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The Middle Eastern roots of Mexico City’s street food classic  Photos by Holly Wilmeth Whenever my daughter-in-law flies home to see her family, she and my son have a ritual. As soon as their plane lands in Mexico City, they head straight for a stand called El Farolito in the airport food court and order a plate of tacos al pastor. It’s the gastronomic equivalent of the returning exile...Read more >

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In Ireland, brown bread is at the heart of any meal. Photographs by Helen Cathcart “Mammy wouldn’t be happy with that,” said Delia Behan, head cook at the boutique guesthouse Number 31 in Dublin. “Too dry. Needs more buttermilk.” While the other guests slumbered in the predawn hours, the kitchen filled with the aromas of baking. Without measuring, Behan tossed whole-wheat flour, wheat germ,...Read more >

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Eaten with churros or a spoon, warm chocolate a la taza is divine. Photos by Gunnar Knechtel  When I moved to Barcelona almost two decades ago, I quickly learned that going out on a weekend night meant staying out until almost morning. My girlfriend (now wife) and I might meet friends at a restaurant around 10 p.m., then go to a bar for drinks, and still, well after midnight, someone would...Read more >

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The surprisingly challenging search for a sake cocktail in Japan. Photographs by Ko Sasaki.  If you want to stump a booze expert, have him blind-taste a vintage sake. That’s what Nick Coldicott, an expat Brit who is one of Japan’s leading liquor experts, told me. “It can come off like an aged stout or a glass of port,” he explained. “Sake has the greatest flavor range of any alcoholic drink out...Read more >

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I WROTE THE TO-DO list on the plane from New York: Show husband the river we played in during summer holidays. Walk in the rubber orchards with our 2-year-old daughter. Eat sadya. But the river had dried up, the rubber orchards had been sold, and Kerala’s first McDonald’s had just opened in the city of Kochi. The tranquil, storybook south Indian state where I grew up was changing even as I...Read more >

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Growing up in New Mexico, I was weaned on green chile. We ate it not only in enchiladas and burritos, but also in eggs, on cheeseburgers, on pizza, and in pasta Alfredo. When I visited the state last summer, I tasted a dark chocolate–green chile truffle, dined with a local restaurateur whose roast beef sandwich bulged with more chile than meat, and met a pastry chef who was developing...Read more >

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The name maultaschen is distinctive enough. It can translate as “mouth bags” or “feedbags.” But there’s an even more striking nickname for these ravioli-like pouches stuffed with minced and smoked meats, mushrooms, onions, parsley, and breadcrumbs. In the Swabian region of southern Germany, they’re called herrgottbescheisserle, which means, roughly, “things you want to hide from Mister...Read more >

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As I stare down at the plate of shredded meat in front of me, I am skeptical. After several days of eating canned green beans and overboiled yucca, I have surmised that 51 years of rationing has reduced much of Cuba’s cuisine to a shadow of its former glory. What if ropa vieja, a vaunted and popular dish, has suffered the same fate? I am sitting in the cozy dining room at Doña Eutimia, one of...Read more >

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A woman walks into a bar in Spain. She’s expecting tapas: small, shareable plates of meat and cheese, salty deep-fried snacks, and garlicky bites drowned in good, grassy olive oil. Instead, she’s served a heaping mound of a single vegetable. This is not the setup for a joke. It’s what happens when I visit Galicia, in Spain’s northwest corner. What passes for a bar snack in the region—at least...Read more >

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