In Paris, one markets on Sundays. I spent one hour this Sunday at the Bastille market, which fills the median on boulevard Richard Lenoir between rue Amelot and rue St. Sabin. Entering the market from the Bastille roundabout, I was amused to find the very first stalls setting the tone of the market and in… Read More This week at the local market: Bastille market in Paris
You don’t read much about sorrel. But now that America has an arugula-loving president at its helm, some of these underdog greens might make it to the table. I first had sorrel soup in Dolores’ 57th street apartment a few decades ago. Dolores’ kitchen was more of a walk-in closet with a window. Almost European… Read More Potato sorrel soup
Like an undulating famished snake the Turkish market at the Maybachufer in Berlin swallows you whole; the peristaltic wave of female marketers young and old (but nearly all with baby carriages) gently pushing you forward through its one narrow aisle along the southern bank of the city canal. Once you’re in, you’re in. You might… Read More This week at the local market: the Turkish market, Maybachufer, Berlin
Yesterday was Skat night and my card-playing brothers came over for dinner. When we play here I cook, when we play at one of their flats, we have an assortment of deli takeout from Butter Lindner. They always finish all their vegetables here! Tender young spinach is available at the market right now, so I… Read More Spinach soup!
It takes around the same amount of time to get from what my mother calls Penn Central Station to Hudson as it does to get from Kolkata to Shantiniketan. Plus/minus two hours, straight up the river. The taxi driver lets me out at the corner of 31st and 8th, at the entrance closest to the… Read More The train to Hudson
When I’m in Berlin on a Thursday, I go to the Brandenburg Farmers Market at the Wittenbergplatz, right across from the world-famous KaDeWe department store. There are about 12-15 local organic farmers who participate in this market, all from the state of Brandenburg which borders the city perimeter. In addition, there are organic cheese, meat,… Read More This week at the local market – Wittenbergplatz Berlin
As I have mentioned in other places, I have become a bit bored with the large-on-leaf and low-on-taste industrial basil that I find in America and Northern Europe. Even the “bio”/”organic” plants are flat and one-dimensional. That said, I found that my local “exotic herbs” supplier here in Berlin offers about 15 varieties of basil… Read More Basil?
December 18, 2008 I begin with a disclaimer and an apology. The disclaimer is destined to dear Jim and others whose palates and curiosities are in search of spice: eat now before reading further. The apology to friends of the North and those who know no other form of Indian cuisine – there is more… Read More Flavors of Northeast India
Yesterday I made a large batch of rhubarb lime sharbat. Sharbat. It might make you think of sherbet. Or sorbet. Or Amitabh Bachchan in the 1984 Hindi movie “Sharaabi.” Probably his best performance EVER. The root “sharba” stems from Arabic, meaning a drink. In Hindi and Persian, the cognate sharab implies an alcoholic one, generally… Read More Sharbat – cooling drinks
In the late summer of 2002 I got New York-ed out and decided to go live in Tehran for a few months. Everyone – except my then nonagenarian friend Dolores – thought I was nuts; America was deeply in the throes of its post-9/11 Axis of Evil anxiety and Iran was not widely viewed as… Read More Greens and lemons