Distance Makes the Heart (and Appetite) Grow Fonder

As the newest member of Epicuring, I’d like to introduce myself. My name is Maya and I recently returned from studying Food Culture and Communications in Italy. Italy’s culinary scene delighted my taste buds but after the first few months I began making a list of California foods I missed.

Now that I’m back I’m getting to rediscover those foods and finding out about new food adventures. Below are some of the highlights from my list. I hope you will visit these places if you haven’t already. If you have been lucky enough to experience their magic, than you know the withdrawal I experienced. Either way, I hope to see you there!

Oysters. My first stop straight from the airport was Hog and Rocks. This was my old standby pre-Italy, great selection of oysters and always a dollar oyster option. After watching Italian fishermen bring in their catch and pop fresh fish in their mouths this last year, it’s time I at least learned how to shuck an oyster. The folks over at Drakes Bay Oyster Farm have been sustainably farming for generations and welcome visitors daily.

Mexican Food. If you live in San Francisco, you may know that you need to pick a side between El Farolito and Taqueria Cancun (personally I think you can’t beat the El Farolito Super Suiza). Wherever you go in California though, there is a plethora of amazing Mexican eateries. Not only are there great burrito stands but there are great resources to learn to make your own Mexican food. Before I leave this Mexican food mecca again I need to take one of La Cocina’s Mexican and Latin American cooking classes.

Mushrooms. I vowed that once I returned to the US, I would grow my own foods. That can be difficult in a city though. Back to the Roots make it easy to grow your own mushrooms with a small kit(made with recycled coffee grounds!). After tasting mushrooms in a cave in France, I realized that supermarket mushrooms just don’t compare. 

Chocolate. Unfortunately, America has a bad rep out in the world for it’s chocolate. Luckily right here in SF there are a number of unique chocolate producers.  I made a promise to my chocolate professor from Italy to visit TCHO ASAP and send him a sample.

Jewish Deli Food. I heard about Wise Sons constantly over the last few months while I was abroad. As a New York Jew I have to have reservations about any new Jewish deli. My first Tuesday back I got a lox bagel from their stand at the Ferry Building Farmers Market and let me tell you, YUM! I can’t wait for them to open up their new space on 24th st. Until I can get my Wise Sons fix any time I want, I guess I’ll just have to learn to make my own bagels at Sour Flour.

Coffee. Italian espresso is amazing but Italians didn’t understand my need to hold a big cup of joe in my hands and sip it slowly. Luckily San Francisco knows how to brew and is more than willing to teach its secrets. Blue Bottle offers weekly tours (or if coffee isn’t your thing, learn about other drinks such as chai @ 18 Reasons)

If there are other new spots or classes that I MUST try, please share on Facebook or Twitter.

I hope to see you out Epicuring!

-Maya

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