The Tuscan Town Famous for Anarchists, Marble, and Lard

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 byproductContinue reading “The Tuscan Town Famous for Anarchists, Marble, and Lard”

German Researchers Are Investigating the Science Behind Soft-Pretzel Scent

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 studyContinue reading “German Researchers Are Investigating the Science Behind Soft-Pretzel Scent”

The Struggling Vineyards That Helped Inspire Karl Marx’s Communism

A SPECTRE IS HAUNTING TRIER, Germany—the spectre of Karl Marx. Today, tourists to the small Rhineland city visit the house where Marx was born and gaze at the armchair he died in. They take selfies in front of a larger-than-life Marx statue, gifted to the city in 2018 by the Chinese government.  Read more at Atlas Obscura. Photo:Continue reading “The Struggling Vineyards That Helped Inspire Karl Marx’s Communism”

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

“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-SAContinue reading “After Hurricane Katrina, Home Gardeners Saved New Orleans’ Iconic Squash”

Wondrous Foods at Gastro Obscura

I’m currently working as a Gastro Obscura fellow at Atlas Obscura, cataloguing and reporting on the world’s most wondrous (and delicious) foods. You can find my additions to Gastro Obscura’s database of wondrous foods here. From frog eye salad to muttamala, you’re sure to find something that will intrigue you, feed your curiosity, and makeContinue reading “Wondrous Foods at Gastro Obscura”