Cool as Cucumber Kimchi

With temperatures warming up again and summer on its way. Cucumber kimchi is a wonderful, light recipe for picnics, snacks and light meals. Easy to make, unlike many kimchi recipes, cucumbers can be enjoyed right after preparation, or it can be allowed to ferment for a short period before eating it. To learn more about kimchi, and also find a great recipe for cucumber kimchi, … Read more

A Review of the Viking Cookbook, An Early Meal

Raiders… conquerors… fierce in battle and strong in family. These are the images that the world has of Vikings. We know where they lived, and to some degree how they made a living. We know which gods they worshipped and how. Yet the bulk of our knowledge consists of broad brush strokes that omit the nuances of everyday life. The Vikings recorded many things, from … Read more

Areni Winemaking – Ancient and Modern

Last year I had the pleasure of visiting the Areni-1 cave in southern Armenia. Many unique and noteworthy artifacts have been found in the cave, including leather shoes; fine linen fabric, woven reed mats, and pottery vessels of different styles and periods. In addition, preserved within the cave is also the site of the world’s oldest known winery. When the archaeologists studying the site announced … Read more

Global Table Adventure: Georgia

Sasha Martin has just completed a week of cooking some of my favorite Georgian standards adapted from The Silk Road Gourmet Volume One. For a look at her meal review, beautiful photos of the preparation and recipes check out her Global Table Adventure Website. Its a great project: 195 countries, 195 meals, 195 weeks. The site is informative, interesting and full of personal insight and … Read more

Roots of the Silk Road

No, not another promised exploration of the cuisines of the Levant States or of Saudi Arabia. This essay is about the root vegetables eaten along the Silk Road. That is onions, shallot, leek, garlic, carrot, rhubarb, beet, radish and turnip – and everything in between. For example, all of the commonly consumed vegetables in the Allium family (onion, shallot, leek and garlic) as well as … Read more

Viva Variation

In living the research for The Silk Road Gourmet, I found that modern, western cookery imposed something of an artificial uniformity on the art of the kitchen by demanding that all food adhere rigorously to prescribed recipes.  By comparison, in much of southwest and Central Asia, recipes are given with ingredients such as “greens” in them, with no specific mention of whether the cook means … Read more

Schizandra – the Five Flavor Fruit

In answer to a question recently posed to me by the New Belgium Brewing Company in Fort Collins, Colorado, this week’s offering on the blog is a primer on the food uses of schizandra – berries widely used in China, the Koreas and Japan for coloring and flavor in food and beverages. Schizandra berries are the fruits of the magnolia Schizandra chinensis or Schizandra sphenanthera that are … Read more

No Guru, No Method, No Teacher . . .

Thank you, baby . . . To celebrate the publication of the first volume of The Silk Road Gourmet, my husband took me to Van Morrison’s Astral Weeks show on Friday night. Astral Weeks has always been one of my favorite albums by Morrison, along with the string of those that he recorded with the Pee Wee Ellis band in the mid-1980s: Into the Music, … Read more

The Silk Road

Several readers have commented that they have been surprised at all of the countries that I’ve included in the Silk Road Gourmet and in the blog. Being used to only considering the northern land route from Xi’an to the Caucasus as the Silk Road, some folks are amazed to learn of the many other land and sea routes that actually networked to move goods around … Read more

The Welcome Wagon

Greetings and welcome to the Silk Road Gourmet Blog.  I started the website as a companion to my book – The Silk Road Gourmet which features recipes from countries that were once part of the great Silk Road trade.  For over 30 years I’ve been travelling the world, eating and collecting recipes, and just recently decided to gather some of my favorite Asian recipes together in … Read more