Honey Cake Gagra with Mandarin and Black Tea

A few weeks ago, I was promising some recipes inspired by my trip to Abkhazia. I’ve already delivered the achma and the Adjaran khachapuri, but I had to redo this recipe countless times. I started with the idea for a black tea cake with a mandarin sauce, two ingredients characteristic of Abkhazia — check out […]


Sour Cream Ice Cream and Strawberry Preserves

I’m slightly ahead of the curve this time, giving you a preserves recipe before the strawberry season actually starts! This simple recipe produces outstanding results — these are simply the best strawberry preserves I’ve ever eaten. Make sure to pick the best berries you can find.  I typically check every single stand at the farmers’ […]


Almond, Raisin and Chocolate Yule Log

This year was the first in nearly a decade that I remained home for the holidays, and I decided to make up for all that lost time by making an abundance of holiday-themed dishes. Some might say an overabundance, but is there really such a thing?! The Yule log was originally a large wooden log […]

Hungarian Cuisine - Ludlab Torta

Lúdláb Torta, or Death by Chocolate and Maraschino Cherries

There are a few famous Hungarian desserts (famous, that is, among those with an interest in Hungarian cuisine). The Dobos torta and its many layers. The Rigó Jancsi and its saccharine history. The Gundel palacsinta and its secret recipe. Less known is the lúdláb torta, a chocolate sponge cake with cherries and chocolate mousse or buttercream, covered with chocolate glaze. […]

Croatian Food - Maraschino Cherries

Maraschino Cherries

Unbeknownst to most of us, maraschino cherries haven’t always been the overly sweet, rubbery, bright red mess we are accustomed to in our cocktails. You can read their fascinating history on Wikipedia, from their royal origin to their post-Prohibition descent into mediocrity: The name maraschino originates from the Marasca cherry of Croatian origin and the […]


Baked Paskha

Paskha is a traditional dessert made of tvorog and shaped like a truncated pyramid. Culinary writer William Pokhlebkin notes that the cost of the dish used to mean that simple people could only afford it about once a year, and chose to time it for the end of the Lenten fast in the orthodox faith — in […]