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An exclusive newsletter, the best place to start your day and enjoy magical beans and wonderful lies
Hi there!

If there is a piece of hair on your plate, your meal is ruined, and the restaurant - or the spouse - is labeled filthy forever. The dish also will be probably scarlet-lettered by your mind. You'll never have it again unless it's pizza, I presume.

On the other hand, it's incredible how important hair - meaning women's hair, meaning afro hair - has been in the history of food. In the picture above, stolen by this New York Times story about Afro-Ecuadorean communities, you see seeds of the red pigeon bean kept in the hair of Nancy Placenci ("These seeds were brought from the African continent in the braids and the hair of women, and are a staple in the diet of Afro-Ecuadorians"). I've read about rice seeds kept this way and I wish I studied at school that African braiding technique was created to help prevent hunger during slavery

Seeds can go far and make miracles if humans take care of them. 


PS: I wonder if this Menestra de porotos (★recipe) would work with red pigeon beans.

Picture: Johis Alarcón, 2018 / The New York Times.
Nous aurions eu besoin de merveilleux mensonges
→  Michel Houellebecq, Anéantir (🇮🇹 Italian edition): We would have needed wonderful lies.
"Foods With Misleading Names" is a wonderful wonderful wonderful idea by The Browser, which asked its readers examples of foods and drinks which make utterly misleading claims about their places of origin. 
Mongolian barbecue was invented in Taiwan. English muffins were first made in New York City. French fries were invented in Belgium when Belgium was still called the Spanish Netherlands. No Dijon mustard is made in Dijon. The Jerusalem artichoke is native to North America. Russian dressing is unknown in Russia.
Read the original for other examples that will make you re-think the whole idea of cultural appropriation. 

The era of the hyper-vegetable

My friend Leonardo and his wife started a vegetable garden, and a few days ago he told me they now have tons of cauliflower to cook. Sustainability was not the main ingredient of our phone call, but I told him about the cauliflower lava cake I can't resist (★recipe), about cauliflower rice (★recipe), and how I keep leaves and stems to brew veg soups and waste almost nothing. We're in the era of the whole vegetable, and this book has the right title to be a good pal.

The Whole Vegetable by Michael Joseph
→ Shortplot:  🥦🌽 🍠 🥬 
This is the space where I share some food (un)related stuff of my week

 👩🏻‍🦰 Balm your lips, Wednesday's the Kiss a Ginger Day 🥣 Or you can be less predaceous and just give yourself the gift of one of the best life-saving fridge batches ever: ginger scallion sauce (★recipe) 🇦🇫 Last week I showed you the daily life in an Afghan market in a country coping with famine, here you have more images, and here you have that dashed Afghan bread (★recipe) 🍣 Sushi Go Party! is the card game I didn't know we needed 👰🏻 Weddings among Pomaks, Slavs who converted to Islam under Ottoman rule, are something in Bulgaria (scroll till you see the white-painted bride or she dancing with a money belt) 🇬🇲 My 2022 resolution to discover more African food: meet the Mbahal (★recipe) 📖 The Every by Dave Eggers is really, really good, my "trogs" (more about this word in the coming newsletters) 🍃It's not caviar, it's tonburi
Mayukh Sen / Hazlitt
This portrait of Julia Child’s collaborator Simone "Simca" Beck shows the forgotten mind behind Mastering the Art of French Cooking and the story of a woman that made peace with the fact that stardom wasn’t for her.
Kenji Hall / Taste
I really enjoyed this story about rice sommeliers and the categories they use to rank the rice: "whiteness (白さ), gloss (つや), aroma (香り), stickiness (粘り), firmness (硬さ), sweet-umami flavor (味) and an overall impression of whether it was good (総合)". Think about them, the next time you cook some.
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