Hi, I’m Mariam Hosseini, also known as Yogurtsoda. I’m an Iranian-American born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, where I live with my Sri Lankan-Canadian husband. As a hyphenated couple twice over, travel is very important to us. I’ve loved learning about new cultures and cuisines since childhood. It’s how I gather inspiration for new recipes. (Ten-year old Mariam could often be found in both the foreign policy and cookery sections of the library.)
I believe that food has no borders — much like other things in life. The purpose of my blog is to document and share the dishes of my childhood and my travels as an adult. I hope that I can inspire you to travel the world with your tastebuds too.
I’ve been blogging since 2001 and back then, I was mostly writing about international relations, which I studied in graduate school. Nowadays I get that fix through my day job, but here I continue to blog about my other love: eating my way around the world.
Ten things about me:
- Local roots: I was raised in Sonoma County, California, where produce and dairy has been locally sourced before “locally sourced” entered the vernacular. I grew up eating Persian herbs from the garden, plums and lemons from the trees, grapes from the vines, and cheese made from cows in the same zip code. It’s shaped my philosophy on cooking and eating, and for that I’m grateful.
- Guilty pleasure: I adore instant noodles. Don’t get me started on the wonders of Nong Shim ramen.
- Comfort food: Give me my mom’s khoresh-e bamiyeh or my baba’s chelo kabob over a formal meal any day. The tastes of nostalgia reign supreme.
- Won’t eat: Cilantro. I’m one of those. Shame, really.
- Somebody call the harambulance: I’m a sucker for a gin and tonic.
- Wanderlusting: I’m forever missing sweet and sour albaloo cherries in mid-summer Tehran. Three-dollar laksa in Singapore, brimming with a fiery coconut broth. Ten-cent potato tacos in Guadalajara’s Mercado Corona. Packing into Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona for meaty montaditos. Indulging in otoro sushi from Takashimaya in Tokyo. Gravy-laden poutine in Montreal. The simplest bun cha squatted over a crate in Hanoi. Fresh pistachio lokum on the streets of Istanbul.
- It takes two to
tangoeat: I may insist on doing the cooking, but my husband makes incredible pasta. Leave him alone with his KitchenAid and he’s unstoppable.
- No reservations: I was lucky to join a dinner with Anthony Bourdain back in 2007 in San Francisco. The geeky smile on my face says it all. And until recently, if you googled “Iran Bourdain,” a photo of the two us was the result. Creeper achievement unlocked.
- Words matter: I love food, but I dislike the word foodie.
- Why Yogurtsoda? Yogurtsoda is named after the ubiquitous Iranian drink, doogh. Similar to Indian lassi, it’s made up of carbonated water, yogurt, salt and dried mint and is popular throughout the Middle East by many other names and permutations. Outside of the Middle East, I’ve found it’s an acquired taste for most, but that’s okay. As long as you’re willing to try anything once, you’re good in my book.