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Latest Stories

Daily Dispatches from the Frontlines of Local Eating

El Rey Zapoteco: The Matron of Mezcal

Oaxaca |
By Lydia Carey
“When you like what you do, and you're young, nothing is impossible,” says Doña Juanita Hernandez, one of a handful of female master distillers in Oaxaca, the heart of Mexico’s small-scale mezcal industry. She sits, tiny and relaxed on a wooden bench as we sip mezcal in her distillery, El Rey Zapoteco, in the Oaxacan town of Santiago Matatlan. Read more
“When you like what you do, and you're young, nothing is impossible,” says Doña Juanita Hernandez, one of a handful of female master distillers in Oaxaca, the heart of Mexico’s small-scale mezcal industry. She sits, tiny and relaxed on a wooden bench as we sip mezcal in her distillery, El Rey Zapoteco, in the Oaxacan town of Santiago Matatlan.

Doña Juanita herself was just a young girl when she started filling and labeling the bottles at her uncle’s distillery. He was the first person to bottle in the town, which has a long-held tradition of mezcal production. “[His brand was] Mezcal Matatlan,” she remembers. “He bought a bottling machine – a tiny one for four bottles at a time, and he had me fill the bottles and put on the labels.” Read more
August 2, 2021

Bottle Stopper: Porto’s Unexpected Cork Country

Porto |
By David Taylor
Porto We were crawling through traffic on Porto’s ring road in our rental car when dawn finally caught up to us, illuminating the spectacular view of the Douro River down below. That slice of the waterfront quickly glided past as we exited the bridge, soon replaced by the lush rolling countryside south of the city: olive trees, low grape arbors. We were on our way to Santa Maria de Lamas to visit the headquarters of the world’s largest cork producer, Amorim Cork. Read more
July 30, 2021

Huttes Marines: Beach Bites

Marseille |
By 
Marseille In the 1960s, Mayor Gaston Defferre proposed a plan to give Marseille a beach that was worthy of the Mediterranean port. Despite the city’s 26 miles of coastline, there were very few public beaches at the time. One of them, Prado, was so narrow that waves would flood the coastal road beside it each time the mistral wind blew. Read more
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