Daydream about a destination you've spent time exploring and it's often the delicacies that punctuated your days there that evoke the most magical memories. Nutty, honeyed baklava in a Gaziantep pastry shop. Tomatoes infused with sunshine eaten straight from the paper bag in a south of France marketplace. Silky, foraged mushrooms fried up in salty butter and piled onto toast in a cosy Sussex cottage. And it works the other way round, too: Peckham, for example, is where London-based West Africans go when craving a taste of home, assured of finding fried plantain just like mama used to make.
We've travelled to all of these places and more in this issue of SUITCASE, meeting the people intent on preserving rich culinary heritages the world over.
Pull up a seat and join us in raising a glass to artisan Mexican distiller Félix Ángeles Arellanes, who determinedly makes (excellent) mezcal the old-fashioned way in Santa Catarina Minas, Oaxaca. Devour a feast of Niçoise specialities alongside British-Indian writer Gurdeep Loyal, who finds surprising parallels between Gallic and Punjabi cuisine as he grazes his way around the iconic French city. Savour a visual feast courtesy of photographer Mark Parren Taylor, who marvels at southeastern Turkey's famed pistachio harvest and showcases the colourful coastal communities of Hong Kong.
Mark Sansom is our maitre d' on a tasting tour of the ever-more inventive ways in which restaurants and chefs are creating a conversation around what appears on the menu in his feature on the rise of experiential eating. Just, according to Heston Blumenthal, don't call it "molecular gastronomy".
Then, there's the revitalised Beirut farmers' market Souk el Tayeb, which became a lifeline for thousands in the wake of the Lebanese capital's 2020 port explosion, going above and beyond its remit to introduce a younger generation to renowned native produce and recipes at risk of being forgotten. And don't miss an exhilarating odyssey across the salt pans of Croatia's spectacular Dalmatian Coast, where prize-winning cheeses, plump olives and revered cuts of meat all benefit from this ancient and fertile landscape.