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,…

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town: street scenes

My last post about Zhujiajiao Water Town showcased traditional Chinese heritage through food, but the sprawling water town actually incorporates modernity and tradition in its storefronts, architecture, and general scene. The straightness of the roofs in these pictures demonstrates the mixing of Chinese and western culture apparent even in this relatively exotic setting. Chinese roofs…

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town: street food

Zhujiajiao Water Town is a paradise for street food fanatics, with an unending variety of traditional Chinese snacks spilling out of the densely-packed storefronts. We first came across these beans made with preserved orange peels. This is something I hadn’t seen before. I was very familiar with the shanzha sweets. Shanzha, Chinese hawthorn/hawberry, is a slightly sour fruit…

Shanghai Zhujiajiao Water Town: a puppy and rose tea

My friends and I took a long-ish (over an hour each way by car) day trip out of Shanghai’s metropolitan areas to Zhujiajiao Water Town (50 km from the Bund). Chinese water towns are wonderful places to visit because they seek to preserve the feel of life in an old, traditional Chinese village without tall…

Caramel cinnamon toast? Oh Maan oh Maan

Maan Coffee is a super gorgeous chain of Korean-owned coffee houses that have captured the hearts of Chinese consumers with its distinctive interior design – featuring live trees growing to the ceiling and eclectic chandeliers and seating – and trendy food characteristic of East Asian cafe culture. While we came for a sugar fix, we…

Average and reliable La Pasta

I stopped being thrilled about going to La Pasta after the fifth time my friends dragged me there. It was the closest restaurant to our dorm, being right outside the gate, and we passed it every day. La Pasta isn’t bad, it’s just really unremarkable – from food to atmosphere to pricing – like so…

Yunnan pt. 8: Kunming eats

Yunnan pt. 1: The diversity of Chinese culture Yunnan pt. 2: Horseriding Yunnan pt. 3: The Old Town of Lijiang Yunnan pt. 4: Impression Lijiang Yunnan pt. 5: Jade Dragon Snow Mountain Yunnan pt. 6: Shuhe Ancient Town Yunnan pt. 7: Yunnan Nationalities Village We traveled to Kunming to from Lijiang via overnight train. These…