5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.
For most of the past decade, I was on the road. I was a travel writer, working primarily for the New York Times (where I was the Frugal Traveler), and also for several other publications, including Saveur and Afar magazines. As I ranged from Buenos Aires to Gdansk to Chongqing, I was so hungry for the experience of new, great food that I quickly realized I couldn't just return to my nominal home in Brooklyn, without bringing back a taste of my adventures.
Flouting U.S. Customs regulations (or, really, just not bothering to find out what they might be) I sought out these five essential ingredients that travel well, last long and offer up pungent memories of far-flung lands.
Five Essential Foods to "Smuggle" Home: Matt Gross
World-renowned chef, best-selling author and Emmy winning television personality Anthony Bourdain is the host of "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown," CNN's new showcase for coverage of food and travel. The series is shot entirely on location. "Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown" premieres Sunday, April 14, at 9 p.m. ET
For renowned chef and author Anthony Bourdain, travel isn’t about taking a vacation or following a tour guide; it’s all about discovery. That’s exactly what he's doing on his new show "Parts Unknown," where he sets out to experience all the culture and cuisine the world has to offer.
Shellfish, displayed on ice in wire baskets, are the main attraction at Seattle’s Walrus & Carpenter, where the shucking of Pacific oysters is itself a work of art.
Such dedication to the finest local ingredients unites the best seafood restaurants across the globe, where what’s fresh is what’s for dinner. From spaghetti with sea urchin on the Amalfi Coast to crabmeat roasted over a fire in a coconut husk on the Thai island of Koh Samui, we hauled in a mouthwatering variety of fish as part of Travel + Leisure’s 100 Places to Eat Like a Local.
In a cozy bakery in Boston’s South End, where sticky buns drip with caramel pecans and donuts are sold out by noon, a cheeky sign above the register proclaims: “Make life sweeter - eat dessert first.”
There’s no arguing with pastry chef Joanne Chang, whose Flour bakery sees crowds lining up as early as 7 a.m. for her signature treats. Indeed, the best places for dessert inspire you to throw out all the rules—eat with moderation, save the best for last—and give in to sugary bliss, no matter what the time of day.
Ah, fermentation. And distilling.
Where would the world be without them? Yes, the Irish might have taken over the world had God not invented whisky, but what about rum, gin, vodka, beer and wine?
Americans who celebrate on New Year's Eve with a bottle of champagne, party hats and a kiss at midnight have an important lesson to learn from the rest of the world (and certain regions of this country): The arrival of the new year is meant for feasting.
As the new year arrives around the globe, special cakes and breads abound, as do long noodles (representing long life), field peas (representing coins), herring (representing abundance) and pigs (representing good luck). The particulars vary, but the general theme is the same: to sit down and share a meal with family and friends to usher in a year of prosperity.
Here are some of the common traditions around the world and a few hints about where to partake in them:
In Iceland, Christmas is observed the evening of December 24. The day before that, there is a pre-Christmas tradition that some daring folks observe: Eating rotten fish.
One day a year, folks get together and eat putrid skate, accompanied by bread, potatoes and little else.
Throughout the country, wives, husbands and even entire apartment buildings forbid the practice. Few restaurants cook it.
Linnie Rawlinson is the Special Projects Editor in CNN's London bureau.
As the temperature falls and the leaves start to crackle under foot, British minds turn towards comfort food – and there’s nothing more comforting than a traditional suet pudding.
Suet, as in, beef fat?
In a dessert?
Why yes, actually.
And do you know what? It’s really rather good.
Remember back in May of 2011 when we gave away all our stuff and road-tripped down to Florida in a Judgment Day caravan to warn people about the impending Rapture? How about 153 days after that when the world similarly failed to go kaplooey?
Shockingly enough, we used those opportunities to ask people how they'd chow down if they knew it was going to be their last meal on Earth. Seeing as we're up against Armageddon (again), according to the Mayan calendar (sort of), here's a little inspiration for a final feast.
Out of 378 responses, the most frequently mentioned foodstuffs were:
For most of us, sitting down to a multi-course dinner prepared by a famed chef is a special occasion. Very special.
But there are some parts of the world where premium food and wine are such essential parts of daily life that it’s not unusual to be treated to such an experience every day - without going broke in the process.
Take San Sebastián, on northern Spain’s Bay of Biscay coast, just 20 kilometers from France.
Known as Donostia in the Basque tongue, the city says it has more Michelin stars (a total of 16) per square meter than any other place in the world.
Read the full story on CNN Travel: "San Sebastian's amazing Michelin street dining"