Forget Pizza; In Florence, Tripe is Tops

At lunchtime outside of Florence’s tourist-filled Mercato Centrale, locals line up to bite into a native delicacy, but it’s not what you think. Forget about plates of sizzling oven-fresh pizza, and wipe images of home-cooked pasta from your mind. In this Tuscan town, tripe is king of street food.

Beatrice Trambusti has been selling hot trippa and lampredotto—the first and fourth stomach of the cow, respectively—from her kiosk, Lupen e Margo, for 30 years. But the Florentine appetite for tripe dates back much earlier than even Trambusti can attest to. Its history begins in the 15th century, when ...

Want to Cook Sustainably? Go Solar

If you’ve ever been stuck in a black car on a hot day, then you understand the concept of solar cooking, says Louise Meyer, founder of Solar Household Energy, Inc. (SHE), which promotes solar cooking all over the world. Simply put, a dark surface absorbs sunlight and turns those light waves into heat energy. That’s why your car’s dark leather seats burn up in the summertime, and why we can rely on the sun for fuel. “It’s a heat trap,” Meyer explains.

Meyer became interested in harnessing the sun for fuel when she lived in the Sahel in Northern Africa in ...

Syrian Refugees Find Comfort, Humanity in the Ritual of Cooking

Before fleeing his hometown in Northern Syria, Ghalib* sat down to enjoy one final home-cooked meal: a chicken, potato, and tomato dish known as galaya. Ghalib, in his early twenties, now lives as a refugee in Jordan, where he works illegally as a construction worker and a doorman.

In Syria, Ghalib had managed to temporarily avoid trouble during the conflict by serving in Bashar al-Assad’s Syrian Army. That all changed when one night, when Ghalib, from his watch post, saw a stranger take out a knife and kill a local woman. Ghalib shot and killed the man. But it turned out the man Ghalib shot was a ...

Coffee Culture is Catching On in Tea-Steeped China

Leaving Fudan University’s Center for American Studies after my first day of class last summer, I was exhausted–most likely the result of my brain operating in Chinese for the past three hours and Shanghai’s notoriously humid summers. But at only half past noon, my day was not nearly over. Like any good American, I knew the solution: I needed coffee.

Relying on my phone as navigator, I set out in search of the nearest Starbucks (known locally as Xingbake). A decade ago, this might have proven a challenge. But lucky for me, international chains like Starbucks have recently come to see the potential in China’s coffee market. The country is ...

Russians Sniff Out Real Cheese as Imported Dairy Ban Lingers

When it comes to cheese, the people of Russia go to great lengths to get their fix these days. From the flourishing online black market to underground cheese dealers working from back rooms in corner stores, Russians are scrambling to get their hands on the tasty contraband. Though their methods may seem extreme, a recent report shows that black market shoppers have good reason. Up to 50 percent of dairy products on the nation’s store shelves are fake, according to Russia’s agricultural watchdog Rosselkhoznadzor.

The report surfaces at the tail end of Russia’s yearlong (and recently extended) ban on many ...

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