Karlovy Vary - Becherovka Museum

Czech Impressions on MUNCHIES: Becherovka

I will soon start a series of travel posts on my recent trip to Czech Republic, but you can get a taste of things to come with my new article on MUNCHIES: Becherovka Is Better Than Cough Syrup. The piece details the history of Czech Republic’s favorite herbal liqueur through my visit to the Becherovka museum […]

Kiev - Lesya Ukrainka Boulevard - Varenichnaya Restaurant

Ukrainian Snapshot: 10 hours in Kiev, August 2012

Ah, the good old days of Aerosvit! New York-Kiev non-stop in a mere 10 hours, on a plane with nearly non-existent entertainment but at a reasonable price. I’ve used Kiev as a stopover on many trips, spending anywhere from a few hours to a few days there before heading on to Azerbaijan, Georgia, Uzbekistan, or […]

Ukraine - Odessa - Privoz Market

Ukrainian Snapshot: Privoz Market, Odessa, July 2013

Aaah, Odessa: the legendary Potemkin Stairs, the mail-order brides, the mafia… and the Privoz Market. The Privoz was created in 1827, originally as a handful of horse-driven carts next to the older Stary bazaar. As more buildings were constructed, it slowly became the largest food market in Odessa, and it remains so. Don’t expect any neoclassical splendor […]


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 […]


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 […]


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 […]

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 […]

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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