Go Beyond the Grocery Store With These Seven Innovative Spice Companies

IN 2016, SANA JAVERI KADRI found herself at a crossroads. After moving from her hometown of Mumbai to California, she wanted to learn more about the historical forces shaping her own identity and experience as a queer woman of color in the United States. A food photographer, Javeri Kadri turned to culinary history to better understand…

Keep Your Quarantine Garden Growing With These 8 Unique Seed Companies

WHEN THE REALITY OF THE pandemic hit, nearly a year ago, something unexpected happened: Americans began gardening. Alarmed by a possible breakdown in food supply chains, and inspired by wartime Victory Gardens and lockdown boredom, people across the country who never grew food before developed green thumbs. For many pandemic gardeners—including me—the experience was a revelation….

Celebrate the Farm Workers Behind Your Favorite Thanksgiving Sides

AS WE SIT DOWN TO enjoy Thanksgiving dinner, whether around a table or with loved ones online, most of us won’t pause to wonder where those favorite family dishes come from. Yet each stalk of celery in your stuffing, each roasted turnip in grandma’s dutch oven, and every apple in your uncle’s famous pie connects us to the…

400 Years After Its First Apple Farm, Boston Remains an Urban Orchard

JOHN BUNKER NORMALLY SEARCHES FOR heirloom apple trees in the fields and forests of rural Maine, but on a trip to Boston, he stumbled upon one in an unexpected place: an ice-cream-parlor parking lot. An expert on American heirloom apples, particularly those of Maine, Bunker has been investigating, preserving, and growing nearly forgotten apple cultivars since…

How to Plant a Home Garden and ‘Free the Seed’

Of all the wonders in this wide world, there is none quite like the seed. With time, sun, and a little luck, a brown speck that fits on your fingernail can grow into a vast sequoia. Last year’s spit picnic seeds can become this year’s watermelon patch. And flecks from a few potato flowers can feed…

These 7 Companies Ship Unique Seeds for Your Quarantine Garden

IN 1944, AT THE HEIGHT of World War II, 20 million home gardeners across the United States dug deep to support the war effort. As the country poured the bulk of its resources into the conflict, Americans grew Victory Gardens to bolster the domestic food supply. Nearly a century later, Jes Walton is trying to bring…

The Chef Bringing Native American Flavors to Communities in Quarantine

WHAT’S IN YOUR KITCHEN PANTRY? If you answered quinoa, green beans, or potatoes, you have, perhaps unbeknownst to you, been eating Native American heritage. “They might not know they have indigenous foods in their cupboard: might be canned corn, canned beans, squash,” says Brian Yazzie, a Twin Cities-based chef and food activist from the Navajo Nation,…

The Sake Master Reviving a Long-Forgotten Local Rice

EVERY YEAR FOR DECADES, SCIENTISTS at the Hiroshima Prefectural Agriculture Gene Bank have planted a small patch of hattanso rice. Its stalks are spring-green and spindly, its grains stubby, with a white core of endosperm visible in light. Hiroshima’s rice fields are fecund with Hattanso’s descendants, which farmers sell to sake brewers in dozens of prefectures across Japan….

The Culinary Legacy of Brooklyn’s First Free Black Community

SOMETIMES, WE CAN ONLY UNDERSTAND history from above. That, anyway, seemed to be the outlook of historian James Hurley and pilot Joseph Hays when, in 1968, they flew a plane over Brooklyn. They were looking for the remnants of a village founded 130 years earlier, the free Black community of Weeksville. Read more at Atlas Obscura. Featured…

Easter Island’s Monoliths Made the Crops Grow

WHEN EUROPEANS FIRST REACHED RAPA Nui, or Easter Island, on Easter Day, 1722, they were awed to find around 1,000 imposing stone moai, or monoliths, carved in the shape of human beings. The statues overlooked a barren landscape. While archaeological evidence shows that Rapa Nui was once lushly forested, by the time Europeans reached the island, it had…