Daniel Klein, 30, Mirra Fine, 33
What do you two eat at home?
We eat almost entirely vegetarian food at home — and seasonally — shopping mostly at the Seward Co-op. It means lots of root veggies and no tomatoes in the winter, although we do buy a lot of avocados and Parmesan cheese. We make a lot of pickles and sauerkraut. Daniel gets a lot of inspiration from travel. Each country tends to leave a lasting ingredient impression on us that becomes part of our regular rotation: fish sauce (Vietnam), preserved lemons (Morocco), curry leaves (India), coconut oil (Sri Lanka).
What are your favorite places on your travels?
Our favorite places are where our expectations are challenged and where we are touched by the incredible people we have met. It’s hard to narrow down, but here are a few:
• China was amazing. We spent a couple of days in a Hani village in the rice terraces of Yunan province. It was breathtaking, eye opening.
• India was the country where we had the best food for every single meal: whether it be street food in Mumbai, or a hole in the wall in Dheradun (complete with a stray cow walking up to our table). Every single time we sat down to eat, we left extremely happy.
• Akiruno, Japan, is a special place to us, because that is where we met Shimizu San, a wheat farmer who made udon noodles. To this day, we are in constant communication. After we left, he sent us three packages of his wheat so that we could make our own udon noodles in Minnesota.
• San Sebastián is so beautiful, and the Basque country is full of the most kind people and gorgeous rolling hills (and Etxe Barri restaurant, where I had one of the best vegetarian tasting menus ever, in Spain of all places!).
• Italy holds a place in many people’s hearts, and for good reason. The kindness of the people and the beauty of the culture is something that stays with you. Our stay in Marche was especially remarkable, in a tiny town where it seemed everyone had their own culinary craft: truffle hunters, gelato makers, pasta. Rome was a place where we wished we had more time to spend.
• Turkey — we cannot wait to go back to Turkey. Istanbul is an amazing city, and Kars (a town in way eastern Turkey very close to the Armenian border) is not a place to be missed. It feels like a step back in time.
Poll: Which 2013 Taste Holiday Cookie Contest entry do you most want to try?