This Is How We Celebrate Chuseok, Korean Thanksgiving

Happy Chuseok!

Photo by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service

You might be able to readily identify what the third Thursday of November is, but w…

Happy Chuseok! Photo by Korea.net / Korean Culture and Information Service

You might be able to readily identify what the third Thursday of November is, but what about the 15th day of the eighth month of the lunar calendar?

To Koreans, this time is called Chuseok, also known as Hangawi. And as big as Thanksgiving is in the U.S., Chuseok is huge in Korea. It's one of the country's most significant holidays of the year, and could even be called Korean Thanksgiving.

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The Kimchi-Cheddar Croissant I Can’t Stop Dreaming About

It’s 9:45 on a Saturday morning. While the rest of Dublin is still asleep or comfy in their homes, a line twenty-strong hugs the plaster siding of the Fumbally Stables market, waiting until the doors open at 10. Behind me in line, two young girls who c…

It’s 9:45 on a Saturday morning. While the rest of Dublin is still asleep or comfy in their homes, a line twenty-strong hugs the plaster siding of the Fumbally Stables market, waiting until the doors open at 10. Behind me in line, two young girls who can't be older than ten poke each other, while an older girl with them talks on the phone. The heavy, salty air whispers of impending rain and I grimace at the clouds gathering overhead.

Finally, the doors to the market open and the line surges forward. While the weekly market features seasonal vegetables, a cult-favorite Irish sauce brand, and more, we all risk the rain for the pastries from Scéal Bakery.

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Brunching and Munching in Melbourne, Australia

What’s not to love about Melbourne, Australia? From the bustling CBD to the free public transportation to the amazing brunch scene, Melbourne is most definitely one of our favorite cities we’ve visited. Spending 6 days in one place sounds like a lot, but we had absolutely no problem filling our time (and our stomachs) in […]

What’s not to love about Melbourne, Australia? From the bustling CBD to the free public transportation to the amazing brunch scene, Melbourne is most definitely one of our favorite cities we’ve visited.

Spending 6 days in one place sounds like a lot, but we had absolutely no problem filling our time (and our stomachs) in Melbourne. Be sure to check out the end of this post for a full list of our recommendations!

A rainy street in Melbourne, Australia with tram

Since it’s not looking like we’re going to be going anywhere in the near future, I may as well spend my time writing about the last trip we were lucky enough to go on last September to Australia.

Living vicariously through my past self, if you will.

So much has happened since then, including the massive fires that swept through the entire country (that was in January. THIS YEAR January, even though it seems like it was 3 years ago at this point. Craziness).

Anyway, we stumbled across a fabulous airfare deal to Australia, $600 from Nashville. Since the typical fare is well over twice that, we really didn’t hesitate and booked a trip for two weeks in September, flying into Melbourne and out of Sydney. We figured since you’re on the plane for so dang long, and lose a few days just adjusting to jet lag, anything shorter would really be a waste.

Let me just say, typically after 14 days of travel we’ve had our fun and are ready to come home. Typically around 12 days is the perfect length trip for us.

And yet…

As the end of our trip loomed ever closer, we found ourselves thinking we could have easily stayed for another two weeks. Or longer even.

That goes to show just how much we loved Melbourne and Sydney, and Australia in general. We simply didn’t want to leave.

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My Time-Traveling Bowl of Spaghetti & Meat Sauce

It always starts the same. I slick the bottom of my biggest enameled cast iron pot with a glug of olive oil then, thwap! I plop in a brick of fatty ground beef or pork, reveling in the crackling applause as its edges start to caramelize. I sprinkle the…

It always starts the same. I slick the bottom of my biggest enameled cast iron pot with a glug of olive oil then, thwap! I plop in a brick of fatty ground beef or pork, reveling in the crackling applause as its edges start to caramelize. I sprinkle the browned meat with salt before scooping it out and tipping in a heap of diced onions, their familiar sizzle and aroma wrapping me in a warm embrace.

From there, the meat sauce I’ve cooked faithfully throughout my adulthood can take up a hundred tiny variations before I toss it with pasta and shove comforting heaps of it in my face. Most often, it involves plenty of chopped garlic, pureed tomatoes, a handful of torn herbs, and maybe a splash of last night’s red wine.

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The Unforgettable Pasta That Makes Me Long For Italy

In Our World, Before & After, we’re asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel gu…

In Our World, Before & After, we're asking our favorite culture writers, cooks, and home/design experts to describe how life will be different after COVID-19—with essays on cooking and being at home, the new ways and foods we’ll eat, plus travel guides (both real and imagined).


If Italy were an over-the-knee boot, Riomaggiore would be where the top edge rests on the thigh. It’s the southernmost of the five villages forming Cinque Terre, or “five lands,” hugging the Italian Riviera.

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Padma Lakshmi’s Prized Family Recipe: Crispy Masala Dosas With Coconut Chutney

Padma Lakshmi poses a difficult question to her daughter, Krishna, in the third episode of her new Hulu docu-series, Taste the Nation: “Do you prefer American pancakes to dosas?” Dosa being the paper-thin, crispy-edged, savory South Indian crepes made …

Padma Lakshmi poses a difficult question to her daughter, Krishna, in the third episode of her new Hulu docu-series, Taste the Nation: “Do you prefer American pancakes to dosas?” Dosa being the paper-thin, crispy-edged, savory South Indian crepes made of ground lentils and rice flour that she grew up eating three of in one sitting, and American pancakes being the fluffy stacks topped with butter and syrup. After some deliberation, Krishna replies, “I like pancakes...but I think I prefer dosas to waffles.”

Lakshmi has dealt with the duality of her food identities as an Indian-American person since she moved to the States when she was four years old. The pitting of dosas—which are her most nostalgic, homey comfort food—against the diner staple isn’t something she does often. Instead, she makes room for both in her Sunday brunches at home with her daughter, and applies that mindset to the rest of her life too. She doesn’t have to choose to be Indian or American on any given day.

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Is This the Most Refreshing Drink in the World?

I’ll never forget my first taste of Rooh Afza, the “Summer Drink of the East,” a South Asian syrup that was a mainstay in our house growing up. It was as if something had turned on inside of me. I could only liken it to the first time ones tries cheese…

I’ll never forget my first taste of Rooh Afza, the "Summer Drink of the East,” a South Asian syrup that was a mainstay in our house growing up. It was as if something had turned on inside of me. I could only liken it to the first time ones tries cheese, or a first kiss. I never knew such a flavor could exist and that it could bring me such pleasure.

The two ingredients that give Rooh Afza its signature taste are rose water and kewra, which is also known as Screw Pine Essence. This name is a misnomer; I mistakenly believed for years in the existence of some type of floral pine tree, but kewra is actually the white flower of the pandanus plant. The leaves of this plant, called pandan, are a ubiquitous flavoring in many Southeast Asian desserts. The flower is a vital ingredient in many special-occasion dishes in South Asia, particularly those associated with Muslim communities.

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My Family Rarely Eats Dinner at the Table—but We Always Eat Together

All happy families may be alike in some ways, but one thing’s for sure—they each have unique and special food traditions. Christine Chitnis, photographer and author of the new book, Patterns of India: A Journey Through Colors, Textiles, and the Vibranc…

All happy families may be alike in some ways, but one thing's for sure—they each have unique and special food traditions. Christine Chitnis, photographer and author of the new book, Patterns of India: A Journey Through Colors, Textiles, and the Vibrancy of Rajasthan, explores travel, food, and the new traditions she and her family have created together, accompanied by beautiful images from her book.


Our habits around food are often informed by the environments in which we were raised: cherished family recipes; ingredients we love especially; a designated seat at the table for each family member. For the most part, our upbringing also shapes our understanding of mealtime. Especially in the food community, we often talk of the joy that comes from sharing a family meal, but it’s easy to forget that in some homes there is little comfort to be found in the act of gathering.

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Dispatch From Paris: A Certain Dish for Uncertain Times

When people ask what it’s like living in Paris, as a native New Yorker my answer is always the same: The average workday is just the slightest bit shorter. Like when the bartender tops off your wine glass with the last sip in the bottle—that little bit…

When people ask what it's like living in Paris, as a native New Yorker my answer is always the same: The average workday is just the slightest bit shorter. Like when the bartender tops off your wine glass with the last sip in the bottle—that little bit makes all the difference. The French prioritize time for socializing. In New York, plans with friends have to be made at least a week in advance (and let’s face it: we sigh with relief when they’re canceled), whereas in France, meeting for an apéro after work is as natural as picking up groceries on the way home.

It came as no surprise, then, when in the early days of the novel coronavirus, the French mildly resisted the call for social distancing. I first heard about it while visiting family in New York: photos of defiant Parisians perusing open-air markets and gathering in public parks. “It’s a point of French pride,” I’d tell people back home, in a way proud of my adopted home and its residents’ commitment to preserving their way of life. At this point, their resistance still seemed quaint.

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Our 14 Favorite Places to Eat in NYC’s Chinatown

The World Health Organization has now classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has officially surpassed 1,000. As an unfortunate side effect, there’s a false connection being made betw…

The World Health Organization has now classified COVID-19 as a global pandemic, and the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the United States has officially surpassed 1,000. As an unfortunate side effect, there's a false connection being made between the virus and entire nationalities, or even races, of people—and Chinatown restaurants in particular are losing business for it.

"Xenophobia is a real thing. I feel it," Wilson Tang of Nom Wah Tea Parlor told Elyse Inamine in a Bon Appétit story last week. "I feel those weird moments, like a few days ago when I dropped off my kids for their gymnastics class. I got extra stares, as if I don’t get them already, being a six-foot-five Asian guy."

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