A long, narrow driveway leads straight into fields of freshly tilled soil. At the end, there's an enormous lemon-yellow house with green trim. Two giant, all-white sheepdogs fall over themselves to greet you. There's a friendly donkey named Lola who roams around the backyard garden full of flowers, a fountain with goldfish, and fruit trees … Continue reading Family, Tradition, and Modena’s Black Gold: Everything You Didn’t Know You Wanted to Know About Balsamic Vinegar
“Careful of the intestines,” my Italian co-worker called out casually over his shoulder as he swept broken glass into a spade. I peered into the dark shed, which we’d been asked (sentenced?) to clean and organize one afternoon in the 95-degree heat. The dust alone suggested that the shed had been all but forgotten. I … Continue reading Organic and Biodynamic Winemaking: Lessons from Two Weeks WWOOFing on a Vineyard in Tuscany
“He loves talking to people about his food,” another MFR volunteer told me as I arrived to Saturday’s brunch event at Restaurante Elektra. “He has a story for every different type of arepa.” Chef José Valentín was standing behind the buffet table on Elektra’s shady terrace, serving a wide variety of his favorite dishes: a … Continue reading Hecho en Venezuela: Storytelling with Chef Valentín
Walking through the doors at Barrutia y El 9 feels special. It’s the kind of picturesque, old-school Spanish bar that’s becoming more and more difficult to find in Madrid. The walls are covered with ornate tiles and the bar itself, while small, features all of the basic necessities: cold beer and herbed olives waiting to … Continue reading Cross-Cultural Collaboration with Wesal: Syrian-Basque Fusion!
Amicis restaurant, tucked away in the maze of cobblestone streets near Plaza Mayor in the center of Madrid, was a welcoming refuge from the hot sun yesterday afternoon. Amicis is described as a place “to share food and drinks in a great environment with good friends,” and after spending only a few short minutes in … Continue reading Embracing Diversity at Amicis with Chef Noor
At 10 pm last night, chef Pierre T. was still warmly greeting his guests, shaking their hands, and answering questions about various features of the dishes he had crafted for them. It had been a long day starting with an early morning ACNUR conference where he delivered a speech (and met Jesús Vazquez!), multiple interviews … Continue reading Opening Night of Madrid’s Refugee Food Festival with Pierre!
Representation As an American newly living in Europe, there was nothing more enchanting to me during my first few months in Spain than doner kebab (this might be a slight exaggeration but not really). I’d seen these little shops all over the place while traveling throughout Spain, Bulgaria, and Ireland and found the sheer number … Continue reading Representation, Integration, Kebabization: Unpacking Europe’s “Favourite Drunk Food”
It’s graduation season and these last few days I’ve found myself reflecting on my college experience (and how I’ve used my degree since graduating…). I spent four incredible years at Smith College in Western Massachusetts, and I owe so much of who I am to that time, that place, and those people. Smith was where … Continue reading On Bread, Idealism, and Paradise
Part 1: My Story The Beauty of Wine I never enjoyed red wine until I visited Spain for the first time. I was exploring new places, discovering new ways of life, and tasting new things. My first sip of Ribera del Duero wine during my first night in Madrid on my first ever trip to … Continue reading On Women and Wine
One afternoon during my first month in Madrid, I was walking through my new neighborhood with my laptop in search of a café where I could get cozy, caffeinate, and bust out some work. I had a spot in mind, a café on the corner of the next street over from my apartment that seemed … Continue reading On Individualism, Work-Life Balance, and Coffee Culture in Madrid