The palm tree honey of southern Myanmar

The palm tree honey of southern Myanmar

Few things excite me as much as really good ingredients. That’s where everything begins, after all: I feel that familiar buildup of adrenaline coursing through my body every time I discover a new big ingredient. The emotions conjured up by a sip of special wine awakens a joyfulness in me that brings me to life. This past Sunday I had a very similar emotional experience, but this time it wasn't wine; it honey. Specifically, a local raw honey a small roadside village in the deep south jungles of Myanmar. 

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Natural Sake with Masaru Terada

Natural Sake with Masaru Terada

During brewing season, sake brewers in Japan are notoriously exclusive to whom they open their doors. Unlike the winemakers and distillers, sake brewers tend to focus exclusively on production during the brewing season, and politely reject or even outright ignore requests to visit. A few weeks before coming to Japan, I sent off a flurry of emails to sake producers as a Hail Mary. What harm could it do?

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Wander Guide: A Weekend of Culinary Discoveries on Izu-Oshima Island, Japan

Wander Guide: A Weekend of Culinary Discoveries on Izu-Oshima Island, Japan

My husband Tyler and I have been dreaming a trip to Japan for quite some time, but never in our wildest dreams could we have planned the way that our journey developed. Our entire trip across Japan was an amazing adventure, but our most exciting highlights and culinary discoveries took place on our 4-day trip to the rugged volcanic island of Izu Oshima.

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Day with Mr. Iwase

Day with Mr. Iwase

Whenever I think of Oshima, my mind invariably wanders to the days that we spent with Masao Iwase. Mr. Iwase worked with my husband Tyler at Oshima Kaiyoukoukusai High School from 2007-2009. He was one of Tyler’s best friends, due largely to the fact that he was one of the only people on the secluded island that spoke English. Tyler always referred to him as “Mr. Iwase” and never just Iwase, which I found unusual at first. Once I met him in person, however, I understood why anything less would be inappropriate. 

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