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Guide to your first Turkish Towel

So you may be asking yourself, what’s the big deal with Turkish Towels? Most towels we use every day are just ordinary. They dry you after a shower, provide a place to lay on sand, mop up spills. You probably don’t even give your current towels a second thought. And why would you? They are nothing special. Why Turkish Towels? Turkey was where I fell in love with Turkish towels. Appropriate right? Turkey has a part of my heart. I have had the chance to visit many times over the last decade and even live there and do volunteer work in relation to the Syrian crisis. I would regularly wander the markets and talk with folks about towels and other artisanal...

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Cuisine in View: Himono

I had thought I had experienced a lot of Japanese cuisine, but when a coworker had asked me to go with him to a Himono style restaurant, I was intrigued. What was that? Himono is a style of preparing fish by first drying the fish and then later grilling it. A Himono-ya is a restaurant that specializes in the preparation of Himono meals (the ya being something that denotes a store or place/person that specializes in a particular business) The art of himono is actually has a long history in Japanese cuisine. Actually large numbers of societies that were sea-faring or fish eating had specialized in the drying and preservation of fish. Before refrigeration this was often the only way...

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CHOPSTICKS - Part 1: Varieties and Origins

For people who didn’t grow up using them, chopsticks can be both fun and frustrating to use. When eating sushi, using chopsticks creates a more immersive, cultural dining experience. It can make a dinner out feel just a bit more special. On the other hand, if as a novice, you tackle a bowl of noodle soup with chopsticks, you may test your patience and end up resorting to using your soup spoon in creative ways. Nonetheless, chopsticks are used on daily basis by over a billion people worldwide. In this post we'll take a brief look at the origins and different varieties of chopsticks.  _____________________________________   Chopsticks are arguably the world’s oldest dining utensils. The basic idea of using two sticks...

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Black Rice - What Is It and Why Try It?

Lately nutritionists and foodies alike have been raving about “new” grains and seeds like quinoa, amaranth, spelt, and hemp seeds. While they are new to the average Western consumer, they go back centuries. With the popularity of low carb diets and the aversion to large scale industrial farming, the mainstays of mankind’s caloric intake for centuries--wheat, rice and corn (maize)—seem to have fallen out of fashion. However even among these common or “boring”  grains there is a wide variety. Take for example black rice. Have you ever tried it? Well after reading this you might want to give it a taste test. Defining Black Rice Black rice, sometimes called purple rice, is a variant of Oryza sativa L., the main...

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Experiencing the Hammam in Istanbul Turkey

Drip…Drip…Drip…Drip…I laid there motionless on the warm marble table watching the drops of water fall from the holes carved into the ceiling dome.The only thing between myself and the outside world was the cotton of the peshtemal towel wrapped around my waist. The only thing allowed to be worn inside of the bath. Photo by Sunrise Odyssey (CC) In Turkey, very few things feel as old school “Turkish” as the venerated Turkish Hammam, the local bathhouse, and gathering place over the centuries.These days, however, they are not nearly as popular, be it the ubiquity of showers and baths in people’s homes or the changing of habits of the local populace. But you’ll still see locals come, some of those older...

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