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5 Things in the Food World We Loved in February

Including a chocolate brand on a mission and a couple of globe-spanning cookbooks.

Published Feb. 28, 2021.

One of the things all of us at America's Test Kitchen have in common is a love of food. And if you’re reading this, you probably do, too.

That's why we decided to start a series in which we share some of the things in the food world we loved over the course of the previous month: things that made us think, things that made us laugh, and things that reminded us why we relish being a part of the food world. If we enjoyed them, we thought you might, too.

Here are five things that we loved in February, submitted by ATK staff members from all over the company.

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1. In Bibi's Kitchen: The Recipes and Stories of Grandmothers from the Eight African Countries that Touch the Indian Ocean, by Hawa Hassan with Julia Turshen

I got Hawa Hassan’s (with Julia TurshenIn Bibi’s Kitchen as a gift for my boyfriend because he’s been interested in cooking African recipes but didn’t know where to start. I was drawn to this book during my gift hunt because it includes recipes from eight different African countries along the Indian Ocean as well as stories from bibis (grandmothers) across the region and information about each country, which helps give important context for the recipes and really brings the book to life.

It’s been a gift to us both during the recent cold months at home. Some of my favorite recipes so far include Shahan Ful (Mashed Limas with Onions, Tomatoes, and Chiles) from Eritrea and Digaag Qumbe (Chicken Stew with Yogurt and Coconut) from Somalia, which uses a Xaawash spice blend that we were able to make ourselves thanks to an accompanying recipe in the book. We’ve loved how easy, accessible, and even weeknight friendly the recipes are—and the fact that most dishes are completely new to both of us has made it extra fun to try them out. —Heather Laroche, Graphic Designer

2. Alexis Nikole (@blackforager) on Instagram and TikTok

Alexis Nikole is a foraging and environmental science enthusiast who uses Instagram and TikTok to teach people the joys of wild foods. She is just the happiest and the nicest, and she often makes charming and catchy songs that tell you all about food that she's foraged and how to use it to make delicious vegan treats. (Hit songs include "A Field Garlic Ditty," "Acorn Pancakes," and "A Song About Cattails.") Her recipe tutorials make foraged foods look both approachable and delicious, and her videos always make me smile. —Chad Chenail, Producer, Podcasts

3. Tony's Chocolonely

February means Valentine's Day, and Valentine's Day often means chocolate. It's a luxury product, but most of the farmers who produce the raw materials to make it live in poverty and might even rely on child labor and slave labor to make ends meet. Tony's says they are committed to making all chocolate—not just theirs—ethical, and they have a plan to make it happen. With flavors such as Dark Milk Pretzel Toffee and Dark Almond Sea Salt, it's deliciously easy to feel better about the chocolate you buy. You can order online or find a store near you that carries it. Andrea Geary, Deputy Food Editor, Cook's Illustrated

4. Margaret Molinari on Instagram

I came across Margaret Molinari (@margarts) through following "#The100DayProject," a global art project encouraging participants to take up a creative project for 100 days (this year starting on January 31st) and share their progress online. Margaret makes monoprints of fruit and vegetables (and other food and found objects) on fabric; the resulting prints are beautifully whimsical and the perfect intersection of my love of food, textiles, and block printing. Some of the prints are easily identifiable—such as the gorgeous eggplants in the video above—while others are less conspicuous, such as the airy spongy inside of artisan bread rolls; the geometric tines of a fork; or the abstract, crumbly pith of clementine peels. I’ve been following along, wondering what food she’ll try next, and looking at all my ingredients in a much more artistic way! —Camila Chaparro, Associate Editor, Books

5. Sababa by Adeena Sussman

Earlier this year, I started having Shabbat dinner on Friday nights. It's far from traditional—so far the only attendees have been my partner and I, and we don't observe the Jewish ritual of rest the next day—but it gives me something to look forward to each week and an excuse to step away from screens for a couple hours. It also gives me an opportunity to try new recipes, since I want the meals to have some connection to Judaism. Adeena Sussman's cookbook Sababa has been the source of a couple of those meals. Sussman, an American expat living in Tel Aviv (who also happens to be Chrissy Teigen's cookbook coauthor), has put together a beautiful cookbook with vibrant, modern recipes inspired by the local market and her Israeli home kitchen. "Sababa" translates to something like "everything is awesome," which is a fitting description for the contents of this book. —Mari Levine, Managing Editor, Digital

See the food-related things we've loved in past months here and make sure to visit this page every day for new cooking tips, recipes, features, and more.

This is a members' feature.