Proximo por Canal Seis: Next up on Channel Six

Thank you to Blacklane for sponsoring this post. Scroll down for more info. Eight years after my time in Uruguay, on vacation 4,500 miles north of Montivdeo, I curled up in pain on the tile floor of a Puebla, Mexico hotel room. A voice came on the TV: "Proximo por canal seis..." Next up on channel six… It didn't matter what show it introduced, the voice alone relaxed me like a shot of morphine. Living abroad brings new joys such as learning to order the local liquors, seizing the opportunity to be the exotic, mysterious foreigner, and flirting in a tongue where you haven't heard that … [Read more...]

Raccoon Battles and Bowel Movements: The Fantasy of the All-Inclusive Resort

I am as susceptible as anyone to a fantasy. Words like “gourmet” and the name of a fancy chef flying into town were peppered throughout the email invitation. I was in: sign me up for a week of relaxing at an all-inclusive resort by the sea, eating desert fruit and fresh Caribbean seafood, and interviewing the star chef. Was this real life, I wondered, as I dug out my bathing suit from its winter hiding spot? Or was I counting my freshly caught mahi-mahi before it came anywhere near the line? The answer, I’m afraid, comes with the reality that I just now had to Google what kind of fish might be … [Read more...]

Engineering the Perfect Cup of Coffee

In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome. Though they paid for my trip, they didn't require me to write anything or dictate what I wrote. Still, that is why this post is about coffee. And illustrated with photos of Colombia. In March, Café de Colombia—the Colombian National Coffee Federation—brought me to Colombia to learn more about coffee. It was awesome, but I wish my husband could have come. Not because I’m one of those weird co-dependent people that can’t bear a few days without my spouse, … [Read more...]

Eating with My Right Hand

Midway through most of the meals I ate on my honeymoon in Sri Lanka, a smile and a pile of napkins started coming my way. I would swipe at my face, realizing that it once again looked like someone gave a drunken toddler one of those finger-paint-with-curry sets. Other brides count down the weeks before their wedding by practicing dance steps, reciting their vows, or fretting about décor. Something else occupied my mind: eating with my right hand. Immediately after the ceremony, my new husband and I were jetting off to Sri Lanka. (“Why Sri Lanka?” people ask. The answer: it’s as far from … [Read more...]

Eating London: I Screw It Up Again

Originally posted on Food Riot, which has since shut down. There is no time that I'm happier than locating delicious food in foreign cities, exploring cuisines and delicacies that I can't find at home. It doesn't matter if I'm traipsing through the Jamaica neighborhood of Queens for Liberian food or around an actual Caribbean island. The important thing is finding food that changes how I think. Eating in London makes it hard. I visited London once before, more than a decade ago. Yo! Sushi–Westernized rolls on a conveyor belt—was the height of cool, and we'd saved up. It was our one … [Read more...]

The French—They’re Just Like Us.

Here in the U.S. there’s a general feeling that France is the star of the dining scene. Sure, we’re doing our best, and we’ve come of dining age, but the real masters, with their mother sauces and generations of heritage, are in France. Just like US Weekly’s celebrity spying, column Stars, They’re Just Like Us, what I learned on my recent trip to Paris and Avignon is that when it comes down to it, the French? They eat just like us.  They serve out-of-season tomatoes: Only theirs are smothered in broiled Brie. They shop at Farmers Markets: They like to picnic: Things I need for … [Read more...]

The Time I Went to Adult Summer Camp

I'm going to deviate just a touch from the topic of eating food for a second...but there's still food preparation involved. Lady Camp was one of the most inspiring things I've done in a long time. I travel across oceans all the time, but here, just 45 minutes from my house, I met people from the foreign lands that we call "across the mountains" with strange religions (I believe they're called "republicans"). They were tall and short, old as my grandmother, and young enough that I had to use the phrase "back in my day," more than once. The common thread? They were as enthusiastic as I am … [Read more...]

App Release: Unique Eats of the Northwest

“I’m having a girl!” the text came in yesterday from my best friend. I couldn’t be happier for her. THERE IS A TINY HUMAN INSIDE MY BEST FRIEND. What could be more exciting than that? Nothing. But this is my blog, not hers, so that’s not my story. Instead, here’s the second most interesting thing going on in my world. I’ve been gestating a little something myself for the last nine months: a tiny, electronic baby. If I were texting my friends about it, the message would say: “I’m having an app!” I’m not texting, though. Even just saying out loud, “My app is releasing today” feels … [Read more...]

How to Find the Best Food While Traveling

Some phrases that make my heart hurt: “We got there and we were tired, so we just ate at the hotel” “I didn’t know what anything was, so thank god there was a [PICK ONE: TGIMcFunsters/Magic Panda/Burger Sovereign] nearby” “We wanted to eat where we could see the [INSERT MAJOR TOURIST ATTRACTION HERE].”  The average tourist decision, anywhere in the world, on where to eat goes like this: Joe Schmoe spends hundreds of dollars on flights and hotels to get to EXCITINGVILLE! He spent the whole flight reading the guidebook entry for FAMOUS PLAZA. When he got there, he looked around … [Read more...]

From Pest to Plate: An Essay on Eating Bugs, Slugs, & Insects

The slug recoiled in horror, seemingly just as scared that his comfy—if crunchy—bed of green lettuce had been disturbed, as I was that he was on it. He recovered more quickly than I did, returning to slithering about, leaving a faint trail of slime on my chivito. Translating to ‘baby goat,’ a chivito is a the Uruguayan national food: a sandwich in which mayonnaise, ham, steak, hard-boiled eggs, and cheese are stacked upon each other without regard to either cleanliness of shirt or heart-health of the eater, all while packed into an oversize hamburger bun. Slugs, which, according to my … [Read more...]