The Baijiu Riddle: Learning to Love China's Infamous Firewater

I first drank baijiu when I was 12, at a banquet in Beijing during a family trip to China. I took a small sip and felt the liquor flame down my throat, setting my nasal passages and eyes on fire. The aftertaste was of hot trash. My body involuntarily tensed as if I'd just drank poison. How was it that this drink, so deeply woven into my parent's warmest memories and the Chinese collective unconscious, tasted foremost of kerosene and rot? More

Cartagena-Style Ceviche is the Chicago Deep Dish of Shrimp Cocktails

In Cartagena, ceviche is all over the place. You'll find shops that specialize in it in the old colonial city. You'll find them in the new downtown. You'll find it on the roof of fancy hotels. You'll find it in beachside shacks. Heck, you'll even find it directly on the water. Jump on one of the charter boats that shuttles you out to the Islas de Rosarios for a day on the beach or snorkeling and odds are that you'll make a brief pit stop next to a two-man canoe selling lobster ceviche. More

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Miso Paste?

For most of us, miso automatically means Japanese, but chefs everywhere know just how versatile this sweet-salty-savory-nutty paste can be. Here our panel shares their favorite uses specifically for sweet, delicate white miso, finding uses for it in every corner of the kitchen. More

The Best Cookbooks for Making Fresh Pasta

The world of fresh pasta is vast and robust, impassioned and opinionated, and completely, utterly delightful. And if you like to play with your food, I can't think of a better way to do it than with pasta. But here's the thing: pasta is also intimidating. It's technical and specific and surprisingly difficult to learn about. Here are the four most reliable, thorough texts on the market to get you started. More

Everything You Can Do With a Jar of Marinated Peppers

Pickled, spicy, sweet, marinated, puréed—jars of peppers keep piling up in my fridge. Some pimentos here; pepperoncini there. More ajvar than one non-Balkan person can reasonably consume in months. A couple weeks ago, while I was steeped in the middle of a major fridge clean-out crisis, I got to thinking—why am I not using these things every day? More

Tea Essentials: The Only Teaware You Really Need

If you're just starting out with tea, it's hard to know which of these gadgets you actually need and which only get in the way. Most tools, which some tea sellers aggressively push on customers who don't know better, decidedly fall into the latter category. This is a no-nonsense guide to the former. More

Tour Guide and Author Lesley Tellez on What Everyone Gets Wrong About Mexican Food

Americans have never been more curious about and hungry for real Mexican cooking. But generations of prejudice and misinformation don't disappear overnight, and there's no shortage of myths and half-truths about Mexican food still out there. So I reached out to Mexican food expert and cookbook author Lesley Tellez to tackle some tall tales about Mexican cuisine and the people who make it. More

Hot Dogs Here! My Day as a Ballpark Hot Dog Vendor

Three decades into my obsession with both baseball and hot dogs, I found myself wondering about those who make it possible to consume 4,000 calories while watching other people exercise—none other than the humble stadium vendor. How many dogs do they sell in a day? How can they carry that metal box up and down the stairs for most of a game? And is there any money in it? More

Hey Chef, What Can I Do With Buttermilk?

Creamy, twangy buttermilk has long been a favorite in fried chicken and all kinds of rich desserts. But its refreshingly sour flavor and milky consistency adapt well to lighter, brighter uses beyond those standards. We asked a panel of pro chefs from around the country for ideas on how to use it morning, noon, and night. More

From Southern Tradition to Mechanical Marvel: How Fried Chicken Lost its Bones

For 200 years, American fried chicken more or less meant one thing. Sure, it was subject to all kinds of regional variations, batters, dredges, and spices, but the fundamental recipe was always the same: hack up a chicken, coat it in starch, and fry it in fat. It always had bones. But a few key technological advancements in the 20th century altered American fried chicken forever. Here's how our modern boneless bird started flapping its wings. More

A Beginner's Guide to Chilean Wine

Once upon a time, you'd grab a so-so $9 Cabernet from Chile to bring to a housewarming, or sip a glass of just-okay Chilean Chardonnay at a wedding and not think twice about it. I have some good news: today's Chilean wine scene has gotten more quality-focused, and more and more of Chile's wines are unique, interesting, and delicious. Here's what you need to know. More

The Best Fried Chicken on the Planet: An Opinionated World Tour

You can travel around the world eating nothing but fried chicken. Here, in no particular order, are my picks for the crispiest, crunchiest, finger-lickingest fried chicken on the planet. Some are general preparations from a region of the world. Some are specific dishes at particular restaurants. Some are recipes you can make at home. All are crispy, meaty, and delicious. More

Dispatches From the Silk Road: The Must-Try Uyghur Food of Kashgar

In China's remote far west, Kashgar sits like a punctuation mark between China and Central Asia, along the Silk Road. For two millennia, the oasis city has enticed travelers with labyrinthine alleys filled with the smoke of char-grilled meat, the scent of spice, and the hawker cries of pomegranate vendors. Head behind the scenes to visit this ancient city and taste the flavors of the bazaar: saffron-marinated lamb, sweet figs, and the finest hand-pulled noodles. More

Everything You Can Do With a Tin of Anchovies

Prized by chefs and home cooks around the world for their funky, briny flavor and extraordinary versatility, anchovies don't just adorn pizzas, salads, and sandwiches—they make their way into distinctive sauces, rubs, dressings, and dips, where they lend a meaty umami backbone to, well, anything you want. But exactly can you do with them? Let's take a look. More

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