On Havana, Cuba

I recently published two article inspired by my trip to Cuba a few months ago and I wanted to share them. The first is suggestions for how one might spend two days in Havana for Paste, and the second, in Punch, is focused on an innovative nightclub and culture center, Fabrica de Arte Cubano, that I visited on my final night in the city. In such short pieces, and for disparate audiences, it is hard to capture the “real” Cuba that so many journalists and storytellers are seeking to write about, even as both are, of course, accurate and true.

Friend and journalist Julie Schwietert Collazo along with Havana-based Conner Gorry have spoken and written on how to report on Cuba responsibly, and I strive to have their recommendations in mind when I do. Challenges arise when faced with a publication that shies away from including political context, or pieces that are meant to fit into a specific format, or any number of issues inherent in journalism, or in writing about places and people with a perceived narrative that is at odds with the reality.

While these pieces reflect just a small slice of my experience in Havana, I hope I have done the city and its lovely people justice, and I look forward to sharing more in the future.

Cuba Bound: Researching Cuba’s Food Culture

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In a few short weeks I will be heading to Havana and beyond to meet with Cubans who are striving to preserve their food traditions among imminent change, and to witness how Cuba’s edible culture is moving toward economic and … Continue reading

Urban Artisanal: Sophia’s Greek Yogurt

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In my upcoming book Small Batch: Pickles, Cheese, Chocolate, Spirits and the Return of Artisanal Food, I interviewed more than fifty pickle, cheese, chocolate, and spirit artisans from around the country – many in person, some on the phone, and … Continue reading

Locavore on the Road: Artisanal Cheese & the Marin County Cheese Trail

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I’ve spent what would likely add to up to countless hours contemplating the purchase of various cheeses at locations ranging from Whole Foods to Stinky Bklyn to a “serve yourself” fridge on a country roadside in Western Massachusetts. I clearly remember … Continue reading

Locavore on the Road: Portland, Oregon

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When I was planning my west coast research trip in support of my upcoming book Small Batch: The Fall and Rise of Artisanal Pickle, Cheese, Chocolate, and Alcoholic Spirits in America (Alta Mira Press) – I almost didn’t plan to … Continue reading

What Vermont Blueberries Helped Me Remember

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Maybe a dozen miles as the crow flies, it took us nearly forty minutes to get there. We went up a dirt road and crested a mountain, down the other side until deep ruts turned to asphalt. And then we … Continue reading

Locavore on the Road: Learning to Slow Down on Rhode Island’s Coast

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On day eight of a twelve-day stay, I realized why they called the house “Treetops”. We had switched rooms – swapping the extra-large master bedroom with the other couple with whom we were sharing the house for a smaller one … Continue reading

On the Road (at home): Cooking Ana Sortun’s “Buried in Vermicelli (Shaariya Medfouna)”

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I recently had the opportunity to visit Marrakech for an exciting new venture – I am a content writer and editor for a new business that focuses upon telling the stories of a particular city’s culture and offering a collection … Continue reading

On the Road: Moroccan Bastilla

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Bastilla – also spelled pastilla, bastila, bisteeya or bastela – is known as a very typical Moroccan dish – and a very impressive one. Made from warqa dough, which is similar to Greek phyllo dough and Hungarian strudel leaves, the … Continue reading