Jun 232012
From Food Cart to Restaurant for Three Weeks: Tábor Authentic Czech Eatery

Two days remain to experience Czech cuisine at a brick-and-mortar restaurant here in Portland, Oregon. For three weeks until June 24, Karel and Monika from the Tábor Authentic Czech Eatery food cart will have served their home specialties at Enzo’s Caffe Italiano on NE Alberta Street while Enzo vacations in Italy. Not only is this “unique and trailblazing collaboration” an excellent instance of utilizing spare business capacity, the narrative on the reverse of the menu claims it’s the first instance in town of a collaboration between food carts and restaurants.* […] Continue reading >

Jun 032012

In the diaries and letters they left behind, immigrants made it clear that next to their families and their family homes, they longed most for their native foods. — Susan Matt writing about 1870-1920 immigration in “Homesickness: An American History” Of the connections an immigrant has to his original home, food is the strongest of those that he can enjoy in his new country (music comes a close second). There’s a reason heritage festivals take place amid food booths. Ethnic food sites like Lubos Brieda’s Slovak Cooking bring the old country […] Continue reading >

Dec 202011
The Soup That Is Christmas

The American Christmas table is different from the Slovak one: no fish, no potato salad, no bobalky, but, most importantly, no kapustnica. Early on in my life as a transplant, I realized I could live without all the traditional Christmas dishes except for the sauerkraut soup. The holiday connotes a lot of things—the tree, presents (socks!), snow (if you’re lucky), family, old movies—but what really makes Christmas for me is, indeed, kapustnica. As the first course, it brings the family together at the dinner table. It’s the ultimate comfort […] Continue reading >

Nov 232011
Happy Marinated Thanksgiving!

This is my first Thanksgiving as an American citizen and the first to which I’m contributing a dish. I planned to make a Slovak desert, using a recipe from SlovakCooking.com, but because baking seems like a pretty major step in my Slovak cooking forays, I opted for a dish that requires no cooking. The Ghost in the Pantry‘s final post was a recipe for marinated Camembert, a Czech pub specialty (the Czech recipe uses Hermelín cheese, which is closest to Camembert). Plenty of marinated Camembert recipes live online; I like this one because it asks to slice […] Continue reading >

Nov 182011
We Hold Our Food Truths to Be Self-Evident

This is a reprint, with permission, of “Food Truths: Taquerias and Cherry Pie”, an essay my wife Lindsay Sauvé wrote and published on her blog Blue Palate on September 24. Everyone has their food truths, and immigrants and transplants in the U.S. are no exception. In fact, being away from home may accentuate your food truth, make it even truer, so to speak. What’s your food truth? *** There is no lentil soup like my mother’s lentil soup, no sour cherry pie like my grandmother’s, certainly no sauerkraut like my father-in-law’s. […] Continue reading >

Oct 262011
Slovak Cooking Delivers Delicious Morsels of Home

If you were to ask Ľuboš Brieda, “What’s cookin’?”, he’d most likely tell you the name of a Slovak dish you’ve never heard of. Which is precisely what his website Slovak Cooking remedies: This site is dedicated to the natural and wholesome lifestyle of our (Slovak) grandparents. It’s the lifestyle when food did not come shrink-wrapped, when flour was part of every pantry, and potatoes of every cellar. Join in, and try some Slovak dishes today. There is a bit of Slovakia in all of us! The website is simple: […] Continue reading >

Oct 112011
I Survived a Peanut Butter Pickle Sandwich

Living in a new country means constant learning. Food is no exception. When you get used to, and even begin enjoying, a new dish or an ingredient, the learning curve flattens and further learning occurs on the edges of your experience. This has been the case for me with peanut butter, the principal ingredient in a peanut butter jelly sandwich, or PBJ. After several PBJ fits and starts during my stateside travels last century, I adopted PBJ into my breakfast diet about 8 years ago, after I settled in […] Continue reading >