Recreating and revisiting family recipes can offer a sense of history and delicious nostalgia, and a way to relive childhood memories. But for the moment, push all that sweet sentimentality to the side. Family recipes can also be all about getting it right. Sometimes, the way our family makes a dish is just better than anyone else's.
Old handwritten family recipe cards too often spend most of their time hidden away in boxes. Why not turn your most treasured handwritten recipes into beautiful, useful tea towels that can be displayed and enjoyed every day? The Spoonflower blog has a tutorial on how to do it using their custom fabric printing service.
For a sneak peek into the family recipes that have influenced accomplished bakers, chefs and food bloggers, check out Cultural Kitchen, a new YouTube series on the Tasted channel. Each brief, beautifully-shot episode explores the personal story behind one important recipe with well-known food figures, such as Korean food blogger Maangchi. Watch the utterly adorable episode about her grandmother's rice cake soup below.
Whenever I ask one of the older cooks in my family how to make a particular dish, the answer is inevitably, "Oh, you just add a little of this and a little of that..." Request that measurements be given in cups and tablespoons, and they'll either shrug or laugh. Most of the time there is no "recipe," and all the knowledge lives in their heads and hands.
"You just have to watch me make it," says my dad. He's right; there's no better way to learn than to spend time together in the kitchen. But what if you want to capture the recipe in a more concrete way for yourself and future generations? Here are some tips for documenting your grandmother's traditional noodles or your father's secret sauce (once he agrees to share!).
What is espresso and how did it ever come about? These questions are at the heart of Smithsonian Magazine's recent dive into the history of the espresso machine, which is a fascinating read for any coffee lover.
Every now and then, a truly smile-worthy idea comes to our attention that blends food, culture, art, and innovation. This happened last week when we came across art student and designer Kelly Pratt's project Stately Sandwiches.
Although we believe food preferences should have nothing to do with gender, there is still an undercurrent that ties the two together. The stereotype that meat is inherently a more "manly" food is the result of a "strong metaphorical connection in the Western pysche," according to a series of studies recently done in the US and Britain.
Now that we know salt isn't bad for us, we can fully celebrate it in all its cultural and culinary diversity. What better time to take a salt tasting trip around the world, if not in person than through Mimi Sheraton's recent piece for Smithsonian Magazine. She samples 13 different salts, from Himalayan mineral salt to charcoal-black and brick-red salts from Hawaii, and shares her favorite salt and food pairings:
Jujubes: which came first, the fruit or the candy? Jujubes the fruit are rather plain-looking, small and reddish-brown with a mild flesh that is apple-like when fresh and date-like when dried. Jujubes the candy are brightly colored, artificially fruit-flavored and so chewy they could pull a filling out. In the LA Times, food historian Charles Perry recently revealed the connection between these two very different jujubes.
Bananas are as American as apple pie, right? Did you ever stop and think how a fruit grown far away in tropical locals made its way to our countertops? Read on for a short but fascinating history of that funky yellow fruit.