There aren't many people who can claim that their lives have been changed by an egg tart, but chef Raymond Wong - who heads Macau’s Institute for Tourism Studies Educational Restaurant - says when he tasted Macau’s famous local Portuguese tarts there was no looking back.
“I left Hong Kong when I was just nine years old,” says Wong, who grew up in San Francisco and studied at the culinary program at San Francisco City College.
“But when I came back here in 2004, I went to Macau with my fiancé and she took me to a famous shop for egg tarts.”
The Feast of Seven Fishes, or the Festa dei Sette Pesci, is the traditional dinner that many southern Italian and Italian-American families will sit down to this Christmas Eve. (It is also one of the few appropriate times to pluralize fish as fishes.)
The significance of the number seven reels in many different theories: Some families say it's for the seven sacraments of the Catholic Church, others say it's for the seven hills of Rome, and still others say it represents the days of creation or stands as a reminder of the seven deadly sins. Other families' traditions even allow for 10 or even 14 different aquatic dishes.
And just as the numeric explanations are allowed loose translations, so are the types of seafood served. The true meaning isn't in the number or kind you choose, but with whom you decide to share your feast.
This Christmas Eve, Alex Guarnaschelli, chef of Butter in New York City and Food Network star, encourages you to serve the humble sardine atop lightly fried cauliflower, an ode to her mother's Sicilian roots.
Fresh sardines - not the pungent, little canned guys - are delicious, inexpensive and sustainable, three wise choices for this holiday season.
Dieting in Hungary is not recommended.
The country's cuisine is a rich blend of Europe, Middle-eastern and Asian food. The French lend their influence with goose liver pate, while the seven-layer Dobos cake can rival Austria's famed Sachertorte for sickly sweet extravagance.
Food here is abundant and affordable - a nightmare for weight-watchers, a dream for true foodies.
It's as red as blood and, for the traditional Hungarian chef, no less essential for a healthy life.
But humble paprika - national spice and integral to all the most treasured Hungarian dishes - has been having a rough time.
Hungarian paprika production has slumped as buyers across the world have turned to cheaper supplies from Spain, China and Latin America.
And two years of unpredictable weather in Hungary may mean this year's crop of capsicum annuum peppers - the raw ingredient of paprika - is the poorest in 50 years.
Horror of horrors, Hungary may even resort to importing the crop.
A Sriracha hot sauce factory is getting a chilly reception in Southern California.
A judge in Los Angeles County has ordered Sriracha maker Huy Fong Foods to suspend operations at a plant in the city of Irwindale that local residents claim has caused an overpowering odor.
Irwindale claimed in a lawsuit that the stench was causing watery eyes, sore throats and headaches, prompting complaints from dozens of residents.
Such a calendar occurrence won't happen again for approximately 70,000 years, so professional and home cooks alike have crossbred the respective culinary traditions with the fervor of 1,000 turduckens.
Got Thanksgiving questions? There's a good chance that our panel of experts has answers.
Join Eatocracy editors Kat Kinsman and Sarah LeTrent - and their special guests, cookbook author and host of The Farm on Public Television Ian Knauer and vegan cookbook author Isa Chandra Moskowitz - for a Google Hangout at 3 p.m. ET on Tuesday, November 26.
Isa Chandra Moskowitz is the host of The Post Punk Kitchen and author of multiple vegan cookbooks, including her most recent, "Isa Does It: Amazingly Easy, Wildly Delicious Vegan Recipes For Every Day Of The Week." And yes, there are recipes if you scroll down.
Chances are you have a vegan in your life - a real dyed-in-the-natural-fiber-cruelty-free-wool vegan for whom all animal products are off limits. And perhaps that vegan is threatening a visit to your Thanksgiving table this year.
Thanksgiving is stressful. Everyone knows that; the very history of it is stress. The original celebration was not what people had to eat, but that they had anything to eat at all. Maybe things aren’t as bad as all that today, but it can still be stressful when someone needs a special menu.
But one of the great things about vegan meals is that everyone can enjoy them. (Provided they don’t have a nut allergy, or a wheat allergy, or...well maybe we oughta just go out for Chinese food.)
If your first thought was an eye roll, or something along the lines of, “That’s their choice - I don’t have to cook for them,” or if you think they can get by on salad and cranberry sauce, well, honestly, don’t even invite them. Somewhere there’s a welcoming table where the lentils overfloweth, and they will take your vegan in.
But if you actually like them, maybe even love them, or if your loved one loves them, or if you want them in any way, shape, or form to have a great time as your guest, then read on.
Rock star Joan Jett was removed from a parade float representing South Dakota in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade after ranchers protested her appearance, saying she's a vegetarian and a critic of their livestock production.
Jett is a supporter of People for the Ethic Treatment of Animals, the world's largest animal rights group that promotes a vegetarian diet and condemns factory farms and ranches.
"I've decided to switch from South Dakota to another float because people's political agendas were getting in the way of what should be a purely entertainment driven event," Jett said in a statement Saturday. "I will remain focused on entertaining the millions of people watching, who will be celebrating a great American tradition."