Market Watch -- It’s hard to imagine now, but Alvalade, a neighborhood north of downtown Lisbon and close to the airport, was comprised mainly of fields in the early 20th century, with farms in the area supplying the Portuguese capital with dairy products as well as fresh fruits and vegetables.
Building Blocks -- Editor’s note: To further explore how the pandemic has affected the areas featured in our 2020 “Neighborhoods to Visit” guide and what recovery may look like, we will be publishing dispatches from restaurants, markets and food shops in these districts all week long.
Market Watch -- Of the many benefits of village living, perhaps the greatest is eating locally grown, seasonal produce. Fresh eggs with tangerine-colored yolks, backyard chickens, buttery potatoes, and knurly, sweet carrots caked in clods of earth are beyond compare.
The Sweet Life -- When it comes to food from Central and South America, some dishes have become ubiquitous in the US – like the taco – while others haven’t seeped into the country’s consciousness in quite the same way. “We’d like for a salteña to be like a taco,” David Oropeza tells us at our table outside Bolivian Llama Party (BLP), the Sunnyside restaurant he co-owns with his two older brothers, Alex and Patrick.
CB Book Club -- We recently spoke to Mely Martínez about her cookbook, The Mexican Home Kitchen (Rock Point, September 2020), which compiles the traditional home-style dishes that feed Mexican families day in and day out.
Street Eats -- It’s a cold December afternoon when we arrive at the headquarters of Tamales de Tia Tila in San Gabriel Etla, about 45 minutes outside of Oaxaca City. Knocking on the door, we catch a whiff of spices and corn that the cold wind quickly steals away. But as soon the door swings open, revealing a family with faces half-covered in masks and hands busy at work, waves of warm, fragrant air envelope us.
Holiday Eats -- Today is Día de Reyes (Kings’ Day), also known as Epiphany, and in Catalonia, as in many places with Catholic traditions, we celebrate the Magis’ visit to the baby Jesus with a tortell de reis (roscón de reyes in Spanish), or kings’ cake.
Holiday Eats -- In Greece, Epiphany is celebrated on January 6 (some eastern Orthodox churches celebrate it on January 19). To say it’s significant is an understatement: For eastern Christians like the Greeks, the day commemorates the baptism of Jesus in the River Jordan by John the Baptist, seen as his manifestation as the son of God.
Holiday Eats -- ‘Tis the season of the Japanese New Year’s trinity: osechi, oseibo and nengajo. Like newsy Christmas cards, the nengajo is a recap of family or personal news mailed in postcards during the weeks preceding the end of the year and efficiently delivered all over Japan promptly on January 1.
Market Watch -- For most of us around the globe, 2020 has been an unexpected and extremely challenging year. The world has never felt smaller. Here in Athens, we have been on a second strict lockdown for a month and a half now. My seven-year-old son is learning online, and I often feel like I’m juggling too many balls: coordinating and overseeing his schooling schedule, keeping the house as organized as I can considering that we spend almost all our time here, and trying to work at the same time.