Earthrise, 40 years later

On December 21, 1968, three NASA astronauts in a small space capsule were propelled out of Earth’s atmosphere by a 363 foot tall, 3350 ton Saturn V rocket. It was the Apollo 8 mission, and it was ambitious: the astronauts would be the first humans to orbit the moon while also performing numerous tests of […]

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Mexican Food in Gold Rush California

For a little while I have been wondering about some food history questions related to the experiencing new cuisines. When people from New York or New England came to California for the gold rush, did they eat Mexican food? If so, did they write home about it and tell their relatives about their excitement in […]

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Occupied by Oregano

[Updated with variety of Rancho Gordo’s Mexican oregano, cleaning up typos, and fixing broken links] This post is for Steve of Rancho Gordo, grower and seller of incredibly delicious heritage beans. He also sells Mexican oregano (update: the variety is Lippia graveolens), and when I met him a few weeks ago, we talked for a […]

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Mole, the Amazing Sauce

Photo from Hummanna, subject to a Creative Commons License. In my Week of Eating post, one of the frequent meals was enmoladas — corn tortillas covered in mole sauce. There are as many recipes and variations for mole as there are cooks. But in general, a mole is a paste of made from some of […]

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The Revenge of the Orchard?

The 1982 movie Poltergeist told the tale of a family that was haunted by ghosts because their house had been built on an ancient burial ground. These days, other burial grounds are extracting some revenge. But the dangers are not nearly as obvious. The scientific journal Environmental Health Perspectives is not on many food bloggers’ […]

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The Burrito Dissected

Photo of burrito and chips in Taqueria Cancun, San Francisco

Today I’m dissecting a modern San Francisco burrito to reveal a little bit about the origin and history of the ingredients. Europe and Asia contributed wheat, cheese, onions, beef, pork, chicken, and rice; the Americas contributed the tortilla, beans, salsa making techniques, chiles, tomatoes, and avocados. Flour tortilla: The corn tortilla is an ancient food, […]

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