Meeting a blacksmith

The Blacksmith Shop at The Farmers’ Museum was built in 1827. It was used continuously as a forge until 1934. Today, it is still a functioning forge turning out product the traditional way, but it does not operate full-time. I talked to one of the smiths at work. This man is 26 and started smithing…

Sweet things in a general store

After learning how maple syrup is made, I headed into the historic village of The Farmers’ Museum. There are a couple dozen buildings in this village, many of which are preserved historic buildings that actually existed in the 1800s. Because Cooperstown is not in its tourism season (that’s baseball season – more on that later),…

How maple syrup is made

The Farmers’ Museum in Cooperstown, NY, is a living history museum that highlights rural and agricultural traditions of life in the mid-1800s. I travelled to Cooperstown from Manhattan for their event Sugaring-Off Sundays, which feature activities and demonstrations including livestock interaction, metalsmithing, printing, and more. The Sugaring-Off Sundays happen during sugaring season, when maple syrup is…

Maple sugaring memories

“Suddenly Grandma stopped laughing. She turned and ran as fast as she could into the kitchen. The fiddle had stopped playing. All the women were talking at once and all the men teasing George, but everybody was still for a minute, when Grandma looked like that. Then she came to the door between the kitchen…

NYU Shanghai dining hall food

I spent four months in China doing a study abroad program at NYU Shanghai, the Shanghai campus of my university. While NYU has a dozen locations, the only full-service, degree-granting locations are NYU Shanghai, NYU Abu Dhabi, and the flagship New York campus. This post is a compilation of a some of the food available…

Making chocolate bars at Raaka Chocolate (pt. 2)

In my previous post I walked through the how Raaka processes cacao pods into liquid chocolate. After going through all those steps, it was time to fill some molds with the melted chocolate. Each mold could make three bars. A precise amount of chocolate was distributed in each mold by the mixing machine, whose flow could…

Making chocolate bars at Raaka Chocolate (pt. 1)

Last week I had the unforgettable experience of making my own chocolate bars using commercial equipment in Rakka Chocolate’s facility! The factory, located in the trendy Red Hook neighborhood of Brooklyn, offers chocolate making classes ($50 a person, advanced booking required) that include a presentation on harvesting cacao beans, a factory tour, making three bars,…

A typical breakfast of Chinese street food

The last time I wrote about jianbing was after I ate jianbing at a family friend’s home in Vancouver. As jianbing is actually a street food, of course I had to eat some on the street in China as well. These photos were taken in Yancheng, a city in Jiangsu province. As I wrote in my other post, Jianbing guozi is…

Sukiya

The first times I had “authentic” ramen, prepared in the traditional Japanese way as opposed to the poor-college-student-plastic-pack way, I thought something was wrong with my order. In search of better ramen experiences, I kept eating ramen at different Japanese restaurants and kept ending up not thrilled with the experience, until I looked up ramen’s…