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December 11, 2018
20 Favorite Photos and Illustrations From 2018
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This year at TASTE, we read, wrote, and cooked in vivid living color, thanks to a whole bunch of talented photographers and illustrators. Sometimes we even cooked in moving living color, thanks to the ingenuity of some of our favorite animators.

With photographers Dylan + Jeni, we got a glimpse into the badminton club in Pomona, California, where Indonesian oxtail stew is served against the red and turquoise backdrop of the court. Sharanya Deepak took us on a tour of living rooms in Kashmir, where pastel-pink tea is served daily with dimpled flatbreads. Lizzie Munro found a way to make a squeeze bottle of blue cheese dressing look illuminated and angelic.

Dingding Hu managed to turn a feature about the Instant Pot into a tumultuous illustrated love story between a meat bride and an Instant Pot groom. Carolyn Figel somehow managed to tell the story of beef Wellington (and how to make it) in a two-second animation, and gave us a new version of Washington Crossing the Delaware where all of the key players are budinos. Alex Citrin, who acted as our art director for much of the year, found time between commissioning work to illustrate and animate some fictional trophies you might receive for hosting dinner parties. Thanks for reading and watching (and sometimes laughing) along with us. —Anna Hezel, Senior Editor

Cheeseburger Cakes and Jell-O Surprise

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Cheeseburger Cakes and Jell-O Surprise

Today we have cakes that look like hamburgers thanks to Pinterest and “spherified olives” thanks to Ferran Adrià, but chefs have been amusing diners with culinary wizardry for centuries.

by Heather Arndt Anderson, with illustrations by Joanna Neborsky
100 Cups of Tea in Kashmir

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100 Cups of Tea in Kashmir

In one of the most militarized regions in the world, tea is both a daily celebration and an everyday struggle.

by Sharanya Deepak
Beef Wellington Isn’t Scary

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Beef Wellington Isn’t Scary

No, you’re not going to destroy an entire tenderloin. Yes, everything is better wrapped in puff pastry.

by Becky Duffett, with illustrations by Carolyn Figel
Hot Sauce in My Veins

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Hot Sauce in My Veins

Hot sauce is our soy sauce. It’s our fish sauce. It’s how our dishes sing.

by Therese Nelson, with illustrations by Lydia Ortiz
The Crimes Against Pizza

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The Crimes Against Pizza

Should it be illegal to put bananas on pizza? Is a Chicago-style pizza actually a pizza, or is it a casserole? Dan Bransfield, the author of Pizzapedia, testifies.

How the Budino Craze Swept Across America

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How the Budino Craze Swept Across America

A closer look at the high-margin, much-loved dessert that underpromises and overdelivers. Time after time.

by Priya Krishna, with illustrations by Carolyn Figel
Wheels of Fortune

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Wheels of Fortune

There’s an analog, and spiritual, approach to making one of the world’s finest cheeses—one you may just take for granted.

by Drew Lazor, with photography by Michael Harlan-Turkell
A Life Without Fish Stew

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A Life Without Fish Stew

As a Bengali who is violently allergic to fish, I can’t eat the region’s most important food staple: maacher jhol. I’ve been hungry for it for 24 years.

by Mayukh Sen, with illustrations by Vance Lump
The Bearded Chef of Akko

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The Bearded Chef of Akko

For nearly 20 years, Uri Jeremias has been cooking fish and spreading the gospel of Israeli cooking. It’s about time the world listened.

by Matt Rodbard, with photography by Eyal Yassky-Weiss
The Seasoning That Inspires Salty Looks and Kanye Hooks

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The Seasoning That Inspires Salty Looks and Kanye Hooks

As early as the 1940s, Lawry’s seasoned salt had an important place in the spice racks of black families. But as home cooks become more health conscious and interested in fresh ingredients, are its days numbered?

by Aaron Hutcherson, with illustrations by Tiago Majuelos
We Bow to the Master: Pâte à Choux

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We Bow to the Master: Pâte à Choux

Whether or not you know it as pâte à choux, this is the classic pastry you’ve been eating all along.

by Becky Duffett, with illustrations by Carolyn Figel
Everyone Should Have a Gross Recipe

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Everyone Should Have a Gross Recipe

Sometimes your best recipe is a thing you would never in a million years serve to guests.

by George Reynolds, with illustrations by Ellie Skrzat
Tourists Eat Wings. Buffalonians Eat Subs.

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Tourists Eat Wings. Buffalonians Eat Subs.

The Rust Belt town in Western New York is famous for one thing: chicken wings. But the people who live there are fueled by a sandwich that most have never heard of.

by Anna Hezel, with photography by Lizzie Munro