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Food Origins

Asia Food Origins

Origins: The History of Taiwanese Beef Noodle Soup

August 31, 2021
A bowl of Taiwanese beef noodle soup in Taipei

Warm spices, pickled mustard greens, slurpable wheat noodles, rich beef broth: Such are the lip-smacking hallmarks of Taiwanese beef noodle soup (牛肉麵), an oft-heralded national dish (and ultimate comfort food) of Taiwan. The dish wasn’t always so beloved, however. In fact, before 1895, Taiwanese of Han Chinese descent (who now account for more than 97 percent of the population) ate beef no more often than 21st-century Americans eat…

Food Culture Food Origins North America

Making Barbacoa in Mexico City: A Four-Day Adventure

August 30, 2016

In every region of Mexico, you will find barbacoa steaming on streetside stands, taking center stage at family gatherings, and being sold by the kilo to hungry market goers. Barbacoa is Mexico’s Sunday brunch, its method is as old as time immemorial, and its recipes continue to evolve at the hands of each barbacoa master, who adds his or her special touch to one of the country’s

Food Origins North America

East Coast Mexico’s Dutch Influence

April 9, 2014

Yucatecan food—even that found along the so-called Riviera Maya, the coastal corridor between Cancún and Tulum—is markedly different from “Mexican food” as most of us know it, as we learned while traveling the region last week. One reason is, of course, the pronounced Mayan influence, but many more groups have left their mark on the cuisine here as well, from the British and Spanish to the Lebanese and…

Europe Food Origins

Dish Spotlight: Burčák in Moravia, Czech Republic

October 31, 2013

Dish Spotlight: Burcak in Moravia, Czech Republic

For this dish spotlight, we turn to Moravia and its uber-seasonal burcak wine, which contributor Christopher Burdick recently had the pleasure of tracking down for us.


photo by Mararie

It tastes like delicious, carbonated, innocent grape juice. But it’s far from innocent. Start drinking early and the next thing you know it’s 1am, you’ve had…