Mushroom hunting has an irresistible, magical pull. Composer John Cage, an avid mushroom collector, found them an integral part of his creative process, once writing: “Much can be learned about music by devoting oneself to the mushroom.” Every fall, thousands of Catalans likewise find themselves under the mushroom’s spell, following the elusive fungus’s silent melody into the woods, a rustic wicker basket in one hand and – more and more these days – a GPS-enabled smartphone in the other. Continue »
Tag Results for 'vegetarian'
Dimitris Kotsaris was more proselytizer than baker. Rather than a flour-dusted apron, this mild-mannered gentleman would wear elegant suits to meet with journalists, bearing two or three kilos of his famous whole-wheat bread as a gift. He was an ardent believer in the medicinal qualities of bread and preached widely that good bread promoted good health, once even taking his case to Harvard, where he delivered a talk about the role of well-made loaves in healthy diets. Continue »
Shanghai’s hottest summer on record is officially behind us, which can mean only one thing: Mid-Autumn Festival is just around the corner. Zhōngqiū jié (中秋节) is that memorable time of year when Chinese people gift (and regift) bite-sized treats known as mooncakes (月饼, yuèbǐng). Continue »
Dining at Buddhist temples in China can be a disappointing experience. Too often, these halls of worship have been turned into tourist traps that solicit enough donations to keep the monks in expensive trainers, meat-based meals and high-end smart phones. Independent Buddhist restaurants, like Wu Guan Tang (五观堂), are a breath of fresh air, maintaining the tenets of the religion while offering quality vegetarian food in a peaceful environment. Continue »
In the heart of El Raval, one of Barcelona’s most multicultural neighborhoods, lies a portal to the Catalan countryside. At La Biblioteca, which opened in 2012, the origins of the ingredients sing out clearly from each dish and plunge you into a pure culinary experience inspired by the land: the traditional farmhouses called masias, the rustic recipes of the Pyrenees, the perfume of the valleys and gardens, the modern farmers near the city and the influence on plants and herbs of the Mediterranean Sea. Continue »
Editor’s note: This post was written by “Meliz,” an intrepid explorer of Istanbul’s culinary backstreets and frequent Istanbul guest contributor who would like to keep her anonymity.
It all started with Laz böreği. It was not just any Laz böreği that showed up at the dinner party that evening, but perfect Laz böreği: layers of yufka (phyllo), buttery and moist, dusted with confectioner’s sugar, in a symbiotic balance with the custard, which was neither too sweet, nor too eggy, neither too runny, nor too stiff. Continue »
The Praça da Bandeira, an area of Rio that until recent years was mostly known for prostitution and cheap inner-city housing, is rapidly changing. Lying in the shadow of the massive Maracanã Stadium – built for the 1950 World Cup and the planned location of the final World Cup 2014 match – it is alive with new construction and pedestrian traffic, which are changing the tired face of this historical but underappreciated neighborhood. And sitting snugly in the midst of this new buzz is Aconchego Carioca, a restaurant and bar with one of the best beer menus in Rio. Continue »
Editor’s note: Here at Culinary Backstreets, we eagerly await the coming of spring each year, not just for the nicer weather but also because some of our favorite foods and dishes are at their best – or indeed, are only available – for a short period during this season. This post from Athens is the first installment of “Spring (Food) Break 2013,” a weeklong celebration of our favorite springtime eats. Stay tuned for dispatches from all of the Culinary Backstreets cities.
Athens is probably at its prettiest in springtime, especially in April and May. Continue »
Lantern Festival (元宵, yuánxiāo, or “first night”) is the fifteenth day of the Chinese New Year, and marks the last day of Spring Festival. This “first night” is actually the first full moon of the lunar new year, and in the Year of the Snake it lands on February 24. On this holiday, it’s customary for revelers to light red lanterns and eat sweet stuffed dumplings called tāngyuán (汤圆). Continue »