Tag Archives: travel

As with so many things, the secret is in the pig fat

Burek in Pancevo, Serbia

Behind the counter were two round, flaky spirals of dough, each about 10 inches wide and filled with a different blend of feta cheese. “I’ll try a little bit of both,” I told the woman standing behind the counter. I was hoping for a sliver of each; instead, I ended up with two pie-sized slices. I didn’t protest, both because I didn’t speak much Serbian, and because—I’ll admit—the slices looked damn good.

As she chopped the slices and added a container of burek’s traditional accompaniment, yogurt, to my tray of food, I pulled out my wallet. She shook her head, smiling behind stylish black glasses. “It’s a gift,” she told me. “Come back and pay next time.” This time, I did protest; Read the rest

Always go for the banana egg roll over the stodgy muffins

Merienda in Manila

Below a posh cafe close to where I live in Manila, a lady works her gas stove promptly, every morning at 10. In a small bamboo shack with wire screen windows, she heats a large wok of oil. For the next hour, she prepares mouth-watering turon—a kind of banana spring roll. The wok is filled with saba, or cooking bananas, and jackfruit dusted in brown sugar and neatly rolled in flour wrappers. They are then fried to a golden crisp. 

In another wok, a savory alternative of lumpia, or vegetable spring rolls, is submerged in hot oil. Before sunset, the woman sells everything to students and teachers at the nearby school, and her wares far outshine the stodgy muffins presented at Read the rest