Tastes

Spice Migrations: Nutmeg

Spice Migrations: Nutmeg

In the Banda Islands, picking, peeling, drying and selling nutmeg to Arab and other traders was an aromatic business for centuries until the Dutch arrived. Nutmeg’s early fans used it more for health than cooking, but today it’s a kitchen staple, used in the West mainly in desserts but elsewhere in both sweet and savory dishes.

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Flavors: Fresh Thyme Pie (Za'tar Akhdar)

Flavors: Fresh Thyme Pie (Za'tar Akhdar)

Spreading the toppings evenly across the dough takes practice. Too much or too little of the topping makes a big difference. I found that the best way to spread the toppings on different pies is with your hands.
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Spice Migrations: Pepper

Spice Migrations: Pepper

It is the most common spice on tables around the world today, and for centuries, growing and trading the round corns of Piper nigrum—black pepper—created wealth, from pepper’s monsoon-watered origins in India to all of Asia, East Africa and Mediterranean Europe.
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Flavors: Spicy Bean Soup

Flavors: Spicy Bean Soup

There were several meat dishes, so I asked if I could eat only non-meat ones. They were happy for that and charged very little—perhaps because the meat dishes were the centerpiece. This bean soup, harira, is often made with lamb, but this is a meatless version. I sometimes add peas or other veg to use them up. 
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Spice Migrations: Cinnamon

Spice Migrations: Cinnamon

The series Spice Migrations opens in Sri Lanka with one of the world’s favorite spices, which once grew exclusively on that island. Traders priced cinnamon like gold, and those who could get it used it for health as much as for flavor. A storm, and a Portuguese fleet, changed everything.

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2021 Calendar: Flavors

2021 Calendar: Flavors

Cooking at home: Many of us are doing more of it than ever. Stories and recipes selected from our own regular “Flavors” section show just how delicious 12 months of discovery can be.
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Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

Flavors: Tamia—Falafel

An easy Sudanese recipe for this great snack or mezze/appetizer that is probably as popular in the West as in the Middle East, where it originated.
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Flavors: Nasi goreng

Flavors: Nasi goreng

A popular dish in Indonesia and Malaysia—and one that I often enjoyed when I lived for a year in Penang.
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Of Spice, Home and Biryani

Of Spice, Home and Biryani

Slow-cooked with meats, vegetables and spices that vary all across the subcontinent of India, Pakistan and Bangladesh, biryani “speaks to love, time and patience” for those who grow up with it, and to dazzling, addictive blasts of flavor to everyone else. No wonder it’s a rising global food star.
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