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This past year took us from lockdowns to reopenings, from being homebound to reveling in the joy of just going out for a leisurely lunch. Not surprisingly, our top stories of the year reflect that reality, with recipes making up a good portion of what all of you were reading in 2021 (it would appear that a lot of garlicky Georgian shkmeruli was cooked up in the early part of the year).

Stories about both classic spots that weathered the Covid storm and new places that opened up despite the challenges also proved to be popular. Below are 2021’s most-read stories, in case you missed that shkmeruli recipe (and any of the other articles) the first time around!

The Americas

El Posito: Rock Solid in Oaxaca

El Posito has been serving piedrazos – a peculiar Oaxacan snack of hard, crunchy bread dunked in vinegar and topped with pickled veggies – for the last 55 years.

Bolivian Llama Party: Pump Up the Salteñas in Queens

At its outpost in Sunnyside, Bolivian Llama Party is introducing New Yorkers to Bolivian cuisine, particularly the salteña, a stew-filled pastry.

Desserts

Soğuk Baklava & Beyond: Istanbul’s Half-Baked Dessert Trends

From trileçe to San Sebastian cheesecake to 2021’s soğuk baklava, we dive into a recent history of Istanbul dessert trends.

Mon Sciù Pastries: A Sliver of Paris in Naples

At Mon Sciù, a pastry shop in Naples’ historic center, Chiara Cianciaruso offers delicate, carefully crafted French-style pastries with a Neapolitan soul.

Recipes

Shkmeruli Recipe: Georgian Garlic Chicken Bomb

We asked chef Tekuna Gachechiladze to share her recipe for shkmeruli, Georgia’s breath-defying garlic chicken dish made with milk, heavy cream and butter.

Moussaka Recipe: A Real-Deal, Greek Classic

Carolina Doriti, our Athens bureau chief, shares her recipe for Greek moussaka, a hearty baked dish with layers of vegetables and ground beef, topped with a creamy béchamel sauce.

Yabrak Recipe: A Passover Classic for Marseille’s Tunisians 

A Marseillaise with Tunisian roots, Frédérique Zuili shares her yabrak recipe – she makes the romaine leaves stuffed with meatballs each year for Passover.

Building Blocks

Building Blocks: Lamprey, Portugal’s Monstrously Delicious Fish

Lamprey, an eel-like fish, is one of the ugliest in mother nature’s portfolio, but it’s popular in Portugal from January to April.

Naan Hut: Baking An Ancient Bread in A New Land

In Tehrangeles, home to a large swathe of the Los Angeles Persian community, Naan Hut bakes an ancient and much-beloved sangak flatbread.

Take A Bao: Shanghai’s Top 5 Soup Dumpling Restaurants

We share our five favorite spots in Shanghai for soup dumplings of all strips, from traditional Shanghainese xiaolongbao to Nanjing-style tangbao.

Published on January 01, 2022

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November 17, 2021

The CB Gift Guide 2021

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Word On the Street: Celebrating Our Favorite Street Vendors

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