Samarkand - Siyob Bazaar - Produce

Uzbek Adventures, Part 6: Samarkand’s Siyob Bazaar

In my last Uzbek Adventures post, we caught a glimpse of Samarkand’s restaurants. We had lunch by the Registan and tasted exotic kebabs and wines in the Russian part of town. The Bibi-Khanym Mosque is the tourist’s next logical destination, and while there, it’s impossible to miss the food market next to it, the Siyob Bazaar. […]

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Bukhara - Ceramics

Uzbek Adventures, Part 4: Bukhara

Returning to Uzbekistan after a sojourn in Tajikistan feels a little bit like reaching the promised land after crossing the desert. A Tajik desert with decrepit Soviet relics, hellish hotels, hellish roads, hellish tunnels, and teapots half-filled with adulterated booze, where the only direction locals can point you is to your very own nadir. If you […]

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Tashkent - National Food Restaurant

Uzbek Adventures, Part 3: Tashkent’s Eateries

In Lonely Planet‘s Central Asia travel guide, the Eating section for Tashkent starts as follows: “You’ll eat better in Tashkent than anywhere else in Uzbekistan and perhaps even than most of Central Asia as a whole.” Although the authors seem to take into consideration some Italian and sushi restaurants about which I couldn’t care less, […]

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Tashkent - Chorsu Bazaar - Produce

Uzbek Adventures, Part 2: Chorsu Bazaar

As I mentioned in my last post, Uzbekistan’s capital, Tashkent, doesn’t have the same touristic appeal as Samarkand or Bukhara. The 1966 earthquake caused massive destruction, and gave the USSR the opportunity to get rid of a good chunk of the old town, building in its stead a modern Soviet city with characteristic desolate avenues, occasional neoclassical […]

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Croatian Food - Zagrebačka Kremšnita

Croatian Stories, Part 1: Kremšnita

In my last post, I made my own contribution to Croatia’s culinary heritage by creating a new dessert, the Dalmatian Kremšnita. It’s now time to take a deeper look at the history of this cake. Kremšnita simply means “cream slice” in Croatian, although “custard slice” would have been more appropriate, since every variation contains various layers of […]

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Vienna - Hotel Sacher

Going West: Hotel Sacher, Vienna

Having toured Moravia, Slovakia and Hungary, we’ll now go on a short escapade to the other side of the Iron Curtain. Six years after publishing my Sachertorte recipe, I finally made it to Vienna’s Hotel Sacher to taste this famous dessert in its natural habitat. The story goes something like this. In 1832, Prince Klemens […]

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Sopron - Harrer Chocolate Factory

Hungarian Impressions: Sopron’s Sweets

The Austro-Hungarian Empire had a rich history of coffee houses and pastry shops. In Budapest, the tradition lives on in famous cafés like Ruszwurm (the city’s oldest, beloved for its cremeschnitte), Gerbeaud (birthplace of the Gerbeaud slice — a ground walnut and jam filling between layers of sponge, covered with chocolate), Hauer, New York, or Centrál, which have survived […]

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Sopron - Jégverem Inn

Hungarian Impressions: In Search of Sopron Cuisine

Tucked up in the northwestern corner of Hungary, Sopron is one of the oldest cities in the country. It’s also in a significant wine-producing region, one of the few to make both reds and whites. One would logically expect an abundance of local food, recipes transmitted from one generation to the next, providing the perfect excuse to drink […]

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