Author Archives: Anna Mindess

About Anna Mindess

A sign language interpreter by day; a food writer by night. Endlessly fascinated by looking at the world through the eyes of different cultures -- and tasting its variety. Anna lives in Berkeley, California with her husband and daughter. Author of READING BETWEEN THE SIGNS and now a freelance writer for KQED's Bay Area Bites, Oakland Magazine and other publications.

Handmade Tofu and Mochi Keep Traditions Alive in San Jose’s Japantown

Get it quick before it’s gone! Handmade tofu and mochi sweets in San Jose’s Japantown. Two devoted husband and wife teams have been quietly keeping tradition alive for more than 25 years with the sweetest results. No preservatives, no automation, just loving hands and hard work. Continue reading

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For Lunar New Year, the Horse Gallops in with Traditional Foods of Tết

The Vietnamese celebration of Lunar New Year, Tet, serves up a range of traditional foods, including thick wedges of sticky rice filled with peppery pork and candied kumquats and nutty cookies. For the Year of the Horse, Son Tran, owner of Oakland’s aptly named Le Cheval Vietnamese restaurant, shared with me the details of these essential holiday dishes and other cultural traditions. Continue reading

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Don’t Poison Your Guests: Tips for Hosts on Food Allergies, Intolerances and Sensitivities

Eggs, strawberries, wheat, nuts, fish, dairy–seems like everyone is allergic to something. What’s up with that and what’s a host to do? This illustrated guide explains the difference between intolerances and allergies and provides tips for cooking for guests with these conditions (and having them leave sated –and alive.) Continue reading

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Making Chevre with a Cheese Whiz, San Francisco’s Own Milkmaid

Louella Hill, a modern day, milk maid, views cheesemaking as an art form that embraces the microbial world and can’t be rushed. She teaches classes around the San Francisco Bay Area in making goat cheese, brie, feta, ricotta, mascarpone and more. Continue reading

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Gruesome Goodies: Halloween Bentos to Make for your Little Bats and Ghouls

Surprise your child with a Frankenstein sandwich, Vampire bunny egg or Severed sausage “fingers”. Make frighteningly easy Halloween Bentos with these tips and tricks for healthy treats Continue reading

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Icy or Spicy? Cooling Foods Across Cultures

Although the Bay Area doesn’t suffer the swoon-inducing heat and humidity of Japan, Peru, India or the Philippines, we can still enjoy their edible solutions for cooling relief. Some like it icy cold with mounds of shaved ice doused with syrups, while others turn to peppers and spice to induce a natural cooling response. Continue reading

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From Peaches to Persimmons: A Taste of Two Seasons (in Japan)

I tasted the essence of two seasons–summer and fall–in two fruits–white peach and persimmon–during two weeks in Kyoto, Japan. Continue reading

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