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By Iris Brooks

For those who love rolling in the dough...

Food Breaking Bread Around the World
Whether your passion is a bruschetta, a bagel or a baguette, chances are that bread is part of your daily diet. The variety of breads from around the world is staggering.
By Iris Brooks

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Travel Welcome to Barbados, the Land of Blue Orchids and Green Monkeys
The genuine sweetness comes not from the crop of sugar cane, but from the friendly folks. While some visitors come here to explore the sounds of soca, tuk or spouge, I am attending the annual Barbados Jazz Festival, where another set of blues take over.
By Iris Brooks

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Food On the Trail of Tisana
Tisana is a drink in which water is enriched with local herbs including leaves, flowers and roots. It may be an infusion for refreshment or medicinal means.
By Iris Brooks

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Film Born Into Brothels
Who would have thought that a film about children of prostitutes in India could be riveting? Born Into Brothels: Calcutta’s Red Light Kids is a rare film filled with passion and compassion.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Japanese Snacks
For a girl who grew up on milk and cookies and then graduated to nuts, brownies and trail mix in days of hippiedom, I was recently caught off my guard in Japan.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Tisanas
I've been given a number of healing prescriptions by a variety of practitioners on a recent trip to southern Tuscany. But then there are the Etruscan elixirs known as tisanas.
By Iris Brooks

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Food African Corn Grits
Do cornfields bring to mind thoughts of Kansas? Think again. You may picture corn on the cob at an American barbeque or the plentiful cornfields in rural France—all grown for animals since no Frenchman will be caught eating it. But corn now reminds me of Africa, a land where cornfields are punctuated by huge termite mounds. Maize is the lifeblood of much of the continent and, sometimes, it is even used in their pottery.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Culinary Odyssey In Thailand
Investigating ingredients in this Thai market excursion is a prelude to my cooking class in the new Culinary Odyssey program at the Peninsula Hotel. While spirit is at the heart of the Thai culture, my focus is the food.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Zanzibari Pumpkins & Spice & Everything Nice
For Balinese artist Tjokorda Gde Arsa Artha, pumpkins are a canvas—he uses Asian fruit carving techniques, coupled with the mythology of his homeland, to create art that wards off evil spirits.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Dining On The Demon Plant
Have you ever dined on the demon plant? O. Henry called cactus the “demon plant,” since it appears to live without soil or rain in an unforgiving desert landscape. He wasn’t thinking about the cactus used for backpacks, rope, nets, armoires and doors, not to mention margaritas and salad dressing.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Bamboo Master
Recalling my travels to China conjures up images of bicyclists in Beijing, skyscrapers in Shanghai, and misty landscapes along the Yangtze River. I also recall how meals begin with meat dishes, then vegetables are served, and soup follows.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Vietnamese Cuisine: Without Dog Stew or Snake Restaurants at the C.I.A.
Vietnamese restaurants and cookbooks are turning up in North American urban centers today, and tourists now flock to the exotic destination.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Indonesian Peanut Sauce
The peanut is not a nut; it’s technically a legume. And its origins date back to South America—historians suggest Bolivia, Brazil, Peru or Mexico—evidenced in 3,500-year-old Inca pottery.
By Iris Brooks

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Travel The Spirit Of Bhutan: Land Of The Thunder Dragon
Searching for a magic kingdom? Step back in time to a country where an 8th century leader flew on the back of a tiger to rid the land of evil spirits.
By Iris Brooks

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Food A Global Guide To Rice
Rice is not your run-of-the-mill food; it’s honored at a variety of rituals throughout Asia. Praised by poets, celebrated in song, and eaten by emperors, rice is a symbol of fertility and the lifeblood of many societies.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Prince Edward Island Potato Museum
The best place to uncover potato trivia, superstitions, anecdotes, recipes, postcards, and tools, is at the Prince Edward Island Potato Museum.
By Iris Brooks

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Food German Sweets: Lebkuchen, Lark, Lark Tarts, & More
One of the most beloved treats in Germany is lebkuchen (pronounced “Layb-kook-in”), which literally means “cake of life,” though it’s often inaccurately translated as gingerbread.
By Iris Brooks

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Food Cross-Cultural Chill: Fabulous Frozen Treats
Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, Marco Polo, Hippocrates and Wolfgang Puck have all favored frozen desserts. Even Beethoven wrote a note fearing an unseasonably warm winter in 1794 would prevent Austrians from enjoying ice cream.
By Iris Brooks

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Food In Portugal, Just Say Cheese (Or Queijo!)
Portugal is known for more than its rocky coastline, impressive hand-painted tiles, and poignant fado music. The central and southern parts of the country offer a variety of artesian sheep and goat cheeses that range from the mild to the pungent. Iris Brooks heads out to the countryside to learn more about this tasty queijo.
By Iris Brooks

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Food The King Of Fruit: Pineapple From The Azores
Columbus is largely credited with "discovering" America, but he was also responsible for bringing the first pineapple—a prize from his exploits in Guadeloupe—to Europe in 1493. Eventually, as the fruit became an exotic symbol of hospitality in European circles, it made its way back to the shores of colonial America as something of a celebrity.
By Iris Brooks

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