The Refugee Women Turning Tastes of Home Into a Food-Delivery Business

Food, India, migration, movements

WHEN FOOD BECAME SCARCE UNDER Taliban rule, Hoor got creative. Since the Mujahideen conflict, trade between neighbors had been periodically forbidden, rations were portioned out to the privileged, and even growing garden plots could be risky. But years of war had taught her how to find food for her family in a pinch. Hoor snuck groceries under her chadari, or veil, stretched poor-quality rice imported from Bangladesh into filling meals, and turned to the black market for meat.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo: borosjuli, CC BY 2.0.

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The Tuscan Town Famous for Anarchists, Marble, and Lard

Food, Gastro Obscura, Politics

AT FIRST GLANCE, THE APUAN Alps of northwest Tuscany’s Carrara region are pure white. Alison Leitch first saw them from a train window when traveling through Italy in the early 1980s. From a distance, she writes, their dazzling tops looked like snow. Her seatmate told her otherwise: The blinding whiteness was actually marble dust, a powdery byproduct of the famous quarries that gash through the mountains. Then Leitch’s seatmate explained that the Apuan quarries were the source of another legendary tradition. “That’s where the anarchists live,” she said.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo credit: B. Gramulin, CC BY-SA 2.0

Eat Like Royalty With This Cookbook From the Emperor Who Built the Taj Mahal

Food, India

IT WAS THE MID 1600S, and Friar Sebastian Manriquea, a Portuguese priest who had come to visit the Mughal Court, wanted to witness a royal supper. It was a rare sight. The Mughal emperors, who ruled territory across the northern Indian subcontinent, usually didn’t dine with anyone but their wives and concubines. But on this day, Shah Jahan—the Mughal ruler who commissioned the Taj Mahal—would be dining with his wazir, advisor Asaf Khan.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo credit: Public domain.

A Low-Grade Fever: On Aziz Ansari’s Comeback Netflix Special

Sexual violence

Maybe it was his nice-guy image or the fact that Master of None was so endearing. Maybe it was because the scene of mounting sexual pressure “Grace” described was, unlike the outsized horror of the Harvey Weinstein or Bill Cosby allegations, so disturbingly familiar. Whatever it was, for women across the internet, the sexual assault accusations against Aziz Ansari, detailed on Babe.net in January 2018, hit close to home. 

Read more at The Horizontal. Photo credit:  David Shankbone CC BY 3.0

Lesbian bars are disappearing. We spent a night at one that’s still standing.

$4 Wine, movements, Politics, Sexuality, social justice

Walking into Henrietta Hudson feels like taking off a heavy backpack. It’s a humid June night in New York’s Greenwich Village, and inside the reggaeton-pulsing bar, a sparse crowd drinks beer and laughs. My shoulders instantly relax, and not just because I’ve escaped a spring downpour.

Read more at The Washington Posts’s The Lily. Photo: FULBERT, CC BY-SA 4.0

German Researchers Are Investigating the Science Behind Soft-Pretzel Scent

Food, Gastro Obscura

WORKING NINE TO FIVE IS no way to make a living, so why not quit your job and become a professional food smeller? These highly trained sensory savants are regularly hired by food manufacturers and scientists. They analyze the subtle pepper notes in coffee, the juicy, pear-like aroma of fine white wine, and—as in a study recently published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry—the delectable whiffs of sweat and malt in freshly baked soft pretzels.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo: Wesual Click, Public Domain

After Hurricane Katrina, Home Gardeners Saved New Orleans’ Iconic Squash

Culture, Food, Gastro Obscura, social justice

“WE NORMALLY DON’T HAVE A spring crop,” says Paul D’Anna, a home gardener in Metairie, Louisiana. But this year—maybe it’s the weather or, though he’s loathe to talk himself up, maybe it’s his green thumb—he got lucky: His backyard vines have already produced around 70 fruits.

Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo:  David Monniaux, CC BY-SA 3.0