During Ramadan, Dates Are a Unifying Staple
New York Times
During Ramadan, the far-flung Muslim communities of the world are unified by one food: the date, one of the earliest cultivated crops and an ancient icon of the Middle East, where the thick-trunked date palm is a symbol of hospitality, rest and peace.
In the last week, a drunk man at a Culver City karaoke bar and a perfectly sober therapist in Venice both railed at me about "selfish" almond growers who have no business planting such a thirsty crop in a drought. I shared the stories with Del Bosque, who has devoted about a third of his 2,000 acres to almonds.
Abruptly, he pulled off the road and parked next to an almond orchard.
It’s possible you don’t know what I’m talking about. Maybe you’re a moderate drinker who baby-sips two glasses of wine and leaves every party at a reasonable hour. Maybe you are one of those lucky people who can slurp your whisky all afternoon and never disappear. But if you’re like me, you know the thunderbolt of waking up to discover a blank space where pivotal scenes should be. My evenings come with trapdoors.
A Saltwater Siren Song
Roads and Kingdoms
I first tasted Rocky Point’s chowder on my seventh birthday. My memories of it are obscured by thoughts of roller coasters or getting soaked on the water slides. I was most interested in the rides, but my father insisted I eat a few spoonfuls from his bowl. It was unlike any chowder I’d had before. The sharp, briny kick was balanced by a touch of acid from the tomatoes, and there were no pieces of intimidating parsley or dill floating around on the surface.
For the first time in history, individual-decision makers responsible for selling food contaminated with foodborne bacteria are facing criminal charges that could lead to jail time, and corporations are paying out huge fines. [...] The fines have raised eyebrows, and the threat of a long prison sentence for the Parnells sends a strong message.
The Meaning of Mangoes
My mother covered the dining room table with sheets of newspaper. As soon as our relatives arrived, we all sat down. My father came in with armfuls of the fruit and spread them on the table. Kidney-shaped, wrinkled, and some dotted with black spots, the mangos filled the room with a scent that drove us all mad with desire.
As for the type of chili dogs you methodically shovel into your mouth, that’s entirely up to you. Charbroiled footlongs drowning in heaping scoops of roadhouse steak chili, red hots doused with homestyle, 7-Eleven Big Bites paired with Campbell’s Chunky; as long as you’re consuming approximately one chili dog every 75 minutes, you will see results.