Spain Without a Map: The Matarranya

I pull the car to a screeching halt, and hop out to take in this moment. After an hour or so of fairly uneventful driving from Valencia heading north, the landscapes begin to reveal the first of many medieval hilltop villages and I capture a few shots with my camera before continuing on. A short […]

In Cod We Trust

Some foods are so intrinsically tied to a place that often they shed a light on its past vicissitude much better than any museums or monuments. One of them is cod: the consumption of this fish is widespread across several continents, from Russia, to Western Africa, from the Caribbean to England, to the point that […]

Get Back – 15 ways my heart aches for Andalucia

Something’s afoot in Andalucía, Spain’s deep south.  First it started with the discovery of an Almohad-era Muslim Hammam in one of Sevilla’s most iconic tapas bars.  Then, just last week in the nearby town of Utrera, reports came in that archeologists had unearthed one of the largest and best preserved medieval Jewish synagogues in the […]

Cider: Asturias’ Stream of Consciousness

I’m at heart a wine nerd, but you don’t need to twist my arm to sample other brews and libations, particularly if partaking will gain me deeper insights to a place or a people.  When I travel, my first quest is always to find out what the locals drink and, at times, how they’re supposed […]

ISO Piccante

I laughed a little too hard recently when reading Anne Lamott’s words, “By the end I was deteriorating faster than I could lower my standards”. I cannot be the only human whose covid days, home-cooked meals and masked conversations have become excruciatingly banal.  We’re all yearning for discovery, spice and a rollicking time anywhere but […]

Swinos in Lockdown: Cocktail Recipes from the Pigs

Holidays are lurking and with it, more Coronavirus cases and renewed lockdowns. It’s all been enough for anyone to reach for the bottle. As we hunker down for the winter, we asked around our planning team to see who’s got the bartending chops in the Trufflepig farm.  Below are some road-tested recipes that came back […]

Italy’s Boundless Zest for Citrus

Italy’s food culture is a constellation of countless regional specialties, so place-peculiar that dishes can vary significantly in the span of just a few hundred meters. Such is the case of some mountain valleys, for instance, where the natural landscape has helped keep the local from spreading further. But one aspect that unites all these […]

Where’s Oualidia?

About 45 minutes into the drive south from Casablanca, the landscape starts to change. Fertile agricultural land gives way to firm red earth and barren rocky soils. Waist-high stone walls of marine limestone punctuate the empty rolling hills. You turn off the new tollway for the old coastal road, beginning at the unattractive port town of Jorf […]

Priorat Priorities

I’ve never met a wine-growing region I didn’t like.  But there’s a difference between producing wine and cultivating a wine culture, and the best measure of how successful a wine-growing region can be lies not just with the quality of the wines they produce, but how well the place weaves together the distinct threads of […]

This Little Piggy Went to Market…

We were on our way to the market, as lead by our guide, the ever-capable and personable Paco, when my co-culinary-conspirator, Susannah, mentioned in a hushed tone that she had never visited this market before, as she had been warned-off by friends and people-in-the-know, that it was too dangerous to visit, especially for a non-Mexican […]

Olhão’s Metaphysical Graffiti

The end of dictatorship in Portugal in the 1970s, and the ushering in of new found freedoms and economic opportunities, brought with it a sad legacy: a serious drug addiction problem that coincided with an emerging AIDS epidemic. The combination devastated families across Portugal’s social classes. The Algarve, synonymous today with Portugal’s prime beach destination, […]

Water Bill Dinners

If you haven’t heard, San Diego is busting onto the scene as a top foodie destination. With excellent restaurants, microbreweries, and a truly local farmers market, it’s no wonder why the food here is so good. But on a recent trip to San Diego there is one experience that stood out among the rest – […]