Everything You Need to Know about Khachapuri on MUNCHIES

MUNCHIES just published my article on khachapuri: “Georgia’s Cheese Bread Might Be Better Than Pizza”. It covers all the various types of cheese breads you can find in Georgia, from the classic Imeretian khachapuri to the much rarer khabizgini. To help you orient yourself, I’ve created a map of all the Georgian regions that claim their own local variations of the […]

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Ukrainian Snapshot: Vylkove, July 2013

Last summer, after touring Moldova, we crossed the border with Ukraine and headed towards Odessa. The goal wasn’t really Odessa itself, which I had already visited, but a remote village called Vylkove (Vilkovo, in Russian). Vylkove takes its name from vilka, which means fork, on account of its location in the Danube Delta. Although the town is […]

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Ukrainian Snapshot: Odessa Airport, September 2005

Today I’m starting a new travel series: Ukrainian Snapshots. I’ve been to Ukraine many times over the past ten years. Back in the days before Aerosvit went bankrupt, the New York-Kiev direct flight was a convenient and reasonably affordable option whenever I planned to visit the former Soviet Union. Before the opening of its new terminal, Moscow’s […]

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Tiraspol - Kvint Factory - Brandy Tasting

Moldovan Impressions: The Cognac

In my previous Moldovan Impressions, we explored the local culinary traditions, visited the wine cellars, and discovered the renegade republics. We will soon leave Moldova to move on to stories of neighboring Ukraine, but before that, a little digestive is in order. In capitalist societies, class inequality has led to Cognac being the privilege of […]

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Transnistria - Tiraspol - Lenin Street

Moldovan Impressions: The Breakaway Territories, Part 3

Our mock tourist guide of Transnistria continues! After the history and travel logistics sections, let’s talk about the attractions, the gastronomy, and the souvenirs. I have to warn you: “pretty” isn’t the first adjective that comes to mind when thinking of Transnistria and its capital city, Tiraspol. And I dare anyone to name a Transnistrian national dish. Don’t […]

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Transnistria - Tiraspol - Kirov Park - Antikrizisnaya Vodka

Moldovan Impressions: The Breakaway Territories, Part 2

9 November 1989: the Berlin Wall falls, marking the end of the division between the East and the West. Within a year, the Eastern Bloc collapses. 27 August 1991: following the failed Soviet August Coup, Moldova, like most other republics in the USSR that haven’t done so yet, declares its independence. 8 December 1991: the presidents of Russia, Ukraine, and […]

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Moldovan Impressions: The Breakaway Territories, Part 1

With only three and a half million inhabitants and a territory smaller than the New York metropolitan area, one might think that Moldova doesn’t have any ethnic conflicts. The composition of the population seems pretty straightforward: 70% Moldovans, followed essentially by ethnicities from neighboring countries, such as Ukrainians, Romanians, and Russians. Ah yes, Russia… Sure […]

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Chișinău Central Market

Moldovan Impressions: The Food, Part 2

Last time, I took a look at Moldovan food as it’s served in restaurants. Since Moldovans cook at home a lot more often than they dine in restaurants, let’s also visit the Central Market in Chișinău, where many provisions can be bought. Founded in 1825, Piaţa Centrală is located right in the city center, not […]

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