Kippered Salmon

The food markets of Russia, Ukraine and the Baltic states are filled with smoked fish of all kinds. Here’s a sample of the selection of hot-smoked items at the Riga Central Market, Europe’s largest, with salmon front and center: Kippered salmon is traditionally prepared using a hot-smoking process, resulting in a flaky, juicy piece of […]

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Partridge Breast and Dumplings in Tokaji Sauce

Up until the first world war, Hungary and Bohemia boasted several great estates for partridge shooting. Thousand of gray partridges were then exported to North America, making them one of the principal game birds here to this day. Although the only American partridges you will find in stores are farmed, a curious loophole allows the […]

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Catskills Mountains - Deer Hunting

Roasted Rack of Venison in Cider Sauce… and the Failed Deer Hunt

As I reported in a previous post, I went deer hunting earlier this month. While somebody who actually knows what he’s doing was driving the hunt, I was hiding in tree stands or blinds like this one, observing my little patch of forest. Believe me, after 4 hours spent sitting in a tent without moving, […]

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Georgian Adventures, Part 4

Our next trip in the Georgian Caucasus took us to the small province of Racha, known for its traditional culture, honey and wine. A quick look at the roadside food stalls reveals plums, figs and lady apples, but also chanterelles: And here is some of the famous Racha honey. Dozens of beekeepers are set up […]

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Goose Confit, Sausages, and More

In Hungary, raising geese is a centuries-old tradition, its secrets handed down from generation to generation. A whole bird is used to prepare all kinds of dishes: roasts, soups, and even fat that will be spread on bread. Similarly, I wanted to explore a variety of ways to prepare all the parts of a goose, […]

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Brynza, Eastern European Feta

Brynza, Eastern European Feta

Brynza, a cheese similar to feta, is made throughout Central and Eastern Europe. The word comes from brînză, Romanian for cheese. It’s an important component of Ukrainian, Moldovan, Romanian and Balkan cuisine, and there’s even an annual Brynza Festival every fall in the town of Rakhiv, in Transcarpathian Ukraine. The cheese is usually made from sheep’s […]

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Azeri Cuisine - Chinar on the Island

Restaurant Review: Chinar on the Island

A note about my restaurant reviews: New York City counts many Eastern European restaurants scattered across the five boroughs, most of them ignored by restaurant critics and diners alike. I intend to visit as many as I can and report! What to do on Black Friday on your way back to New York after a Thanksgiving […]

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Learning to Hunt

As a big fan of game meat, I find it very frustrating that the only game meat that can be sold in the United States — and therefore the only kind that the vast majority of people ever gets to eat — is farmed and not wild. This goes against the very definition of the word […]

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