February 7th, 2014
07:30 PM ET
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KSTU reports that Utah liquor laws allow some connoisseurs of coveted bourbon Pappy Van Winkle to score a bottle for a delicious price.

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Filed under: Obsessions • Sip • Spirits


January 27th, 2014
02:30 PM ET
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The first time the South Korean factory owner watched his North Korean employees nibble on a Choco Pie, they appeared shocked - even overwhelmed.

He summed up their reaction to the South Korean snack in one word: "Ecstasy."

Much like what Twinkies are to Americans, South Korea's Choco Pies - two disc-shaped, chocolate-covered cakes, sandwiching a rubbery layer of marshmallow cream - are ubiquitous, cost less than 50 cents and are full of empty calories.

But on the other side of the Korean border, the snacks are viewed as exotic, highly prized treats, selling on North Korea's black markets for as much as $10, according to analysts. Their rising popularity in the north reveals an unexpected common ground between the two Koreas, despite their fractious relationship - a shared sweet tooth.
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For the love of Macau's egg tarts
December 12th, 2013
10:45 AM ET
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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.”
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Filed under: Asian • China • Chinese • Obsessions


Hungry for Home: Provel cheese
April 23rd, 2013
02:15 PM ET
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There are some foods that are so tied to their region, eating them is like a hug from home. Expats seek creative ways to get them shipped or find the closest equivalent in their new city. In the first installment of Hungry for Home, contributor Cara Reedy pines for St. Louis' Provel cheese.

When I moved to New York eleven years ago, I got a lot of blank stares when I told people I was from St. Louis. Some people would say genius things like “Oh right, you have that arch,” or my favorite, “I’ve been in the airport, is there anything in the city?”

People went out of their way to tell me I spoke weirdly. Cab drivers consistently tried to take me on long rides around the city, thinking I was a tourist. I got really homesick after six months.

To cheer myself up I decided to make a St. Louis-style, crisp-crust, square-sliced pizza. I went to my local grocery store to buy supplies. They had everything I needed except the most important ingredient, Provel cheese.

Provel is a little hard to describe. It’s processed, gooey, a little smoky and when heated is takes on the qualities of molten lava. It’s really just delicious and it tastes like home.
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Filed under: Cuisines • Hungry for Home • Missouri • Obsessions • Pizza


Nutella-gate! Columbia students swipe pounds of popular spread from cafeteria
March 7th, 2013
02:00 PM ET
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When students trade their high school diplomas for college dorm rooms, friends and family wish them luck and tell them to enjoy their new-found freedom by “going nuts.” But while most students blow off steam by partying until the wee hours of the morning, some students at Columbia University seem to have taken the “go nuts” advice a little too literally.

According to the Columbia Spectator,the Ivy League institution introduced Nutella to its campus dining halls last month, hoping to give its students a taste of luxury living (because living on the Upper West Side of New York City is clearly "roughing it").

To the administration’s surprise, students’ demand for Nutella quickly exploded to the tune of 100 pounds consumed per day. But consuming the “breakfast food” in the dining room wasn’t enough for some of the sticky-fingered undergrads, who ultimately decided to abscond with the buttery, chocolaty, hazelnut spread by the jar.
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