the galley table with melted butter for snacking. Chilled to the bone, exhausted, and hungry, we crack those tough shells with our bare hands, snapping the legs in two, and gorge on the sweet white meat within, blessing the sea for its rewards.

    See a gallery of snow crab recipes »

        







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    Best Places Visited: San SebastianEnlargeCredit: Helen Rosner On the third stop of an MSC cruise, my friend and made port at the southern Italian island of Sicily. A climbing bus ride brought us to the small town of Taormina. Our fingers sticky from cassata cake and gelato in brioche, we marveled at the view from the ancient Teatro Greco. It was a glorious day. —Kellie Evans, Associate Food Editor

    I went to Oaxaca, Mexico for a few days this summer; the food, the sights, the people- it was all amazing. —Farideh Sadeghin, Associate Director, Test Kitchen

    Nationally, New Orleans—despite organizing my professional life around food, I hadn’t been to this American food capital until October. A 2pm snack of oysters and a martini at Antoine’s really sealed the deal. I know I’ll be back soon. Internationally, Israel. It’s the smallest country I’ve ever been to but my ten day trip, in which I visited Tel Aviv, Jerusalem, the desert and the Galilee, barely scratched the surface. —Sophie Brickman, Senior Editor

    The last time I was in Hawaii was a decade ago, and all I pretty much saw was the North Shore beach closest to the grubby cabin I was renting. When I visited this year, it couldn't have been more different: I was wowed by the natural beauty of Oahu, but I also went on a 24/7 eating spree around the island, impressed over and over again by the fusion of Asian cuisines with something ineffably Hawaiian. —James Oseland, Editor-in-Chief

    San Andrés, a small, unassuming Colombian island on the Caribbean sea. Gorgeous beaches, intensely blue and green sea, rich coral reefs, and rustic cuisine: It was the perfect honeymoon destination. —Dominique Lemoine, Assistant Editor

    Santa Barbara blew me away: In place of stuffy white-bread restaurants, I discovered Scarlett Begonia, a dynamic farm-to-table restaurant; in addition to classic taqueria, La Super Rica, I fell for new-school take-out spot Shop Café; and in place of touring the surrounding wine country, I indulged along the new urban wine trail and at some fabulous breweries, like Telegraph and Santa Barbara Brewing Co. Add breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean: Pure paradise. —Felicia Campbell, Associate Editor

    I had a crazy-good time with my 14-year-old niece in Miami! We ate fettucini with marscapone and black truffles tossed tableside in a parmesan wheel at Tosca, gorged on the fabulous buffet brunch at the Soho House Miami, and reveled in stone crabs at Joe's. Then we went to Jungle Island where lemurs sat on our heads and ate bananas out of our palms. —Betsy Andrews, Executive Editor

    I loved the old city of Ghent in Belgium, with its medieval architecture clustered around two rivers, and its sloping cobbled streets. It's the kind of place you can ramble around on foot without really checking in with your phone or a map, because there's something lovely around every corner (like the very good coffee at Café Labath). —Tejal Rao, Senior Editor

    In Wales, I stayed at a creaky old inn whose tavern served salt marsh lamb and the best lemon chiffon pie I’ve ever eaten. I was sure I was in Hobbiton, the landscape was so pastoral, the people so friendly, and the food so delicious. I can’t wait to go back. —Karen Shimizu, Senior Editor

    My favorite place I visited in 2013 is actually a tie between two places: Charleston, SC and Norwich, VT. Charleston for its weather and wealth of great food and markets; Norwich for its restorative power and the sheer fun of driving on its curving, pastoral roads. —Laura Sant, Associate Digital Editor

    In late July, I spent five days in the Basque region of Spain and France. Driving across the Pyrenees on the way from Bilbao to Biarritz was one of the most gorgeous mornings of my life; following it up with meals of sweet local cheeses and fresh-from-the-sea fish—not to mention Michelin-star heaven at the great restaurants Mugaritz and Arzak, and a few riotous nights crawling through the packed streets of San Sebastian—took it to a new level. —Helen Rosner, Executive Digital Editor

    I went to Merida, Yucatan for my honeymoon last year (about a year after my actual wedding). I’d never been to Mexico before, but this city, with its sprawling markets, taquerias, colonial architecture and Mayan-influenced cuisine, was a perfect intro. We stayed at La Hacienda Xcanatun, an old rope factory. Our room was surrounded by a rain forest of greenery. In the mornings we were awakened by a chorus of what seemed like every bird species in the world. We took a food tour with David Sterling, an expert in Yucatan cuisine. We feasted on fresh tortillas and watched a John Belushi-esque man make chicharrones in a vat of oil, then scarfed them down crumbled into cool tossed and torn lettuce. At the public market, with its 2,000 vendors, I ate a roasted pork torta that I still can’t stop talking about. —Keith Pandolfi, Senior Editor

    I spent the greater part of a week in Birmingham, AL earlier this fall visiting my close friend, a Nigerian expatriate who has amassed a charming collection of eclectic hangouts, top-notch eateries, and engaging acquaintances that populate this Southern jewel of a city. —Judy Haubert, Associate Food Editor


    See the Best Things We Drank in 2013 »
    See the Best Things We Ate in 2013 »
    See the Best Places We Stayed in 2013 »
    See the Best Things We Cooked in 2013 »
    See Where We're Most Excited to Travel in 2014 »

        







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    Cuban CoffeeEnlarge For the Cuban community in Miami, making coffee in the traditional style is as important as drinking it. 

        







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  • 12/15/13--16:48: Carbone's Garlic Bread
  • feature-saveur-100-carbone-500x750-i162EnlargeCredit: Landon Nordeman In a breadbasket at Manhattan's Carbone, we discovered the Platonic ideal of garlic bread. With roasted garlic butter made from freshly chopped cloves that are by turns sharp and mellow, heat from red chile flakes, and a bit of funk from parmesan, each crunchy bite of baguette, scattered with parsley and chives and bathed in olive oil, is fiercely flavorful and craveworthy.

    Carbone
    181 Thompson Street
    New York City, NY
    212/254-3000


    See the recipe for Carbone's Garlic Bread »

        

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    feature-sally-bell-box-lunch-500x750-i162EnlargeCredit: Todd Coleman There's nothing like a boxed lunch from 90-year-old Sally Bell's Kitchen: Inside you'll find a sandwich (we prefer pimento cheese) on fresh bread; a cup of creamy potato salad topped with a pickle chip; a cheese biscuit; a deviled egg; and—the prize—an upside-down cupcake, frosting covering the sides and bottom. We think of it as paradise in a box.

    Sally Bell's Kitchen
    708 West Grace Street
    Richmond, Virginia
    804/644-2838)

        

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    20 Years of Saveur Coming HomeEnlargeCredit: Jon Whittle
    In author Andrea Nguyen's May 2009 story “Coming Home” about her return to her native Saigon after 33 years, I found a connection to my own past. I am a black American, a child of the 1960s, and a food historian. I also feel a powerful tie to Vietnam. Every American of my generation does; we were all marked by the war that showed up nightly on our television sets. I was a French major and later a French teacher and therefore knew something of the history that Vietnam shared with the French West African colonies that were the subject of my doctoral work. It was in Dakar, Senegal, and Abidjan, Côte d'Ivoire, while doing my fieldwork that I ate my first Vietnamese food, long before it became popular in the U.S. Nguyen's article resonated deeply. It spoke of past, present, homecomings, exile, and most important, family. The recipes were intriguing. I was especially struck by one for do chua, carrot and daikon pickle. Would it replicate the crunchy, slightly sweet slaw that I remembered? The ingredients were simple enough, and soon I was peeling, paring, and whisking. When it was ready, it was exactly as my taste buds recalled from the small restaurant in Abidjan where I'd first eaten it with my late mother more than three decades earlier. I made a big batch and ate it with everything for the next several days: stir-fries, potatoes, roast pork, on sandwiches. Each time I added it to my plate, I marveled at how food captures memory and how one very simple recipe had the ability to join two seemingly very different families across time and space: Andrea Nguyen's and my own.

    Jessica Harris is a SAVEUR contributing editor.

        

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  • 12/15/13--19:41: Appetizing Stores
  • feature-appetizing-stores-1200x800-i162EnlargeCredit: Landon Nordeman Most mornings, there's nowhere I'd rather be than an appetizing store, where a cream cheese—schmeared bagel piled high with smoked fish is an art form. At the turn of the 20th century, immigrant Jews established these temples of lox and herring in American cities as counterparts to meat-kosher delicatessens, where dairy products such as cream cheese were verboten. Stores specializing in the cold appetizers that would have started a meal back home in Eastern Europe—smoked, pickled, and creamed fish and vegetables—were especially popular in New York City, which remains the appetizing epicenter. There, at the Lower East Side's centenarian Russ & Daughters (179 East Houston Street; 212/475-4880), I peer into the glimmering carryout case at the myriad treasures from the sea, and place my standard order: a bialy—the bagel's flat, oniony cousin—with horseradish cream cheese and salt-cured American salmon belly, aka lox, hand-sliced so thin you can see the sun through it. Uptown, at Barney Greengrass (541 Amsterdam Avenue; 212/724-4707), a 106-year-old institution also known as “The Sturgeon King,” I sit at a rickety table and indulge in an egg scramble loaded with the namesake cured lake fish with its briny, buttery flesh, and served with a side of Woody Allen—brand sarcasm. There are even upstart appetizing stores. Brooklyn's newfangled Shelsky's(251 Smith Street; 718/855-8817) sources the smokiest, meatiest whitefish from Wisconsin's Door County. The hunt for great sable—creamy black cod from cold Pacific waters—has led me to shops in other cities, includingKaufman's Deli(4905 West Dempster, Skokie, Illinois; 847/677-6190) in the Chicago suburbs, where they bake bagels and cornmeal-dredged rye breads daily. But when I'm home in my own town, Toronto, I head to United Bakers Dairy Restaurant (506 Lawrence Avenue West; 416/789-0519), where the fatty Nova Scotia smoked salmon is accompanied by a giant twisted poppy seed bagel, cucumber, tomato, a huge scoop of cream cheese, and all the gossip you can stomach.

    David Sax is a SAVEUR contributing editor.

        

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