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Inside the New Yorker's 2016 Food Issue

Mezcal, the Noma of South America, and grains of the future

In the New Yorker's annual food issue, available on newsstands and online this week, writers travel the world and deliver perspectives on everything from distilled spirits to agricultural conventions to grains.

Illustration by Bjorn Lie

[Illustration by Bjorn Lie]

"Mezcal Sunrise," by Dana Goodyear, explores the roots of this distilled alcohol, which has grown in popularity to become a bit of a trend. The small-batch production of mezcal is laborious, as the spirit is made from agave, a succulent plant that takes nearly a decade to mature in some cases and has a modest yield. The story explores some pitfalls of mezcal production, as "every precious sip both supports a traditional craft and hastens its extinction," Goodyear writes.

Photograph by Benjamin Lowy / Getty Images Reportage for The New Yorker

[Photograph by Benjamin Lowy / Getty Images Reportage for The New Yorker]

In "The Tasting Menu Initiative," Carolyn Kormann goes to Bolivia to visit Claus Meyer's restaurant Gustu, which aims to be an equivalent of the Copenhagen restaurant he co-founded, Noma. At Gustu, the tasting menu uses ingredients indigenous to the region, and the restaurant serves as a source for innovative dishes and culinary education. Kormann looks at the impact of the restaurant in Bolivia what it means for the development of a culinary environment in the country.

Photograph by Immo Klink for The New Yorker

[Photograph by Immo Klink for The New Yorker]

Across the Atlantic in France, Lauren Collins wrote about the Salon International de l'Agriculture, or the national agriculture exhibition, in "Come to the Fair." Farmers of France and their assorted animals convene for a "food-and-booze fest" that also brings up some political issues. The event is like "the Iowa State Fair crossed with the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, with the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show going on in a side ring," she says, and this year, the issue of oversupply and declining prices served as a prominent source of tension in the country.

Illustration by Oscar Bolton Green

[Illustration by Oscar Bolton Green]

Finally, in "Grain Forecast," Shon Arieh-Lerer explores the different grains that could possibly surpass quinoa, including rhett, worse, and zorba. Never heard of these? Arieh-Lerer gives the lowdown.

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