A couple of months ago at a party, my friend Luis mentioned he once carried a hefty iron tortilla maker in his hand luggage, from his native Mexico to Rome. Other friends immediately jumped at him: “Can you make us burritos?” And so he did, in a 4-course dinner that blew our minds. Weeks later I was invited over at Hande’s to have German food and most recently I organized an Indonesian dinner.…Read More
Pakistanis take immense pride in welcoming guests. And welcome I felt during my visit, which was my first and hopefully not my last. I’d like to go back for the people and the food. In fact, these two are closely entwined. Hospitality is so engrained in the culture that people would rather go hungry than not offer something to a guest.
The reason for our visit was sad. We, a team of volunteers of Children of Tomorrow, went for a disaster relief effort, distributing water filters to the flood-affected areas. But even there, in a small tent village where we paused during our trip from Karachi to Thatta, we were greeted with karak chai, the omnipresent strong and sweet milk tea.…Read More
Today it’s Eid el-Fitr, also in Rome. In most neighborhoods you probably won’t notice anything different, but since I live in the most multicultural area of the city, you can feel it in the air. Eid is the feast to celebrate the end of Ramadan, the month in which Muslims are prohibited from eating, drinking, and smoking from dawn until dusk. I can only imagine their happiness.
Every day, wafts of all sorts of cooking scents enter through my window. But today, it’s been non-stop and the aromas appear to be more exotic. Oh, how I wish I’d been invited to one of those celebration dinners.…Read More