The street food of Nice, the first time I actually ate socca was when my mother made it. Yeah, I don’t have your average culinary family. Since then I’ve had a strange obsession with it, having tracked it down from the one guy who makes it in all of Paris, to trying to master my own recipe.
I never call myself a food blogger. No, really.
I have never felt that I can keep up with all of the prolific food writers and recipe developers out there. How some people manage to publish new complicated recipes ever single week is beyond me. It’s impressive, inspiring and quite honestly, a little scary. Plus we all know what taking too many photos of your food can do to you… But this year I’ve gotten a good taste of what it means to make food your profession.
Along with Johanna Kindvall, I am working on an illustrated cookbook, with stories and recipes inspired by our Swedish roots, to be published by Ten Speed Press in fall of 2014. The entire thing is certainly an ongoing process, from proposal to contract to the many moments of “I have how many recipes to finish this week??” but it’s entertaining to be working on a book project.
It’s the eleventh volume of my ongoing Ray-Ban Exclusive series – playlists made for feeling good. Sometimes I make them monthly, sometimes not, but the goal is to put together some new and old music for the ultimate playlist that helps you get creative/dance/energize/feel good (you’ll probably want coffee).
A little bit of remix, a little bit of dance, and a little funky, they’re made for listening to while wearing your hippest shades. The latest volume was made with an extra bit of European love, with some new favorites like Keziah Jones and Alt-J.
There is beauty in simplicity. A glass bottle for water. A table in the sun. Weather worn chairs.
In the heart of the French Riviera, I’m taken to explore an organic farm. The earth tilled by horses, the rows of grapevines and olive trees soaking up the southern French sun. There’s a picnic table at the top of the hill, overlooking the valley that the house and farm sits on. Everything stops. The only sounds that of the chickens in the coop and the occasional goat. This is beautiful simple living.
After traveling to Afghanistan last fall, I was asked to write a piece for my college’s alumni magazine. I was honored to contribute to the Lewis & Clark Chronicle, and it was a good chance to dig deeper into a subject that continues to be at the forefront of my mind: women’s rights.
“Remember that being a woman is different in Afghanistan.”
I was getting yet another opinion on my decision to travel to Afghanistan. The statement was said out of love, in an effort to remind me that I should be aware of my surroundings and behavior. Just because I was a strong, independent woman, I should be sure to remember to respect local culture. But it was also coming from someone who had never traveled to Afghanistan.
Here’s the thing about riding a bicycle in new places: it’s like learning how to ride a bike all over again. No matter how used to the bicycle you are – at home in Portland I don’t even own a car – discovering a new city on two wheels makes you fall in love with cycling all over again. It’s a challenge. Navigating streets you have never walked down before, learning the ins and outs of local bike culture, figuring out how traffic works. There’s a flow to cycling, and each city has its own variation.
I am excited to be contributing to Food Republic, and kicking things off with a guide to traveling to eat – ie all the things you should keep in mind if you want your culinary travels to be interesting.
“If you reject the food, ignore the customs, fear the religion and avoid the people, you might better stay at home.” – James Michener
Michener is right; if you can’t stomach the local fare, you’re not really traveling. Pulling us away from our local haunts, travel is a way to explore new destinations, and what better way to get to know a place than through its food culture? The added benefit of travel is that it allows you to indulge. You might skip out on that dessert at home, but hey, you’re in Greece… you have to try the baklava! And order that third beer.
If you’re a food lover at home, then traveling like one isn’t a difficult feat, but there are a few things to keep in mind to make sure you make the best of your foray into exotic palates.
1. Go off the beaten path
For those really looking for a culinary experience, you’re not going to get it sticking to the major thoroughfares. Take time to explore. Make sure you seek out just as many local dive joints as you do three-star Michelin places. And no matter how hungry you are, try to avoid eating in big chain restaurants.