About the food of Vietnam

Khu cầu Đá Bạc Thủy Nguyên. Photo by Hoàng Việt.

The first time I had Vietnamese food I was fourteen, living in Paris. Turns out, great Vietnamese restaurants can be found all over the city. I remember one thing only about those early forays into Vietnamese culture: crispy, deep-fried rolls and a platter of mint and lettuce. You wrap the rolls in a handful of mint and lettuce, then dip it into nuoc mam (a sweet and spicy fish sauce mixture). I still dream about that flavor. Fresh, fried, crunchy, and sour. Unfortunately, everywhere I … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: Uzbekistan

uzbekistan.food.recipe.img_2109

httpv://youtu.be/_EPqwvfEGds Stirring, stirring, stirring. Uzbekistan requires no stirring. Just a layering of this vegetable, then that... a stuffed quince and few chopped nuts. But no stirring. Definitely nothing of the sort. Have you ever noticed how hard it is to just wait? To wait and do nothing? To wait and trust that everything will come out okay, no burning, no overcooking, no drying out? How hard it is to not stir the pot? With just three weeks until our big event at … [Read more...]

Recipe: Honey & Pistachio Stuffed Quince

uzbekistan.food.recipe.img_2172

Say "Quince" to an Uzbek lady, and you just might see her flush with delight. Though they aren't eaten raw, baked quince are soft and tender, like a pear.  The taste is mild, something like an apple, but with traces of pear, too. Uzbekistan is the third greatest producer of quince, after Turkey and China. They include the fruit in plov, stir it into preserves, and they bake it up with honey, and sometimes even stuff it nuts... as we're doing today. How to choose a quince: - look … [Read more...]

Recipe: Harvest Stew | Dimlama

uzbekistan.food.recipe.img_2026

If it were up to me, every gardener would know about Dimlama, the Uzbek one-pot answer to harvest-time (no canning required). While every Uzbek family makes it a little differently, potatoes, carrots, peppers, and tomatoes are standard fare, as is a hearty sprinkling of whole cumin seeds. The key to dimlama rests in the layering. First of all, lamb is browned, then onions are added in the mix. One they submit to browning, the remaining vegetables are layered (and, once they're added, you … [Read more...]

Menu: Uzbekistan

uzbek-menu

"Don’t choose a house—choose neighbors. Don’t choose a path—choose traveling companions." Uzbek Proverb This week we're going to Uzbekistan via stovetop travel and the timing couldn't be better: September is harvest time. Right on cue, my tomato plants recently produced dozens of cherry tomatoes. The look like bright like jewels against the green landscape. In Uzbekistan, when it's harvest time, the people gather up their bountiful produce and make Dimlama. Then they follow it up with … [Read more...]

About the Food of Uzbekistan

Newlyweds in Uzbekistan. Photo by Dalbera.

Upon our friends,  Our strength depends. Uzbek Proverb Before this adventure, it often took a personal connection to help me tune into another part of the world, and such was the case with Uzbekistan.  I never gave much thought to the long central Asian country, until college, when I became friends with a girl named Marina. She moved to the states from Uzbekistan when she was a girl. We jogged together, 3 miles a day, 6 days a week. We never ran so hard that we couldn't talk. And … [Read more...]

Monday Meal Review: United Arab Emirates

turkey mountain

httpv://youtu.be/Rlb_JCMCIsk The batter hits the pan. Immediately, the sticky scent of dates hits the air. A few minutes later, I am alone with a stack of sweet, lacy, whole wheat muhalla. They look like crepes, but taste like sweet, yeasty bread. How on earth can I not eat them all up? Talk about a challenge. But my family is elsewhere; Ava at her little school program and my husband at work. So I eat just a corner of one. Then another. Soon an entire muhalla is gone. Then … [Read more...]

Recipe: Orange Blossom Juice

united-arab-emirites.food.recipe.img_1229

Orange juice is a hardworking breakfast drink. When everyone else in the house is still rubbing the sleep out of their eyes, orange juice is waaaay perky. It contains enough joy to put coffee out of business. But what if you had something a little more fancy to offer your family (or guests) in the morning? Orange juice with a splash of orange blossom water is a direct inspiration from the United Arab Emirates (and all over the Gulf), where hosts offer guests orange blossom water & … [Read more...]