• Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey

    Cumin, Camels, and Caravans: A Spice Odyssey

    The closest we armchair travellers normally get to the olfactory sensation of walking through the globe’s most fragrant souks is opening the doors of our spice cupboards. The bottles may be sealed shut but the aroma of their contents —cardamom and cumin, cinnamon and saffron, turmeric and vanilla — wafts towards our nostrils and for a brief moment we are not in our kitchens but strolling through the spice markets of Arabia, Asia or Africa.

  • Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

    Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land

    With climatic uncertainty now “the new normal,” many farmers, gardeners, and orchardists in North America are desperately seeking ways to adapt how they grow food in the face of climate change. The solutions may be at our back door.

    In Growing Food in a Hotter, Drier Land, Nabhan, one of the world’s experts on the agricultural traditions of arid lands, draws from the knowledge of traditional farmers in the Gobi Desert, the Arabian Peninsula, the Sahara Desert, and Andalusia, as well as the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Painted deserts of North America…

  • Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands

    Desert Terroir, Exploring the Unique Flavors and Sundry Places of the Borderlands

    Why does food taste better when you know where it comes from? Because history—ecological, cultural, even personal—flavors every bite we eat. Whether it’s the volatile chemical compounds that a plant absorbs from the soil or the stories and memories of places that are evoked by taste, layers of flavor await those willing to delve into the roots of real food. In this landmark book, Gary Paul Nabhan takes us on a personal trip into the southwestern borderlands to discover the terroir—the “taste of the place”—that makes this desert so delicious.

  • Gary Paul Nabhan: Mother Nature’s Foodie

    Gary Paul Nabhan: Mother Nature’s Foodie

    Local and sustainable are on the tips of many tongues as more and more people try to eat food that’s good for them and the planet. If you’re a part of this important conversation, you can thank Gary Paul Nabhan for helping to get it started. A Lebanese American living in the Southwestern United States, Nabhan has for more than three decades been writing books, directing research projects, forming farming alliances …

  • Chasing Chiles - Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

    Chasing Chiles – Hot Spots Along the Pepper Trail

    Chasing Chiles looks at both the future of place-based foods and the effects of climate change on agriculture through the lens of the chile pepper—from the farmers who cultivate this iconic crop to the cuisines and cultural traditions in which peppers play a huge role. Why chile peppers? Both a spice and a vegetable, chile […]

  • Our Farm

    Our Farm

    Come on Down to the Farm Gary Nabhan and his wife Laurie Monti have recently purchased a five and a half acre farmstead above the Native Seeds/SEARCH growout farm, where they are demonstrating how desert-adapted agro-biodiversity can be integrated into water-conserving farming systems for climate-friendly food production. Their farmstead is named Almuniya de los Zopilotes—Private […]

Recent Entries

Commit to bringing food security to Tucson

Commit to bringing food security to Tucson

Gary Paul Nabhan wants to put Tucson on the map as a UNESCO City of Gastronomy, joining places like Popayán, Colombia, Chengdu, China, and Östersund, Sweden, as outposts of gastronomic excellence. “We’re … prematurely celebrating what I think will be a major international designation for Tucson,” he said.

Nabhan hopes this title will bring recognition to Tucson’s vibrant, multiethnic gastronomy community and to the fact that the city has one of the highest rates of food insecurity in the nation. In spite of Tucson’s standing as a city with considerable food diversity, many Tucsonans lack access to sufficient quantities of safe, nutritional food.

A True Keeper of the Desert's Treasures Passes On

A True Keeper of the Desert’s Treasures Passes On

Amalia Astorga one of the most charismatic and quixotic singers, storytellers, artists and visionaries of the Comcaac (Seri) passed away in Desemboque this week, stranded by the hurricane damage to Sonoran coast and left without medical help.

One of several daughters of Jose Astorga, the artist who began the Seri ironwood carving tradition, Amalia grew up in the desert at Pozo Coyote and Desemboque, but later lived for periods of time near Puertecitos, Baja California and on the midriff islands in fishing camps.

Middle Eastern Roots of Spice Trade: The Origins of Culinary Imperialism and Globalization

Middle Eastern Roots of Spice Trade: The Origins of Culinary Imperialism and Globalization

This lecture will present the hypothesis that every economic and social stage in the development of globalization was first initiated and refined among Semitic traders of aromatics, including Arab, Sephardic Jewish, Phoenecian and Nabatean spice merchants working in trancontinental networks over the last 3500 years.

The term culinary imperialism is introduced to recognize their wide-ranging influences on ethnic cuisines in the Old World and, after 1492…

Sustaining Water

Sustaining Water

This summer, regional water planners announced a game-changer for Arizona’s economy and already-fragile food security status.

As early as 2017, we are likely to see the rationing of river irrigation water available for Arizona agriculture as a result of the pervasive drought that has plagued the Colorado River watershed for most of the last 15 years.

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