Bhel puri (Indian snacks)

The first time I tried bhel puri was at the end of a long shift at an Asian trade fair in London. A colleague bought us plastic bowls of the puffed rice snack from an onsite caravan. It had been a weary day and – possibly expecting a curry – I was a bit underwhelmed by a dish whose…

Samosa chaat (Indian snacks)

Who walks into an Indian food store and doesn’t come out with a samosa? These golden packages at the counter promise to bring to life all those exotic raw spices lining the shelves behind you. An instant masala burst for a dollar or two. Samosa has been in India a long time. It is based…

Vada pav (Indian snacks)

As we delve into the amazing range of chaat (Indian snacks), vada pav is another white bread-based favourite – popular in Mumbai, across India and where Indian populations have settled, like Auckland’s Sandringham. Indian snacks in Auckland's Sandringham. This is vada pav – see more at foodster.co.nz A post shared by Claire McCarthy (@foodster_feed) on Nov 3,…

Baguette

With a fresh baguette and a wedge of cheese you can feel like a king for a couple of euros in any town in France. Remarkably consistent across the country (the recipe is standardised), la baguette is the most democratic of foods – as fitting alongside haute cuisine as it is under a smear of jam….

Montreal bagels

The City Works Depot is Auckland’s newest nook of regeneration, a municipal hangar on Wellesley Street West given over to casually artisan eating and drinking. Chef Al Brown has taken a chunk of the site for a Montreal-style bagel bakery called Best Ugly. The distinctive features of a Montreal bagel – over the more common…

Vanilla

With cheap imitation vanilla essence providing the ultimate non-flavour, in the late 20th century ‘vanilla’ had become a synonym for ‘banal’. It was the ice cream that went with everything because it tasted of nothing. But over the last two decades tastebuds have been reawakened to real vanilla, “the Chanel No. 5 of the spice…

Campbell’s Soup

Andy Warhol had been eating Campbells Tomato Soup for 20 years when he immortalised the soup can design in pop art in 1962. Now Campbells is releasing limited edition Warhol-inspired soup cans on the work’s 50th anniversary (and providing its ailing sales with some much needed brand buzz). Warhol had a deprived child’s lifelong preoccupation…

Injera

Ethiopian food is experiencing a swell of popularity in the United States, as explained in this Washington Post story. You know times are achangin’ when the staple grain of Ethiopian cuisine is flourishing in the fields of Idaho. Rather than import the grain teff that makes the flatbread injera – literally the foundation of an…

Xiao long bao

Xiao long bao are pleated Shanghai dumplings filled with pork meat and a juicy broth that have sparked quests and queues in US Chinatowns. Steamed dumplings are comfort food enough, but filled with a little burst of soup, their soothe factor is sensational. seriouseats explains the appeal of XLB in their hunt for New York’s…