“There will be many noteworthy observations in the years to come about the significant involvement of a powerful foreign government in a U.S. presidential election, but none will be more salient than the realization that the event seems to have been met with a shrug by millions of Americans. We now collectively seem to believe that actually there exists no true story at all, anywhere.  What I think is lost but should not be forgotten in all of these rather depressing assessments about our failure to communicate is the disappearance of narrative itself.”

–Matt Straus, “Politics and Small Things”


“It’s 6:05 a.m. The predawn light is filtering through the bedroom windows, and if that weren’t enough to get me up, Cheeks, our rooster, has been crowing nonstop for about half an hour now. The sun doesn’t officially rise until 6:32 this morning, but there’s enough light coming from the horizon to bring the farm to life.”

–Erin Cochran, “My Farm Life”


“If you are wondering why you aren’t familiar with the above-named dishes, U.S. restaurant owners often cater to a public which is unfamiliar with foods of that region other than kebab wraps or plates. While Lebanese restaurants frequently offer many more menu selections, it is easier to find a restaurant labeled ‘Syrian’ in Germany than in America, where a safer moniker has been ‘Mediterranean.'”

–Sherifa Zuhur, “Recipe: Salata Muhammara”


“The draw for me was as much the atmosphere as the food, particularly since they did a few wonderful things with vegetables. Again, the Times’, which reviewed the restaurant on a good number of occasions: “The chef, David Burke, is famous for the way he plays with food. Almost every dish on this American menu has a sly twist. The swordfish chop, like the duck at Tour d’Argent in Paris, comes with a numbered certificate, and you never know what you’ll find in the adorable bread basket.” On my plate would always be either the fresh vegetable platter or Mrs. Asher’s vegetable torte. It looked like a small cake made of delicate layers of many vegetables and something exquisite that held it together – and a side of sautéed wild mushrooms. And dessert – yes, there was the Park Avenue Park Bench – but at my table there was almost always the other signature dessert, the Cube: a perfectly smooth, dark chocolate cube four or five inches high, three or four wide, filled, beneath the paper thin dark chocolate, with espresso mousse.”

–Elizabeth Benedict, “Do You Come Here Often?”


“…there are plenty of ways that the world has grown darker over those decades, but the fact that you can now drink delicious beer absolutely everywhere in America is no small compensation. But it’s also produced what seems to me an aesthetic crisis. Which is, of course, absurd—in a world of actual crises, this is the smallest of problems. And yet: There are so many remarkable beers (those 4,000 breweries probably produce about a dozen varieties apiece on average) and such a high level of consistent excellence that people are literally running out of ways to describe them.”

–Bill McKibben, “The Taste of Beer”


“I arrived early at the bakery the following week on a late September morning. The air on West 47th Street was bright and cool and filled with the smell of hot, dark, crackling bread. I was there for my 9:00 appointment with Jackie, who put on her shoes and walked me through the bakery. Each person she introduced me to asked the same thing, “Why would you want this job?” I smiled and shrugged, thinking this couldn’t be worse than doing nothing in Chicago, right?”

–Peter Hoffman, “Enjoy Your Bread”


“They fell out of love strawberry picking in the countryside. By then, my father had cemented his obsession with Asian culture, choosing to master the Chinese language over practicing his elementary Spanish. Mamá had become driven by finding an “alternative to life in the US,” I overheard her say on the phone. Álmodovar posters hung on walls and a Spanish flag fluttered behind her Corolla. She missed Iberian life and would swoon at vivacious Hispanic men, islander men, big juicy, lemme-get-a-bite-of-that muscle men. She missed her country, she said, not laughing, to a friend on the phone. The strawberry fields reminded her of that: men hunched over like sad mountains.”

–Olaya Barr, “On Betrayal”


“If you’re buying food from someone and they don’t even know where the food is coming from, they’re definitely not going to be able to tell you who produced it, right? Or when it was produced, or how it was grown. And at that point, do you trust it? Can you ever really trust it? You’re taking this shit and putting it in your body. And it’s either going to give you energy and make you feel good and sustain you or pollute you and make you feel like shit and poison you. People come to us because they trust us. They trust that we’re going to do that work for them. We’re going to give them something that has honesty behind it and that is going to deliver on flavor.”

–Interview with BiRite Market’s Sam Mogannam


“It seems important to recognize that the question of whether or not to top up white wine barrels is not purely aesthetic, i.e. not just a thought exercise about what best communicates Jurassien terroir. Money is at stake. It takes money to age wines extensively before releasing them, and one risks losing money by releasing wines that lack appeal beyond a cult of aficionados.”

–Aaron Ayscough, “The Price of Tradition in the Jura”


“On Christmas Eve, we cram twenty people into our tiny apartment and put food on top of our heaters to keep warm. I put the salads in our bedroom and find them later, forgotten and wilted in the dark. That night, when everyone has gone home, we can’t fit the leftovers in the refrigerator, and we leave pots of mashed potatoes and trays of stuffing outside to stay cold.”

–Sophie Dingle, “Recipe: Two-Burner Lemon Risotto”


“When it was introduced, Lillet became popular quickly. The Lillet brothers were savvy advertisers and commissioned fabulous posters and magazine ads to promote their product. This targeted marketing worked and still works 145 years later. Have a look in a glossy food or lifestyle magazine and you are likely to see a full page, colorful ad for Lillet.  In addition, Lillet was among the first white apéritifs in Europe. At the time, most other apéritifs from France and Italy were red. Eventually, in 1962, Lillet did introduce their red version and although tangy, slightly spicy, and delicious, it seems destined to remain in the shadows of the white Lillet. I enjoy a Lillet Rouge occasionally, usually in cooler weather and I do like to pair it with paté de compagne; the contrast is scrumptious. It is also a wonderful apéritif to offer your guests on Thanksgiving because it makes a perfect precursor to the flavors of the traditional autumnal meal, and the elevated alcohol levels help you deal with your family.”

–Christie Dufault, “Love Lillet”




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