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Latest Stories

Daily Dispatches from the Frontlines of Local Eating

Flower Power: A Budding Distiller’s Lilac Chacha

Tbilisi |
By 
We have a Georgian friend named Besik who worked in the Sudanese desert removing landmines. At base camp he came across an old pressure cooker and copper tubing and fashioned himself a little still he filled with fermented bananas. To his workmates, Beso was nothing less than a hero, as Sudan had been dry since 1983. “But banana chacha?” we cried. “Sure,” he said. “You can make chacha from any fruit.” Read more
We have a Georgian friend named Besik who worked in the Sudanese desert removing landmines. At base camp he came across an old pressure cooker and copper tubing and fashioned himself a little still he filled with fermented bananas. To his workmates, Beso was nothing less than a hero, as Sudan had been dry since 1983. “But banana chacha?” we cried. “Sure,” he said. “You can make chacha from any fruit.”

Technically, chacha is fermented grape pomace, but the word is also synonymous with “white lightening” and is used to describe any fruit-based spirit, including quince, feijoa and melon. There is now a flower-based chacha, too, thanks to a Tbilisi woman who has created a smooth distillation from lilacs. Read more
October 23, 2020

Recipe: Prasa Ladera, Leeks in Olive Oil

Athens |
By 
Athens A part of the Allium family, which also includes onions and garlic, leeks (prasa, πράσα, in Greek) are native to the Middle East and the eastern Mediterranean region. The hardy crop has been widely used since at least the second millennium B.C., first by the ancient Egyptians and Mesopotamians and later by the Greeks and the Romans, who spread it across Europe. Read more
October 22, 2020

Tacos de Cazuela del Carmen Alto: The Stew Queens

Oaxaca |
By María Ítaka
Oaxaca The name of a food stall followed by “del Carmen Alto” has a particular ring in Oaxaca, calling to mind a whole world of stands, all of which are located in the two blocks facing the church La Iglesia del Carmen Alto, in the heart of the city’s historic center. Read more
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