I don’t think there are enough words to explain how much I love food. In the back of my mind, I’m always thinking about what I want to taste next, even if I am already full, stuffed to the brim, pants unzipped, breathing heavily. I get excited about going to sleep at night because it’s like teleporting to breakfast the next day. My Editor-In-Chief Alina and I have had far too many extended conversations about food—what was the texture like? Oh, so it was sort of acidic? Did the flavors mesh well? (And I promise, we’re not trying to be pretentious assholes about it; we just genuinely get excited—to an embarrassing amount—to share our experiences with food, to try and communicate the flavors we come across and transport one another to a moment).
I don’t have any credentials regarding food, other than I like to eat it, and I want to write about it. But food is my comfort—it’s something that can reunite a group of friends who haven’t seen each other in a long time, a cultural textbook that allows us to understand and explore the world a bit better, a warm hug on a sad day. All my favorite memories revolve around food some way, somehow.
I wanted to pay tribute to some of the places I was lucky enough to travel to this year, wanted to explore a diverse range of flavors my uninformed palette was lucky enough to taste, but also wanted give thanks to the foods that made me pause, mid-chew, and say, “WOW!” while my mouth was full of food (probably not a pretty sight). IT’S MY LIST. It’s subjective, it’s full of flavor, and it’s here: my favorite eats of 2016. Bon appétit.
Caramelized pork belly from Kin Khao (San Francisco, CA)