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Interviews

Italians Cooking Flowers

PICKING, COOKING, AND EATING FLOWERS and wild herbs was once a common practice across rural Italy. From Naples’ sciurilli (deep fried courgette flowers) to Veneto’s frittelle di fiori de gazia (acacia flowers doughnuts), most regions have a dish whose key ingredient is flowers. But after World War II, industrialization and urbanization led to the abandonment …

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Scandinavian Kaffeost

Like Swedish lovers canoodling in a hot tub overlooking the frozen lakes of northern Scandinavia, kaffeost, or “coffee cheese,” bobs luxuriously in its hot coffee bath. The dried cheese, called juustoleipä (sometimes leipäjuusto or just juusto), absorbs the steaming brew, softening without melting, like a rich, moist cheese sponge. Though it may be an unlikely pairing to some palates, among the …

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Oliverio Xicotencatl offers a glimpse at the busiest time of the year at his bakery.

Meet a Baker Giving Life to Día de los Muertos Celebrations For the millions of Mexicans who celebrate Día de los Muertos across the country and abroad, the sweet breads, rolls and treats placed on altars during the holiday are an important way of honoring their loved ones. This annual celebration, beginning on November 1 …

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The Disgusting Food Museum

A new museum aimed to assault the olfactory senses of visitors and churn their stomach opened yesterday in Sweden’s third largest city, Malmo. Inside are various exhibits that some cultures supposedly eat, such as fermented shark meat, bull penis, fermented herring, maggot cheese and ant larvae. It’s so bad that the museum provide visitors with vomit bags …

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The Potato Whisperer

Manuel Choqque Bravo’s delicious, colorful creations are adored by world-class chefs. 1,296 Bravo shows off a collection of cultivated tubers. ALL PHOTOS COURTESY OF MANUEL CHOQQUE BRAVO MANUEL CHOQQUE BRAVO, A FOURTH generation potato farmer in the Andean highlands of Chinchero, is about to perform a magic show. He lines up multiple deformed tubers, indigenous to the …

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The Life and Times of a Japanese Candy Artist

For 17 years, Miyuki awed guests with her candy craftsmanship. JEFFCHRISTIANSEN/CC BY 2.0 AMEZAIKU IS THE TRADITIONAL JAPANESE practice of molding hot candy into artistic shapes before it hardens. This feat, traditionally accomplished by experienced craftsmen in front of a crowd, was once thought to be a fading art. But it’s been given a second life by social media and new …

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The World’s Only Sourdough Library

ACCORDING TO KARL DE SMEDT, sourdough belongs to the entire world. Burbling away in refrigerators at his Puratos Sourdough Library in St. Vith, Belgium, are over 100 sourdough starters from around the globe. Each one has been chosen specifically for its renown, origins, and often, estimated age. In the video above, Atlas Obscura gets an insider’s tour of the world’s …

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In Lapland, chefs and residents hunt and gather to make bear soup, lingonberry syrup, and reindeer.

Bear soup. ALL PHOTOS: EILEEN CHO 867 The wild region of Lapland, in Finland, is located so far north that it experiences nearly endless summer sunlight, which locals refer to as the “Midnight Sun.” But when summer ends, the sun soon sets just a few hours after it rises. This unique, Arctic Circle climate produces flora and …

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The Desperate and the Insane: 3 Reasons Why Chefs are a Dying Breed – 1

We live in the age of the Celebrity Chef. Portraits of the crisp white jacket and dental-advertisement smile assail us at every turn. Bookstore shelves heave under the voguish glut of cookbooks, the covers gleaming with photo-shopped images of a foodies wet dream. Sexed-up dishes artfully manipulated by food stylists defy the imperfect genius of …

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The Desperate and the Insane: 3 Reasons Why Chefs are a Dying Breed – 2

2. Clash of the Generations Marco Pierre White, the first British chef (and youngest chef anywhere) to win three Michelin stars, is considered by many to be the first modern-day culinary idol. Labelled by the press in the late-1980s as the “enfant terrible of haute cuisine” and the “anarchic Byron of the backburner,” he trained in …

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The Desperate and the Insane: 3 Reasons Why Chefs are a Dying Breed – 3

3. Social Media and the Rise of the Amateur Critic “If I came to your house for dinner an hour late, then criticised all your furniture and your wife’s haircut and said all your opinions were stupid, how would you feel? People still come here and expect a three-course meal in an hour. What do …

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Prague’s Communist Cookbook That Defined Cuisine

IN THE NEWLY INDEPENDENT CZECH Republic of the 1990s, cheap comfort food—such as goulash, pork knuckle, and dumplings—dominated every eatery. Meanwhile vegetarians were encouraged to feast on fried cheese and stewed cabbage. (The late Anthony Bourdain famously called it “the land vegetables forgot” in an episode of his travel show No Reservations.) For the most part, tourists …

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World’s best molecular gastronomy chefs

The introduction of molecular gastronomy into modern cuisine took the culinary world by storm and started a movement that has become an international revolution. Using groundbreaking technology and molecular techniques pioneered by Ferran Adria, the chefs that followed in his footsteps have become the leaders of innovation in modernist cooking today. This award is designed …

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