Hi, Iâ€™m Mariam Hosseini, also known as Yogurtsoda. Iâ€™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. Iâ€™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.
Iâ€™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.
Eight things about me:
- Local roots: I was raised in Sonoma County, California, where produce and dairyÂ has been locally sourced before â€œlocally sourcedâ€ entered the vernacular. I grew up eating Persian herbsÂ from the garden, plums and lemons from the trees, grapes from the vines, and cheese made from cows in the same zip code. Itâ€™s shaped my philosophy on cooking and eating, and for that Iâ€™m grateful.
- Guilty pleasure: I adore instant noodles. Donâ€™t get me started on the wonders of Nong Shim ramen.
- Comfort food: Give me my momâ€™s khoresh-e bamiyeh or my babaâ€™s chelo kabob over a formal meal any day. The tastes of nostalgia reign supreme.
- Wanderlusting: Iâ€™m forever missing sweet and sour albaloo cherries in mid-summer Tehran. Three-dollar laksa in Singapore, brimming with aÂ fiery coconut broth. Ten-cent potato tacos in Guadalajaraâ€™s Mercado Corona. Packing into Quimet y Quimet in Barcelona for meaty montaditos. Indulging inÂ 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 heâ€™s unstoppable.Â
- 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 â€œIran Bourdain,â€ a photo of the two us was the result. Creeper achievement unlocked.
- Words matter: I love food, but I dislikeÂ the word foodie.
- Why Yogurtsoda? Yogurtsoda is named after the ubiquitous Iranian drink, doogh. Similar to Indian lassi, itâ€™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, Iâ€™ve found itâ€™s an acquired taste for most, but thatâ€™s okay. As long as youâ€™re willing to try anything once, youâ€™re good in my book.